Affectionately known as the Sheltie, this breed is said to have evolved on the Shetland Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. Here they were kept by the crofters who scratched a living from this rather inhospitable terrain. The Shetland Sheepdog probably developed from a range of dogs brought to these islands over the years, but has been established as a pure breed for over a century. It is very similar to the Hough Collie, although smaller in size.
Origins: Shetland Islands
Coat Type/Colour: Soft and light; wide variety
Height: 14.5 Inch (37 cm)
Weight: 14 – 16 lb (6.4 – 7.3 kg)
Nature: Active; trustworthy with other dogs
Shelties are intelligent and easily trained, often featuring in obedience competitions. They have been developed in a wide range of colours, with tri-colours being among the most striking. To such cases, the deep tan creates an attractive contrast against their black and white markings. The blue merle is an unusual shade of clear silver blue, mixed with black and often with tan coloration as well.
The coat of the Sheltie is relatively soft and light and a firm brushing each day should keep it free from tangles. In terms of exercise, Shelties are quite active dogs and need sufficient space for a good run. They are generally quite trustworthy with other dogs, however, and therefore can be allowed off the leash in a suitable area in a park without fear of them provoking any disturbance.