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Shetland Sheepdog
Escocia FCI 88 . Sheepdogs.

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog it's really friendly, lovely with children, intelligent and loyal.



In the 19th century, in the North Shetland Islands of Scotland, the ancestors of Shetland Sheepdog, often called Sheltie, they helped the flocks of sheep and sounded the alarm when strangers approached their farm.

But, the exact origins of this dog are as obscure as the mist that covers its homeland. Its resemblance to him Rough Collie supports the theory that it descends from these dogs, believed to have been imported from Scotland. But, Colleys breeders and various specialists refute this claim.

For them, the Sheltie would have developed in isolation on these islands, and would be the result of different crosses. The races most frequently cited as contributors to its creation are the Icelandic Sheepdog, the Yakki de Groenlandia (an extinct race), the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the Pomeranian and the Border Collie.

In any case, at the beginning of the 20th century it was often crossed Rough Collie, which reinforced the resemblance between the two races.

What is certain is that its small size was the result of the most rational selection work. Similar to the “Pony of Shetland”, known for its miniature size, locals gave preference to animals that needed little food, a rare commodity in this difficult region.

Although the Shetland Sheepdog it was especially appreciated in its native islands for its qualities of a sheepdog and alert, it was mainly her appearance that got her out of there. Visitors to England in the late 19th century were delighted with the small size and texture of the dog's coat. Shetland Sheepdog, and soon they wanted to take something home, which they did. Soon, some locals decided to start breeding for export, selecting breeders for height and coat. More and more individuals set out to conquer Britain and then the rest of the world. But, there were neither breed standards nor consultations between the different breeders, so the race developed in directions sometimes very distant from each other.

Things changed after the official recognition in 1909 by the Kennel Club, the leading organization in Great Britain. The name chosen was simply the name by which the dog had been known until then., the Shetland Sheepdog. This recognition helped to stabilize the breed by establishing a well-defined framework in which the different breeders had to work..

But, the chosen name was not to the liking of the colleys breeders, who pressured them and won their case in 1914: then it was officially renamed as Shetland Sheepdog.

In the meantime, the first specimens had reached the United States and, already in 1911, the American Kennel Club (AKC) also accepted it. Was not up 1948 that the United Kennel Club (UKC), the other reference organization in the United States, he did the same. It was followed by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1954, as well as by all other important institutions, including the Canadian Kennel Club (CCC).

Although the Shetland Sheepdog is now common worldwide, paradoxically it has become rare on its home island, where it has been replaced by the Border Collie for grazing.

This decline can also be seen in the rest of Britain. These may include, Annual Kennel Club enrollments have dropped from more than 1300 less than 800 in less than a decade.

The phenomenon is also occurring in the United States, where he now occupies the position 25 (of a little less than 200) on the AKC popularity rankings, based on the annual number of people registered in the organization. In other words, has lost a lot of ground compared to the decades of 1980 and 1990, in which he was almost constantly among the 10 first, reaching a maximum of 40.000 records in 1993. The fall is slow but steady, since at the beginning of 2010, was still in the 20 first positions.

The race “Father” of the Shetland Sheepdog o “Sheltie” as they are often nicknamed, they are the Border Collie.

Physical characteristics

The Sheltie they have a double mantle, What makes this breed peleche much more than other dogs. Long hair covering the thick and soft layer base, is repellent to water, while the base layer provides relief from hot and cold.

There are three main colors: Sable, It ranges from the Golden to mahogany; Tri-color, formed by the black, White and Tan, and blue mirlo, composite grayscale, white, black and Tan.

black and white: it is less common but still acceptable.

Sand: the best-known color, dominates over other colors. The shadow Sabre, or mahogany can sometimes be confused with the Sheltie tricolor because of the large amount of dark shading in their coats. Another name for him Sheltie “shading”, is trifactorado sable and white. This name comes from the mixture of a tricolor and a sable and white. Another acceptable but less common color is the Sable Blackbird., that it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the regular sable after puppyhood. The Sable merle has patches of dark brown on a light brown background compared to the black and grey blue Merle.

There are other two colors that are a bit rare, which are unacceptable in the ring. The White Color-headed (mostly white with the head “normally” marked), It is the product of two dogs crossed white facotrados. Double Merle, the product of the crossing of two Sheltie blue merle, they can be crossed but have a high incidence of deafness or blindness than other colors.

