The Shetland Sheepdog, or Shetland or Sheltie, is a lively and intelligent dog. They possess all the qualities of a shepherd dog, but in miniature version.
Discover what is so special about the Shetland Sheepdog.
Origins of the Shetland Sheepdog
This breed owes its name to the Shetland Islands, a subarctic archipelago to the north-east of Scotland.
The Sheltie is a crossbreed of the shepherd dog variety that was already present in Scotland and other dog breeds imported by the whalers of Greenland. The Spitz is also an ancestor of the Sheltie.
This breed is very popular in Great Britain and was exported to the US in the early 1900s. In 1909, it was formally recognised by The Kennel Club.
Physical characteristics of the Shetland Sheepdog
This breed is considered a small dog, or miniature breed. Although, unlike other miniature dogs, the Sheltie was not continually bred to produce a smaller size. Fully grown, males can reach 38cm in height with females reaching 36cm.
The appearance of a Sheltie is one of harmony and elegance. They have long and silky fur, which begs to be stroked. Regular brushing is advised to maintain the quality and appearance of their coat.
The head is narrow with a long muzzle, characterised by fluffy, triangular ears. When focused, these ears typically point forward.
The Shetland Sheepdog's personality
The Shetland is very attached to its pet parent and will want to develop a strong bond. They can become distressed if they are separated from their owner too long.
Gentle and affectionate, this breed is ideal for small or large families. They can adapt to all kinds of lifestyles as long as they can expend their energy via daily walks.
The Shetland can prove to be reserved and timid in the face of strangers. They can also be stubborn in certain situations.
Just like their cousin the Border Collie, the Shetland has a huge capacity for learning and is a champion in many disciplines such as agility.
What do you think of this beautiful, fluffy breed?