Shetland Sheepdog: Dog Breed Facts and Information

Country of origin: Great Britain
Shoulder height: 35 – 38 cm
Weight: 7 – 8 kg
Age: 12 – 14 years
Color: sable, black, blue merle with or without white or tan markings
Use: Working dog, companion dog, the family dog

The Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) is one of the British herding dogs and is externally a miniature version of the Rough Collie. It is considered to be very adaptable, affectionate, sensitive, and docile and is also well-suited for dog beginners. A Sheltie can also be kept well in a city apartment if he gets the necessary exercise for long walks or dog sports activities.

Origin and history

The Sheltie comes – as its name suggests – from the Shetland Islands in north-east Scotland, where it was kept on small farms as a guard dog and hard-working herding assistant. Through crossings with small collies, toy spaniels, spitz, and papillon, the sheltie also became a popular companion dog and house dog.

Official Kennel Club recognition came in 1914. In England, America, and Japan, Shelties have now surpassed Collies in popularity.

Appearance of the Sheltie

In terms of appearance, the Sheltie is a miniature version of the Rough Collie. According to the breed standard, males are about 37 cm tall. It is a long-haired, well-proportioned dog with an elegant appearance. The fur is very luxuriant, forming a distinct mane around the neck and chest. The outer guard hair consists of long, harsh, and straight hair; the undercoat is soft, short, and dense. The dense coat needs regular grooming.

The tail is set low, covered profusely with hair, and with a slight upward sweep. The ears are small, semi-erect with tips tipped forward.

The Sheltie is bred in the colors sable, black, and blue merle – each with or without white or tan markings.

Temperament of the Sheltie

Despite their pretty appearance and small size, Shelties are by no means lap dogs, but very robust and hardy guys with a long life expectancy. They are considered delicate and sensitive and form a strong connection with their caregivers. While they tend to be reserved with strangers, they rarely want to leave their owner’s side. Left alone all day, the sensitive Shelties would mentally atrophy.

The Sheltie has always been a herding dog and has always been a very alert fellow who sometimes barks, but without being aggressive. It is generally very socially compatible and can also be kept as a second dog.

A Sheltie is extremely adaptable and frugal. With regular, long walks, he feels just as comfortable in a city apartment as in the country. It is a loyal and affectionate companion for single people and a lively, exuberant playmate for large families. Due to its empathy, the Sheltie is also an ideal companion for the disabled.

Shelties are also submissive and relatively easy to train. Therefore, dog beginners will also have fun with the Miniature Collie. The docile and agile Sheltie is almost made for dog sports such as agility or obedience.

Ava Williams

Written by Ava Williams

Hello, I'm Ava! I have been writing professionally for just over 15 years. I specialize in writing informative blog posts, breed profiles, pet care product reviews, and pet health and care articles. Prior to and during my work as a writer, I spent about 12 years in the pet care industry. I have experience as a kennel supervisor and professional groomer. I also compete in dog sports with my own dogs. I also have cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

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