Shetland Sheepdog

Hailing from the Shetland Islands and first officially registered in 1908 the Shetland Sheepdog, affectionately known as the Sheltie, is a relatively new breed of purebred dog and the exact mixture is still under debate.  Breeding was not the main purpose for the tough islanders who used Shelties as all around farm dogs, though Shelties now participate in the Herding and Pastoral Groups of the US and UK, respectively.  Looking for small, fluffy companion dogs, visitors to the island began the proliferation and refinement of the breed, crossing it with Collies. The American Kennel Club recognized Shetlands in 1911 where Catherine Coleman Moore was an early proponent. Importation regulations during the two world wars has led to differences in the type and size of the dogs by US and UK breeding regulations. Today Shelties have picked up a number of skills often working as medical alert and therapy dogs.

Shetland Sheepdogs look like miniature versions of rough-coated Collies, measuring 13-16 inches in height from the shoulder and weighing between 14-27 pounds.  Shelties come in five color variations which are Sable, Blue Merle, Tri Color, Bi-Blue, and Bi-Black with conspicuous white body spots are severely frowned upon in competition. Other characteristics include a long feathered tail, a double coat of long hair which is shorter on the head and legs, dark almond-shaped eyes, a muscular arched neck, as slightly tapering muzzle. Personality: First raised as working dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs developed a loyal, willing and eager to please personality that makes them excellent companion dogs. They are both docile and very sociable and need people to pour their affection into.  Much of the herding instinct remains intact and these lively dogs still love to chase things and are highly intelligent.  Humans need to be confident and consistent, using a calm, but firm voice to teach these highly trainable dogs new tricks. This is especially important because Shelties that are given too much free reign of the house can develop behavioral problems, including barking, guarding, snapping, and sometimes biting to protect their humans. Typically known as Small Dog Syndrome, it is not unique to Shelties. Shetland Sheepdogs need lots of exercise and should be taken out daily for a run or walk and preferably given some free running space in a safe area.

Shetland Sheepdog image
Breed Type
Pure
Origin
Europe
Family
Function
Life Span
12-15 Years
Hypoallergenic
No
Other Names
Sheltie, Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog Build Information

Size
Small
Length (Male)
13-20 in.
Length (Female)
14-16 in.
Weight
15 - 25 lbs
Litter Size
4 - 5 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
No
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

Shetland Sheepdogs look like miniature versions of rough-coated Collies, measuring 13-16 inches in height from the shoulder and weighing between 14-27 pounds.  Shelties come in five color variations which are Sable, Blue Merle, Tri Color, Bi-Blue, and Bi-Black with conspicuous white body spots are severely frowned upon in competition. Other characteristics include a long feathered tail, a double coat of long hair which is shorter on the head and legs, dark almond-shaped eyes, a muscular arched neck, as slightly tapering muzzle.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Independant
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Barking
Aggressiveness Level

First raised as working dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs developed a loyal, willing and eager to please personality that makes them excellent companion dogs. They are both docile and very sociable and need people to pour their affection into.  Much of the herding instinct remains intact and these lively dogs still love to chase things and are highly intelligent.  Humans need to be confident and consistent, using a calm, but firm voice to teach these highly trainable dogs new tricks.

This is especially important because Shelties that are given too much free reign of the house can develop behavioral problems, including barking, guarding, snapping, and sometimes biting to protect their humans.

Typically known as Small Dog Syndrome, it is not unique to Shelties. Shetland Sheepdogs need lots of exercise and should be taken out daily for a run or walk and preferably given some free running space in a safe area.

Appearance

Colors
Black Blue Merle Off White Sable Tan White
Shedding
Seasonal
Grooming
High Maintenance
Coat Type
Dense

Despite having a dense coat of hair, Sheltie grooming is much easier than expected as long as the dog is brushed regularly. The coat should be misted with water before undoing any matted fur, using a comb sparingly. Bathing and shampooing should also be undertaken when absolutely necessary. Twice a year the coat sheds with the changing seasons.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Very easy to train
Hunting Companion
No
Jolly for Jogging
Yes
Sighting Capabilities
No
Ideal for Tracking
Yes
Retrieving Skills
No
Pointing Breed
No
Herding Skills
Yes
Dutiful Watchdog
Yes
Security Guard Capable
Yes
Police Performer
No
Wet Water rescues
No
Assist Disable Owners
No
Dog Sledding
No
Able to Perform Dog Carting
No
Agile/Zippy
Yes
Fun with Lure Coursing
No
Obedient
Yes
Possible Schutzhund Work
No
Trainable for Tricks
Yes
  • Shetland Sheepdogs are beautiful dogs that can make wonderful pets
  • Here's a look to see if one of these dogs is right for you
  • Shetland Sheepdogs typically live for 12-15 years
  • These small-sized dogs are also known as the Sheltie and are intelligent, energetic, and sociable
  • The Sheltie need regular grooming and sheds
  • This dog breed is relatively healthy for a purebred dog breed

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Common Health Conditions in Shetland Sheepdogs

Among purebred dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs are considered healthy, but they do have a tendency for certain diseases including hip and joint problems, some types of hypothyroidism, inherited bleeding disorder, and eye problems.

Shetland Sheepdog Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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