Country of OriginScotland
Nicknames and Other NamesShetland Sheepdog
Dwarf Scotch Shepherd
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupWorking Group
Herding Group
Bred ForHerding ponies, poultry,
Life Span12-14 years
Ideal Weight15-25 pounds (male and female)
Ideal Height13-16 inches (male and female)
Fur TypeDouble-coat, long, straight, harsh fur,
soft, short undercoat
Common ColorsBlack and White,
Blue Merle White and Tan,
Sable and Tan, Black White and Tan
AvailabilityWidely available
AchievementsSixth intelligent breeds
according to the AKC
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToCollie

Shetland Sheepdog shortly known as Shelties are often recognized for their gentle, loyal, and sweet temperament. They are very popular watchdogs which like to be engaged in every family functions.

The Shelties Sheepdogs are very active ones who like to keep busy. They are adjustable in small homes as well and content to lie around alone all day, and requires regular exercise.

Origin & History Of Shelties Sheepdogs

Shetland Sheepdogs are a small dog breed which looks like Miniature Rough Collie at first glance and are often confused with Miniature Collies; as they share the same ancestor.

Shetland Sheepdogs were originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. They were bred by farmers to herd sheep, ponies, and poultry.

The Shetland Sheepdog was developed by crossing the larger Rough Collie of that time with other islands dogs including small herding breeds and Spaniels. It is believed that they were developed around 1700.

The Shetland Sheepdogs were first recognized by the Kennel Club ( England), in 1909 as Shetland Collies. But soon after that, their name was changed to Shetland Sheepdog.

The AKC registered the Shetland Sheepdog as their first bright and obedient breed in 1911.

Are They Child-Friendly?

Shetland sheepdogs get well with kids as they are very playful and enjoy playing interactive outdoor games. They are very submissive and energetic.

They have a tendency to nip at moving objects, whether it can be your child, therefore, supervision is must while interacting with children for both safeties.

Temperament, Personality and Behavior

The temperaments of Shetland Sheepland is sensitive, bright, amenable, playful, and well adaptable. They generally get along with other dogs and pets. They are extremely affectionate and devoted to their family; if left alone for a long time, they tend to suffer from separation anxiety.

The Shetland Sheepland possess a playful, amiable and companionable personality, but can be reserved or wary toward strangers. They do not show aggressive behavior but tend to bark a lot. Their reserved nature can take them into shyness, nervousness or timidity.

Shetland sheepdog Are Loyal
A Shetland Sheepdog Breed in a field.
Image Via Doglearn

The Shetland sheepdog does not possess stubborn or snappy temperament. If you are planning to have one of this dog, then it’s important to ensure that they are getting plenty of socialization in time.


The Shetland Sheepdogs are highly trainable dogs and known to be quick learners and enjoys learning new tricks and training. Exciting treats and praise should be given as motivation during their training sessions. Because of their sensitive temperament, they do not respond well to harsh training and are likely to become defensive.


Facts about Shetland Sheepdogs are:

  • Shetland Sheepdogs are one of the most successful obedience breeds.
  • Present Shetland sheepdogs are not used as a herding dog in the Shetland Islands. The breed is not common in the Shetlands Islands today.
  • The mother of the first AKC Shetland Sheepdog Champion was a Rough Collie.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesCancer, Haemophilia, Heart Problems,
Patellar Luxation, Trichiasis, Cataracts,
Collie Eye Anomaly
Vaccination RequiredLeptospirosis, Rabies, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parainfluenza, Kennel Cough,
Canine Coronavirus, Canine Parvovirus
SheddingModerate Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingProfessional Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyHigh Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 25%
Fat: 10%
Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids
Digestive Enzymes

Shelties are basically a healthy dog breed, but like other dog breeds they also prone to some health disorders, such as:

  • Patellar Luxation (Kneecap Dislocation): It is more common in small and toy breeds, in this the knee cap floats out of position.
  • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic abnormality that generally occurs in large dogs.
  • Scleral Ectasia (Collie Eye): An inherited health problem which prevents the eyes from developing properly in the womb.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: An inherited bleeding disorder which prevents the blood from clotting normally. It’s like hemophilia in humans.


Shetland Sheepdogs are generally found in seven color patterns:

  • Merle
  • Blue Marle
  • Tri-color
  • Sable White
  • Black & White
  • Black & Tan
  • Sable


Shetland Sheepdogs Are Child -Friendly
Shetland Sheepdog Puppy Image Via Pet4Homes

The Shetland Sheepdogs generally give birth 4-6 puppies at a time. If you are planning to own of these breed, then you need to make sure that you will be able to give them enough time and attention as they are very devoted to their family members. A Shetland Sheepdogs will cost you up to $800-$1000 USD .

Which Dogs Are They Similar To?

Dogs similar to Shetland Sheepdogs are:

  • Collie
  • Border Collie
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Miniature American Shepherd
  • Icelandic Sheepdog.

Visit Doglime For More Dog Breed Information.