Back to top

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog Dog Breed

Aliases: Sheltie, Shetland Collies, Dwarf Scotch Shepherds and Toonie

Life Span: 12 and 15 years.
Litter Size: 4 to 6 puppies
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NZKC
Color: Sable, golden brown, mahogany, Blue Merle, tricolored(Black, White and Tan), bi-blue\'s(Black, Grey and a bit of White) and bi-black, Black and Tan coloring.
Hair Length: Long
Size: Toy/Small
Shedding: Heavy Shed
Male Height: 13 inches- 16 inches tall
Male Weight: 16 to 20 pounds
Female Height: 13 inches - 16 inches tall
Female Weight: 16 to 20 pounds
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The Shetland Sheepdog ranks #22 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #22  14110  12.7%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Shetland Sheepdogs have some health concerns and inherited diseases that are generally more common in this particular breed than in other breeds. They are prone to inherited diseases such as CEA (Collie eye anomaly), VWD, Von Willebrands Disease and PRA, Progressive retinal atrophy. Shelties also have an incidence of Dermatomyositis, Hypothyroidism, and Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is often much more common in larger breeds but the smaller breed of the Shetland Sheepdog is one that does have a large association with this affliction. Not all Shelties are afflicted with one or all of these health problems, however these are concerns that should be watched for as they are common in Shetland Sheepdogs. Being aware of the possible health risks for any dog can prolong it's life expectancy as well as make the dog more comfortable when any of the above are treated or tended to by a veterinarian.