The Shetland Sheepdog, like the Collie, traces to the Border Collie of Scotland, which, transported to the Shetland Islands and crossed with small, intelligent, longhaired breeds, was reduced to miniature proportions. Subsequently crosses were made from time to time with Collies. This breed now bears the same relationship in size and general appearance to the Rough Collie as the Shetland Pony does to some of the larger breeds of horses. Although the resemblance between the Shetland Sheepdog and the Rough Collie is marked, there are differences which may be noted. The Shetland Sheepdog is a small, alert, rough-coated, longhaired working dog. He must be sound, agile and sturdy. The outline should be so symmetrical that no part appears out of proportion to the whole. Dogs should appear masculine; bitches feminine.
While many are drawn to the Sheltie for their melting expression and beautiful coats, it is their endearing personality that owners find so captivating. Their willingness to please and deep devotion to their family make them a joy to train and live with. They excel at almost everything they are asked, so it is no surprise that these versatile little dogs consistently rank as some of the top canine competitors in the world.
If you currently own a Sheltie, there are numerous activities you can get involved in with your dog that span all ages and interests. From obedience, agility and herding, to therapy dog work, tracking and junior showmanship – this breed truly “does it all!” If you are interested in getting move involved with your Sheltie, join a local Sheltie club and find other people that love the breed as much as you do.
The Shetland Sheepdog should stand between 13 and 16 inches at the shoulder. Note: Height is determined by a line perpendicular to the ground from the top of the shoulder blades, the dog standing naturally, with forelegs parallel to line of measurement.
Black, blue merle, and sable (ranging from golden through mahogany); marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan.
Learn more at the American Shetland Sheepdog Association.