Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Alternative Name-Sheltie

Country of Origin-Scotland

History-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 10th century. These were spitz-type dogs that were similar to vallhunds. The dogs were developed as herding dogs and kept isolated until the 15th century, when the Shetland Islands became part of Scotland and Scottish collies were introduced to the islands.

These dogs gave the Sheltie a more collie like look. The Sheltie is on of the many compact animals bred by the Shetland islanders. It was first brought to the U.S. in the early 20th century.

Sheltie Hund im Körbchen

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 markings.

Height-13-16 inches

Weight-20-25 lbs

Temperment-This is an intelligent, hardworking, trainable dog. It is affectionate with its family but wary with strangers. It is responsive and prone to barking, making it a good watch dog.

Activity Level-High

Best Owner-The sheltie does best with an active owner in a rural or suburban home.

Special Needs-Exercise, grooming, job or activity, socialization, training.

Possible Health Concerns-Epilepsy, eye problems, hip dysplasia, sheltie skin syndrome, thyroid problems, von Willebrand’s disease.

Please leave a comment below, I will respond.


Dog Bible by Kristin Mehus-Roe

Shetland Sheepdog Puppies

How The Dog Uses Its Tail

2 thoughts on “Shetland Sheepdog”

  1. I have a Japanese Spitz, Nemi. She is like the Sheltie´s but in a pearly white package. The breed doesn’t have the same health problems risk though other than some eye problems.

    The description of the breed is good and is a great resource if you are looking to get a Sheltie. When we were looking of a dog, a Sheltie was on among the top contenders, but we ended up with a Japanese Spitz by a kind of coincidence. We love our dog and the race, but when the time comes and Nemi has to travel onwards, we will seriously consider a Sheltie.

    We have also considered getting another dog that could be Nemis buddy, but we haven´t decided on it yet. If so a Sheltie could be a good choice a think.

    Do you know how a Sheltie goes together with another dog? Are they prone to” jealousy”?


    • Thank you for your comments.  Shelties are an excellent breed of dog, I have had more of them than any other breed.  I would say Shelties generally goes along with other dogs, but there is no way to know for sure until you get one.  What our Sheltie did with another dog added to house was to pretend she wasn’t there.  


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