Shetland Sheepdogs were bred to take care of cattle and sheep. In the 19th century, these pastoral dogs spread through Great Britain before the collies took over and made them a favorite pet.


  • Toy Sheltie (Toy Shetland Sheepdog) - It is a small variation of this breed and reaches a maximum height of 13-inch which is a standard set by AKC (American Kennel Club).
  • Short Haired Sheepdog: Few dogs have a genetically shorter hair as compared to the other dogs and due to its shorter hair, the breeders commonly call this variety a Short Haired Shetland Sheepdog.

Apart from its variations, this dog is crossed with many other dogs.

  • People also like the mix between the Border Collie and the Shetland Sheepdog and keep it as a pet.
  • Shel-Aussie is a result of a cross between Miniature Australian Shepherd/Australian Shepherd and Shetland Sheepdog.
  • Sheltie Tzu – Shih Tzu and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Shelchon- Bichon Frise and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Sheltie Pug- Pug and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Sheltiedoodle- Poodle and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Shelestie – West Highland White Terrier and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Sheltie Shepherd- German Shepherd and Shetland Sheepdog mix.
  • Yorkie and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Sheltie Inu- Shiba Inu and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Sheltie Pin – Miniature Pinscher and Shetland Sheepdog mix
  • Shelillon – Papillon and Shetland Sheepdog mix.

Temperament & Personality

Shetland sheepdog puppies are friendly and a perfect family dog. They love to take part in all types of activities, indoors and outdoors. This breed mixes well with kids and becomes their best playmate. They don’t like to live in kennels but with their owners making them a great companion dog. Sheltie is brilliant and picks up training sessions very quickly. These dogs are known for their skill, obedience, and herding. They have a very shrilled voice and start yapping if they find any suspicious activity in their territory which makes them an ideal watchdog.

Shetland Sheepdog Characteristics

Adaptability To Apartment Living

Good for 1st Time Owners


Tolerance Levels

Affection towards Family

Kid Friendliness

Stranger Friendliness

Ease of Grooming

General Health


Prey Drive

Exercise Needs

Energy Level


Shetland Sheepdog does not require substantial exercising schedules. 30 minutes of long walk or a jog twice a day clubbed with enough playtime in a fenced yard will be adequate for the dog. Apart from physical activity, the dog will require mental stimulation also. So the owner can provide them with puzzle games which will keep the dog busy and provide mental stimulation. Additionally, they can be registered in advanced activities like obedience, trick training, agility or herding keeping them busy and mentally active. Proper physical and mental exercise will keep the dog calm and quiet. A bored dog can develop destructive habits like barking which can alienate not only the neighbors but will also drive the house crazy, mainly if the dog is living a condo life.


Shetland sheepdog has a double coat which sheds heavily. Brushing can be done twice a week and frequently during the shedding season. It will remove all the dead hairs and avoid matting of the coat. Mats behinds its ears, on front leg under the elbow and under the tails will require regular checking. Their dense coat does not require shaving as it protects them from heat, sunburn, and cold. Bathing or dry shampooing is not regularly needed as it requires occasionally bathing. Other grooming measures like trimming their nails, ear cleaning and tooth brushing are crucial every week to maintain hygiene.

Health Problems

Major Problems:


  • Thyroid Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Dermatomyositis(Sheltie skin syndrome)
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease (VWD)
  • Eye disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Gallbladder mucoceles
  • Hemophilia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Legg-Calve Perthes disease

Minor Problems :

Random veteran checkups and occasional tests will keep the dog healthy. The breed is highly sensitive to ivermectin and milbemycin.

  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Polyarthritis
  • Nasal Cavity tumors
  • Carpal ligament weakening
  • Congenital deafness
  • Entropion
  • Corneal Dystrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Seizures
  • Distichiasis


Like other dogs, early socialization from puppyhood is necessary. From the first day of training, they should be trained in socializing with children and unknown people as they have a tendency to bark and biting. They tend to chase cars and other pets due to their herding instincts which can be accidental as they run on open streets.  However, these dogs are highly intelligent, trainable and have the willingness to please their owners.

Basic obedience training will make these dogs the best companion an owner can have. They are very vocal and sometimes express their happiness and excitement with barking. Therefore, the trainer should give a command training like “Sit,” “Stop,” No” etc., to help the dog to understand the owner and stop barking. Positive training methods like treats, praises, and hugs will make the dog learn faster.


Quality food which is appropriate for the dog at different ages with all the proteins and nutrients is all a Sheltie needs. Diet with high-fat content is not good as they have a tendency to become obese. 1-2 cups commercial dry dog food will keep the dog healthy. Food like fresh vegetables, meat is preferable for this dog but refrain from giving foods with grain content as they are allergic to grain. They have a very sensitive stomach which can tolerate only a few types of food.

Shetland Sheepdog Videos

Shetland Sheepdog Facts

Shetland Sheepdog


Breed Type:


Other Names:

Miniature Collie, Shetland Collie (obsolete), Dwarf Scotch Shepherd (obsolete), Toonie Dog (obsolete), Sheltie

Height & Weight:

13-16 inches & 11-25 pounds


Blue, tan, white, black, and sable(dominant)

Competitive Registration / Qualification Information:



Moderate Shedding



Average Litter Size:

4-6 puppies


12-13 years


Water resistant, Long and dense


$800-$1000 USD



Adaptability To Apartment Living
Good for 1st Time Owners
Tolerance Levels
Affection towards Family
Kid Friendliness
Stranger Friendliness
Ease of Grooming
General Health
Prey Drive
Exercise Needs
Energy Level
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