Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) Dog Breed

Dog Group: Herding Group

Class: Herding


Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog) Breed

The Sheltie or Shetland Sheepdog is a handsome and graceful dog, with a long, wedge-type head and masses of mane-like hair. The Shetland Sheepdog resembles a Collie in many ways. The coat is long and rough, with a soft, wooly undercoat for protection. The color of the Shetland Sheepdog can be sable, blue merle, black and white or black and tan. The hair is particularly heavy around the neck, giving the dog the appearance of wearing a ruffle. The Shetland Sheepdog has a luxurious

long, feathered tail and flexible, soft ears. This breed has a very intelligent and inquisitive expression, added to by the dark, slightly slanted eyes. Strong, swift and nimble, these dogs are energetic and have lots of character.


The Shetland Sheepdog has a very gentle and affectionate temperament, making him the ideal companion. This breed is eager, intelligent and loving, although they are very wary of strangers. The Shetland Sheepdog can get on well with other animals and children providing he is properly socialized as a youngster. They are very obedient dogs, and should be a pleasure to train.

Height and Weight

The male Shetland Sheepdog should average around 13-15 inches in height, with the female reaching around 12-14 inches. The weight of the male Shetland Sheepdog is around 14-18 pounds, with females reach approximately 12-16 pounds in weight.

Common Health and Behavioral Problems

The Shetland Sheepdog can be prone to slipping kneecap, which is an inherited problem. This breed can also suffer from eye problems.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Shetland Sheepdog can adapt to apartment living and does not necessarily need a garden. However, this is an energetic breed and will always welcome a yard or garden of possible, or if not will need regular exercise.

Exercise Requirements

The Shetland Sheepdog loves to run, and you should let him run free when in a safe area, such as a fenced of garden or field. However, do not let him off the leash whilst walking as this breed loves to chase things – including cars – and this could result in fatal consequences.

Diet and Nutrition

The Shetland Sheepdog has no special diet, but like other breeds needs a healthy, balanced diet for optimum health. A diet rich in dry, complete food can help to provide oral health as well as vital nutrients. Make sure he always has access to fresh, clean water.

Life Expectancy

A healthy Shetland Sheepdog can expect to live for around 12-15 years, dependant upon lifestyle, diet and general health.

Grooming Requirements

The coat of the Shetland Sheepdog can get matted, and therefore regular brushing is required. You can lightly spray the coat with water before you brush to make it easier to remove knots and keep the coat in good condition. You can bathe occasionally if required. 


The Shetland Sheepdog originates from Great Britain and descends from Scottish Collies. They were bred for many years to herd and flock in their native Shetland Islands. The breed was first recognized in mainland England in 1909 and just a couple of years later were recognized in the United States as well. The American Kennel Club first registered the breed in 1911.

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More Resources

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