The Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) was bred on the Shetland Islands of Scotland as a hardy little herding dog. Shelties are tough, active, intelligent and devoted dogs, and are great family pets. Provided they get enough love and exercise, of course.
Positive reinforcement training and dog sports are a great idea for Shetland sheepdogs. They’re especially good at agility, field trials and canine free style.
Because Shelties are vocal and have high exercise needs, they often live out their days at shelters or rescue organisations. Before you scour registered breeders for Shetland sheepdog puppies call Sheltie rescue and adopt an older puppy or adult dog.
Shetland Sheepdog Facts & Information
Group: Shetland sheepdogs belong to the herding group of dog breeds.
Life expectancy: 12 – 14 years
Size: Small. Height: 14 – 15 in. Weight: 14 – 27 lb.
Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, lively and intelligent.
Exercise: Shelties are active working dogs, and need a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation. They need at least one long walk a day, plenty of opportunities to run, energetic play and a variety of training or dog sports.
General care: Shetland sheepdogs have long, luxurious coats which require thorough grooming at least three times per week to stay tangle-free.
Health concerns: Despite the fact that they are a hardy breed, Shetland sheepdogs are prone to certain health problems.
These include Collie eye anomaly, hip dysplasia, seizures, hypothyroidism, and MDR1 gene mutation. They can also be prone to skin conditions, so it’s a good idea to find out about pet dog insurance as soon as you know you’re bringing a Sheltie home.
Shetland sheepdogs are affectionate family dogs who are great with children. However, they will probably herd other pets, especially if you don’t give them mental stimulation to keep boredom at bay. They’re highly trainable and respond well to all kinds of dog sports. Ensure you use positive reinforcement-based training, otherwise they can shutdown and develop behavioral problems.