Origin of the Shetland Sheepdogs

As its real name Shetland Sheepdog reveals, the Sheltie comes from the Shetland Islands just outside of Scotland. His job there was to look after ponies and dwarf sheep in very cold and wet weather conditions. This also explains its small size. Because there is not much food in the barren landscape.

The resulting very undemanding and robust dog breed was perfect for guarding herds against rather small attackers due to its speed.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Shelties made it to England. They are still called Collie miniatures today, which Collie breeders didn’t like at all even back then. The name Shetland Sheepdog came about when they objected to naming the breed, Shetland Collie. With this designation, the Shelties were then recognized as a separate breed in 1914.

Did you know that Shelties are among the top 10 dog breeds in the US today and that it is estimated that there are more purebred Shetland Sheepdogs there than in the UK?

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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