Shetland Sheepdog Information, a Guide to the Sheltie What Makes This Breed Special

Shetland Sheepdogs photo
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Is the Shetland Sheepdog right for you?

  • 1 Shetland Sheepdogs make an obedient and loyal partner.
  • 2 Shetland Sheepdogs are small working dogs and enjoy being given jobs.
  • 3 Shetland Sheepdog puppies can be quiet and introverted.
  • 4 These dogs are comfortable in the house but require lots of physical and mental stimulation.


The Shetland Sheepdog is a native of Scotland, a crossbreed of the Rough Collie and the Icelandic Yakkin, which is now completely extinct. Used to herd sheep and guard them, the Shetland Sheepdog became very popular by the early 20th century and is today one of the most popular companions in the world. They were recognized by the AKC in 1911.

Quick Facts

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    12 and 15 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    13 to 16 inches tall

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    Male Weight

    16 to 20 pounds

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    Female Height

    13 to 16 inches tall

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    Female Weight

    16 to 20 pounds

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    Litter Size

    4 to 6 puppies


One of the most loyal and obedient breeds, the Sheltie makes for a superb companion dog. They are sensitive and incredibly intelligent, making them easily trainable and a natural fit for life with people. They are great at herding, guarding, tracking, and performing tricks, making them incredibly versatile. However, being one of the smartest breeds, these dogs need stimulation, or they may get bored and attempt to occupy themselves in negative and destructive ways. They also need a surefooted leader, otherwise they may see themselves as the alpha and try to lead you. .


Shetland Sheepdogs can be sable, golden brown, mahogany, blue merle, tricolored (black, white and tan), bi-blue (black, grey and a bit of white), and bi-black (black and tan coloring).

Health Concerns

The major health problems which affect the Shetland Sheepdog are:


An athletic, fast, lightly-built dog, the Sheltie looks like a smaller version of the Rough Collie. Their muzzle is long and narrow and the skull is just about the same length, their frame looks aerodynamic and speedy. They have a double coat that is long and full, forming in a mane around their head.

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