Shetland Sheepdog is a smart and lively dog with strong herding instincts. These beautiful dogs are good at performing tricks, tracking, herding and competitive obedience. They are smaller but similar to rough coated Collies in appearance.
The breed is believed to have descended from Border Collie dog breed and is also known by other names like Shetland Collie, Miniature Collie, Sheltie etc.
Shetland Sheepdog dog breed originated in Shetland Islands, Scotland. These dogs were used for herding and guarding cattle. In recent times, they are mostly used as companion dogs.
Shetland Sheepdog breed dogs are small, light, strong boned dogs characterized by great speed and agility. hair coat tends to form a mane around the neck and chest areas. The dark, almond shaped eyes are medium in size and set obliquely in the skull. Blue merle Shetland Sheepdogs tend to have blue or merle eyes.
The nose is generally black in color. The small and high set ears are carried erect up to three quarter of the length and the tips fold forwards. The tail is long and well feathered. The
Color: Common Shetland Sheepdog coat colors are black, sable and blue merle. There can be markings of white and tan.
Height: The average height of Shetland Sheepdogs is about 13 to 16 inches.
Weight: The range of ideal weight of Shetland Sheepdog dog breed is around 14 to 17 pounds.
Structural malformations and diseases of the eyes, such as Collie Eye Anomaly, Trichiasis, PRA etc are the most common health problems in Shetland Sheepdog dog breed.
Other health issues in these dogs include Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand disease and other common skin allergies and problems.
Life Expectancy: The average life span of these dogs is about 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: Shetland Sheepdog average litter size is 4 to 8 puppies.
The long and dense hair coat of a Shetland Sheepdog requires regular grooming at least two to three times per week. The double hair consists of a long, straight, water repellent outer coat and short and furry under coat.
Lightly spray water on the hair coat before brushing to ease out the knots and make the task easier for you as well as your beloved dog. The coat would require almost daily grooming and care during the shedding seasons.
These dogs shed heavily two times in a year. Moreover, the females also tend to shed right before or after giving birth. The hair coat does not trap dirt readily and is therefore relatively clean. So, you need not bathe your dog frequently. Plus, clean your dog’s eyes, ears and teeth on a regular basis.
Shetland Sheepdog breed dogs are cheerful, loyal, lively, smart, responsive, affectionate, easy going and sensitive in temperament. These smart dogs learn quickly and hence are easy to train. In fact, they tend to do quite well in obedience training.
They are usually gentle yet playful with children and get along well with other pets in the house, especially when socialized properly.
Socialization helps to prevent overly timid or nervous behavior. They can be watchful and reserved with strangers. These hard working dogs are quite obedient and are always interested in pleasing their owners. Shetland Sheepdog is an alert dog and hence regarded as an excellent watchdog and guard dog.
Shetland Sheepdogs are fairly active but not hyperactive. Thus, they do require a great deal of physical exercise for adequate physical and mental stimulation.
Therefore, they are suitable for apartment situation provided their activity needs are sufficiently taken care of. For this, they can be allowed to play and run in a small sized yard and taken for daily long walks.
Bear in mind that Shetland Sheepdog can not tolerate temperature extremes, especially hot temperatures. So, the dog should not be left outdoors for long in hot and humid climates.
Your intensely loyal Shetland Sheepdog can be annoyingly vocal at times. Take adequate steps to deal with problem of excesive barking right from the beginning.