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Shetland Sheepdog Breed Profile


Shetland Sheepdog
This dog evolved in the Shetland Islands in northern Scotland and the harsh weather the dog endured has given the breed an iron constitution.

Other Names:
Sheltie

Dog Breed Profile     Share this K9Obedience page

Origin: Scotland

Breed Purpose: Sheepdog

Kennel Club Dog Group: Pastoral

Height: Both 33-40cm.

Weight: Both 6.4-12.3kg.

Lifespan: 12-15 years

Exercise Needs: This hardy outdoor dog has great stamina and needs bundles of exercise. They are active and strong despite their almost painting like beauty. Don't be fooled by appearances, these are not lapdogs or showing off dogs, although they will cause you to be showered with compliments! They must be exercised regularly and fully, you will struggle to come anywhere near making this dog tired, at least until middle age.

Feeding Needs: Good eaters, needing regular small amounts of feed to keep them in optimum condition, and with their active disposition, feeding large portions close to exercise sessions can prove deadly to the dog. Not fussy, but a good healthy diet rich in quality protein and minerals is essential, as much for their coat as their general health.

Common Ailments: This tough dog enjoys amazing good health. No common health issues.

Physical Description: The general appearance of this dog is one of great beauty. They have a refined head with width of the skull in proportion with the length of the rounded muzzle. The eyes are oblique and almond shaped and are dark brown in colour. The Merles have one or both eyes coloured blue or blue flecked. The ears are wide at the base and are carried forward, with the top third falling down. The neck is muscular and slightly arched giving the dog a proud and noble look. The body is long and is deep chested with well sprung ribs and a level back with a graceful sloping croup. The legs are strong and muscular and the tail is set low, falling to the hocks. The tail is well covered with hair and is never lifted above the back. The Shelties distinctive feature is its coat that gleams and flows in the breeze. The outer coat is long and straight and grows in a mane around the neck. The thighs are thickly covered with long hair and the front legs are feathered. The coat colours are sable, pale gold to deep mahogany, tricolours, blue merle, black and white and black and tan. The length and colour of the coat adds to the beauty of this gorgeous looking dog.


Shetland Sheepdog K9 Obedience Dog Breed Summary:

The Shetland Sheepdog's small size hides its true potential as a tough, hardy, energetic working dog. This dog's noble bearing and distinctive beauty causes it to often be treated as a decorative toy. This is an insult to the breed as this dog's ancestors worked long hours in extreme weather conditions and over incredibly rough terrain.

The Sheltie of today has all the genetic instincts of its forefathers. Potential owners should be aware of the dog's supreme working abilities and focus on that, and not see the dog as a cute fashion statement.

The Sheltie is gentle with children, quick to learn and longs to please its owner. They generally accept other pets and, apart from grooming, are easy to care for. The Shetland Sheepdog will suit an owner or a family that are more laid back, thoughtful and have a genuine fondness for being outdoors, even when it is raining.
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