Shetland Sheepdog Dog Breed at a Glance
The Shetland Sheepdog dog breed, also known as Miniature Collie and Sheltie is almost identical to a Collie, but in miniature form. This loyal and highly trainable, long-haired dog is known for being docile and devoted. Easy to train, it is an excellent breed for new owners without any previous dog ownership experience, as well as with kids. It also makes a great watchdog, barking and alerting owners if an intruder is present, although it is not a protective breed. According to the American Kennel Club, the Sheltie is the 24th most popular dog breed in the United States.
Breed Group: Herding
HISTORY of the Shetland Sheepdog Dog Breed
Although its origin is not well-known, it is a direct descendant of the Collie breed, as well as the King Charles Spaniel and the Scottish Collie. Developed to herd sheep, today it is more of a companion and sometimes a farm dog.
Origin: United Kingdom
This dog breed is highly intelligent and very easy to train. In fact, 100% of Sheltie owners agree that training is easy, 94% of them agree that they are good with other pets, and 98% agree that they are good with children.
Devoted and loyal to their families, know that these emotional dogs will feed off their owner’s mood. They aim to please their families and make a good match for active families.
Shetland Sheepdogs are herding dogs by nature, so it isn’t uncommon for them to try to herd people and bark. They also like to chase anything that moves, so they should be supervised at all times, walked on a leash, or be in a fenced yard.
Physical Characteristics of the Shetland Sheepdog
The Miniature Collie is a small and agile dog with and alert expression, that greatly resembles the Rough Collie. Male Shelties have especially impressive manes. They have also abundant hair on their tails. The top third or quarter of their ears are tipped.
The breed’s water-repellent double coat protects it from the different weather elements, including both high and low temperatures. The undercoat is soft and thick, and covered with long rough hairs that make up the outer coat.
The common colors accepted by the AKC include:
- Blue, merle and white
- Blue, merle white and tan
- Black and white
- Black white and tan
- Sable and white
- Sable, merle and white
The Sheltie weighs between 11 and 24 pounds and stands between 13 and 16 inches tall, regardless of gender.
Shedding is constant, so prepare to vacuum often! However, NEVER shave a Sheltie, as this is bad for their skin. It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
HEALTH and CARE of the Shetland Sheepdog Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Shetland Sheepdog is between 12 and 14 years, which is about the average for this size.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. The Shetland Sheepdog is at risk of developing:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Eye Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Collie Eye Anomaly
- Legg Perthes
The Sheltie is highly adaptable to any dwelling, including apartment living. Its long, thick coat protects it from the cold, and it can handle heat as well.
This dog breed requires plenty of exercise, as it is every energetic, and failure to provide adequate exercise may lead the Miniature Collie to become nervous and anxious.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. With the average weight of the Miniature Collie being 18 pounds, feed your dog between 3/4 and 1.25 cups of kibble each day.
The Shetland Sheepdog comes with a high maintenance coat. Daily brushing (only when the coat is wet) and the occasional bath will help keep its coat in top shape. Check their ears regularly for debris or wax buildup, to avoid an infection from developing.
The AKC officially recognized the Shetland Sheepdog dog breed in 1911.