“The Shetland Sheepdog originated in the rugged and sparsely vegetated Shetland Islands off the northeast coast of Scotland. There, the harsh environment favoured smaller livestock and it followed that smaller dogs were able to control them. Since the islands were once occupied by Norwegians, it’s possible the Shelties descended from Spitz-type dogs similar to the Norwegian Buhund, or from the Yakki, a breed brought to the islands by whalers from Iceland. Early Shelties were a nondescript lot but some were taken to the mainland by fisherman and caught the eye of dog enthusiasts who crossbred them to Toy breeds and small Collies. The cross sharpened up the breed’s appearance and in 1906 they were first exhibited at Crufts Dog Show in London under the name Shetland Collie. Collie breeders objected so the breed was renamed Shetland Sheepdog.
Though the Sheltie rates high in appearance, it is the breed’s personality that has captured the hearts of so many. Intensely loyal, affectionate and responsive, the Sheltie ranks high in its strong desire to please. With their inbred intelligence and understanding, they have become one of the foremost breeds in obedience work.
Alert, agile and sturdy, the Sheltie is a busy, active dog that enjoys a challenge. His small size makes him adaptable to almost any size living quarters and his exercise needs are easily met with a daily walk.
The Shetland Sheepdog should stand 13-16 in (33-41 cm) tall at the shoulder.
The outer coat is made up of long, straight, harsh hair. The undercoat is furry and so dense it gives the entire coat a ‘stand-off’ quality. On the face, tips of ears and feet, the coat is short and smooth.
The coat may be black, blue merle or sable marked with white and/or tan.
Regular, thorough brushing is needed to keep the coat free of mats.”