Origin: The Shetland Sheepdog descends from Shetland Island, which lies between Scotland and Norway. They were bred as guard dogs in the Shetland Islands off the coast to keep the hungry birds and sheep out of the garden. They also served as herding dogs. Shelties brought to England and Scotland during the 1800s.
Size: The Shetland Sheepdog has a shoulder height of 13-16 inches. Their weight ranges from 20-22 pounds, but they can be oversize and undersized as well. Their importance can go up to 35-40 pounds. They are the smallest in the herding breed of dogs. The actual reason behind the breeding of smaller dogs was the unavailability of food in the Shetland Islands.
Coat: The Shetland Sheepdog has a double coat, with the undercoat being short and dense and the topcoat being long and harsh to stand out from the body. It has smooth hair on head, ears, and feet, whereas, the hair around the neck and the fore chest are abundant. Shelties generally come in three primary colours with white and tan markings over some parts of the body. Sable (from golden to mahogany), blue merle (blue-grey with black), and black are the standard colours in which you can find a Shetland Sheepdog.
Temperament: Shelties are most known for two things, and that is loyalty and intelligence. They make an excellent companion for families and are suitable for apartment living as well. Shelties have a wide range of personalities, from calm and shy to aggressive or retiring. Shelties love to be around their family and follow their people everywhere. Separation anxiety may develop in Shelties due as they need attention all the time. Shetland Sheepdogs are great when it comes to training them. They are quick learners and get bored with repetition.
Care: Though Shelties were bred in such a way that they can tolerate extreme weather conditions, but they love being indoors with their family and being pampered. Shelties need a lot of exercises as their energy requirements are high. They enjoy going on long walks, playing different games, and running around the house. They should be kept on a leash when you’re taking them out. Shelties need to be brushed twice a week to avoid matt and keep the coat healthy. Ensure to clean their ears, trim their nails, brush their teeth, and bathe them when necessary to maintain overall hygiene.
Health: Shelties are generally a healthy breed of dogs. Still, some particular diseases are commonly seen in them, such as Hip Dysplasia, Dermatomyositis (skin disease), Collie Eye Anomaly, Hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Bloat, and Obesity. These diseases can be avoided and, if in the worst case, treated medically as well. Make sure to get a health clearance before you get a Shetland Sheepdog home.