Shetland Sheepdog Information & Dog Breed Facts
Collection of all the general dog breed info about Shetland Sheepdog so you can get to know the breed more.
|Group||Pastoral / Herding Dogs|
Other Names |
What other names does the Shetland Sheepdog have? The dog breed also known as...
|Miniature Collie, Shetland Collie (obsolete), Dwarf Scotch Shepherd (obsolete), Toonie Dog (obsolete), Sheltie|
Breed Type |
What type of dog breed is it?
AKC Group |
Is Shetland Sheepdog recognized by the American Kennel Club?
|Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1911 as a Herding breed.|
FCI Group |
Is Shetland Sheepdog recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
|Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section.|
Breed Recognition |
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Shetland Sheepdog breed?
|American Canine RegistryAmerican Kennel ClubAmerica's Pet RegistryCanadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleKennel Club of Great BritainNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.Australian National Kennel CouncilContinental Kennel ClubNational Kennel ClubNew Zealand Kennel ClubUnited Kennel ClubCanadian Canine Registry|
How much does the Shetland Sheepdog puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? Is this puppy expensive? How much should I pay for it? Shetland Sheepdog price:
If you choose to purchase the Shetland Sheepdog, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Shetland Sheepdog for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Shetland Sheepdog gets to a happy place.
Shetland Sheepdog History
The Shetland Sheepdog, also called the Sheltie, comes from the Shetland Islands, which are placed between Scotland and Norway. These islands are home to other small breeds of animals such as the Shetland Ponies and the Shetland Sheep. However, there are several stories about the origin of this breed. Some people strongly believe that the original stock consisted of Scandinavian herding dogs from the same stock as the Norwegian Buhund or the Icelandic Dog. Usually, the Nordic herding dogs are rarely mentioned in the breed’s history but historians believe that the original Norse settlers brought along their dogs with their small sheep, cows, and horses. For many years, the Shetland Sheepdog was called the ‘Toonie’, which came from the Norwegian word, meaning ‘farm’. Farmers bred the dogs crossing the Border Collie with smaller dogs to herd and protect the Shetland sheep. An example of the tasks of the Sheltie was to protect the small sheep from birds, which can explain why today’s Shelties seem to have a passion for chasing birds.
Moreover, in the early 19th century, the Shetland Sheepdog was brought to England and Scotland, where they were described as a miniature Collie. On the islands, the farmers started breeding their small Shelties to be even smaller and fluffier. The reason behind this was that tourism became an important factor of the island and people thought that they could sell their little dogs to the tourist. According to researchers even Prince Charles Spaniels (a variety of the English Toy Spaniel) and Pomeranian dogs were left on the islands by tourists and later on were crossed with the native sheepdogs. However by the end of the 19th century and early in the 20th century, there was so much crossbreeding that the islanders realized that the original breed was vanishing. Some breeders believed that they needed to be crossed with Collies in order to regain the original type, others believed that they should breed only the existing Shelties who were closest to the original type and many people continued to crossbreed indiscriminately with other breeds to develop small, pretty pets. Shelties of all three types were exhibited through the first decade of the century and to some extent up to the First World War. In 1909 England’s Kennel Club recognized the breed and altogether 28 dogs were registered that year as Shetland Collies. Four of them still appear in the pedigrees of many modern champion Shelties: two males named Tim and Trim and two females named Topsy and Inga. Also, the first Sheltie to be registered by the American Kennel Club was Lord Scott in 1911. However, Collie breeders in England were not happy about the name of the breed so they protested against it which led to the change of the name to Shetland Sheepdog. The breed stirred up controversy both in England and in the United States for many years, with rumors of crossbreeding and long-running disagreements about what the breed should look like. As a result of this, many Shetland Sheepdog clubs were formed to support the different viewpoints. Finally, in 1930 the Scottish and English Clubs joined together and agreed that the dog “should resemble a collie (rough) in miniature”. American breeders imported Shelties from England until the 1950s, but by that time the American and the British Shelties started to diverge greatly in type and size. Today, almost all Shetland Sheepdogs in the USA are descended from the dogs that came from England between the two World Wars.
