Dog Breeds

Shetland sheepdog (sheltie)

Shetland Sheepdog (sheltie) is a volcano of energy and an excellent pupil who will work in almost every home if the owner provides him with enough classes. Although he does not need as much movement as larger shepherd dogs, we do not expect that a short walk on a leash is enough for him.

Shetland sheepdog. Nature

Shetland Sheepdog (sheltie) is a lively dog ​​with a cheerful disposition and friendly character. He likes to take care of him, he demands caresses and interest from the owner. He is strongly attached to his family and wants to keep an eye on everyone. As pet-sensitive to the mood prevailing in the environment, it is not suitable for homes where there are noise and confusion. Typical for the breed is a certain distrust in dealing with strangers, but it should not transform into fear.

Cheerful sheltie gets along great with children. Gentle and tolerant is a great companion for older kids who can successfully practice with him under the watchful eye of adults. If there are several-year-olds in the house, make sure that they do not disturb the pet excessively, because, like most small dogs, they do not like being treated gently.

Shetland sheepdog

The watchful and inquisitive dog of this breed is a good watchman, but often too noisy. If we don’t take care of raising a pet properly from a puppy, it can effectively make the household and neighbors’ lives worse.

The Shetland Sheepdog (sheltie) does not engage in fights with his compatriots, but he willingly assists in any row. Can live with other dogs, easily accept small pets.

The representative of this breed will easily adapt to any conditions. He feels good both at home with the garden (but is not suitable for keeping in the pen) and in a small apartment, if we provide him with occupation and adequate movement, because he is a real volcano of energy.

Although he does not need as much movement as larger shepherd dogs, we do not expect that a short walk on a leash is enough for him. Rough and bored, he can mess around the house and destroy things. Everyday games with kinsmen, obedience exercises or playing with your favorite ball are necessary to keep you happy and balanced.

Shetland sheepdog

During walks, sheltie usually does not move away from the owner, but if the opportunity arises, willingly chase a bird, bicycle or car, so in busy places, it is better not to let him loose.


Sheltie’s ancestors guarded the village farms. Currently, they are primarily companion dogs. They are perfect for dog sports: agility, obedience, flyball or dancing with a dog, they also successfully compete in herding competitions.

Some representatives of the breed are suitable for dogotherapy – they visit hospital patients and people in nursing homes.

Shetland sheepdog. Training and education

Shetland Sheepdogs learn willingly and quickly – preferably while playing. They are very ambitious, which is why they often do more than is required of them. If we add to this consistency and patience of the guide, then in a relatively short time you can achieve good training and sports results.

Shetland sheepdog

It is difficult to count on when using force methods, because they will close in, become fearful or nervous. Sheltie is also very sensitive to the raised voice – usually enough for reprimanding.

Representatives of this breed do not tend to dominate (if it happens, then in relation to other dogs), which does not mean that they can be allowed anything. Puppies require cordial but consistent treatment. You have to take them to foreign places, ensure socialization with people, other animals and various phenomena. Dog-kindergarten classes will also be useful.

Who is this race for?

Sheltie does not require much experience, so it is suitable even for novice owners. Works great in families with children as well as in the homes of older people. Properly raised, it doesn’t cause any problems, but it needs a lot of movement and mental exercises.

Shetland sheepdog. Advantages and disadvantages


  • it can be noisy
  • tends to chase fast-moving objects


  • sociable and strongly attached to the family
  • mild
  • suitable for children
  • tolerant of other dogs and pets
  • very intelligent, happy to learn
  • works in dog sports
  • does not require much experience

Shetland sheepdog. Health

Shetland Sheepdogs are a long-lived breed, quite resistant to diseases and weather conditions. They feel great in winter, they like snow very much and do not freeze. Their double-layered, thick coat does not get wet in the rain, which does not mean, however, that this dog can be kept outside all the time. Long, thick hair in the summer protects the dog from overheating, which is why sheltie tolerates heat well, although it prefers lower temperatures.