The ideal height at the cross, in males 37,5 cm.. The females. 35,5 cm.. One greater diversion of 2,5 cm above or below these measures is regarded as highly undesirable.

Character and skills

It is an excellent companion dog, highly loyal. It is joyful, intelligent and always ready to obey. The Sheltie is love, loyal and affectionate with the family and of course, on the sidelines, with strangers; for this reason the Sheltie must be socialized. Some may be very reserved. This breed gets along very well with children if they are raised with them from a young age.; However, its small size makes it easy for a child to accidentally harm them, This monitoring is necessary. Well consider bringing an adult Sheltie for a House with young children, they may not be compatible.

Some Sheltie tend to show a similar to a Terrier personality that tends to be hyperactive, and always ready, However this temperament is not sanctioned in the breed standard. Some may be shy, but this temperament is specifically discouraged by the standard. The trend towards shyness, It can be reduced with proper socialization. The average Sheltie is an excellent watch dog, giving alarm barks when a person is at the door or pass a car on the street.

The herding instinct is strong in many Sheltie. Love to chase and pasture including, squirrels, ducks, pigeons and children. The Sheltie love run in large open areas.

They normally love to play. They are better with a sensitive owner, but firm. The Sheltie is, first and foremost, a smart pastor and love to keep them busy, Although his level of activity, usually, It coincides with the level of its owner. As they are very intelligent, they are highly trainable. Lack of exercise and intellectual stimulation, It can lead to undesirable behaviors, including excessive barking, phobias and nervousness. Fortunately the annoying behaviors may decrease largely by an hour of exercise to make the dog with its owner.

in your category, the breed dominates Dog Agility competition. They also look at obedience competition, Flyball, Grazing, Tracking and proof of talent.

It is a very intelligent dog, according to Dr.. Stanley city, expert on animal intelligence. The Sheltie is one of the brightest dogs occupying the position number 6 in the Ranking of 132 evaluated races. His research determined that an average Sheltie could understand a new command in less than 5 repetitions and would obey the command the first time the 95% of the times or more.


Similar to the Rough Collie, There is a tendency to inherit malformations and diseases in the eye. Each puppy should have his eyes examined by a qualified eye veterinarian. Some lines may be susceptible to hypothyroidism, epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, or skin allergies. The life expectancy of the Sheltie is between 10 and 15 years, Although some in some it may be more, and in others may be less.

Von Willebrand disease is an inherited bleeding disorder. The Sheltie breed, affected dogs, as a general rule, they do not live long. The Sheltie carry type III Von Willebrand, which, It is the most severe of the three levels. There are DNA tests that were developed to find the disease in dogs Sheltie. It can be done at any age and will showcase one of the following results: affected, carrier or affected not. The Sheltie may also suffer from hypothyroidism, It is the low functioning of the thyroid gland. Clinical symptoms include, loss of hair, on low weight and faintness.

Although small breed dogs are unlikely to be affected by hip dysplasia, It has been identified in some specimens of Sheltie. Occurs when the head of the femur and the acetabulum do not fit correctly, This causes pain and/or lameness. Hip Dysplasia is thought to be genetic; Many breeders sent to test their dogs to certify that they are free from this.

Characteristics "Shetland Sheepdog"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Shetland Sheepdog" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, you must take into account his character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Adaptation ⓘ

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friendly dog ​​ⓘ

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hair loss ⓘ

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Affection level ⓘ

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Need for exercise ⓘ

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Social need ⓘ

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Home ⓘ

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Toilet ⓘ

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Friendly with strangers ⓘ

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barking ⓘ

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Health ⓘ

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Territorial ⓘ

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Cat friendly ⓘ

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Intelligence ⓘ

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Versatility ⓘ

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Child friendly ⓘ

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Surveillance ⓘ

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joy ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 1: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
  • Section 1: Sheepdogs. Without working trial.


  • FCI – Group 1 Herding dogs, Section 1 Sheepdogs
  • ANKC – Group 5 (Working dogs)
  • CKC – Group 5 (Pastoral)
  • ​KC – Pastoral
  • NZKC – Work
  • UKCScenthounds

FCI breed standard "Shetland Sheepdog"

FCIFCI - Shetland Sheepdog

Alternative names:

1. Shetland Collie, Dwarf Scotch Shepherd, Sheltie (English).
2. Shetland, Sheltie (French).
3. Sheltie (German).
4. Sheltie (Portuguese).
5. Miniature Collie, Sheltie (español).

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