Shetland Sheepdog Breed Information

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog or “Sheltie” has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

The Shetland Sheepdog originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland in the 1700s. The Shetland Sheepdog was bred from a type of Scandinavian Northern Spitz, King Charles Spaniel, Pomeranian, Scotch Collie and other dogs native to the Shetland Islands.

In the 1800s, British sailors helped introduce the Shetland Sheepdog to the rest of the world. They took note of the breed on their trips to the Shetland Islands and began buying them as gifts for their families back home.  

The Shetland Sheepdog weighs 20 to 25 pounds and measures 13 to 16 inches.

Grooming Needs
The Shetland Sheepdog has a double coat consisting of a soft, wooly undercoat and long, thick top coat. The Shetland Sheepdog is an average shedder that sheds more heavily just before summer. Normally, the Shetland Sheepdog only needs to be brushed once a week but during their heavy shedding season they should be brushed three to four times a week. The Shetland Sheepdog’s hair should also be sprayed with water before brushing to keep it from breaking. Shetland Sheepdogs only need the occasional bath.

Like all dogs, the Shetland Sheepdog also needs basic grooming. Brush their teeth, clean their ears and trim their nails on a regular basis.  

The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent, devoted family dog.

The Shetland Sheepdog loves their family and is happiest when they can be with them. The Shetland Sheepdog has an obedient and gentle demeanor. If the Shetland Sheepdog is raised with children, they generally get along well with them. They tend to be distant with new people and even shy or timid if not well socialized.

The Shetland Sheepdog is also very alert and watchful, and can be a terrific guard dog. The Shetland Sheepdog has a high-pitched bark that they like to use often. They need training to help them differentiate between welcome and unwelcome guests.

Training Needs
The Shetland Sheepdog is among the most intelligent dog breeds and responds well to training. The Shetland Sheepdog learns commands and tricks quickly. Due to their high intelligence, the Shetland Sheepdog excels at advanced training, obedience, herding and agility. They are sensitive though and should always be treated with kindness. Shetland Sheepdogs also need early socialization to help them overcome any shyness and control their barking.

Since the Shetland Sheepdog is so intelligent, they also need to engage in advanced training and dog sports. If the Shetland Sheepdog gets bored, they can begin barking excessively and act out.

Activity Level
The Shetland Sheepdog is a fairly active dog, and physical and mental stimulation is important for their health and happiness. The Shetland Sheepdog needs a daily walk and can make a good jogging partner.

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