Important Facts To Know Relating To The Shetland Sheepdog

Published: 07th February 2012
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The Shetland Sheepdog (nicknamed the "Sheltie" and originally named the "Shetland Collie") is a herding breed that resembles a smaller version of the Rough Collie and commonly features a sable and white, black, white and tan, blue merle, sable merle or black and white coat. The breed can be traced back to the 1700s, and they were originally raised for the core reason of herding smaller livestock.

Some of their more distinctive characteristics are often described as high intelligence as well as their loyal and affectionate temperament - which in essence make the Shetland Sheepdog a popular choice for competitive agility or as a family companion dog.

Much of their early history is a mystery, though the Shetland Sheepdog was originally created in the Shetland Islands of Scotland when Border Collies and other herding dogs from the mainland such as the Rough Collie or Pomeranian were brought there and cross-bred with the smaller local dogs as early as the 1700s. Their smaller size enabled better control over the smaller livestock found in this area and they were also often chosen or protecting the homes of farming families.

Shetland Sheepdogs are classed as a small to medium-sized breed. The recommended standard size for the Shetland Sheepdog male and female is 13-16 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of 14-27 pounds.

The Shetland Sheepdog is well-known for their loyal, affectionate and obedient personality. They are typically reserved with visitors and can bark quite a lot at them, which often means they are somewhat suitable as a guard dog.

The Shetland Sheepdog is also accepted to be extremely intelligent - placing 6th in comparison with other dogs in terms of their ability to learn obedience commands. They are also well-known to be excellent with kids - which makes them highly suitable as a family pet. The Shetland Sheepdog is quite friendly with other dogs and smaller animals who they may try to herd without proper training.

The Shetland Sheepdog doesn't always need a yard unlike many other herding breeds, so they are fairly suitable for apartment living so long as they are given adequate exercise. If you do have a yard, be sure it is well-fenced to prevent them escaping and chasing things like cars due to their herding instinct.

The Shetland Sheepdog likes hobbies that include chasing after a frisbee or ball, taking part in agility, herding, flyball and running free in a safe open area. They possess a medium to high degree of energy and this calls for exercise each day in the form of moderate walks to keep them happy - though often they may achieve much of their daily exercise needs by simply running around the yard.

The Shetland Sheepdog can make the ideal dog breed for a family or active owner with plenty of time to spend with a dog. They are well-suited for anybody that is able to execute a moderate level of grooming and take time to provide them with early obedience training and ongoing mental challenges as well as take them for moderate walks each day and offer a very high amount of love and devotion - as with many herding breeds, they thrive on human contact and do not do well if left alone all day. Although they could be fairly out of place for those with less time to look after a dog, if you are capable of meeting their need for attention and regular mental stimulation then the Shetland Sheepdog may well be the ideal breed of dog for you.


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HeartMyDog.com is an online magazine published by dog lovers for dog lovers that provides guidance on a wide selection of subjects like dog training, dog health plus advice on dog breeds like info relating to Shetland Sheepdogs.

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