Shetland Sheepdog

Description Shetland Sheepdog

Alert, Gentle, Lively
The Shetland Sheepdog is also called Sheltie for short and is a perfect companion. Due to his friendly and uncomplicated nature, he is also suitable for beginners. However, everyone should be aware of how much energy is in this little dog. If the future master or mistress is just as active as the Sheltie, nothing stands in the way of a happy life together.FCI Group: Herding Dogs – Cattle Dogs

  • Size: medium
  • Weight: 7-8kg
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Coat type: long hair
  • Colors: Sable (Sable / Darksable), Tricolor (black, white, brown), Black & White, Blue Merle, Black & Tan

Character Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog is originally from the Shetland Islands. His appearance is very reminiscent of a Rough Collie. Although the two are related, the Sheltie is much smaller. Its fur is long and dense. The lush mane and the ruff are striking.

The undercoat is fine and soft, but at the same time very full. There is a wide variety in coat color. Although brown and white tones dominate, black and blue merle also occur. The latter goes back to a genetic defect, which unfortunately can lead to blindness and deafness.
Shelties have a friendly and playful character.

They learn quickly, are lively and easy to train. They bond strongly to their caregiver and tend to be reserved towards strangers. Despite this, they remain friendly to strangers and rarely get nervous.
Shelties have an open nature. However, they are also said to have a certain stubbornness and a tendency to bark.

However, this can be managed with consistent and loving upbringing.
This alert and good-natured dog can also be kept in a big city apartment . The prerequisite for this is that he gets enough activity and the caregiver takes him for walks as often as possible. Walks are relaxed due to the usually low hunting instinct .
Since they are herding dogs, they react quickly to movement stimuli.

Depending on the individual hunting instinct, the dog may then start running. With a “No”, however, you quickly whistle him back. A good education is necessary for this. If this is the case, walks in the pedestrian zone are not a problem.
For active beginners, the Shetland Sheepdog is an uncomplicated companion.

The willingness to invest time and love in dealing with the animal is required. Then people and animals will have fun in nature and on the dog sports field. The high need for exercise should therefore be clear to the future owner.
Shelties are sensitive and don’t get along well with very strict and moody people. This is because they directly perceive mood changes in their environment.

A loving treatment is therefore very important. Nevertheless, the upbringing should be consistent enough to enable a relaxed coexistence.
They get along well with other pets and dogs and do best with other Shelties. They avoid dogs looking for trouble. Puppy play sessions are especially useful for young Shelties.

Here they can learn important behaviors through contact with other animals of the same age.
The Sheltie also gets along well with children, as long as they respect their places of retreat.

Diet Shetland Sheepdog

When it comes to nutrition, the Shetland Sheepdog makes very few demands . This usually makes feeding uncomplicated. Nevertheless, this should be as varied as possible. This is the only way to prevent possible deficiency symptoms. It is particularly important that all important nutrients are contained in the feed.

Regardless of whether BARF, dry or wet food is offered.
The question of the right food also depends on what the dog likes. But the form of nutrition is also determined by age and activity. In addition, the diet must be adapted to obesity or certain allergies. The amount of food and the frequency of daily meals also depend on these points.

If you can no longer feel the ribs, the amount of food should be reduced. At the same time, increased physical activity is appropriate. Proteins are the most important source of energy. But the need for vitamins and minerals should also be covered. Sufficient carbohydrates and roughage are also part of a balanced diet.

Masters and mistresses should also always make sure that there is enough fresh drinking water available. A bone can also be given from time to time to counteract tartar. However, cooked poultry bones must not be offered, as they will splinter.
Shelties also like to eat raw food. But raw pork should never be fed.


In general, Shetland Sheepdogs are fairly undemanding when it comes to grooming. Although their coat is very long, it doesn’t need to be over-treated. Regular brushing is usually enough. The hair is very thin and straight, so it doesn’t tangle and doesn’t pick up much dirt.
Shelties are generally healthy and hardy.

However, they are prone to eye diseases and MDR-1, a metabolic disease. As a result, some drugs are not tolerated. Cases of epilepsy and heart disease are also known.
Shelties with a blue merle color should not be bred together. Here there is a higher risk of blindness and deafness.

This should be considered for health and animal welfare reasons. The hereditary disease Collie Eye Anomaly is also possible. It affects the back of the eye and results in impaired vision.
The long and dense fur makes it easy to assume that Shelties get too hot in summer. But this fear is unfounded.

The seasonal change of fur regulates the body temperature all by itself.
In order to make hot summer days more bearable for the Shetland Sheepdog, fresh water and shade should always be provided. A dog pool can also cool you down. Walks in the midday heat should be avoided.
Shearing the coat is now discouraged as it can result in hair loss.

A shaved coat can cause sunburn more quickly. In the worst case, the skin is permanently damaged, so that little or no fur grows back in these areas.
In winter, the thick fur protects the dog from the cold, wet and wind. Otherwise, you don’t have to pay more attention than with other dogs. Regular appointments for vaccination and deworming as well as checking for parasite infestation are a matter of course.

Attention should also be paid to the cleanliness of eyes , ears and anus as well as dental health .


The Sheltie has its roots in Great Britain . More specifically, it hails from the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland. Hence its official name is Shetland Sheepdog. Despite the obvious relationship to the collie, collie breeders prevented the designation “Shetland Collie”.
The Shetland Sheepdog’s small stature is probably due to an adaptation to the harsh climate.

Similar to the little Shetland ponies.
People were probably happy to have a smaller dog that needed less food. Because the barren landscape didn’t give much. There are no large predators on the islands against which the Shelties would have to protect the flocks of sheep. This is also assumed to be the reason for the small size.

Despite their small stature, Shetland Sheepdogs make very good herding dogs. They are agile and fast and work almost independently. Minor instructions from the shepherd are enough. Sometimes no commands are needed at all.
In addition to being related to the Collie, genetic influences from Miniature Spaniels and Miniature Spitz are also possible.

The British Kennel Club recognized the Sheltie as a separate breed in 1914 . It was not officially recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale until 1954. In Germany, the Shetland Sheepdog is cared for by two VDH clubs. Once from the Shetland Sheepdog Club Germany and the second club is the Club for British Sheepdogs .

Shetland Sheepdog Accessories

Shelties are very active dogs. They enjoy the time with master or mistress and the daily long walks with them. Because of the agile character of these dogs, various dog sports are almost mandatory. They need and want a lot of physical and mental exercise and love variety.
That is why they are quickly enthusiastic about agility, dog dancing , flyball or other popular sports.

They can also be trained to be assistance, rescue, or therapy dogs .
Like all dogs, Shelties are also happy about a treat in between. However, the ingredients must be taken into account. Otherwise the small reward in between may have a negative impact on health.
You can also make your Sheltie happy with different toys .

However, since they are quite sensitive to stimuli, toys that do not squeak are recommended.
A brush and comb are also advisable as additional accessories . As well as tick tweezers and fur scissors . Like other dogs, the Sheltie should have stable bowls that are easy to clean and, of course, a basket or blanket . Collar or harness and leash are of course also necessary.

8.4Expert Score
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