Shetland Sheepdog

Herding Group

Three Shetland Sheepdogs lying down in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

13-16 in

Weight

25-35 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-14 yrs

History

The Shetland Sheepdog, nicknamed the "Sheltie", originated on the Shetland Islands- the northernmost point in the United Kingdom. They were bred to be small herding dogs, as food on the rocky island was scarce and it was beneficial to have less dog to feed. This was a common practice with breeding domesticated animals on the islands, such as with the Shetland pony. It is likely that the Shetland Sheepdog has King Charles Spaniel, Pomeranian, Icelandic Sheepdog, Border Collie, and Rough Collie in their ancestry.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Shetland Sheepdogs will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★★★★★

★★★★

★☆

★★

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★


Exercise Needs

★★★★


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★★★


Noise Level

★★★★


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★★

Common Traits

One of the most intelligent dog breeds

Might try to herd squirrels, other animals, cars, and children

Have a strong work ethic and a huge amount of exercise, mental stimulation, and preferably a job to perform

Don't mind being home alone all day as long as they're given lots of affection when their family returns

When they're excited, will spin around rapidly in circles while barking (called the "Sheltie spin")

Tend to bark at everything- make great guard dogs but can become nuisance barkers if not taught good manners