|Shetland Collie (obsolete)
Dwarf Scotch Shepherd (obsolete)
Toonie dog (obsolete)
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 1 Section 1 #88
||Group 5 (Working Dogs)
||Group 7 - Herding Dogs
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Shetland Sheepdog (or Sheltie) is a
dog, originally bred
to be small
sheep dogs ideally suited for the terrain of the
Shetland Islands. They resemble a miniature
Collie; however the breed was not created by miniaturizing (nor is it
related to) the Rough Collie.
The tricolor Sheltie
Shelties have a
coat consisting of long
covering a fluffy insulative
Several coat colors exist. There are three main acceptable show colors, sable
(ranging from golden through mahogany), tricolor (black, white, and tan) and
merle (grey, white, black, and tan). Bi-Blues (grey, black, and some white)
and bi-blacks (white and black) are less common but still acceptable. The
best-known color is the sable, which is dominant over other colors. Shaded, or
mahogany, sables can sometimes be mistaken for tricolored Shelties due to the
large amount of dark shading on their coats. Another acceptable color in the
show ring, but much less seen, is the sable merle, which can often be hard to
distinguish from regular sables after puppyhood. Double merles, the product of
breeding two merle Shelties together, can be bred but have a higher incidence of
deafness or blindness than the other coat colors. There are few additional coat
colors that are quite rare because they are unacceptable in the breed standard,
such as color-headed white (majority of fur white, with the head 'normally'
marked). There have been reports of a brindle Sheltie but many Sheltie
enthusiasts agree that a cross sometime in the ancestry of that specific Sheltie
could have produced a brindle coat.
Sizes of Shelties differ from country to country, with the United States of
America having a wide size range of 13-16 inches (at the
and the UK with an ideal of 14-15 inches. However, due to the number of large,
but excellent, Shelties far back in the ancestry of many of the breed, a rather
large number are oversize and thus are throwbacks to earlier generations.
This blue merle sheltie is a
The Shetland Sheepdog is an outstanding companion dog with a delightful
temperament. It is lively, intelligent, trainable, and willing to please and
obey. Shelties are loving, loyal, and affectionate with their family, but are
naturally aloof with strangers and might not appreciate being petted by someone
they do not know; for this reason Shelties must be socialized extensively. Most
Shelties, if encouraged, will warm up to strangers if given time. Some can be
quite reserved and some have varying degrees of shyness. Although they are
excellent family pets, Shelties do especially well with children if they are
raised with them from an early age; however, their small size makes it easy for
a child to accidentally injure them, so supervision is necessary.
Shelties have a reputation as vocal dogs, but that might be undeserved.
Ill-bred dogs often display a terrier-like personality--hyper and yappy, always
on the go--but can just as easily be overly timid and may become a fear-biter.
The intelligent Sheltie can be trained to be an excellent watch dog, and not
yappy, giving two or three barks to alert its owner to a person at the door or
to something amiss. However, three or more Shelties constitute a pack, and thus
barking is harder to control.
Unlike some dog breeds, males and females make equally good pets. The main
difference is that males tend to have more impressive coats, and unspayed
females will 'blow' coat after every heat cycle.
The herding instinct is still strong in many Shelties. They love to chase
things. They do best with a sensitive, yet firm, owner. The Sheltie is, above
all, an intelligent herder and likes to be kept busy, although their activity
level usually coincides with their owner's level.
Collie, there is a tendency toward inherited malformation and disease of the
eyes. Each individual puppy should have his eyes examined by a qualified
veterinary ophthalmologist. Some lines may be prone to
hypothyroidism, epilepsy, or skin allergies.
As with all dog breeds, diet should be monitered and adjusted as needed as
many nonworking Shelties can overeat and easily become obese.
Although its coat might appear to be a time-consuming task, a once-weekly,
but thorough, brushing is all that is needed, though more frequent groomings
will contribute to a beautiful and tidy coat. Shelties 'blow' coat usually twice
a year, often at spring and fall, and should be groomed more often at those
The two basic forms of inherited eye problems in shelties are SES (Sheltie
Eye Syndrome) and
progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
- SES can be detected in young puppies by a certified ophthalmologist. The
disease involves all three layers of the posterior eyeball. Mild SES can
result in a blind spot, while severe cases will lead to complete blindness.
- PRA can not be detected until later in life, as it is a "progressive"
disease. Affected dogs often begin with night vision problems, progressing
to loss of day vision and total blindness.
Currently, there is no treatment for either disease.
Note that merles commonly have at least one blue eye and that Shelties are
one of the few dog breeds for which this is normal; for many dogs this is
considered a defect.
Dermatomyocitis may occur at the age of 4 to 6 months, and is frequently
misdiagnosed by general practice veterinarians as
demodectic mange. The disease manifests itself as
the top of the head, supra- and suborbital area and forearms as well as the tip
of the tail. If the disease progresses to its more damaging form, it could
autonomic nervous system and the dog may have to be euthanized. This disease
is generation-skipping and genetically transmitted, with breeders having no
clear methodology for screening except clear bloodline records. Deep tissue
required to definitively diagnose dermatomyocitis.
