This breed originates from the Shetland Islands of Scotland; it descends from crosses between the Border Collie of Scotland and other smaller, intelligent breeds of the area. Further crosses with Collies later on helped the Sheltie to obtain its similar appearance to the Collie, yet it retained its smaller size.
Height: The height of a Shetland Sheepdog is 13 – 16″ (33 – 40.6cm).
Weight: Shetland Sheepdogs weigh 14 – 16 lbs (6.2 – 7.1 kg).
Coat Type: The coat of the Sheltie is a double one: the outer coat is long and straight while the dense undercoat is short and furry. The hair is longer on the chest, tail, forelegs and hind legs, while the fur on ears, head and feet should be short and smooth.
Color: Colors of the Shetland Sheepdog’s coat range from black to sable to golden or mahogany with white or tan markings. Regular thorough brushing is required.
Temperament: Owners of a Shetland Sheepdog can expect a very loyal, loving and responsive dog. It is an excellent guardian of children and is friendly, yet reserved, with strangers. It loves to please its master and is an excellent candidate for obedience work.
Health Problems: The Shetland Sheepdog is generally a very healthy breed. Although the following health issues are not common in this breed, they have been reported: hip dysplasia, inherited eye disease, hypothyroidism, epilepsy and skin allergies. It is highly suggested to only purchase a Shetland Sheepdog from a responsible and reputable breeder. The life expectancy is a 12 – 15 years.
Special Interest: By instinct, the Shetland Sheepdog – Sheltie for short – is quite aware of and adheres to its boundaries; historically, in the rugged Shetland Islands, these dogs often prevented herds of sheep or children from wandering too close to dangerous sea-side cliffs.
AKC: Group 7 – Herding Dogs
ANKC: Group 5 – Working Dogs
CKC: Group 7 – Herding Dogs
FCI: Group 1 Section 1 Sheepdog
KC: Non-Sporting – Working Group
UKC: Herding Dogs