The Shetland Sheepdog!

The Shetland Sheepdog is often said to be a smaller, long-haired version of the Rough Collie. It has a long, wedge-shaped head, almond-shaped eyes, black nose, small yet flexible ears and teeth that come together in a scissor bite. It sports of a lush double coat – the dense and woolly undercoat is covered by a long and straight outer coat. The coat is so frilly that it gathers like a lion’s mane around the neck. The Shetland Sheepdog’s legs and tail are feathered while the hair on the face and feet is smooth. The tail must also be long enough to reach the hock.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12-15 years

Energy Level:
Average; active indoors.

Living Conditions:
Fine for apartments with yards.

Barks incessantly at strangers.

Exercise Needs:
Needs opportunity to run.

Breed Group:


12-15 inches

12-18 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Blue merle, sable and back, with streaks of white and/or tan.

National breed club:
American Shetland Sheepdog Association

Shetland Sheepdog Skills

The Shetland Sheepdog is said to be a cross between the Scottish Rough Collies which were brought to the Scottish island of Shetland and the Icelandic Yakkin. These dogs were used to guard and herd the Shetland sheep flocks. Today, the Shetland Sheepdog is a favorite companion dog, thanks to its innate kindness and intelligence. Its talents include tracking, herding and guarding as well as performing competitive obedience and performance tricks.

Shetland Sheepdog Personality

The Shetland Sheepdog has a very gentle temperament, always willing to please and extremely loyal to its owner and its family. It is also a highly trainable breed that possesses exemplary intelligence, which some say, can even rival that of his human owners. The Shetland Sheepdog is wary of strangers and will not allow itself to be petted by one. It will bark incessantly to draw attention to the interloper. Because of these characteristics, the breed is an ideal watch or companion dog. However, the Shetland Sheepdog must not be allowed to run free in areas that are near roads, because they love to chase after cars.

Exercise Needs

Running in an open yet supervised field will ring the Shetland Sheepdog a world of good, since it requires a great amount of exercise.

Living Conditions

The Shetland Sheepdog can easily adapt to small spaces, as they are relatively active indoors. A moderately sized yard will be ideal to provide them with more exercise.

Grooming Requirements

The Shetland Sheepdog’s coat requires regular brushing. Lightly wet the coat with water before combing to ease out matted portions. Bathe only when necessary, using a mild shampoo. This breed is a seasonal shedder, with the undercoat usually falling out in the spring and/or fall seasons.

Health Issues

The Shetland Sheepdog is most susceptible to an inherited malformation and disease of the eyes. It can also be prone to the displacement of the kneecap.

If you liked this dog…

You may also enjoy having a Scottish Collie around. Just like the Shetland Sheepdog, it has uncanny hunting skills, is very intelligent and totally devoted to the owner and its family.


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