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Shetland Sheepdog

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Breed Description

A small to medium breed with a high intelligence. They have a thick medium length double coat and dark almond eyes. They have a lifespan of 12 – 14 years and an average weight of 8kh – 11kg. They are loyal, affectionate and incredibly intelligent. They thrive on human companionship and love being around their owners. They are an active breed and require a moderate amount of exercise and training. They thrive when training and having a task to do and are very eager to please. They make for great family pets as well due to them being gentle and affectionate towards children and other pets. They would make the perfect fit for an active family who can spend loads of time with them.

Additional Information

Breed

Shetland Sheepdog

Life Expectancy

12 – 14 Years

Size

Small – Medium

Origin

Scotland

Shedding

Moderate

Energy

4

Attention

4

Training

5

Barking

5

Mental

4

Drooling

1

Body

The Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, is a small to medium-sized dog with a well-proportioned body. They have a sturdy and compact build, with a deep chest and a level back. Their head is wedge-shaped, with a slightly rounded skull and a muzzle that tapers to a black nose. Shelties have almond-shaped eyes that are usually dark in color and an alert expression. Their ears are small and triangular, set high on the head and carried erect or semi-erect. They have a bushy, low-set tail that reaches the hock when extended. Overall, the Shetland Sheepdog has a graceful and agile appearance.

Coat

They have a double coat that is long, dense, and weather-resistant. Their coat forms a thick ruff around the neck and chest, with feathering on the legs and a plumed tail. Shelties come in various colors, including sable, black, and blue merle, with or without white markings. Their coat tends to tangle and mat easily, so brushing at least a few times a week is necessary to prevent mats and keep the coat looking neat. They also shed moderately year-round and have a heavier shed twice a year, during which more frequent brushing is recommended. In addition to regular brushing, Shelties may need occasional bathing to keep their coat clean and healthy. Trimming the nails, cleaning the ears, and brushing the teeth are also important aspects of their grooming routine.

diet

A Shetland Sheepdog's diet should consist of high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. They do well on a high-quality kibble supplemented with fresh lean meats, vegetables and fruits. They are also prone to obesity, therefore food intake should be monitored. Fresh water should always be available.

exercise

They are an active and energetic breed that requires regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. They have a moderate exercise need and enjoy activities such as daily walks, jogging, playing fetch, and participating in agility or obedience training. are highly trainable and thrive on mental stimulation, so incorporating obedience training, trick training, and interactive games into their exercise routine is beneficial.

health

Shetland Sheepdogs are generally a healthy breed with a few potential health concerns to be aware of. Some health issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye diseases, hyperthyroidism and Von Willebrand's Disease -a bleeding disorder. Regular vet check-ups are recommended, along with a high-quality diet and regular exercise.

environment

They are adaptable and versatile dogs that can thrive in various environments. They are generally well-suited for both large homes with yards as well as apartment living, if provided with enough exercise. They are also highly sociable and thrive on human companionship. They are happiest when they are part of their family's daily activities. These dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures, especially heat, so it's important to provide them with a cool and comfortable environment during hot weather.

maintenance

They are considered moderate maintenance due to their grooming requirements and high energy. They need to be brushed daily and bathed regularly. They also need daily exercise and training as they are an active breed. Furthermore, they require a high-quality diet, loads of attention and regular vet check-ups.

personality

Shelties are known for their intelligent and affectionate nature. They are highly trainable and eager to please their owners, making them excellent companions and family pets. These dogs are known for their loyalty and devotion to their families and often always wants to be around them. They are friendly and gentle, often making them great with kids. Although affectionate and loving, they can be shy around strangers. They are alert and vocal, making them great watch dogs. Overall, Shetland Sheepdogs are intelligent, affectionate, and loyal companions. They thrive on human interaction and make excellent family pets for those willing to provide them with love, mental stimulation, and opportunities for regular exercise.

Family Life

Shelties are well-suited for family life. They form strong bonds with their family members and are loyal and devoted companions. They get along well with children and other pets when properly socialized. Shelties thrive when included in family activities and enjoy participating in outings, walks, and playtime. They require regular mental and physical stimulation and appreciate quality time with their loved ones. Shelties can adapt to different living environments but having a secure and well-fenced yard is beneficial. Overall, they bring joy, companionship, and love to their families and flourish in a loving and active family life.

Fun Facts

– Shetland Sheepdogs looks almost identical to the Rough Collie apart from the size.<br />
– They are incredibly intelligent ranking 6th place out of 138 breeds for highest intelligence. <br />
– In their size category in dog sports/ shows they dominate in obedience, herding, tracking, showmanship and agility. They are highly trainable and eager to please

Breed History

The Shetland Sheepdog, often referred to as the Sheltie, originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. They were developed as working dogs to help with herding and guarding livestock, especially sheep. The breed's ancestors include Collies brought to the islands by Scottish shepherds. Over time, these dogs were crossed with smaller local breeds, resulting in a compact and agile herding dog that excelled in the rugged terrain of the Shetland Islands. Shelties were initially known as "Toonie" dogs, derived from the Scottish word "toun," which means farm. The name later changed to Shetland Sheepdog to better reflect their heritage and purpose. In the early years, Shelties were primarily working dogs, known for their herding abilities and intelligence. However, they gradually gained recognition as excellent companions due to their gentle temperament, loyalty, and willingness to please. They became sought after as family pets and show dogs, known for their striking appearance and elegant movement. Today, Shetland Sheepdogs are beloved worldwide, valued for their versatility as both working dogs and cherished family members.

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