Vaskur of Thorvaldsstadir - the HRFÍ logo model

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09.10.2023Evelyn Ýr

Vaskur of Thorvaldsstadir was one of eight dogs that Mark Watson bought in Iceland and moved to California in the fifties to breed Icelandic sheepdogs so they wouldn't become extinct. 

Shortly after the dogs arrived to California, a dog plague struck and some of the dogs died. Those who survived had descendants and seemed to not have mixed with other breeds. Watson later moved back to England and took the dogs with him to keep the breeding going.

Vaskur survived the dog plague and moved with Watson to England. There he had a big success at the Crufts dog show in 1960 when he became BOB (best of breed), at seven years old.

In an article from February 1960, most likely from the magazine Our dogs the judge Mrs. W. Barber is quoted: "Vaskur completely won over me as a good looking medium sized dog, sound and with the essentials of his breed standard clearly defined, he was a happy and friendly dog to meet and appeared to be enjoying his outing." Vaskur was judged "Novice 1" and "Open 1".

Here one can see the breeding standard of that time that Vaskur was likely judged by.

In 1969, the Icelandic Kennel Club (HRFÍ) was founded at Hotel Saga in Reykjavík. 29 enthusiasts of Icelandic sheepdog breeding stood at the founding of the club. One of its goals was to protect and breed the Icelandic sheepdog and the first board agreement was to prepare the registration of the Icelandic sheepdog's characteristics.

A picture of Vaskur of Thorvaldsstadir was then the model for the logo of the Icelandic Kennel Club.

The kennel club later got membership of the international dog breeding associations FCI and the Nordic Dog Breeding Associations NKU and today is a collaborative platform for owners and enthusiasts of various dog breeds.

The Icelandic Sheepdog Department (DÍF) was founded in 1979 and operates within HRFÍ as one of its largest departments. The logo of the department is the same except Vaskur is looking the other way.

Hopefully Vaskur will be able to be at peace in the kennel clubs logo for the coming times as a representative of Icelands national dog.

The picture is from Mark Watsons book The Iceland dog 874-1956.



Lýtingsstaðir, 561 Varmahlíð.
Phone: +354 893 3817
[email protected]



Lýtingsstaðir, 561 Varmahlíð.
Phone: +354 893 3817
[email protected]