Shetland Sheepdog of Scotland

The alternate name for the Shetland Sheepdog of Scotland is Sheltie. They do come from Scotland.


The Shetland Sheepdog is an old breed that is descended from the dogs brought to the Shetland Islands off the Scottish coast by invading Vikings in the tenth century.  These were spitz-type dogs that were similar to vallhunds.  The dogs were developed as herding dogs and kept isolated until the fifteenth century when the Shetland Islands became part of Scotland and Scottish collies were intoduced to the islands.

These dogs gave the sheltie a more collielike look.  The sheltie is one of many compact animals bred by Shetland islanders.  It was first brought to the U.S. in the early twentieth century.

Cute blue merle shetland sheepdog puppy is standing on a white snow. Shetland collie or sheltie. Pet animals.

Physical Description

The sheltie is a small to medium size, muscular, rectangular-shaped dog.  It looks like a miniature rough collie.  It has a narrow, wedge-shaped head with a skull and muzzle of equal length.  The nose is black and the eyes are almond shaped and brown or blue or a combination of the two.

The small ears are folded when at rest and semi-erect when alert.  The thick, long tail is set low and there is a double coat with a dense undercoat and a long, straight outer coat.  The coat forms a mane at the neck and trousers at the thighs and may be black, blue merle, sable, sable merle, or mostly white, with or without tan or white markers.

Sheltie Profile

They are typically 13 to 16 inches, they weigh 20 to 25 lbs.  It’s temperment:  They are an intelligent, hard working, trainable dog.  They are affectionate with its family but wary with strangers.  It is responsive and prone to barking, making them a good watch dog.

Their activity level is high.  The sheltie does best with an active owner in a rural or suburban home.  They need exercise, grooming, job or activity, socialization, and training.  They are prone to epilepsy, eye problems, hip dysplasia, sheltie skin syndrome, thyroid problems, and von Williebrand’s disease.

Because they look like collies. Shetland sheepdogs are often called miniature collies.  Although Shetland sheepdogs count collies among their ancestors, the Shetland sheepdog and collie are two separate and distinct breeds.

Shelties in the meadow


Shelties are a active breed that needs exercise is small to sometimes medium and look like collies.  They would make a great pet for the right type of person and household.  

Feel free to leave a comment, I will reply.


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2 thoughts on “Shetland Sheepdog of Scotland”

  1. Hi, thanks for this detailed post. Shelties are a beautiful dog. Every time I see one  I think of the rough-coated Collie and Lassie. Shelties are energetic and loyal dogs. I haven’t seen any Shelties in the UK for a while they don’t seem as popular as they have been previously. Maybe all collies should be promoted by reruns of Lassie.

    • Thank you for your comments.  Almost like a collie, they have just been put through a magical shrinker, lol.  They’re pretty popular in the U.S.  But I’d love to see their popularity spread!  Have a great day!


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