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Breed group: Herding Type: Pure Breed Talent: Agility, Competitive Obedience, Guarding, Herding, Tracking, Tricks, Watchdog
Size: Medium Weight: 14-27 lbs Fur length: Long Ears: Pointy Fur type: Straight Fur Color: 3 Colors, Black & White, Brown & White, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled
Life Expectancy: About 12 to 15 years. Rarity: Common Availability: Easily available Climate: Good for every climate.
The Shetland Sheepdog is probably a descendant from the Rough Collies brought to Shetland (a Scottish island) and mixed with the Icelandic Yakkin, a small dog that is no longer recognized.
By 1700, the breed was totally developed and was used to herd and guard sheep. The Sheltie was first recognized in 1909 in England and brought in the United States in 1911.
The Shetland can come in many colors like black, blue, merle and different shades of sable marked with white and/or tan.
The Shetland Sheepdog?s outer coat has long, straight and harsh hair. The undercoat is short and so dense that it gives a furry appearance to the entire coat. Mane should be impressive (particularly in males). Short and smooth hairs on the face, the ears and the feet should be seen. The front legs are well feathered and the back legs heavily feathered. The tail?s hair is profuse and dense.
The Shetland Sheepdog is an excellent companion with a wonderful temperament. They are perfect for family as they are gentle, very loving and affectionate, delicate and they get along very well with children if they are raised with them. Intensely loyal and devoted, it makes a great guard dog and watchdog. In fact, they can be suspicious of strangers, especially children.The Sheltie is graceful and elegant, that?s why it is so popular now. This breed is extremely intelligent and willing to please and obey which makes it easy to train. This is a very lively dog that likes to be kept busy with a job. It is a sensitive breed that might not allow strangers to touch them and bark loudly and persistently.The breed kept a high herding instinct that loves to chase things like cars which can sometimes be dangerous.
The Shetland Sheepdog tends to have a hereditary malformation and disease of the eyes. Puppies should always be checked for this kind of malformation or disease. Some are prone to hypothyroidism (a deficiency of the thyroid gland and slows down the metabolic rate). It is also important to take a look for kneecap displacement. Never over-feed a Sheltie as it will become obese and lazy and this can lead to many other health problems. A regular brushing is important. The coat must be misted lightly with water and the mats clipped out before you start. The Sheltie heavily sheds twice a year. As its coat sheds dirt, bathe or dry shampoo this dog only when absolutely necessary.
As the Sheltie is extremely intelligent and entirely devoted to its master, so it tends to be very easy to train. Harsh training is unnecessary as it is very sensitive and can become uncooperative. The key to training a Shetland is positive reinforcement.
The Shetland Sheepdog is very active and needs a lot of daily exercise, preferably off the leash in a secure place.