Shetland Sheepdog

Breed Details

Size:

Exercise Requirements:

Grooming Requirements:

Weight:

8-10 kg (approx)

Life Span:

10-14 years (approx)

Appearance

The Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature copy of the rough-coated Collie. When viewed from the side, the head looks like a blunt wedge, with the muzzle tapering slightly from the ears to the nose. The nose is black. The almond-shaped eyes are dark, however, blue eyes can appear in the blue merle coat. The small ears are 3/4 erect with the tips folding forward. The neck is arched and muscular. The long tail is feathered, carried straight down, or at a slight upward curve. The double coat is long and abundant all over the body but is shorter on the head and legs and the coat forms a mane around the neck and chest. The outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch, and the undercoat is soft and tight. Coat colours come in blue merle, sable, and black with various amounts of white and/or tan.

History

The Shetland Sheepdog is related to the Rough Collie, both dogs descended from Border Collies that inhabited Scotland. The Border Collies were brought to the Scottish island of Shetland and crossed with the Icelandic Yakkin, a small island dog which is now extinct. By 1700, the Sheltie was completely developed. The dogs were used to herd and guard the sheep flocks of the Shetlands. This willing worker was very gentle when herding the miniature stock. Some of Sheltie's talents include tracking, herding, watchdog, guarding, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.

Temperament

The Shetland Sheepdog is loyal, willing, and eager to please, making a wonderful companion dog. Docile and alert with a pleasant temperament. Loving, loyal and affectionate with its family, this breed needs people. Socialize them well starting at puppyhood. They are good guards and watchdogs. Very intelligent, lively, and trainable, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the smartest breeds. With intelligence comes the need to occupy their minds. They like to be kept busy. Because of its beauty and kindness, the Sheltie has become a popular companion dog.

Care/Grooming

This active, graceful dog needs lots of exercise, which includes a daily walk or jog. They will also enjoy running free, but be sure the dog is in a safe area. The coat is easier to care for than you might expect, but regular brushing is important. Mist the coat lightly with water before you begin and tease out the mats before they get bad, but use the comb sparingly. This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder. The dense undercoat is shed twice a year: in the spring and fall. The coat readily sheds dirt and mud and Shelties are quite fastidious about their cleanliness. Bathe or dry shampoo only when absolutely necessary.

Breeders