Shetland Sheepdog Information

Shetland Sheepdog History

The Shetland Sheepdog first originated from the area around the British Isles where the climate is extreme and the terrain is very rough. The Islands were very small and from what we know the small space on these islands is what resulted in the smaller breed of animals like the Shetland pony and the Shetland Sheep. The Sheltie was a small hardy dog that was used to herd in the flocks and keep them safe during the very long cold winters. These small dogs were able to stand the climate and little vegetation. The Sheltie used to be known as "Toonie", which is the Norwegian word for farm. In 1914 the English Kennel Club recognized the breed and about a year after that the breed came into the United States and the Sheltie was then recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Shelties' Appearance

The Sheltie is known as a strong beautiful breed. Since the breed was used for herding in the past, the Sheltie is nimble and quick. The breed looks like a smaller version of the long-haired Collie. The head is long and wedge shaped. The most notable trait is the long double coat that looks like a lion's mane. The coat is beautiful and dense and can be shown in various colors. These colors include; sable and black, blue merle, white and tan. The almond shaped eyes are filled with life and the ears are small and expressive. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite and the nose is black in color. The Shetland sheepdog is known for its swiftness, and jumping skills as well. The males should look very masculine and the females should remain feminine.

Sheltie's Temperament

The Sheltie is known to be a wonderful companion dog. They have a nice even temperament and are very smart. The breed is known for its quickness and agility. Shetland Sheepdogs love to please and obey. They are good with children and adults alike and will protect when need be. They do not tolerate strangers and will often bark constantly when in the presence of a stranger. With proper socialization at a very early age this can be avoided.

The Sheltie is easy to train because of their high level of intelligence. The Sheltie needs to be kept busy, if not they may become bored and get into trouble. Remember the Shetland sheepdog comes from herding bloodlines and this is very instinctual for the breed. This means that they love to chase. To avoid any accidents you should always have your Sheltie on a leash or in an enclosed yard area.

Shetland Sheepdog's Role

The Shetland sheepdog is known for its high level of intelligence and loving protective ways. This breed would make a fine house pet for a home with a large family as well as for an individual seeking companionship. If there are small children around they must be aware of the breed's desire to herd which means they may tend to chase cars, people, animals, etc. The children will need to always keep the dog close. Early socialization is always recommended as well to ensure that your puppy will be a close part of the family.

Shetland Sheepdog Characteristics

Grooming Requirements






Training Aptitude




Ease of Training






Watchdog Ability


Guard Dog Ability








Friendly with Kids


Exercise Requirements


Friendly with Dogs


Friendly with Other Pets


Cold Tolerance


Heat Tolerance



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