The Shetland Sheepdog is a small, long-haired working dog, slightly longer than it is tall and characterized by an abundant coat, mane and frill. It is strong and agile with a long, wedge-shaped head that tapers from ears to a black nose and features a rounded muzzle, medium-sized almond-shape eyes that are obliquely set and dark brown in colour (except for merles, where one or both eyes may be blue or flecked with blue.) The eyes give out a watchful, questioning and intelligent expression. The Shetland Sheepdog bares a striking resemblance to the long-haired Collie and will pass as a perfect miniature of the breed. The neck is muscular and is sufficient in length to carry the head proudly. The breed also has muscular, well-feathered and straight front legs with strong bones and equally broad and muscular thighs that carry the body efficiently. The limbs are supported and cushioned to the ground by oval, well-padded feet. The low-set tail is well-feathered and carried slightly raised when the dog is alert but never at the level of the back. The double coat is made of long, harsh and straight hair while the undercoat is dense, woolly and close. It comes in sable, tricolour, blue merle, black and white and black and tan.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Shetland Sheepdog, also known by its nickname “Sheltie,” originated from the Shetland Islands off the north coast of Scotland. The exact breed origin is not known but unlike many miniature breeds that resemble their bigger counterparts, the Sheltie was not developed by selective breeding in order to reduce its size but rather, it is the result of several centuries of the intermingling of the same Scottish herding stock that produced the Collie and Border Collie with other herding breeds including the Yakki (Greenland whaler dog), the black and tan King Charles terrier and the Icelandic sheepdog. The result is the small herding dog that we know today, perfect for herding the small livestock on the islands. The breed was brought to England before the onset of the First World War by British sailors who called them “toonie dogs” (toonie is the local word for farm.) It was first exhibited in England in 1906 as the Shetland Collie but was changed later on to Shetland sheepdog and was officially recognized in 1909. Because of its benevolent character, the Shetland sheepdog has become one of today’s favourite companion dogs, although still lacking behind the more famous Border Collie.
The Shetland sheepdog is a gentle, loyal and friendly breed. Its strong herding instinct may manifest at nipping at heels during play. It may also have a tendency to excessive barking, which on the other hand, are traits that make a good watchdog. Its natural willingness to please and obey makes it a highly trainable breed.
Shelties love training sessions as well as all other dog activities. They are enthusiastic and and intelligent breed who respond very well to reward based training methods. Shelties are a little bit on the sensitive side harsh training techniques such as force correction punishment will only do bad.
The Sheltie is a very clean breed and should only be brushed once or twice a week preferably with an undercoat rake to remove loose or dead hairs and to prevent mats from forming behind the ears, under the elbow on the forelegs and in the fur on the back legs. This breed sheds twice a year, usually during spring and fall and will require a lot more attention than usual during this time.
The Shetland Sheepdog has an average lifespan between 12 to 15 years. Similar to the Rough Collie, the Sheltie is prone to some hereditary diseases of the eyes (particularly Collie eye anomaly and progressive retinal atrophy) while some lines may be prone to hypothyroidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia or skin allergies.
Foods with a blend of lamb, fish, potato and barley are an ideal diet for the Shetland sheepdog.
The Shetland sheepdog is quite an active dog both in and out of the house and requires moderate amounts of exercise. A short walk or jog, a session of play in an open area or just a free time in the yard will give this breed the physical stimulation that it needs. It is a family-oriented breed and will do best with a family that will be able to give the dog a lot of attention. It is a highly adaptable breed and will do just fine living in an apartment dwelling as it is in a house with a yard, provided of course, that it is given the right amount of nutrients and exercise.
It is very submissive and has a playful character which makes it an excellent pet for a family with children. It is generally good with other dogs, cats and other household animals. However, this breed is cautious of strangers and does not appreciate being petted by anyone it does not know.