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Shetland Sheepdog

Nickname: Sheltie

Breed origin: Shetland Islands
Original purpose: Farm helpers and home protectors, watching over crofters’ cottages, flocks and herds from invaders of all kinds.

AKC recognized: 1911
AKC group: Herding

Size: Height: 13 to 16 inches
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Color: Black, blue merle, and sable (ranging from golden through mahogany); marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan.

Life span: 10 to 15 years.

General characteristics/temperament: The Shetland Sheepdog is alert, intensely loyal, affectionate, responsive, devoted, intelligent, and docile. They may be reserved toward strangers, but are very loving with their family and make outstanding companions. They are highly trainable and typically do very well in obedience competitions and many other canine sports. Early socialization is a must to prevent shyness. They have strong herding instincts and may try to herd people or other pets.

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Good with children? Yes, but should be supervised to prevent rough handling by very young or rambunctious children.

Good watchdog? Yes

Protective? Yes

OK for inexperienced owners? Yes

OK in apartments? Yes if given enough exercise.

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Intelligent? Yes

Easy to train? Yes

Suitable canine sports/activities: conformation, agility, obedience, rally, herding, flyball, tracking

Grooming requirement: Brush thoroughly once a week. During shedding season twice a year, brush daily to minimize the amount of hair shed.

Known health problems: Collie eye anomaly, progressive retinal atrophy, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, allergies, dermatomyositis, von Willebrand's disease.

Additional photos of Shetland Sheepdog

Recommended books for further reading:

Shetland Sheepdog (A Comprehensive Owner's Guide)
By Charlotte Schwartz
Published in 2003
158 pages

Shetland Sheepdogs (A Complete Pet Owner's Manual)
By Jaime Sucher
Published in 2000
96 pages

The Book of the Shetland Sheepdog
By Anna Katherine Nicholas
Published in 1984
544 pages

The Shetland Sheepdog (An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet)
By Cathy Merrithew
Published in 1995
160 pages

Show more books

Other websites for additional information:

American Kennel Club breed page
American Shetland Sheepdog Association
Wikipedia breed information page
American Shetland Sheepdog Association Rescue

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Page Last Updated: February 1, 2018

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