Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)

Good-natured and anxious to please, Shetland sheepdogs, or Shelties as they’re warmly called, are a famous persevering, mindful, and friendly variety. The Shetland Sheepdog, regularly known as the Sheltie, is a variety of grouping canines that began in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. The first name was Shetland Collie, however this caused contention among Rough Collie reproducers of the time, so the variety’s name was officially changed.

Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)

height13-16 inches
weight15-25 pounds
life span12-14 years
breed sizesmall (0-25 lbs.)
good withchildren seniors dogs cats families
temperamentgentle friendly playful
shedding amountfrequent
exercise needsmedium
energy levelactive
barking levelfrequent
drool amountlow
breed groupherding
coat length/texturelong
colorsfawn black white blue-gray
patternstricolor bicolor merle sable

Shetland Sheepdog Overview

While the good-natured and anxious-to-satisfy Shetland sheepdog would rapidly pardon you for considering him a little collie or scaled-down Lassie, Shelties (as they’re tenderly called) are their own particular breed and a famous one at that. Shelties came in at No. 25 on the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) 2019 rundown of the most famous canine varieties, and it doesn’t take a lot of sleuthing to sort out why.

Shelties have gained notoriety for being however warm as they may be whip-shrewd. As their name recommends, they were initially reared to crowd sheep (just as other domesticated animals) in Scotland’s Shetland Islands and are along these lines mindful, dedicated, and simple to prepare. Indeed, the AKC named the Sheltie as one of the 13 most teachable canine varieties, and they flourish with standard exercise and movement.

In any case, that doesn’t mean they’re against loosening up. “Shelties are reasonable and versatile,” says Meredith Hector, a second-age Sheltie fan and a 25-year individual from the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA). “At the point when it’s an ideal opportunity to play they are holding nothing back, and when it’s an ideal opportunity to rest they appreciate unwinding with you.”

Shelties are cordial and active with their relatives (even the ones who howl), however don’t anticipate that they should favor outsiders immediately. They will more often than not be held and may bark in such circumstances, which, combined with their reliability, implies they have the makings of a magnificent guard dog.

Obviously, we’d be delinquent assuming that we didn’t specify those superb Shetland sheepdog locks. Their twofold coat filled a quite certain need when the variety spent its workday in the Shetland Islands’ cool, wet, blustery climate. Also, however most Shelties presumably invest more energy on cushioned carpets than on rough enclosures nowadays, normal mane support is an unquestionable requirement.


The Sheltie looks similar to the unpleasant collie. Like their taller cousins, Shelties have long, thin, wedge-formed heads that give them a refined appearance. Be that as it may, with their abundant cushion, their sort, almond-molded eyes, their little, high, erect ears twisted somewhat descending at the tips, and what numerous proprietors allude to as the “Sheltie grin,” they positively don’t put on a show of being by and large excessively tedious to be man’s closest companion. They look just as brilliant, agreeable, and friendly as they genuinely are.

The Shetland sheepdog is small standing somewhere in the range of 13 and 16 crawls at the shoulder and gauges 20 to 25 pounds. (For examination, collies will generally be between 22 to 26 inches tall and can weigh as much as 75 pounds.) These twofold covered canines have a short, thick, wooly undercoat and an external layer of long, straight, coarse hair. The ASSA takes note that the Sheltie’s jacket will in general flaunt an assortment of tones: sable (going from brilliant brown to mahogany), blue merle, dark, tan, and white.

As you might have speculated from their amazing manes, Sheltie hide requires normal consideration. While each canine is unique, most will just be brushed one time per week. In any case, brushing might require an additional lift in the fall and spring when shedding escalates.


Underneath all of that streaming hide is a family-engaged canine with an endearing personality and a sharp brain. “Shelties are great with kids and coexist well with different canines and with felines,” says Hectorparticularly in case they’re raised with different creatures, adds Mary Mahaffey, DVM, the seat of the ASSA Research Advisory Committee. They are not, in any case, known for being promptly enthused about untouchables. “They are faithful to their proprietors and can be somewhat held toward outsiders,” Hector clarifies. “In the event that you’re not their relative, they like the chance to decide to come to you first verses you approaching welcome them.”