As the breed became more popular, its number increased in the US, and in the 1970s Shelties appeared on the American Kennel Club’s list of the ten most popular dogs. Today they rank 20th in popularity among the 155 breeds registered by the AKC.
What size is this breed? How big is this dog? Shetland Sheepdog size:
How much does the Shetland Sheepdog weigh? Shetland Sheepdog weight:
|14-27 pounds (6-12 kg)|
Avg. Weight |
What is the average weight of the Shetland Sheepdog? Shetland Sheepdog average weight:
|20.5 pounds (9 kg)|
How tall is the Shetland Sheepdog? Shetland Sheepdog height:
|13-16 inches (33-41 cm)|
Avg. Height |
What is the average height of this fido? Shetland Sheepdog average height:
|14.5 inches (37 cm)|
Coat / Hair Types |
What type of coat does the Shetland Sheepdog have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Shetland Sheepdog's coat?
How to groom the Shetland Sheepdog and how often?
Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition. The Shetland Sheepdog requires grooming on a daily basis. Cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer is essential. Everyday brushing of the dog's coat is necessary to reduce shedding. Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Don't skip the seasonal flea treatment too. Dog nail trimming and dog bath should be on a weekly schedule. Taking good care of your Shetland Sheepdog is time consuming and requires excellent grooming skills. If you don't have the time and skill search for the best dog groomer or clipping service in your area and book an appointment. Maybe you're lucky to have a dog boarding service that includes grooming or walk in dog bath places nearby.
Shedding Level |
How much do Shetland Sheepdog dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Miniature Collie? Shetland Sheepdog shedding level:
Shetland Sheepdogs shed moderately. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. Regular brushing reduces the amount of hair that sheds. It mostly depends on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency |
How often does the Shetland Sheepdog need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Shetland Sheepdog every day?
Average. Experts recommended at least every 4-6 weeks for this family pup. According to a study, 56% of pet parents don’t bathe their dogs as frequently as they should, and 60% use the sniff test when deciding when it’s bath time. Bathing your dog is beneficial to them in more ways than just one. It’s also a good time to look for unusual scratches, bumps, fleas, and other irregularities. When their hair is wet and flat against their body, these details are more visible.
What kind of personality does the Shetland Sheepdog have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank |
How smart is the Shetland Sheepdog? Are they intelligent?
Outstanding: Shetland Sheepdog is one of the brightest dog breeds. They desire to learn tricks and commands often. The limit is your creativity. They understand and memorize new commands in fewer than 5 repetitions. This breed obeys for the first command 95% of the time or better.
Are Shetland Sheepdog dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Shetland Sheepdogs are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
Shetland Sheepdogs, like any other dog breed, like playing. Sometimes they bark as excitement for playing, but they are not the most playful dog breed.
Sensitivity Level |
How sensitive are they? Shetland Sheepdog sensitivity:
Shetland Sheepdogs don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits. This breed emotional level reflects their owner's feelings and they don't handle punishments well.
Affection Level |
How affectionate are they? Are they affectionate?
Shetland Sheepdogs are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and considered as a great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs |
How much social interaction does the Miniature Collie need? Shetland Sheepdog social needs:
Shetland Sheepdogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Do Shetland Sheepdog dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Shetland Collie (obsolete) bark?
Nagyon sokat: Shetland Sheepdog kimondottan hangos fajta. Gyakran élvezik az ugatást és a hangos vonyítást. Ha csendes kutyát szeretnél, nem a legjobb választás. Az ugatás legfontosabb kiváltó okai: félelem, figyelemfelkeltés, riasztás, unalom, üdvözlés, szeparációs szorongás, kényszeres ugatás és védekezés.
Watchdog Ability |
Is Shetland Sheepdog good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Shetland Sheepdogs are good watchdogs. Their main job is to observe and they're consistent in their effort. Good vocal cords and sense of hearing belong to them. Usually, they're territorial and protective about their property, so the Shetland Sheepdogs will alert you if they sense something different.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial |
Do Shetland Sheepdog dogs have an aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Shetland Sheepdogs are extremely protective guard dogs. This breed doesn't hesitate to protect their territory so the Shetland Sheepdog can be a good choice if you want an excellent guard dog. Keep calm and the Shetland Sheepdog will take care of unwanted people or animals.