Sheltie – like the Scottish Shepherds with whom they are related – have a tendency to several diseases typical of the breed. This applies primarily to genetic eye diseases: collie eye anomaly (CEA), which involves choroidal hypoplasia; progressive retinal atrophy (PRA); corneal dystrophy (CD) and cataracts.

Shetland sheepdog

Occasionally hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as kidney disease, can occur. Occasionally, young dogs have aseptic femoral head necrosis. Rare right aortic arch, collie nose disease (sun allergy), which manifests as discoloration and skin changes around the nose and lips, or dermatomyositis – a genetic disease that causes skin changes on the head and permanent baldness, and disrupts many organs interior.

Older dogs may suffer from degenerative changes in the joints and spine. Shetland Sheepdogs belong to the group of breeds which have a modified MDR gene, which makes them sensitive to some drugs or anti-parasite agents.


Shetland Sheepdog has a tendency to gain weight, therefore less active representatives of the breed should not be given foods with a high content of protein and fat, because they will quickly gain weight. You can use ready-made foods for small breeds – preferably long-haired ones – or you can prepare meals supplemented with calcium-vitamin and mineral preparations. The daily dose is best divided into several smaller ones.

Shetland sheepdog

Puppies during the period of intensive growth and tooth replacement (up to the age of six months) need larger doses of calcium, which in turn can lead to excessive stiffening of the cartilage (standing ears are a defect). So it’s best not to use the preparations on your own, but consult an experienced breeder or veterinarian.

For young and adult dogs, they can periodically be given specifics that improve the condition of their hair and skin, with the addition of biotin, marine algae or unsaturated fatty acids.


Shetland Sheepdog usually molts twice a year: in the spring, when the undercoat is lost, and in the autumn, when it exchanges the ground coat. The undercoat falling out is not as bothersome as it may seem – it comes out in small clumps that can be easily combed out, and they can be easily picked up from the floor. Loss of casing hair is a bit more troublesome, but it is easily cleaned – it is quite soft, so it does not stick to rugs or clothes.

Puppy hair is very soft and fluffy, which is why it tends to tangle (this happens less often in adult dogs), especially around the ears, groin, tail and trousers. We do not cut out the quilts, we separate them with our fingers and gently comb (special preparations can be used to facilitate this).

Children should be brushed quite often to get used to this activity. Sheltie attains the proper structure of the robe at the age of three or four. For an adult dog, it is usually enough to brush once a week or two (combing too often may cause excessive hair loss), after spraying the coat with a nutrient diluted with water. As a rule, ordinary brushes with metal wires, powder boxes (for combing out coarse hair) and bristle brushes are used, thanks to which we give the coat fluffy.

This dog does not require frequent bathing. His hair is straight and slippery, which is why it is easy to clean itself from mud and dust. We use gentle shampoos for long-haired dogs and conditioners for long and rough hair, which we rinse after a few minutes. You can also use cosmetics that do not require rinsing, but then they should not grease the hair, but make it slippery and fluffy.

After bathing, we comb the pet’s hair with a brush and dry it with a dryer set to medium temperature. In the summer we can let him dry in motion (the animal should not lie, because the fur will crease and it will be difficult to bring it to order).

A few days before the exhibition, sheltie should take a bath (using the same cosmetics as in the case of regular care) or only refresh the hair with dry cosmetics if the dog is molting. You will also need a slight correction of the hair at the ends of the ears so that it does not look tousled. The feet are given an oval shape and the tips of the feathers are aligned on the fore and hind legs. We present a Shetland Sheepdog on a neutral or contrasting ring.


We take Sheltie in a well-fitting collar (leather or tape) and on a long leash. You can use chains, but not in winter. Braces are not recommended because they may have a negative effect on the development of the chest and shoulder girdle of puppies. Toddlers also get the habit of pulling, which is quite tedious on walks.