This carries us to one more prominent Sheltie attribute: their tendency for correspondence. “They are a garrulous variety initially used to get animals far from the house,” Mahaffey says, “so they do jump at the chance to bark.” But as per Hector, it shouldn’t be perpetual. “They might do as such to sound a notice or express fervor,” she clarifies. While garrulousness can be difficult to manage (particularly if you live in a loft), you can likewise utilize this yapping adapted for your potential benefit as Shelties can be incredible guard dogs (or conveyance broadcasters).

Since they were reared to work close by their proprietors, Shetland sheepdogs are a clever, natural, and industrious winning blend with regards to teachability. Hector depicts them as “athletic and exceptionally biddable, dominating in exercises like dexterity, submission, and rally.” Shelties are anxious to please and prepared to play, yet as long as they get a lot of activity and mental incitement, they’re completely content to trade frolicking for unwinding.

The ASSA takes note that personality is somewhat predictable in Shelties whether or not the canine is male or female.

Living Needs

Shelties are accommodating and versatile canines. “They can be indoor or outside, however they like to be with their proprietors,” Mahaffey clarifies. Once more, this returns to their DNA. Shelties were reproduced to be working friends and don’t flourish in circumstances where they must be left alone with nothing to accomplish for extended lengths.

Mahaffey says that a little yard will do yet that a bigger one is better as Shelties need moderate everyday exercise particularly when they’re youthful. Notwithstanding, metropolitan occupants shouldn’t need to preclude the variety as a possible pet. Indeed, claiming a Shetland sheepdog can be an aid to their wellbeing. “Loft inhabitants can do well with Shelties as long as the proprietors walk them consistently,” Mahaffey clarifies. “This is useful for the two proprietors and canines!” Because Shetland sheepdogs are conceived herders (and are accordingly inclined to pursue moving things, including vehicles), it’s prescribed to keep them in a fenced yard and on chains when strolling.

Shelties are known to partake in an assortment of mates. The ASSA portrays the variety as appearing to have a “characteristic proclivity for kids,” and both Hector and Mahaffey say Shetland sheepdogs can coexist well with different canines and with felines, particularly when raised with them.


Preparing is obviously no joking matter with regards to Shetland sheepdogs. “Shelties have a twofold coat,” Hector says, “so they should be brushed once per week to abstain from matting.” She noticed that attention was on the hide behind the ears, under the elbows, and in the skirts (for example, the long hair that falls between the front and back legs). Working with a very dry coat is certainly not a smart thought, so make certain to splash a fog of water on the space you’re brushing. Also, with respect to nails, Hector advocates for trim at regular intervals.

The previous you start with a preparing routine, the better. Little dogs who are accustomed to being routinely taken care of and inspected aren’t only more straightforward to groom they make magnificent veterinary patients, also. With positive preparation and consolation, prepping can turn into an agreeable action for Shelties and their proprietors.

Notwithstanding day by day, moderate exercise, mingling Sheltie pups is critical and includes removing them from their ordinary climate and presenting them to new encounters, individuals, and spots. This may appear as though a stroll to the recreation center or a visit to a companion’s home. These apparently harmless excursions are really fun, low-pressure instructional courses where Sheltie pups can figure out how to adjust to and interface with new individuals, creatures and encounters. Socialization doesn’t end in puppyhood, and proprietors ought to recall that it is a deep-rooted process.


The Sheltie will in general be a sound variety and can live up to 14 years. Like all varieties, in any case, it is inclined to specific ailments. Mahaffey records gallbladder mucoceles, hypothyroidism, and dermatomyositis as the best three variety explicit ailments in Shetland sheepdogs (however note that these conditions aren’t really normal in the variety, overall).

