The Shetland Sheepdog is related to the Rough Collie, both dogs descended from Border Collies that inhabited Scotland. The Border Collies were brought to the Scottish island of Shetland and crossed with the Icelandic Yakkin, a small island dog which is now extinct. By 1700, the Sheltie was completely developed. The dogs were used to herd and guard the sheep flocks of the Shetlands. This willing worker was very gentle when herding the miniature stock. The Shetland Sheepdog was first recognized in England in 1909



The Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature copy in of the rough coated Collie. When viewed from the side, the head looks like a blunt wedge, with the muzzle tapering slightly from the ears to the nose. There is a slight stop. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The nose is black. The almond shaped eyes are dark, however blue eyes can appear in the blue merle coat. The small ears are 3/4 erect with the tips folding forward. The neck is arched and muscular. The long tail is feathered, carried straight down, or at a slight upward curve. The tail should reach to the hock. The double coat is long and abundant all over the body but is shorter on the head and legs an the coat forms a mane around the neck and chest. The outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch, and the undercoat is soft and tight.

Size Small
Colour Coat colours come in blue merle, sable and black with various amounts of white and/or tan.
Coat Length Long
Weight/Height Range Dogs should measure between  35 - 40.6cms and weigh between 8 - 12.3kgs. Bitches should ideally measure between 33 - 38cms and weigh between 6.4 - 10.3kgs.
Ailments Similar to the Rough Collie, there is a tendency toward inherited malformation and disease of the eyes. Some lines may be prone to hypothyroidism, displacement of the patella (kneecap), which is thought to be inherited. Do not over-feed, gains weight easily. 

Feeding & Ownership

The Shetland Sheepdog is generally not a fussy eater, often with a small appetite but requires a good quality, easily digested diet. They may become overweight if overfed or underexercised.

Food Cost $5 to $10



The Shetland Sheepdog is loyal, willing and eager to please, making a wonderful companion dog, they are very intelligent, lively and trainable, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the smartest breeds. With intelligence comes the need to occupy their minds. They like to be kept busy. The Sheltie is above all a herder, capable both of commanding large cattle and sheep. The herding instinct is still very strong in many of them, they love to chase things. Because of its beauty and kindness, the Sheltie has become a popular companion dog.


Intelligence Extremely smart, they excel at obedience competition. Some of the Shelties talents include: tracking, herding, watchdog, guarding, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks
Energy High
Suitability for Children Medium
Tendency to Bark High
Overall Exercise Requirement This active, graceful dog needs lots of exercise, which include a daily walk or jog. They will also enjoy running free; but be sure the dog is in a safe area.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Low
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Medium
Other Animal Compatibility High



With their abundant double coats, Shelties need weekly brushing to prevent serious matting. The under coat is soft and furry, sitting close to the skin, while the outer coat is harsh and straight. During moulting, daily brushing is beneficial. Occasional trimming will keep the feathering on the front legs and tail in check.

Grooming RequirementsOnce a week
Amount of Hair ShedHeavy

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