Faithful, supremely intelligent, and with great beauty, the “Sheltie” as he is affectionately called, originated in the Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland. The dwarfing effect of rigorous climate, rugged conditions, and limited feed have over the years produced pint-sized ponies, miniature sheep, and now diminutive dogs.
The Shetland Sheepdog has a very obedient nature and is supremely easy to train, and eager to please. Their devoted, docile nature, and keen all-but-human intelligence and understanding, make them a companion dog par excellence for adults and gentle children. They are outstanding subjects for obedience training. Somewhat reserved with strangers, the Shetland Sheepdog is intensely loyal, affectionate and responsive with his/her own people. They have a strongly defined sense of boundary, and make wonderful little watchdogs. Shelties are known to bark, however can easily be trained not to bark at unnecessary times.
Grooming and care
The Sheltie’s luxuriant jacket, characterised by its abundant mane and frill, is the crowning glory. They have a double coat, consisting of long straight harsh hair over a short dense furry undercoat. Brushing and combing particularly behind the ears each week will stop their glorious coat from becoming matted.
Shelties require daily exercise in the from of walking. Don’t be fooled by their size, these little dogs are agile and can jump well which means your backyard should be adequately fenced.
Shetland Sheepdogs are prone to hip dysplasia, and a number of eye problems. For the latest research in breed-related problems in Shetland Sheepdogs visit the University of Sydney’s website.