Herding Talent: A Sheltie Breed Guide

Category_Breeds Category_Breeds_Shelties Category_Dogs Writer_Carrie_Pallardy

Herding Talent: A Sheltie Breed Guide
Carrie Pallardy
Sheltie Breed Guide
Shetland Sheepdogs so closely resemble Collies that they are often thought of as miniature Collies. But, Shelties are their own unique breed. The herding instinct runs deep through the veins of this rambunctious and loyal dog. Prospective owners can learn more about the breed to help them decide if a Sheltie is a good fit.
The Shetland Islands
The breed hails from the Shetland Islands. It is these remote, rocky islands off the coast of Scotland that give these dogs their name. The shaggy Shetland pony is also a native of these islands, according to the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA).
Over the course of the breed’s history, these dogs have filled various roles alongside their human companies. They have helped to herd sheep, served as excellent watchdogs, and, of course, been lovable companions.
These dogs were first known as Shetland Collies (the resemblance between the two breeds is hard to miss), but was eventually changed due to protests from Collie fanciers, according to the ASSA. Even so, it isn’t uncommon to hear Shelties affectionately referred to as mini Collies to this day.
Sheltie breed
Breed Specs
Shelties stand about a foot or a foot and a half off the ground and weigh from 15 to 25 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). Shetland Sheepdogs live 12 to 14 years.
Unsurprisingly, the breed is a part of the herding group. Though small in stature, Shelties are incredibly quick and agile. These dogs love to play and interact with their human families. Quick studies, your pup will be showing off her new tricks in no time.
While Shelties feel at ease around their humans, they are known for being alert and wary of strangers. This attitude paired with a penchant for being vocal has earned them a reputation as excellent watchdogs.
Sheltie dog breed
Sheltie Style
Shelties have a thick, fluffy double coat that requires regular grooming. Weekly at home brushing can help keep that wild mane under control, but many owners find it helpful to visit a professional groomer as well.
Keep in mind the other regular upkeep tasks that all dogs need: teeth brushing, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. A well-groomed Sheltie is a happy Sheltie!
Sheltie dog breed guide
Keeping a Herder Happy
Shetland sheepdogs are not couch potatoes. They love to run and be challenged to learn new things. Regular playtime, including physical and mental exertion, will help to keep your Sheltie happy and well-behaved.
In addition to being loyal and playful companions, Shelties are also known to be good watchdogs. This breed tends to be protective of its family and aloof when it comes to strangers. Keep this in mind while you work to socialize your pup.
Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue helps to find Shelties homes in the Midwest. If you’d like to add a Sheltie to your family, you can look for rescue organizations like this one or do some research to find a reputable breeder.

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10% of Proceeds gets donated to the ASPCA!
10% of Proceeds gets donated to the ASPCA!

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