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Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie): A Advice to the Smart and Lively Herding Dog
Home Dog Breed Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie): A Guide to the Smart and Lively Herding Dog

Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie): A Guide to the Smart and Lively Herding Dog

by CareTips Dog
Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie): A Guide to the Smart and Lively Herding Dog

The Shetland Sheepdog, affectionately known as the Sheltie, is a highly intelligent and lively herding breed hailing from Scotland’s Shetland Islands. While they excel at herding, Shelties also make wonderfully devoted family companions. Read on to learn more about this bright and amiable breed.

Introduction Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)

The Shetland Sheepdog originated in Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands where they were bred to herd and protect small livestock. Their predecessors were Spitz-type herding dogs brought to the islands by Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries AD. Shelties remained isolated on the Shetlands for centuries, developing into excellent farm dogs adept at herding sheep and ponies.

Today’s Sheltie retains its strong herding instincts and exceptional intelligence. They are highly affectionate towards family members and form close bonds. Obedient, easy to train and thrive when given a job to do. Their lively nature and sensitivity require patient, positive training methods.


Adapts Well to Apartment Living: ★★
Good for Novice Owners: ★★
Sensitivity Level: ★★★★
Tolerates Being Alone: ★★
Tolerates Cold Weather: ★★★★★
Tolerates Hot Weather: ★★★

All-Around Friendliness

Affectionate with Family: ★★★★★
Kid-Friendly: ★★★★★
Dog-Friendly: ★★★
Friendly Toward Strangers: ★★★

Health and Grooming

Amount of Shedding: ★★★★
Drooling Potential:
Easy to Groom: ★★
General Health: ★★★
Potential for Weight Gain: ★★★


Easy to Train: ★★★★
Intelligence: ★★★★★
Potential for Mouthiness: ★★
Prey Drive: ★★★
Tendency to Bark or Howl: ★★★
Wanderlust Potential: ★★

Exercise Needs

Energy Level: ★★★★
Intensity: ★★
Exercise Needs: ★★★
Potential for Playfulness: ★★★★

Appearance, Temperament and History

  • Appearance – Small, sturdy dog weighing 15-25 pounds. Long, dense double coat with mane-like ruff. Comes in various colors like black, blue, sable.
  • Temperament – Friendly, smart, devoted to family. Naturally cautious of strangers but not aggressive. Lively, playful and sensitive. Eager to please.
  • Bred for centuries on Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands to herd small livestock like Shetland ponies and sheep. Known for intelligence and herding skill.
  • Retain strong herding instincts. Make excellent companions when provided enough mental stimulation and exercise. Very trainable.
  • Lifespan is 12-14 years. Come in colors like blue merle, black, sable, bi black. Ruff around neck.

Shelties are purebred dogs, not mixed breeds. Developed on the Shetland Islands.

Care and Training

  • Diet – 1-2 cups quality dry food daily. Active dogs need more calories. Protein sources like:
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe – wholesome ingredients.
  • Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Deboned Turkey & Oatmeal – protein-rich, grains.
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed Adult Farm-Raised Chicken – non-GMO ingredients.
  • Exercise – Active herders needing 30+ minutes daily. Brisk walks, playtime, agility. Fenced yard recommended.
  • Grooming – Thick double coat requires weekly brushing. Trim overgrown fur between paws. Check ears.
  • Training – Highly intelligent, obedient and eager to please. Use positive reinforcement. Socialization is key.

Health Issues and Supplies

  1. Dermatomyositis – hereditary skin disease. Symptoms usually appear at puberty. Get health clearances.
  2. Collie eye anomaly – inherited eye disorder. Can lead to blindness. Have eyes examined annually by vet.
  3. Patellar luxation – dislocated kneecap. Causes lameness and arthritis. Keep lean. Supplements help.
  4. Essentials – brush, nail clippers, toothbrush, interactive toys. Sturdy collar and leash for walking.
  5. Vaccines – Core vaccines like rabies, parvo and distemper shots. Bordetella may be recommended.

Names and Adoption

  1. Names – Piper, Misty, Gemma, Kira, Indy, Finn, Loki, Jax
  2. Check your local shelter or Sheltie rescues to adopt. Ensure dog is healthy and a good temperament match.

Finding a Sheltie Puppy

  1. Popular worldwide but originated in Scotland. Cost ranges $1000-$2000 for well-bred pups.
  2. Research breeders to find responsible ones who screen for health issues.
  3. Visit breeder’s home. Meet pup’s parents for signs of good health and temperament.
  4. Puppies should seem lively, clean and socialized. Avoid timid pups or those kept isolated.

Health checks to verify in sire and dam:

  • Eye exam by veterinary ophthalmologist
  • Hip and elbow evaluations from OFA
  • DNA test for dermatomyositis

The loyal Shetland Sheepdog forms close bonds with family while remaining lively and energetic. They thrive when given plenty of mental and physical exercise. With proper training and care, the bright excels as a companion.

How to stop Sheltie bitting?

Provide chew toys. Use positive reinforcement techniques. Exercise regularly.

How to do Socialisation and Raising Friendly for Sheltie?

Introduce them to variety of people, places, dogs early on. Attend training classes.

How to train?

Very intelligent and eager to please. Positive reinforcement works best.

How long should we check for Sheltie’s health with vet?

Annual exams. Seek treatment for any health issues immediately.

Are they good family pets?

Yes, extremely affectionate and gentle with children.

Are Sheltie dogs good with children?

Yes, tend to be excellent with children. They are gentle, playful, incredibly affectionate, and very tolerant of kids. With supervision and socialization, the loyal becomes a wonderful canine companion for families, forming strong bonds with children.

Are Sheltie dogs good with other animals?

Can coexist with proper socialization but have some herding instinct.

Is a Sheltie a Smart?

Very. Excel at agility, obedience. Require mental stimulation.

By following our website, you can find the perfect dog breeds for you and provide them with the best possible dog care. Remember that owning a dog is a lifelong commitment that requires time, money, and patience. But it is also a rewarding experience that will bring you joy and companionship. All information in Dog care tips.

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