For shetland, the best are plush toys (intended for animals, children’s mascots are not suitable), rubber balls, cotton strings and natural chews (smoked ears, skins, masseurs, prepared bones). It is worth getting the dog used to the transporter, which will be useful during exhibitions or sports competitions.

Shetland sheepdog. History

Shetland Sheepdog (sheltie) belongs to the group of shepherd and herding dogs. It comes from the Shetland Islands archipelago, located about 200 km north of the coast of Great Britain. This hilly land has a specific climate – summers are short and humid, and winters are long. This is not conducive to the lush vegetation of plants and makes the animals living there – e.g. Shetland ponies or miniature sheep – much smaller than their continental cousins.

In Shetland there were no predators that would threaten farm animals, which is why the dogs there did not have to defend herds – their role was limited to herding tasks. The islanders needed a small, light dog that easily moves on rocky, often slippery ground, and is cheap to maintain.

Sheltie’s ancestors are thought to have come to the islands between 700 and 800 along with the Vikings. The blood of these small quadrupeds called Jakki probably flows in the veins of many modern breeds, such as dogs IcelandicLaiki and dogs Greenland . When in the second half of the fifteenth century the Shetland Islands passed from the hands of the Norwegians under the rule of Scotland, Scottish shepherds arriving there found small dogs in the type of spitz with erect ears and curled tails (these features also appear in today’s sheltie, although they are undesirable).

They were called peerie (in Old Norwegian, it means small) or toon, which meant a stone pen for a sheep or a shepherd’s hut. Initially, they were not used for herding, they rather played the role of farm and guard dogs.

At the turn of the century, the fashion for miniature animals from the Shetland Islands prevailed in Great Britain. Scottish horse dealers, who bought miniature ponies on the islands, as well as sailors began bringing small dogs to England and Scotland. Quite soon they aroused the interest of British breeders who decided to create a new breed.

It is likely that King Charles SpanielPapillon and  Pomeranian Miniature Spitz were used to breed modern sheltie. The final appearance was obtained thanks to the admixture of blood of the long-haired Scottish Collie Sheepdog. The physical resemblance to the latter is to this day decisive for lovers of Shetland Sheepdogs.

In 1908, the Shetland Collie Club was founded in Lerwick on the largest island of Mainland. The term shetland collie met with opposition from breeders of long-haired Scottish collie sheepdogs, so in 1914 the club’s name was changed to English Shetland Sheepdog Club (ESSC), and the breed’s name is used today.

At that time, the rule that was still in force today was formulated that the Shetland Sheepdog should be similar to the Scottish collie exhibition shepherd dog in miniature (with minor differences). In the interwar period, many excellent kennels were created, including Kilravock, Eltham Park, Houghton Hill, Greyhill and Exford. However, the biggest influence on the development of the breed had the Riverhill kennel founded in 1932 and operating for nearly 50 years.


Shetland Sheepdog (sheltie) – G rupee I FCI, section 1, reference number 88

  • Origin:  United Kingdom
  • Size:  height at the withers of dogs: 37 cm, bitches: 35.5 cm; tolerance +/- 2.5 cm
  • Coat: long, hard, straight topcoat and soft, short, dense undercoat; short coat on the mouth; abundant collar and collar on the neck; on the back of the forelegs a thick feather, posteriorly hairy, below the hocks shorter coat; tail well hairy
  • Color: dark brown, tricolor, marbled, black and white, black and tan (rare); white markings (does not apply to black and tan dogs) may appear on the head and on the bridge of the nose in the form of an arrow, on the collar, limbs and tail of the tail are preferred; white patches on the body undesirable
  • Maturity:  1.5 years
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Weather resistance:  high

Interesting facts

Many straps have a very loud voice, which means that they bark extremely loudly. That is why it is recommended to teach dogs of this breed from the first months of life … to be quiet at command, which will significantly facilitate our – and our neighbors – life.

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