Portrait of a Sheltie Shetland Sheepdog dog sitting in forest

Shetland Sheepdog A Small Dog With A Big Heart

Where Do Shetland Sheepdogs Come From?

Although it closely resembles the Collie, the Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) is not a smaller version of its larger relative. Instead, it was developed independently using various other dog breeds. Shelties come from the rugged Shetland Islands. The Collie is part of the Shelties’s mix but was included much later in its development.

Unlike Texas, everything is smaller in the Shetlands. Food is sometimes scarce and small animals each less. The Sheltie, along with Shetland ponies, cattle, sheep, ducks, and geese are all small compared to those usually found elsewhere in the world.

Shetland Pony
Shetland Cattle
Shetland Sheep

Shelties were registered with the Kennel Club in 1909 and with the AKC in 1911.

What Do Shelties Look Like?

The Sheltie is a small, 13-16 inches tall and 15-25 pounds, herding dog and is often mistaken for a small Collie. At one time, the Sheltie was called the Shetland Collie, but owners and breeders of the Rough Collie objected and its name was officially changed to Shetland Sheepdog.

The Shelties has a thick double coat that comes in several colors and markings. Three main colors are more frequently seen including sable, merle, and tri-color.


Are Shelties Good Family Dogs?

Shelties are loyal, affectionate dogs and make great family pets. They are active, playful, and make excellent playmates. They are very good watchdogs because they are often wary of strangers. Shelties are not usually aggressive but can be very vocal and tend to bark more than some other breeds.

The Shelties are not all play and no rest. They also love to cuddle and will make a very good couch partner. They sometimes become a shadow and follow their favorite person whenever and wherever they can.

Do Shelties Shed?

Shelties have a thick double-coat of hair that they shed just about all year long and especially during the shedding seasons of spring and fall. Weekly brushing will help reduce the amount of hair that gets littered about the house.

They are prone to tangles and mats on certain parts of their bodies and the weekly brushing will also help reduce those problems. However, cutting their hair short is not a good idea as it does not always grow back and they need hair to protect their skin. They will need an occasional bath.

Are Shelties Easy To Train?

Ranking number 6 in Stanley Coren’s book, “The Intelligence of Dogs, Shelties are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are eager to please and training them is relatively easy.

The Shelties’ is very quick and nimble and these traits coupled with its high intelligence make it a dog that excels in dog competition events. They practically dominate their class size in dog agility, obedience, flyball, and herding.

Are Shelties Healthy?

The Sheltie, by and large, is a healthy dog with a few genetic risks. One such risk is Collie eye anomaly. Most breeders will have their dogs tested for this trait and will not breed those that score too high for passing on the disease.

Where Can I Get A Sheltie?

The American Shetland Sheepdog Association is a good place to start your search for a Sheltie. They have an interactive map that will help you find breeders in your state. If you are considering a rescue dog, you may get help from the National Sheltie Rescue Association.

How much should you expect to pay for a Sheltie puppy? According to prices on PuppySpot, the starting price for a Sheltie begins at $2699 and goes up from there. No doubt there are additional overhead costs for puppies sold this way, and you may find less expensive puppies from local breeders.


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