Sheltie Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Shelties or Shetland Sheepdogs are small and long haired working dogs that have similar characteristics to a Rough Collie but are shorter. They have a double coat which has a harsh, straight and long haired outer and soft undercoat. They have longer hair around their necks and on their legs although they normally have smooth faces. The coat of the Sheltie needs extensive grooming on a regular basis.
- Other Names:Shetland sheep Dog
- Country Of Origin:Scotland
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Herding
- Tricolour, sable and blue merle with black and white and black and tan are also acceptable.
- Shelties make great companions and are lively, intelligent and trainable. They are loyal and affectionate to their family but are sometimes wary of strangers. Due to their breeding, they do need to be exercised a fair amount and have strong herding instincts. High energy, active, very trainable, this breed has a well-rounded and even temperament giving him the idealistics for a household pet. The Shetland Sheepdog does well with children, but children should be properly trained to handle a dog of any breed. Used as a watch dog, this gentle breed will not attack without being repeatedly provoked so does not do well for guarding. Great for herding, this dog is still commonly used for herding purposes in a country environment and does exceptionally well.
- Smooth and graceful covering maximum ground.
- Care and training:
- Regular brushing is necessary to keep the coat smooth and free of tangles. The long coat of the Sheltie does tend to trap dirt so supervision is necessary unless regular bathing is not a problem. Heavily shedding during certain seasons, the hair can become a mess so grooming is particularly important during this stage.
- Overall Exercise:
- 40-60 minutes
This high-energy breed should have regular exercise. Most prefer to allow their Shelties to run free but must be in a fenced in yard, as this breed loves to chase things and will surely bolt if given the opportunity and visual stimulation. An average sized yard would be ideal for this small yet lively breed
- Feeding Requirements:
- Shelties do not require any special dietry needs.
- Personal Protection:Low
- Suitability As Guard Dog:Low
- Level of Aggression:Low
- Compatibility With Other Animals:Medium
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:4-6
- Life Expectancy (yrs):12-14
- Health issues:
- Generally healthy, the Shetland Sheepdog may suffer from cataracts, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), epilepsy, hip dysplasia, Sheltie skin syndrome, thyroid problems, and von Willebrand's disease.
- Claiming ancestry from the Collies of Scotland, the Shetland Sheepdog arrived from the Shetland Islands to mainland England before World War I. In fact, they were brought to Scotland by the Vikings as an older version of the Shetland Sheepdog, which eventually descended into the Sheltie we have today. They were brought there in the 10th century. These dogs were spitz-type and similar to the Vallhund. The dogs were isolated on the Shetland Islands until the 15th century, and soon after the islands became a part of Scotland. Thereafter, Scottish collies were introduced to the islands, and the two interbred. They were mostly bred by Shetland islanders, and brought them to the rest of the Scotland mainland. Other theories suggest the Sheltie dogs bred with traveling visitor dogs from ships in the 1700s. These dogs passed on their own legends to the Shelties of the island. The Sheltie has been bred true in the Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland for more than 135 years. At first they were called Toonie dogs, named for the word toon that means "town" or "farm".