Gallbladder mucoceles are described by an aggregation of slop and bodily fluid in the gallbladder that can make the organ become blocked or even break. In the event that is present, it’s normally seen in more seasoned Shelties, however, more youthful ones can be impacted. Clinical signs incorporate heaving, loss of craving, and stomach torment, and a conclusion is normally reached by means of ultrasound or exploratory medical procedure. While the specific reason for gallbladder mucoceles is obscure, the treatment is direct: gallbladder evacuation medical procedure.

Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid organ doesn’t create sufficient thyroid chemicals. Since it influences so many body frameworks, the clinical indications of an underactive thyroid organ can shift a ton however regularly incorporate laziness, weight gain, corpulence, and changes in skin and haircoat. Most instances of hypothyroidism require long-lasting drugs.

Dermatomyositis is an immune system illness that influences both skin and muscle tissues. Shetland sheepdogs and collies are the most widely recognized varieties to be determined to have the condition. Clinical signs remember hard injuries for the skin in regions with next to no muscle, like the face, ear tips, legs, feet, and the tip of the tail. The muscles of Shelties commonly aren’t impacted. Dermatomyositis can’t be restored, yet it very well may be dealt with with the assistance of medicine.

Each Sheltie is unique, so the most ideal method for advancing a singular canine’s wellbeing is to join forces with a veterinarian who can give normal protection care and designated direction in regards to counting calories, working out, and different necessities from puppyhood to adulthood.


There are a few things we are familiar with the starting points of Shelties and others we don’t. For instance, we realize they started out in the Shetland Islands, a Scottish archipelago of around 100 islands (just 16 of which are possessed) in the North Sea, however the specific blend of breeds that went into fostering the Sheltie stays obscure. The ASSA records Northern Spitz-type canines from Scandinavia, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pomeranians, Scotch collies, and other native island canines as probable supporters.

Shelties were reproduced to work, and their little height implied they were high in deftness and low in food needs major advantages on far-off islands with the rough territory and meager vegetation. The ASSA depicts the variety as “an overall homestead canine.” Early Shetland sheepdogs assisted their cultivating proprietors with different undertakings, including keeping animals out of the nursery and gathering together sheep. Similar to today, they additionally filled in as colleagues and guard dogs.

However a guest to the islands depicted the canines as right on time as 1844, the ASSA says the variety didn’t become official until 1908 when it was first enrolled in Lerwick, the Shetland Islands’ primary town and port. It was next enrolled with the Scottish Shetland Sheepdog Club in 1909, and both of these libraries and the variety were perceived by the English Kennel Club (UKC) later.

Are Shetland sheepdogs good pets?

Shetland sheepdogs are known for their delicate, sweet, satisfying character. They are likewise energetic and warm, all attributes that have made them a famous family pet. … Shelties are uncertain of outsiders. Thus, they are great guard dogs, liable to welcome outcasts with loads of yapping.

How much is a Shetland sheepdog puppy?

You can hope to pay anyplace somewhere in the range of $600 and $6000 for a Sheltie pup. The normal middle cost is supposed to be $900, yet you could pay either pretty much, contingent upon where you buy the pup. What is this? A Sheltie little dog that has no papers could be sold for well under the $900 mark.

What is the difference between a rough collie and a Shetland sheepdog?

The contrast between these two varieties is the strength and beauty the Collie radiates while the Sheltie has a ready and spry way. Both are incredible family canines yet the Collie is more well-suited to disappear and be quiet around outsiders while the Sheltie can be tired and flourish for action.

What is a Blue Merle Sheltie?

Blue merle shelties are created when one parent has the merle quality. The blue merle shading design isn’t blue; the canine’s dark color is weakened, causing the hair to seem silver or dim. The hazier shading typically shows up as mottled spots on the canine’s jacket. A blue merle sheltie will have some tan focuses in the coat.

Do collies bark a lot?

Line collies are known for woofing a ton and they by and large prefer to be heard. They will regularly bark when they are eager, invigorated, exhausted, fun-loving, desolate, or needing their proprietor’s consideration. Fortunately, line collies are savvy canines and they can be prepared to bark less.

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