Shetland Sheepdog

Dog Breed Profile

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Shetland Sheepdog History

The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as a Sheltie, is a herding and working sheepdog that originated in Scotland. The Sheltie is a medium-sized, low-set, hypoallergenic, highly intelligent, and high-energy working and herding compactly built Scottish herding and farm dog. The Shetland is a double coat, rough and straight with a fleece that is white, yellow, cream, blue, black, and red. This double coat sheds very little. The Shetland Sheepdog comes in three sizes: Miniature, which is 10 to 13 inches tall and weighs 14 to 17 pounds; Standard, which is 13 to 15.5 inches tall and weighs 20 to 28 pounds; and Giant, which is 15 to 17.5 inches tall and weighs 30 to 50 pounds. The Shetland Sheepdog belongs to the Herding Group. The origin of the breed is unknown, but it is believed that it is descended from the Celtic Collie, the Norse Wolfhound, the Irish Wolfhound, and the Old English Sheepdog. The first recorded appearance of a “Sheltie” was in 1838. The Scottish Kennel Club recognized the Sheltie in 1915, and the American Kennel Club accepted it in 1930.

Time of Origin


Country of Origin




Shetland Sheepdog Physical Characteristics

The Shetland Sheepdog is a short, small- to medium-sized herding breed that typically stands between 13 and 16 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs between 25 and 55 pounds. They have a large, stocky body and a thick, curly, wooly double-coat that is white, sable, or black and tan. They have a wedge-shaped head with a slightly slanted muzzle and dark eyes. They have large, round feet and strong, muscular legs. The Shetland Sheepdog has a fun-loving, playful, and loyal personality and they are an excellent watchdog.

Eye Colors

Blue, Brown

Nose Colors


Coat Colors


Height Range

Male Height Range: 13 – 16 inches

Female Height Range: 13 – 16 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 14 – 27 lbs

Female Weight Range: 14 – 27 lbs

Shetland Sheepdog Health

Description of breed health.


12-14 yrs

Shetland Sheepdog Health Concerns

Dermatomyositis, Sensitive to Ivermectin, Patellar Luxation, Cataract, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Hip Dysplasia, Collie Eye Anomaly

Shetland Sheepdog Temperament and Behaviour

The Shetland Sheepdog is a highly intelligent, friendly and sweet-natured breed. They are very loyal to their owners and love to be with their families. They are moderately active and make great all-around companions.

Shetland Sheepdog Activity Requirements

Shetland Sheepdogs, often referred to as Shelties, are sweet, affectionate, and loyal. They are ideal for people who spend a lot of time at home, as they generally prefer to be with their human companions. While they love to snuggle and spend time with their families, they do need some exercise. Ideally, a Shetland Sheepdog will live in an active household with plenty of room to run. Daily walks and playtime will keep them healthy and mentally stimulated. If you are looking for a small dog that is well suited to apartment life, a Sheltie may be a good choice. They are happy to spend time indoors, as long as they have plenty of love and attention.

Miles Per Day


Activity Per Day


Daily Food

2 cups

Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Shetland Sheepdog is part of the Herding group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Recognized by The Kennel Club

Shetland Sheepdog is part of the Pastoral group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council

Shetland Sheepdog is part of the Working group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

Shetland Sheepdog is part of the Herding group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.