Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog picture

Breed Description

These bright lively dogs originated from the rugged Shetland Isles where they guarded the farmers flocks. They were known as Toonies, possibly from the Norwegian word for farm. These grand little dogs are only small in stature, but are tenacious and intelligent with big hearts, they can turn a paw at anything. Shelties make wonderful pets, they are prepared to hike miles ,or are just as happy playing ball in a park.

They have participated successfully in obedience, working trails where the only draw back may be the height of the jumps. I have found they work sheep very happily, with their small dimensions no draw back. They are perhaps a little keener to nip the sheep than the collie, and they also use their voice to control the flock. Nowadays they are extremely active in agility and fly ball. These dogs have taken many top awards in conformation shows with their beauty and ability to move.

Socializing for pups is essential as they can be very protective of their home and family. They stand around 13 - 16 inches, and have the appearance of a sturdy balanced body with lively speedy motion. The coat is a long straight dense coarse coat with smooth hair on the face, feet, and tips of the ears. They have abundant fur around the neck, tail, and rear legs.

Colours are sable from pale wheaten to a rich mahogany, black, and blue merle, with white or tan markings. They have a flat skull with a rounded muzzle, a dark almond shaped medium sized eye, and small ears carried high and ideally tipped. The tail is long feathered, mildly curved, and carried low.

Shetland Sheepdog breed guide written by : Penny Forster-Cooper