I originally wrote this right after I got my kennel name, but edited it later when my future (breeding) plans didn't turn out to respond to my first thoughts. I just didin't want to delete this all.
I believe dog world haves more opinions than facts. And I have lots of opinions. I'm not best at it, but I also try to understand other's different views.
I think a very good breeder has a good and broad knowledge of the pedigrees/lines and individual dogs in general of his breed. Unfortunately this broad knowledge is something that I just don't have, so I can't say I would be a very good breeder. One reason why I won't do at least any big and continuing breeding work. (Of course information comes to you if you just open your mouth and ask: familiar dog enthusiasts, breeders, breed club…) But I believe, however, that I could have been a "normal", ok breeder: I once dreamed of chasing my own views and "ideals" with Icelandic Sheepdogs, remembering and maintaining one kind of "naturalness" of the dogs (no any exaggerated features) and vitality, to see dogs who are able to survive in many purpose – dogs who are active and posess "a kick" (good drive) for dog sports, but also nerves to be a good companion dogs. I love sporting/working dogs, but to be a good companion in everyday life is important role for most of the dogs/breeds nowdays. Be comfortable family member, a partner. Icelandic Sheepdog is one of those.
Why I kinda wanted to have a kennel name, why I started to have my own "dreams", was because I happened to got my Brenna. Such a great dog who guided me to the dog world and dog sports. All the dozens of compliments she got (and earned) through the years - all the way from people who normally feared dogs to a serious/top working dog breeder. This is what I'd like to see more. Great dogs like my Brenna was. Very nice drive dogs for any purpose but who still have stable character and are good companion dogs. I dreamed of doing some breeding work based on sporting Icies, trying to be part of maintaining Icies sporting abilities also in the future. And specially show around short haired Icies, which are unfortunately not as popular or well known as long haired ones.
To me, an ideal Icelandic Sheepdog is active and social dog, who loves playing, haves good appetite, and is very cooperative ("working ready"). Like my Brenna.
Although I like pedigree dog world (and I really don't think it's an all evil thing like some people do), my way of thinking is quite open and I'm not totally purebreed freak. For example there are several times when I have said out loud that I'd have nothing against some cross-breeding done to Icies, some other breeds giving new blood to them. There are also many breeds similiar to each others that I would allow to be mixed together, so that the puppies just would be registered by their appearance. Like Finnish Lapphund x Finnish Lapponian Herder. Or all the Setters. That's my opinion briefly. There are breeds with which I'd do much more "radical" changes, to tell the truth.
When I check the dogs, I rank health and character/temperament over look, and I don't accept any exaggerations that cause harm to the dogs. Dogs should be able to do mating and whelping with ease, naturally with good instincts. Dogs should have nerves to live a proper life, to "carry themselves independently" through life, not being afraid of many things and often needing human or pack support. That's something I see or hear too often, in my opinion: too soft/sensitive Icies. I have owned one too: as a youngster she was more or less afraid of several things (like traffic lights!), and I needed to show her the world and tell many times, that it won't harm her. Later, she was pretty confident and really good dog, but sometimes you could still tell that inside her lived that soft girl who needed my support and care a lot. Oh yes, she was a good and cute fellow, just pretty soft. With wrong training and support, she could have turned to be a scaredy-cat. Icies are bit soft like many(/most) sheepdogs, and no they are not some German Shepherds or ment to be like ones, but that doesn't mean it's ok to be too soft or scaredy-cat either!
With Icelandic Sheepdogs it specifically pleases me to see clear variability in appearances/looks. Quite different types of dogs. You don't usually see that in pedigree dogs accepted by big kennel clubs. 'Thank you' belongs to breeders who have not shut out otherwise ok/good dogs from their breeding program even though their appearance may have not been "ideal". The breed standards are only texts created by humans, which are modified from time to time, and between countries there can be clear differences. Every people also interpret them in different ways. They are not bibles. They just give us directions, "guide lines". Of course look matters in some level, usually even for those who claim other, but that's usually more about opinions what some person likes and what he don't. At the best, probably all of us hope to get it all in one package: healthy dogs with nice temperament and with a look one prefers!
Dog world isn't easy one, and breeding living creatures is never as simply as we maybe would like it to be. There is no perfect character tests, perfect health tests, nothing. There is no only one right way. No easy ways to find "perfection", and sometimes we need to take risks too. But we as owners and breeders need to work for their best, these animals are in our hands.