VCA Animal Hospitals

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Basic Shetland Sheepdog Information

  • Lifespan: 12 - 14 years
  • Height: 13 - 16 inches
  • Weight: 20 - 20 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Shetland Sheepdogs

Shetland Sheepdog Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Shetland Sheepdog History

  • The Shetland sheepdog originated on the Shetland Islands of Scotland in the 1800s.
  • They almost certainly were derived from early collie-type dogs that also provided root stock for collies and border collies.
  • The terrain and sparse vegetation of the islands favored smaller livestock, which in turn only needed smaller herding dogs.
  • The Shetland sheepdog herded sheep, ponies and chickens, keeping them away from cultivated fields in a land with few fences.
  • Shetland sheepdogs were first exhibited as Shetland collies in England, but when collie fanciers objected, the name was changed to Shetland sheepdog.
  • The breed's popularity followed that of the collie, with many families opting for what they thought of as a miniature collie.
  • The Shetland sheepdog remains a steady favorite as a family dog throughout the world.

Shetland Sheepdog Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a loyal and biddable companion.
  • Playful and gentle with children, an excellent child's companion.
  • When excited, it can nip at heels in play.
  • A one family dog, tending to be aloof, even shy, toward strangers. Early socialization so that it willingly accepts new people is important.
  • Very good with other dogs and pets.
  • Some can be timid.
  • Fast and eager learners that enjoy being directed.
  • Sensitive to correction. Does best with gentle, reward-based training involving food, games or praise.
  • Most bark a lot.
  • One of the most accomplished breeds in the sports of agility and especially, obedience.

Shetland Sheepdog Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a calm yet alert housedog.
  • Its exercise needs can be met with a long walk, short run or backyard games.
  • Herding and agility are favorite physical and mental outlets.
  • Games and tricks can provide needed mental exercise. Shelties very much enjoy learning.

Shetland Sheepdog Grooming

  • Coat is long, harsh and straight, with a short dense undercoat.
  • Brushing and combing every other day is necessary to prevent mats.
  • Shedding is above average.

Suggested Shetland Sheepdog Nutritional Needs

  • Shelties tend to stay in good weight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Emergency Care

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