The Shetland Sheepdog resembles to the Rough Collie. It is strong, nimble and lightly built. It is a beautiful dog, with a long, wedge-shaped head. It is a fast runner and good jumper, agile and swift. Puppies are beguiling and exhibit a desire to please from a very young age. It is an outstanding companion dog with a delightful temperament.
For centuries this little dog was used to herd and guard the sheep flocks of the Shetlands, those rugged islands off the Scottish coast where many of the animals are rather small in stature. It is an intelligent herder, capable both of commanding large cattle and holding small sheep in check.
Sable, tricolor, blue merle, black and white and black and tan.
Outer coat of long, straight, harsh-textured hair; soft, short-haired close undercoat. Regular brushing is important. Mist the coat lightly with water before you begin and tease out the mats before they get bad, but use the comb sparingly. This breed is quite fastidious about its cleanliness; bathe or dry shampoo only when absolutely necessary. This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder.
There is a tendency toward inherited malformation and disease of the eyes. It is prone to displacement of the patella (kneecap), which is thought to be inherited. Do not overfeed your Sheltie.
The Sheltie is gentle, sensitive, and dainty. This breed is intensely loyal, affectionate, and responsive to his owner. It is very lively, intelligent and trainable. The Shetland Sheepdog is one of the smartest breeds, very willing to please and obey. This breed is so smart that many fanciers consider it to have almost human intelligence. It makes an excellent, charming family dog.
It makes a good watchdog. This dog is suspicious with strangers, especially with children, but will put up with a lot from children in the family. This dog needs human companionship. It is known to not allow itself to be touched by strangers and will display noisy persistent barking. It may bark a lot. Extensive socialization at an early age is a must. It is not difficult to train; it will enjoy time spent in obedience or agility classes, it likes to be kept busy. The herding instinct is still very strong in many of them; it loves to chase things. Unfortunately and often disastrously it loves to chase cars.
This dog should not be allowed to run free near a road as it may decide to chase a car or something else it sees across the road, running a high risk of getting hit by a car. This active, graceful dog needs lots of exercise. Dogs should appear masculine and bitches, feminine. Some say males make better and more affectionate pets.
This breed will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. It is fairly active indoors and will do okay without a yard.