Biting Potential |
Do Shetland Sheepdog bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Miniature Collie? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Shetland Sheepdog? Why do dog bites happen?
The Shetland Sheepdog has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force |
Does the Shetland Sheepdog has a hard bite?
|Between 200 and 400 PSI|
Ordinary: Average dogs have bite force between 200 and 400 PSI. The Shetland Sheepdog, and many others, have a fearsome presence because they have significant jaw strength, so it is important not to anger the dog and have it around strangers until it is fully trained. However, they are usually quite calm and good companions, they work well in families and are easy to care for.
How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Shetland Sheepdog do?
Shetland Sheepdogs have a low tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Shetland Sheepdogs need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam |
How likely is the Shetland Sheepdog to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Shetland Sheepdog roam?
Shetland Sheepdogs tend to escape less than other breeds. They have low to average wanderlust potential. Exploring the world is not the best activity they can imagine.
Prey Drive |
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Shetland Sheepdog have high 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. Training can help to achieve good behavior.
Apartment Friendly |
Is Shetland Sheepdog good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Nem ajánlott lakásban tartani Shetland Sheepdog kutyafajtát. Kertben érzi magát a legjobban, ha mégis lakásban szeretnéd tartani, akkor napi szinten hosszabb sétákkal alaposan le kell mozgatni, így a napi rutinok beiktatásával megoldható Shetland Sheepdog tartása lakásban.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Shetland Sheepdogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone |
Can you leave this breed home 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.
Fighting Dog |
Where Shetland Sheepdog dogs used as a fighting dog in the history?
|Not really |
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Stranger Friendly |
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Shetland Sheepdog temperament with other people:
Shetland Sheepdogs are not the most stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly |
Are Shetland Sheepdog dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Shetland Sheepdog temperament with children:
Shetland Sheepdogs are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly |
How well do Shetland Sheepdog dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats?
Shetland Sheepdogs are very cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly |
Is Shetland Sheepdog good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Shetland Sheepdog dogs get along with other dogs? What is this canine temperament with other dogs?
Shetland Sheepdogs are dog-friendly dogs. If you want more dogs in your family or you'd like to join dog meetups, the Shetland Sheepdog can be a great choice.
Good For First Time Owners |
Is Shetland Sheepdog breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners?
Shetland Sheepdogs are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog |
Are they good as service dogs? Can Shetland Sheepdog be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?
|Not really |
This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Shetland Sheepdog is not the best breed for service purposes.
Therapy Dog |
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Shetland Sheepdog be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Shetland Sheepdog be an emotional support animal?
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and to people with anxiety disorders or autism. Shetland Sheepdog breed is a good choice for therapeutic purposes.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog |
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Shetland Sheepdog be a 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. Shetland Sheepdog is not the best breed for detection purposes.
Office Friendly |
Are Shetland Sheepdogs good office dogs? Do Shetland Sheepdogs make good office friendly dogs? Can Shetland Sheepdogs be office dogs?
Shetland Sheepdog is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) |
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Shetland Sheepdog be a search and rescue dog?
|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. The Shetland Sheepdog is not the best breed for SAR purposes.
Senior Citizens Friendly |
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Shetland Sheepdog dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Miniature Collie temperament with senior people? Are Shetland Sheepdog dogs good for elderly owners?
Shetland Sheepdogs are usually recommended for elderly people.
Boat Dog |
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Shetland Sheepdog be a boat dog?
|Not really |
Shetland Sheepdog breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Pet Friendly |
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Shetland Sheepdog dogs get along with other pets? Are Shetland Sheepdog dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Shetland Sheepdogs are one of the friendliest dog breeds.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog |
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Shetland Sheepdog be a drafting dog?
|Not really |
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination. Shetland Sheepdog is not the best breed for drafting purposes.
