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Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz" Compare Shetland Sheepdog and Maltese. Which is better: Shetland Sheepdog or Maltese or Japanese Spitz?
Name Shetland Sheepdog Maltese Japanese Spitz
OriginsScotland Italy Japan
Group Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Companion Dogs Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank2433229
Reviews524
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Other Names Miniature Collie, Shetland Collie (obsolete), Dwarf Scotch Shepherd (obsolete), Toonie Dog (obsolete), Sheltie Maltese Dog, Maltese lion dog Nihon Supittsu
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1911 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 as a Toy breed. Not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section. Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Bichons and related breeds section. Recognized by FCI in the Spitz and primitive types group, in the Asian Spitz and related breeds section.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Canadian Canine Registry
American Canine Registry
American Kennel Club
America's Pet Registry
Canadian Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
American Canine Association, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Council
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
American Canine Registry
America's Pet Registry
Continental Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America Inc.
Federation Cynologique Internationale
Kennel Club of Great Britain
National Kennel Club
American Canine Association, Inc.
Price $800-$1000 $600-$800 $500-$800

General Appearance - Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz

Size Medium Small Small
Weight 14-27 pounds (6-12 kg) 6.5-9 pounds (3-4 kg) 11-20 pounds (5-10 kg)
Avg. Weight 20.5 pounds (9 kg) 6.7 pounds (3.5 kg) 15.5 pounds (7.5 kg)
Height 13-16 inches (33-41 cm) Male: 8-10 inches (21-25 cm), Female: 8-9 inches (20-23 cm) 12-15 inches (30-38 cm)
Avg. Height 14.5 inches (37 cm) Male: 9 inches (23 cm), Female: 8.5 inches (21.5 cm) 13.5 inches (34 cm)

Hair & Care - Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz

Coat Dense Feathered Thick
Colors White
Blue
Merle
Sable
Tan
Black
White White
Grooming
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
Average: The Maltese requires average grooming effort.
Advanced: The Japanese Spitz requires a lot of grooming.
Shedding Level
Shetland Sheepdogs shed moderately.
Malteses shed none to minimal.
Japanese Spitzs shed moderately.

Characteristics - Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz

Temperament Affectionate
Gentle
Lively
Responsive
Friendly
Intelligent
Playful
Active
Easygoing
Intelligent
Responsive
Docile
Gentle
Playful
Sweet
Tempered
Affectionate
Proud
Intelligent
Companionable
Playful
Loyal
Intelligent Rank
Outstanding: Shetland Sheepdog is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Low to average: This canine intelligence is not the brightest one.
Average: Japanese Spitz's has average obedience intelligence.
Trainability
Shetland Sheepdogs are quite easy to train.
Malteses are quite easy to train.
Japanese Spitzs are quite easy to train.
Playfulness
Shetland Sheepdogs, like any other dog breed, like playing.
Malteses, like any other dog breed, like playing.
The Japanese Spitz is a highly playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
Shetland Sheepdogs don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Japanese Spitzs have an average emotional level and are not the most sensitive dog breed.
Affection Level
Shetland Sheepdogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Malteses are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Japanese Spitzs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Social Needs
Shetland Sheepdogs are a social breed.
Malteses need a lot of social interaction.
Japanese Spitzs need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
High: The Shetland Sheepdog is a very vocal breed.
High: The Maltese is a very vocal breed.
High: The Japanese Spitz is a very vocal breed.
Watchdog Ability
Shetland Sheepdogs are good watchdogs.
Malteses are average watchdogs.
Japanese Spitzs are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Shetland Sheepdogs are extremely protective guard dogs.
Malteses strongly protect their territory.
Japanese Spitzs are extremely protective guard dogs.
Biting Potential Low
The Shetland Sheepdog has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Maltese has a low chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Japanese Spitz has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Shetland Sheepdogs have a low tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Malteses have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Japanese Spitzs have lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Shetland Sheepdogs tend to escape less than other breeds.
Malteses are not the biggest explorers.
Japanese Spitzs tend to escape less than other breeds.
Prey Drive
Shetland Sheepdogs have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen.
Malteses have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Japanese Spitzs have low to an average impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals.
Apartment Friendly
Shetland Sheepdogs are not recommended for an apartment lifestyle.
Malteses are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Japanese Spitzs are very apartment-friendly dogs.
Adaptability
Shetland Sheepdogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Malteses adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Japanese Spitzs adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Shetland Sheepdogs do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
Malteses tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Japanese Spitzs tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz

Stranger Friendly
Shetland Sheepdogs are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
Malteses are very stranger friendly dogs.
Japanese Spitzs are average friendly towards strangers.
Child Friendly
Shetland Sheepdogs are kid-friendly dogs.
Malteses are kid-friendly dogs.
Japanese Spitzs are very kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Shetland Sheepdogs are very cat-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very cat-friendly dogs.
Japanese Spitzs are cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
Shetland Sheepdogs are dog-friendly dogs.
Malteses are very dog-friendly dogs.
Japanese Spitzs are dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Shetland Sheepdog is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Maltese is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Japanese Spitz is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Shetland Sheepdogs are usually recommended for elderly people.
Malteses are usually recommended for elderly people.
Japanese Spitzs are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Shetland Sheepdogs are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Malteses are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Japanese Spitzs are usually friendly towards other pets.
Good For First Time Owners No
Shetland Sheepdogs are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
Malteses are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Yes
Japanese Spitzs are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Service Dog Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Not really
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Not really
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
Shetland Sheepdog breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Maltese breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Japanese Spitz breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz

Health Issues
The Shetland Sheepdog is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Maltese is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Japanese Spitz is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems Cancer
Cataracts
Collie Eye Anomaly
Drug Sensitivity
Elbow Dysplasia
Epilepsy
Haemophilia
Heart Problems
Hip Dysplasia
Hypothyroidism
Patellar Luxation
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Trichiasis
Von Willebrand's Disease
Collapsed Trachea
Hypoglycemia
Patellar Luxation
Portosystemic Liver Shunt
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Reverse Sneezing
White Dog Shaker Syndrome
Patellar Luxation
Runny Eyes
Life Expectancy 12-14 years 15-18 years 10-16 years
Hypoallergenic No Yes No
Energy Level
Shetland Sheepdogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds.
Malteses have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Japanese Spitzs have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Exercise Need
Shetland Sheepdogs have an average exercise need.
Malteses exercise need is very minimal.
Japanese Spitzs have an average exercise need.
Sleeping Need
Shetland Sheepdogs are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend to much time with sleeping.
Malteses sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Japanese Spitzs sleep 12-14 hours a day as an average dog and they're not considered as a lazy breed.
Avg. daily food consumption 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Recommended daily amount: 1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 1/2 to 1 cup dry food a day.
Weight Gain Potential
Average.
Average.
Low to Average.
Weather & Climate Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Shetland Sheepdog can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Prefers warm weather Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Japanese Spitz can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Stinkiness Medium
The Shetland Sheepdog has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Maltese has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Japanese Spitz has an average chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Shetland Sheepdog is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Maltese is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Japanese Spitz is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Shetland Sheepdog vs Maltese vs Japanese Spitz

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 4-6 puppies 3-5 puppies 1-6 puppies

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