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.|
|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 terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||Shetland Sheepdogs can be indoor or outdoor dogs, they will prefer to be in your presence when indoors because of their lovable nature, yet need the open outdoors to exercise in. Most Shelties will exercise themselves to a point as they try to herd anything and everything that is in the yard or outdoor area with them. However it is good to exercise any dog and Shelties are no exception, if you do not have an open area for your Sheltie to run in they will need to be walked or taken to a dog park at least once a day for healthy interaction and exercise.|
The Shetland Sheepdog is a small breed that stands about 13-16 inches tall. They have long usually tricolored coats that range in colors from sable, tan, white, black and grey depending on the dog and its inherited color coat scheme. The Shetland Sheepdog is often marked closely enough to a Collie to be mistaken for a miniature Collie.
The Shetland Sheepdog breed is not considered a miniature Collie as it was not derived from selectively breeding Rough Collies. Shelties have come from the breeding of Border Collies and other various types of herding dogs over many years, some popular possibilities of ancestry is that Border Collies and Scandinavian herding dogs, Icelandic dogs or Greenland Yaki\'s were bred to create the new breed we now call Shetland Sheepdogs.
The breed of Shetland Sheepdogs have a beautiful coat of hair and a dramatic and handsome look to them. They come in several different colors, the most popular and dominant color being Sable which ranges from golden brown to deep mahogany through out their stately coat of hair. Other colors that exist in the Shetland Sheepdog\'s breed include Blue Merle, tricolor, bi-blue\'s and bi-black coat color schemes. Blue Merle is a combination of a Grey, White, Black and Tan coloring of the coat. Shelties that are tricolored are Black, White and Tan. Two more rare colorings of Shetland Sheepdog coats are bi-blues which are a combination of Black, Grey and a bit of White and bi-blacks which are colored in Black and White coats. Sable Merle\'s and Double Merle\'s are other color coats that a Shetland Sheepdog can have however these are more rare and often have health problems that are not as prevalent in the other color coated Shelties.
A Shetland Sheepdog\'s coat is made up of what is referred to as a double coat. The top coat of a Shetland Sheepdog is composed of long, straight, smooth hair that protects the dog from cold weather as well as from the other elements of harsh weather. This top coat is also water-repellent and allows the dog to stay virtually dry in areas of heavy rain as well as in other forms of moisture and precipitation. A Shetland Sheepdogs undercoat is made up of short, thick fur that clings close to the dog\'s body and helps it to retain it\'s body heat in colder and more harsh climates. This undercoat is very dense and helps to keep the Shetland Sheepdog warm in all types of colder weather and conditions.
The Shetland Sheepdog has a lengthy and fascinating history. The breed has been traced back to originating in the Shetland Islands which is just off the coast of Scotland. This is a colder and harsh climate which explains the warmth the Shelties coat and fur provide for it. Recently the Shetland Sheepdog has been replaced in its home of the Shetland Islands with the more popular Border Collie and is rarely found in Shetland, however they are quite popular in other parts of the world both as pets, show dogs and herding dogs. The Shetland Sheepdog is still commonly used as a working or herding dog on farms and other agricultural business.
Aside from a bit of extra work for grooming, Shetland Sheepdogs are great companion dogs because they are loyal, affectionate, intelligent and very willing to please. They are excellent family members and do great with children in part because they are an active dog with a kind temperament. The only caution with children is that the Sheltie is a small breed of dog and can be easily injured so supervision is necessary. They are also prone to nipping at ankles because of their herding instincts.
Shelties are somewhat wary of strangers which makes the breed good watch dogs. There is a need for the Shetland Sheepdog to be well socialized from the start of ownership so they are trained when to guard and when it is acceptable for a stranger to the dog to be in the home. Often a Sheltie can be trained to give 2 to 3 barks to alert you to a visitor at the door or a stranger on the property. Most Shetland Sheepdog puppies learn to socialize well as long as they are often put in social situations where they can learn how to adapt to people and other beings they are not used to seeing. Some Shelties have the undeserving reputation of being too vocal, however as they are very intelligent dogs this can be quickly over come with good training and become great watch dogs because they are so loyal.
The Shetland Sheepdog is considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds available ranking around 6th out of 132 different dog breeds tested for intelligence. The Sheltie can be an excellent pet no matter the gender of the dog as both male and female dogs are much the same in their kind temperament and inherent need to please their owner. The sweet disposition of the Shetland Sheepdog will make it a great pet as well as a vocal watch dog that will add security and piece of mind to your home and family. The Shetland Sheepdog is a breed that will alert you to strangers in it\'s territory, however it is not a dog that will aggressively attack unless repeatedly provoked by someone or something. The herding instinct will cause most Shelties to nip at ankles and chase cars so supervision is necessary if there is no fence or with very young children. The nipping and chasing of this breed is not an aggressive act simply a herding mechanism and instinct and is most often without injury and generally not painful.
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|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here