Shelties' ears are required to bend slightly or "tip" at the top to be
qualified to show in AKC
shows. If a dog's ears are not bent (referred to as prick ears) it is acceptable
to help the ears along to the desired position by bracing them into the correct
position and leaving them on for several weeks. Wideset ears can also be a
problem, often breaking too low down (referred to as 'hound' ears). These are
often harder to correct than prick ears, and must be braced early and
consistently throughout the first year. It is easiest to train a dog's ears when
the dog is in its first year and the cartilage has not stiffened much.
Von Willebrand Disease (vWD)
Von Willebrand disease is an inherited bleeding disorder. In Shelties,
affected dogs as a general rule are not viable and do not live long.
Read this article for
More information on von Willebrand's in Shelties.
Hypothyroidism (under-functioning of the thyroid) is being observed more
frequently in Shelties. Clinical symptoms include hair loss or lack of coat,
over or under-weight, and listlessness. Research is currently ongoing to further
understand the thyroid.
The Sheltie came from the
Shetland Islands off the coast of
Unlike many miniature breeds that resemble their larger counterparts, this breed
was not developed by
selectively breeding the Rough Collie for smaller and smaller sizes. Rather,
it is the result of the intermingling of Border Collies and possibly several
other herding breeds over the past several centuries.
Its exact origins are not known, but the most-often cited ancestors of the
breed include the
Border Collie (or its ancestors), the Yakki (also Yakkie or Yakkin) dog (a
dog kept and bred by
Greenland whalers), and
Icelandic sheepdog. During the
century, the appeal of small, fluffy dogs became clear, and there are
mentions of cross-breedings with
Pomeranians (which were larger then than they are today) and with the
Prince Charles Spaniel or possibly a
King Charles Spaniel. Some Shelties in the early 20th century had
coats, which could have come from a
Note: the "mentions" of cross-breedings with
Pomeranians is largely seen as a myth by most Sheltie experts.
The year 1909 marked the initial recognition of the Sheltie by the English
Kennel Club and the first Sheltie to be registered by the
American Kennel Club was "Lord Scott" in 1911.
In their size group, the breed dominates
agility competitions. They also excel at competitive
herding.Participating in such a sport will satisfy a Sheltie's needs for
mental and physical exercise.
Sable and white shelties at one and half years and at 6 months. Professional
grooming typically gives a fluffier coat than these. The puppy has a
transitional "puppy fuzz" coat.
Shelties have a double coat. The
consists of long, straight, water-repellent hair, which provides some protection
from cold and the elements. The
is short, furry, and very dense in order to help keep the dog warm. The Sheltie
is usually a clean dog and should only need to be brushed once or twice a week
(it is helpful to spray-mist with water when brushing). Mats can be commonly
found behind the ears, under the elbow on each front leg, and in the fluffy fur
on the hind legs (the "skirts"). It is easiest to teach a dog to tolerate, or
even enjoy, grooming if they are shown that it is a pleasurable thing from a
young age. Breeders usually teach the dogs to lie on their side, be brushed, and
then flip over to the other side.
Toenails and hair between the pads need to be trimmed every couple of weeks.
Show dogs may require more frequent brushing to keep their coats in top
condition. Regular brushing encourages undercoat growth, distributes healthful
oils produced by the skin, and prevents sores known as "hotspots" which can
occur when dead undercoat is allowed to accumulate close to the skin.
Most Shelties learn to love the attention that grooming provides, if the
routine is started when the dog is still young.
As with all breeds of dogs there is a certain set of rules that must be
followed in order to show them. Shetland Sheepdogs must be within their required
height of 13-15 inches for males, and 12-14 inches for females. Shetland
Sheepdogs must have slightly bent or "tipped" ears. In the United States under
American Kennel Club standards, Shetland Sheepdogs must be within required
height of 13-16 inches for male and females.
Shelties are known for their intelligence
- Shetland Sheepdog associations
Home | Up | Saarlooswolfhond | Saluki | Samoyed | Sapsali | Schipperke | Schnauzer | Scottish Terrier | Sealyham Terrier | Seppala Siberian Sleddog | Serbian Hound | Serbian Mountain Hound | Serbian Tricolour Hound | Shar Pei | Shetland Sheepdog | Shiba Inu | Shih Tzu | Shikoku | Shiloh Shepherd Dog | Siberian Husky | Skye Terrier | Sloughi | Small Munsterlander | Smooth Collie | Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier | South Russian Ovtcharka | Spanish Mastiff | Spinone Italiano | Springer Spaniel | St. Bernard | Stabyhoun | Staffordshire Bull Terrier | Standard Schnauzer | Swedish Vallhund
Dogs, made by MultiMedia | Free content and software
This guide is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.
Recommend This Page To A Friend!