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Shetland Sheepdog

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The Shetland Sheepdog (also known as the Sheltie) is a small to medium-sozed herding dog that looks somewhat like the Collie. The Shetland Sheepdog is energetic and always ready to work for its owner. The dog breed originates in the Scottish Shetland Islands where the dog was used to herd and guard sheep.
Character and behaviour

With a background as a herding dog the Shetland Sheepdog has a high energy level and is easy to train. The dog breed needs lots of outdoor activities and exercise and is not suitable for apartment living. The Shetland Sheepdog is among the most intelligent dog breeds and requires mental stimulation to be happy and content.

The Shetland Sheepdog loves to work and please its owner making it an easy dog breed to train. This dog breed is gentle and kind but can be reserved towards strangers. The Shetland Sheepdog is a vocal dog that will bark at perceived threats.

The strong herding instinct in the Shetland Sheepdog usually results in the dog running after many things including things, kids, animals etc. The dog breed excels in Agility training. If you fail to provide the Shetland Sheepdog with enough exercise and mental stimulation it can result in unwanted behaviour in the dog.

History of the breed
Many believe that the Shetland Sheepdog is a descendant of the Scottish Collie and King Charles Spaniel. The Sheltie was bred to herd sheep on the Shetland Islands that are known for harsh climate, stormy shores and rugged terrain. This nature environment has created other small hardy animals such as the Shetland Pony. Today the Shetland Sheepdog is a popular family and farm dog in many countries.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Shetland Sheepdog is similar in appearance to the Collie but is smaller. The dog breed is athletic and sturdy in build and has dark and almond shaped eyes. It is not uncommon to see a Shetland Sheepdog with one brown eye and one blue eye as is also often seen in the Siberian Husky. The Dog carries the tail low or high if alert but never over the back.

Shelties have a double coat. Long and rough guard hairs lie on top of a thick and soft undercoat. The guard hairs are water-repellent, while the undercoat provides relief from both high and low temperatures. The coat can have many colors: tri-colour, blue merle, and sable (ranging from golden through mahogany), marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan.

The Shetland Sheepdog is 13-16 inches in height and weighs 16-20 pounds. The average lifespan is close to 12 years.

What you should know about the Shetland Sheepdog:

  • A very active and energetic dog
  • Not suitable for apartment living
  • Requires a lot of exercise daily
  • Is easy to train and excels at Agility
  • Is a great family dog for the active family
  • Is a very intelligent dog breed
  • Sheds a lot and needs regular grooming
  • Is a vocal dog breed that will bark at perceived threats

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