Health Issues |
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Shetland Sheepdog dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
The Shetland Sheepdog is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems |
What genetic/health problems does the Shetland Sheepdog breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Shetland Sheepdog breed? Most common health risks of Shetland Sheepdog:
|CancerCataractsCollie Eye AnomalyDrug SensitivityElbow DysplasiaEpilepsyHaemophiliaHeart ProblemsHip DysplasiaHypothyroidismPatellar LuxationProgressive retinal atrophy (PRA)TrichiasisVon Willebrand's Disease|
Veterinarian Visits |
How often does the Shetland Sheepdog breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Shetland Sheepdog see the vet?
The Shetland Sheepdog should have a complete physical check-up at least once per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy |
How long do Shetland Sheepdog dogs live? What is the average lifespan of this breed? How old can a Shetland Sheepdog be? What is the age limit of the Shetland Sheepdog? How many years can the oldest Shetland Sheepdog live?
Is the Shetland Sheepdog breed hypoallergenic?
Shetland Sheepdogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level |
How much energy does the Shetland Sheepdog have? What is the activity level of the Shetland Sheepdog?
Shetland Sheepdogs have a higher energy level than other dog breeds. If you want a dog for snuggling on the couch, this breed isn't the perfect choice for you.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need |
How much activity does this dog need? How much exercise do Shetland Sheepdog dogs require per day?
Shetland Sheepdogs have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long one on weekends.
Sleeping Need |
How much sleep does this fido need?
Shetland Sheepdogs are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend to much time with sleeping. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.
Avg. daily food consumption |
How much food does the Shetland Sheepdog need? How often should I feed my canine? What dog products should I buy?
|2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.|
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity |
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Shetland Sheepdog risk for obesity:
Average. The Shetland Sheepdog has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding. If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Shetland Sheepdog's weight regularly.
Weather & Climate |
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot and cold 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.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?
The Shetland Sheepdog has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling tendency |
Does the Shetland Sheepdog drool?
The Shetland Sheepdog is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency. If you're disgusted by slobber spots on your clothes, the Shetland Sheepdog could be a perfect choice for you. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem. Certain dog breeds drool minimal compared to others, just like the Shetland Sheepdog. If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.
Gestation Length |
How long does this dog's pregnancy last? How long does this dog pregnant? How long does it take to have puppies?
Reproductive cycle of the female Shetland Sheepdog: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days. During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days. The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color. The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.
|Litter Frequency||Once a year.|
More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size |
How many puppies can the Shetland Sheepdog have? What is the average litter size of this fido?
Shetland Sheepdog Pros & Cons
- Intelligent Rank: Outstanding: Shetland Sheepdog is one of the brightest dog breeds.
- Drooling tendency: The Shetland Sheepdog is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
- Watchdog Ability: Shetland Sheepdogs are good watchdogs.
- Mouthiness: Shetland Sheepdogs have a low tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
- Impulse to Wander or Roam: Shetland Sheepdogs tend to escape less than other breeds.
- Adaptability: Shetland Sheepdogs adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
- Child Friendly: Shetland Sheepdogs are kid-friendly dogs.
- Cat Friendly: Shetland Sheepdogs are very cat-friendly dogs.
- Dog Friendly: Shetland Sheepdogs are dog-friendly dogs.
- Senior Citizens Friendly: Shetland Sheepdogs are usually recommended for elderly people.
- Therapy Dog: This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
- Hypoallergenic: Shetland Sheepdogs don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
- Apartment Friendly: Nem ajánlott lakásban tartani Shetland Sheepdog kutyafajtát.
- Grooming: Professional: This breed needs a lot of work to keep in good condition.
- 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.
- Office Friendly: Shetland Sheepdog is not the best dog breed for office environment.
- Good For First Time Owners: Shetland Sheepdogs are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
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Shetland Sheepdog Comments, Reviews & Questions
- Shelby, Simon, Sunshine
Jul 16, 2021, 8:48:16 PM:
Gentle souls for gentle people. Perfect companion/family member. Beautiful too.
Jan 27, 2021, 5:49:45 PM:
We have a Shetland Sheepdog named Gidget and she is oh so sweet and energetic.
Jan 13, 2021, 3:39:44 PM:
yes good dogs
- Good dogs!
Dec 20, 2020, 4:40:33 PM:
They are good
Oct 28, 2020, 10:12:18 PM:
I am a great sheltie.
Jul 7, 2020, 10:50:03 PM: