It is believed that this breed comes from the Vikings’ dogs, who are distinguished by their small size and relatively short limbs. They protected herds of sheep which were smaller in size than modern sheep. Nme of this breed comes from the Shetland Islands, where these little shepherds were disseminated. Gradually, they attracted an attention of dog lovers and in 1801 and began to spread in England. In the Shetland Islands dogs were selected, an appearance of which became the basis of a modern representatives of this breed. In a crossings of the Vikings short-legged dogs were used Collie, German Spitz, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Norwegian Buhund. In 1914 the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club. In 50 years of the twentieth century some prestigious kennels were created, which became the basis for breeding in other countries. Nowadays, puppies for sale can be found in the United States, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.
The Shetland Sheepdog is small, graceful and muscular. Male representatives of the breed Sheltie are up to 37 cm high and weights about 12 kilograms, females are up to 35 cm high and weights from 6 to 10 kg. Head has a shape of a wedge, which tapers from an ears to a nose. Nose and lips are black. Jaws are strong, with large teeth. Eyes are almond-shaped, brown, but may have bright blue spots. Ears are short, located relatively close together. They are faced with dropping edges. Neck is muscular, chest is well developed. Limbs are muscular, paws are oval. Tail is set low, it is covered with plenty of hair and slightly bent upward. Coat is long, rough to the touch and straight, the bottom layer is soft. Color can be golden, mahogany or gray. White patches are permissible on forehead, chest, tip of tail and limbs.
Character and behavior
The Shetland Sheepdog is very intelligent, energetic, loyal and sweet dog, strongly attached to its owner. It has very well developed protective and territorial instincts. Representatives of the breed needs an early socialization cause they love to bark and can become shy.
Training and education
The Sheltie can be trained very easily because it willingly performs anything that its owner requires. This little dog is always ready for new physical and mental exercises. You should use kind words and tasty treats. Because of a good results in training, these dogs regularly win competitions in agility.
The breed is genetically predisposed to certain diseases. These include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, various types of dermatitis, congenital deafness, dysplasia of an elbow joint, cataract, retinal atrophy, and various types of gastric ocular infections. These dogs may also suffer additional eyelashes, which is a congenital defect. Average lifespan is about 12 to 15 years.
Grooming and care
The Sheltie's fur must be combed every three or four days. In warmer months brush fur every day. During the change of a coat, it is recommended to bathe once a week, but only with water without using shampoo. The Sheltie is an active dog that needs daily exercise and an opportunity to run free.
Children and other pets
Shetland Sheepdogs are very smart, vibrant, friendly and devoted to their owners. They are kind with children and other pets in the family. They behave suspiciously with strangers, as a result of their strong protective instincts. This makes them very good guard dogs.
The Sheltie differs from the Collie mostly with its smaller size. Moreover, unlike Collies, Shelties may have different colors from a standard tricolor. The Shetland Sheepdog has a wider skull and larger eyes than the Collie. Neck is shorter, as well as the coat. But the biggest difference between the two breeds is a temperament.