Basics of Dog Breed : Shetland Sheepdog

Posted on September 27 2018

Basics of Dog Breed : Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog is a small, long-haired working dog. Elegant, supple and graceful, he looks a lot like a young Collie, but he is part of a race apart. Without heaviness or disproportion, it is harmoniously constructed and displays an expression that is both gentle and intelligent.

Breed Information:

Other names: Shetland Sheepdog, Sheltie, Colley Shetland
Origin:  Britain
FCI Group: Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
FCI number: 88
Hair type: Long
Shape of the head: Long

Race history

The breed owes its name to Shetland, those Scottish islands from which it originates . The Shepherd Shetland is most likely the result of crosses between local sheepdogs and the Collie , hence its great resemblance to the latter. He is often mistaken for a young Colley or a "mini-Collie".

The Shetland Shepherd nevertheless forms a race in its own right. He was very popular with sheep breeders for his great intelligence and his ability to provide quality work to flocks , even in the most difficult conditions. Today, he continues to make the happiness of some shepherds, but he is mostly used as a pet dog. He is, moreover, particularly gifted for the agility tests. Its official standard currently in force was published in 2013.

Physical characteristics

Her hair: long, straight, dense and hard, with a short, tight and softer undercoat. Abundant at the level of the mane, the crop and the legs. 
Its color: can be "sable" (light or shaded), tricolor (intense black with marks of a bright fire), blue merle (light, silver or marbled with black) or two-colored (black and white or black and fire). 
Her head: refined, elegant, having the shape of an elongated corner and truncated when seen from above or in profile. The skull is flat, the stop is not very marked. 
His ears: attached high to the top of the skull, moderately large at their attachment, small. Rejected back in the rest phase. Brought forward. semi-erect and with the tips falling forward in the waking phase.
medium-sized, in almonds, dark brown in color (except for blackbirds) and with a black border. 
His body: slightly longer than the height at the withers. The back is straight, the kidney is gracefully curved, the rump is gradually inclined backwards, the chest is high and the ribs are well bent. 
His tail: tied down, strong at the base, then tapering to the end. Garnished with abundant hair, carried slightly curved upward and able to rise in the action phase, without exceeding the level of the back.

Weight and size

Weight Cut
Female Between 7 kg and 10 kg Between 35 cm and 38 cm
Male Between 7 kg and 10 kg Between 36 cm and 40 cm

A Shetland Shepherd dog is classified as a small dog .

Behavior and character

The Shetland Sheepdog is a dog of remarkable gentleness and intelligence . Enlightened and active , he is, at the base, a very good sheepdog. Attentive and attached to his master , he is rather suspicious of strangers and is never afraid . He gets on very well with the children thanks to his kindness and his player side. Without being an excellent watchdog, he can be a good warner.


If he is  attentive and intelligent , the Shetland Sheepdog is still a rather stubborn dog  at times . He must therefore be educated with a certain firmness. Be careful, however, not to rush it because it is  quite sensitive . Excessively scolded, he can become depressed.


The Shepherd Shetland is characterized by its hardiness and robustness. It does not present a genetic predisposition to a particular disease , but that does not prevent to remain vigilant with regard to its growth and its health. He enjoys a good life expectancy: around 14 years old.

Maintenance & Hygiene


The Shepherd Shetland remains subject to an abundant moulting , occurring once or twice a year : once in the male and twice in the female, mainly after the heat. Her beautiful dress requires regular maintenance to preserve the appearance and health.


It is recommended to  brush and comb the dog at least once a week  by deep brushing for a good ten minutes. During the moult, daily brushing is necessary and a bath (with a suitable shampoo) facilitates the removal of dead hair while maintaining the beauty of the dress.

Physical activity

The Shetland Sheepdog is an  active dog  that needs a good dose of exercise to be happy. In addition to  long daily walks , he enjoys being able to  play and work 

Living conditions

If it was raised for outdoor work , the Shepherd Shetland has adapted perfectly to life in the city, especially inside houses and apartments. As long as he enjoys his long walks daily and enjoys regular exercises with his master, any lifestyle can suit him .

Price and budget

Minimum Maximum
Buying price 1000 € 1500 €

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