The Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie as they are commonly called, is a member of the
herding group who were originally bred to herd sheep in the Shetland Islands off
the coast of Scotland. The breed resembles a miniature Lassie and though there
are certainly collie genes in the modern day Sheltie, this breed is separate and has
its own distinct traits.
Shelties have a double coat with an outer coat of long, straight, harsh hair and an
undercoat of dense, short, soft fur. They require brushing once or twice a week to
maintain their coat and keep them looking pretty. They come in three coat colors,
sable (brown ranging in color from golden or reddish to deep mahogany), tricolor
(black, brown and white) and merle (silvery gray like the puppy above). The
average Sheltie will be 13-16 inches at the shoulders and between 15 and 25
pounds although there are larger and smaller ones than the breed standard.
Shelties are intelligent, sensitive dogs who respond well to training. They make
excellent obedience and agility candidates. They also make excellent therapy dogs
to visit nursing homes and hospitals. They require medium to high activity levels
but can adapt to a more sedentary life. Being a smaller dog they generally have a
lifespan between 12 and 15 years.
Shelties tend to be timid around strangers but with proper training socialize easily.
They make good watchdogs, more than willing to bark at unfamiliar sights and
sounds. This can be a fault, corrected again with proper training. Shelties are
Velcro dogs. They want to be with you wherever you and the family go. They will
follow you everywhere.
If you would like additional information on the breed please visit our links page
and check out the American Shetland Sheepdog Association.
Arizona Sheltie Rescue