The Shetland Sheepdog, familiarly known as the Sheltie, comes from the Shetland Islands off the North East of Scotland, and was originally known as the Shetland Collie. He acquired his present name when the Shetland Sheepdog Club was formed in Lerwick In 1908. A Shetlander by the name of ‘Loggie’, worked to create a standardised breed type, which was first recognised by the Kennel Club in 1909.
The Shetland Sheepdog was used as herding both sheep and cattle, and also as an alert guard of the croft. Extremely biddable they excel at obedience because of their great desire to please. The guarding element in the Shetland nature means that they are reserved towards strangers, but never nervous. They are very active dogs – their dainty appearance belies their great energy, though they are equally happy as a busy housedog as they are going for long walks.
The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent breed and enjoys being challenged. Agility and Obedience suit their talents very well. They stand at 14” -14.5” at the shoulder and a variety of colours are permissible. The coat is double with an abundant mane and frill. In all colours except black and tan, white markings are permissible, and can be any or all of the following – blaze, collar and chest, frill, legs, feet and tip of tail, but not on the body. Abundant as the coat is, it is easy enough to keep groomed with regular brushing and trimming of the ears and feet.
The key to the Shetland Sheepdog is balance: every part of him should be balanced and proportionate in itself, and in harmony with the whole of the dog. A happy outgoing breed they are deservedly popular family pets.
Related Link: Kennel Club Breed Standard