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HOME > DOG BREED INFO > SHETLAND SHEEPDOG INFO

     
 
 
The Shetland Sheepdog breed information is below. We are in the process of adding more dog breed information when it becomes available to us. For a complete dog breed list please visit our directory of breed of dogs.
Shetland Sheepdog Information
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SHETLAND SHEEPDOG APPEARANCE:
Shelties have a double coat consisting of long guard hairs covering a fluffy insulative undercoat.

Several coat colors exist. There are three main acceptable show colors, sable (ranging from golden through mahogany), tricolor (black, white, and tan) and blue merle (grey, white, black, and tan). Bi-Blues (grey, black, and some white) and bi-blacks (white and black) are less common but still acceptable. The best-known color is the sable ("Lassie color"), although tricolor is also very common. Shelties can also come in red merle, color-headed white (mostly white with some color on the front half of the body), brindle and other colors. However, as these colors are faults in shows, they are quite rare.

The Sheltie's size generally falls in the following ranges:

Height at the withers:
Males 13-15 inches (33-38cm)
Females 12-14 inches (30-36cm)
Weight:
Males 14-18 pounds (6-8kg)
Females 12-16 pounds (5-7kg)
Due to variable genes, Shelties can range from Beagle-size to Collie-size. Most pet-quality Shelties exceed 16 inches and weigh 20 pounds (9 kg) or more, with height usually proportional to weight.

SHETLAND SHEEPDOG HISTORY:
The Sheltie came from the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland. Unlike many miniature breeds that resemble their larger counterparts, this breed was not developed by selectively breeding the Rough Collie for smaller and smaller sizes. Rather, it is the result of the intermingling of Border Collies and possibly several other herding breeds over the past several centuries.

Its exact origins are not known, but the most-often cited ancestors of the breed include the Border Collie (or its ancestors), the Yakki (also Yakkie or Yakkin) dog (a dog kept and bred by Greenland whalers), and the Icelandic sheepdog. During the 19th century, the appeal of small, fluffy dogs became clear, and there are mentions of cross-breedings with Pomeranians (which were larger then than they are today) and with the now-extinct (?) Prince Charles Spaniel or possibly a King Charles Spaniel. Some Shelties in the early 20th century had brindle coats, which could have come from a terrier or Corgi breed. Note: the "mentions" of cross-breedings with Pomeranians is largely seen as a myth by most Sheltie experts.

The year 1909 marked the initial recognition of the Sheltie by the English Kennel Club and the first Sheltie to be registered by the American Kennel Club was "Lord Scott" in 1911.

SHETLAND SHEEPDOG HEALTH:
Like the Rough Collie, there is a tendency toward inherited malformation and disease of the eyes. Each individual puppy should have his eyes examined by a qualified veterinary ophthalmologist. Some lines may be prone to hypothyroidism. It can also be affected by displacement of the patella (kneecap), which is thought to be inherited.

Diet should always be monitored with Shelties as they are insatiable eaters and prone to obesity. They shed all year around. Their beautiful coat requires thorough brushing at least 2-3 times a week and more often during the spring and summer.

SHETLAND SHEEPDOG TEMPERAMENT:
The Shetland Sheepdog is an outstanding companion dog with a delightful temperament. It is lively, intelligent, trainable, and willing to please and obey. Shelties are usually loving, loyal and affectionate with their family, but suspicious with strangers; for this reason it can be a good watchdog. Some can be quite reserved and some have varying degrees of shyness. Although they are excellent family pets, Shelties may not do well with children if the dogs are not properly socialized; kids should always be supervised with them.

Shelties are vocal dogs. They can be fearful of loud noises and new situations. Some say that males make better and more affectionate pets, but it more likely depends upon each individual dog's and their owner's personalities as well as patience and consistent training and conditioning. If pestered or teased, some Shelties may respond by biting. This again, depends on each individual dog's temperment.

The herding instinct is still very strong in many Shelties. They love to chase things. They do best with a sensitive, yet firm owner. The Sheltie is, above all, an intelligent herder and likes to be kept busy, although their activity level usually coincides with their owner's level.

Also see Shetland Sheepdog Dogs For Sale and Shetland Sheepdog Dog Breeders
Part of this Shetland Sheepdog profile is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It may contain material from a Wikipedia article.
 
     
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