The Shetland Sheepdog, more commonly known as a “Sheltie”, is a herding dog originating from the Shetland Islands in Northern Scotland. Shelties are smaller than most herding dogs, and this is for good reason. Due to the harsh winters and isolation of the islands, the original breeders thought it would be cruel to breed large dogs when food was very scarce. Today, this breed is considered to be very rare in their hometowns.
Shelties normally weigh between 15-25 pounds and live up to around 15 years. These days, you can see Shelties dominating obedience and agility competitions because of their extreme intelligence and their athletic ability. This dog is considered to be among the most intelligent breeds, and it certainly shows. They need to be mentally stimulated often, otherwise, they will quickly become bored. It is incredible to see how fast this dog can learn new commands, there is little that the Sheltie cannot do. Training these dogs and making them work is a must, as this is what Shelties are designed to do!
This beautiful-looking dog is very loyal to its family and can be quite intense at times. They will always be looking for a job to do and will especially love to try herd everything they see. It is important to curb their herding behavior from an early age, or else they will attempt to herd animals, cars, and even your kids. An interesting fact about Shetland Sheepdogs is that they have a double coat. The inner one, which is less visible, is short and dense fur while the outer one is very long and rugged hairs. If you plan on owning a Sheltie, be prepared for the constant shedding. These dogs shed all year long, and your floors may start to look like the ones you see in barbershops!
Shelties are terrific dogs for family life and will adapt to the routine of the house very quickly. This breed was originally programmed to guard flocks as well, and this protective instinct is still very much ingrained in them. They will always be on alert and will be quick to bark as soon as they sense the smallest threat. Despite their watchdog instinct, once the Sheltie becomes comfortable with strangers, you can be sure they’ll be giving out plenty of face licks and showing tons of affection.
Instagram Photo Permission: @sheltieharvey