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.
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.
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.
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.
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Dog Bible by Kristin Mehus-Roe