The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent and easily trainable herding breed. They make a good family pet but do require regular exercise and grooming.
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- Small, sturdy build
- Tapered, wedge-shaped head
- Coat: Double coat, long straight, harsh topcoat with short furry undercoat
- Smooth hair on face, tips of ears and feet
- Rounded muzzle, dark eyes, with blue eyes, partial blue eyes, one blue one dark, or blue flecked eyes in the blue merles, ears carried semi-erect
- Mane and frill should be abundant, and particularly impressive in males
- Height: 13-16 inches
- Weight: 14-27 pounds
- Average lifespan: 12-15 years
- Kind, energetic, smart, friendly, intuitive and affectionate
- Interaction with people: Aloof with strangers. Good companion dog. Does well with children when raised around them.
- Level of attention needed: Needs to feel part of the family unit and enjoys a task
- Training: Quick learner; eager to please
- Bark: Can be vocal
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- Patellar luxation
- Dermatomyositis (skin disease)
- Ophthalmic disorders (including Collie eye anomaly, progressive retinal atrophy and trichiasis)
- von Willebrand's Disease (blood disorder)
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- OK for apartments if properly exercised
- Needs daily walk or jog
- Moderately active indoors
- Sheds heavily once a year
- Brush regularly; lightly spray coat with water before brushing
- Prone to matting around the ears or if the undercoat is not tended to when shedding
- Meticulous about self-cleaning
- Resembles a working Collie in miniature, but is not a miniature breed
- Was first registered as the Shetland Collie
- Quick, agile runner
- Kept mostly as a companion but may be a talented tracker, herder, watchdog and/or guard dog depending on the dog
- One of the most popular breeds in Japan, North America and Great Britain
- Competitive in obedience and agility competitions
- Native to the island of Shetland off the Scottish coast, where it was used as an all-around farm dog, which may have included some short term herding.
- First appeared in the late 1800's, and recognized as a breed in 1908
- Historically an exceptionally obedient breed
- Said to be used to keep sheep from grazing in owner's gardens