The Shetland Sheepdog is a smart and energetic herding dog breed. Also called Sheltie, the Shetland Sheepdog is known for being able to respond well to training. This herding dog is actually considered one of the smartest dog breeds.
Aside from being intelligent, the Sheltie is also known for being vocal. Its loud and sharp bark is like an alarm to its owners and their neighbors. Read on and learn more about the Shetland Sheepdog in this post.
Shetland Sheepdog Dogs and Puppies
What is a Shetland Sheepdog?
The Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature Long-haired Collie or Rough Collie. This herding dog breed can also be a watchdog. It is reserved towards strangers and its bark is piercing enough to alert its owners. Might this breed the furry companion you are looking for? Find out in this post.
Where is the Shetland Sheepdog from?
The Shetland Sheepdog comes from the Shetland Islands in Scotland. Shelties back then were primarily used to herd sheep and protect the flock from prey like birds. But the breed is ironically uncommon in Shetland these days.
The exact origin of the breed is not very clear. It may have descended from Spitz-type dogs in the Arctic region, which were crossed with other breeds later on. The Pomeranian, Border Collie, and King Charles Spaniel are some of the breeds believed to be the ancestors of the Shetland Sheepdog.
Shelties were used to be called Shetland Collies. The breed’s name was changed eventually because the old name offended some Rough Collie breeders.
What does a Shetland Sheepdog look like?
The Sheltie generally looks like a smaller version of the Rough Collie, standing at 13 to 16 inches at the shoulder. It weighs around 10 kg but some Shelties can weigh as much as 18 kg.
This breed has the following standard physical traits:
- Two-layered coat or a double. The outercoat is long, straight, and rough while the undercoat is dense, short and furry.
- Standard coat colors according to the American Kennel Club are:
- black and white
- black, white, and tan
- blue merle and white
- blue merle, white, and tan
- sable and white
- sable merle and white
- Dark (or blue for merle coats) medium-sized eyes with dark, almond shaped rims
- Small ears bent slightly at the tip
- Tail reaching the jock joint, carried down low, never over the back
- Black nose
- Wears an alert but kind and intelligent expression
What is a Shetland Sheepdog like?
The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent dog and it actually ranks as one of the smartest dog breeds. This is one of the reasons why the Sheltie responds well to training.
A Sheltie is very loyal and affectionate to its owners. It is usually good around children and it can typically get along with other dogs and animals. But proper introduction should be done first.
This breed is small but it is quite active. It can live well in an apartment but it must be exercised regularly. It is an herding dog and its instinct to herd is strong—even to this day. This means it would try to herd anyone: kids, adults, other pets, or even vehicles.
A Sheltie is known to be a loud barker and it would bark at almost everything when it’s not trained and socialized properly.
Is the Shetland Sheepdog a good family pet?
Shelties can be good family pets. They can keep up with athletic activities and can learn tricks and commands pretty quickly. Their size is quite manageable as well.
These dogs have a generally pleasant disposition and are very loyal to their owners. They are wary enough of strangers, though not aggressive, and can serve as a family’s watchdog.
Are Shetland Sheepdogs hypoallergenic?
No. The Shetland Sheepdog is not hypoallergenic. It sheds a lot and even more profusely at certain times in a year. Because a Sheltie sheds constantly, it means this dog produces plenty of dander, a common allergen.
But there is no breed completely non-allergenic. The breeds considered hypoallergenic are typically minimal shedders with hair coat instead of fur. These dogs might still produce allergens besides dander.
Why does the Shetland Sheepdog bark a lot?
The Shelties’ propensity to bark might have something to do with their early history as herding dogs. They needed a loud, piercing bark to frighten away small prey or warn their owners of intruders.
These dogs are mostly not herding dogs anymore but they have retained their barking instinct. But there are other reasons why they bark a lot. It could be they are bored or are seeking attention. Lack of exercise and other stimulating activities can also be a factor.
People who are easily bothered by a dog’s barking must consider training their Shelties early. The barking can be curbed and be directed at strangers only if they are trained and socialized enough.
When does a Shetland Sheepdog stop growing?
Even if the puppies are of the same breed, the growth rate still varies. Some grow faster than others, some slower. Small dog breeds tend to reach their adult size faster than bigger breeds. It is a possible a Sheltie reaches its adult height at 12 months then continue to fill out in weight until 18 months. The hair growth process might be slower and could probably take up to two years or more for a Sheltie to have its adult coat.
How much are Shetland Sheepdog puppies?
Shetland Sheepdog puppies from a pet quality line can cost around $1,000 to $1,500. Show quality puppies have a price range at around $2,000 to $3,000.