The Icelandic sheep belongs to the Northern European Short-tailed group of sheep.

The leader sheep posessing the qualities of the Icelandic type, do not exist anywhere else in the world. There are many stories of how they have rescued both men and other sheep from danger. Icelandic sheep were formerly common in North-western Europe, but which is now found in only few areas of the world. It is a strong, hardy species that has adapted well to Icelandic conditions. The majority of the national flock has horn, but polled sheep are also common. Polycerate sheep can occur as well. Until the 1940s the Icelandic sheep was the predominant milk producing animal in Iceland. The fleece is double-coated, with a long outer coat, providing protection from snow and rain and a fine, inner coat nsulates the animal against the cold.