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Shetland Sheepdog

Personality:Bright, playful, and energetic

Coat & Grooming:The thick double coat must be brushed regularly (but only when wet, to avoid breakage)

Energy Level:Very Active; Shelties enjoy a good run; tap into their herding heritage with tasked-based exercise

Originally: Scotland

Nicknames: Sheltie

Size: Medium

Meet the Shetland Sheepdog

​The Sheltie is an extremely intelligent and playful herding dog who loves playing with children and learning new tricks. Shelties are easy to train and are world-class competitors in obedience, agility, and herding trials. They’re loyal and affectionate with their family but can be reserved toward strangers. (Bonus: This trait makes them excellent watchdogs—like an alarm system that likes to cuddle.)

What's Their Story?

​Shelties were bred to help farmers herd sheep, ponies, and chickens on farms in the Shetland Islands. Because of the harsh weather, the small size of these animals was preferable as they required less food and had a better chance of survival (this is the same reason that Shetland ponies are also small). Shelties are related to the larger Collie, with a strong family resemblance and similar job descriptions. But the two have been classified as distinctly different breeds for many years.

What are they Like?

​Shelties are devoted family pets that love to spend time with their family—and will often follow family members around the house. They are emotional animals that tend to feed off the mood of their owners and are not shy to speak their mind (literally—this breed likes to bark). Because of their history as herding dogs, Shelties love to run around an enclosed yard and love to be given a job to do.

See more Shetland Sheepdog photos here

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