A History of the Shetland Sheepdog Breed

The Shetland Sheepdog Breed originated in Scotland during the late 1800’s and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1911. Collies transported to the Shetland Islands were crossed with smaller, intelligent, long-haired breeds resulting in the shelties we see today. The breed originally worked as farm helpers and home protectors, guarding homes and flocks from strangers.

Correct Shetland Sheepdog Appearance

Shelties can produce a variety of coat colors; Tri-colored, Bi-Black, Sable, Blue Merle, Bi-Blue, and Sable Merle. All coat colors can have brown eyes, but only the Blue Merle and Bi-Blue colors are allowed to have partial or full blue eyes.

Shetland Sheepdogs typically range in size between 13 inches and 16 inches (measured from the top of the shoulder blades) and weigh between 17 to 25 lbs. They have a thick double coat that requires regular maintenance, but their long soft hair makes cleaning up after them much easier.

Typical Shetland Sheepdog Behavior

Shetland Sheepdogs are very intelligent, one of the 10 smartest breeds recognized by the AKC, excelling in Agility, Conformation, Herding, and are one of the most successful obedience breeds. Shelties are very loyal to their owners and want to obey, truly a People Pleasing breed.

They love to herd, even people, and will usually bark at those they are herding. They are reserved around strangers, and typically want to make the first move when being introduced. They thrive in a farm-like lifestyle but can easily adapt to any living situation with proper excercise. Shetland Sheepdogs will give alarm barks when strangers are near, making them excellent home protectors.