Adopting A Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, looks like a miniature rough collie.  Some are bred to be slightly petite while others are bred much larger.  He is a beautiful dog that has a trim and sturdy body and a face that resembles that of a fox.  He has a shedding coat that is medium to long, straight, and hard with a softer undercoat.  The hair does not lie flat but actually stands up and away from the body.  He is usually affectionate of his owners but suspicious of strangers and does not like to be petted by those he does not know.  He has a tendency to be sensitive and may show timidity in unfamiliar situations.  He is faithful, intuitive, very intelligent, and a top notch dog to show off in training classes and obedience competitions.  Spoiling this dog may cause him to be controlling, nippy, and have low confidence.  Socialization and handling this breed is crucial and should begin in puppy hood.  He likes to chase cars, bikes, and joggers and does not tolerate roughhousing.  The larger Shelties are usually calmer and less timid than the petite variety.  He is good with horses and some are still used as sheepdogs.  This breed is susceptible to eye problems.  Deafness may also be a problem in the blue merles.

Size: The Shetland Sheepdog stands about 13-16in at the shoulder and weighs between 14-25lb.

History and origin: This breed was developed in the Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland in the late 18th century and was used for herding and guarding.  His small size was well suited to the rocky terrain of the islands.  The English Shetland Sheepdog Club was formed in 1914.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for this breed is 1 — 1 ½ cans (13.3oz size) of high-quality meat product with biscuit added in equal amount or 3 cupfuls of a complete dry food.

Exercise: The Sheltie barks a lot.  The ideal place for this breed is a house with a big fenced yard.  An apartment is also adequate provided that he gets enough exercise.

Grooming: A daily brushing with a stiff-bristled brush is needed to prevent the coat from matting.  Use a comb to avoid tangles, especially behind the ears.  Frequent bathing is also necessary for this breed.  This is a dog who is meticulous abut his appearance and will often clean himself.