12 April 2023

Shetland Sheepdog

By martin m.

The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is a small to medium-sized herding dog breed that originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. They are highly intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dogs that make excellent family pets and are also used in various dog sports and activities.


Shetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent and trainable dogs that are eager to please their owners. They are also very loyal and affectionate, making them great family pets. Shelties are very protective of their families and can be wary of strangers, but with proper socialization, they can be friendly towards everyone. They are highly active dogs and need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.


Shetland Sheepdogs are small to medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 14-27 pounds and stand around 13-16 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a long and dense double coat that comes in a variety of colors including sable, black, and blue merle. They have a wedge-shaped head, erect ears, and a long, pointed snout.


Like all breeds, Shetland Sheepdogs are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and von Willebrand’s disease. However, with proper care and regular veterinary check-ups, these issues can be managed. Shelties have a lifespan of 12-14 years on average.


The Shetland Sheepdog originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland, where they were used as herding dogs for sheep and ponies. They were bred from a variety of other herding breeds including Collies, Spitz-type dogs, and King Charles Spaniels. They were first brought to the United States in the early 1900s and were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1911.

Related Dog Breeds

  • Collie: The Collie is the most closely related breed to the Shetland Sheepdog. They share a similar history and were also used as herding dogs. Collies are larger than Shelties but are also highly intelligent and trainable.
  • Australian Shepherd: The Australian Shepherd is a herding breed that is similar in size and activity level to the Shetland Sheepdog. They are highly intelligent and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behavior.
  • Border Collie: The Border Collie is another herding breed that is highly intelligent and trainable. They are slightly larger than Shelties and are known for their high energy levels and work drive. Like Shelties, they require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.