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Hill’s Brand Horizon

Shetland Sheepdog

dog Breed Profile

Shetland sheepdogs look like a smaller version of the rough collie.


Dolichocephalic (long face)



14-20 lbs.

14-20 lbs.


14 in.

(at withers)

16 in.





Black with white and or tan, blue merle with white and or tan, sable with white and or tan



20-40 minutes/day

Energy level

Very energetic


12-14 yrs.












Grooming Needs


Social Needs


Club recognition

AKC Class.


UKC Class.

Herding Dog



The Shetland Sheepdog Dog Breed

Often mistakenly called miniature collies, the Shetland sheepdog is a distinct breed.

About the Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs look like a smaller version of the rough collie.

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Shetland Sheepdog personality

Shetland sheepdogs are known for their gentle, sweet, pleasing personality. They are also playful and affectionate, all traits that have made them a popular family pet. Breed experts often comment that Shelties like to please coupled with their intelligence, it is no wonder they excel at obedience training.

Shelties are leery of strangers. As a result, they are good watchdogs, likely to greet outsiders with lots of barking. They also bark when excited. While not usually aggressive, some Shelties may nip at people they do not know, whether the strangers are adults or children. Others may be somewhat timid with strangers.

What to expect

Because they are active, working dogs by nature, Shelties like to be kept busy and want the company of their guardians. They are not dogs content to lie around alone all day. Many Shelties bark excessively.

Shelties can, however, do well in small homes or apartments as long as they are exercised in a fenced-in yard or walked on a leash.

Their ample coat requires a good brushing at least twice weekly the coat sheds heavily in the fall and spring.

History of the Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland sheepdogs, known affectionately as Shelties, look at first glance like miniature rough collies. In fact, they are often mistakenly called Miniature collies however, although they may share the same ancestors, the Shetland sheepdog is a distinct breed developed under unique circumstances.

Shelties hail from the Shetland Islands of Scotland, also known for Shetland ponies and other small breeds of animals. The area's harsh conditions, with sparse vegetation, favored smaller breeds of livestock and thus, smaller dogs to herd them.

Shelties are probably the result of crossing the larger rough collie of the time with other island dogs including small herding breeds and spaniels. Some historians believe that the Sheltie was developed by 1700. The breed was refined after it was imported to mainland Scotland in the 20th century. Shelties were first recognized in England in 1909 and first registered in the United States in 1911.

The Shetland sheepdog was bred to herd sheep and was considered a kind, smart, hardworking animal. The Shelties we know today are somewhat larger than their original ancestors, but they retain a reputation for intelligence, willingness to work, and good humor. The same qualities that made them exemplary helpers and herders combine to make them popular family pets.

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