Breed Information: Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)

Breed Description: The Sheltie is a small, long-haired working dog that resembles a Rough Collie in appearance. They are skilled at herding livestock and have a natural willingness to obey. Shelties are highly intelligent and excel at obedience and agility trials. They are extremely responsive and have been described as almost being able to read their owners minds. This breed is loyal and sensitive and makes a good family pet.

Group: Herding Group

Purpose of Breed: Herding Sheep

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Average Size: Ranges from 13 inches to 16 inches and 14-16 pounds.

Color(s): Black, blue merle, sable, black and white, black and tan, tri-colors.

Coat Type: A long, straight, harsh outer coat and a short, dense, furry undercoat.

Grooming: The thick coat of the Sheltie should be groomed at least twice weekly to help keep it in top form. This breed requires standard care for eyes, pads and nails. Ears should be examined and cleaned regularly.

Exercise Needs: Shelties will adapt to any living environment, but need a fair amount of daily exercise to stimulate their quick minds and maintain physical health.

Temperament: Shelties are born with a desire to please and are very responsive to training. They are loving and affectionate with their family members and show a natural wariness toward strangers. They like to keep themselves neat and clean and seem to be endowed with a remarkable sense of intelligence and understanding. Loyal and protective, shelties tend to bark an alarm when they deem it necessary and are happiest only when treated like an equal member of the family.


Common Ailments: Susceptible to epilepsy, dermatomysostitis, thyroid problems and diseases of the eyes.

Life Expectancy: Averages 12-14 years.

Trivia: The Shetland Sheepdog, as its name implies, is essentially a working Collie in miniature. The Sheltie, however, is not a miniature collie. Although is resembles a Collie, it is its own distinct breed that originated on the Shetland Islands, off the northeast coast of Scotland.

More Information: Shetland Sheepdog Association


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Shetland Sheepdog
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