Shetland Sheepdogs originate from Scotland. They are a prominent member of a group of famous herding dog breeds, including Corgi, German Shepherd, Collie, etc., established by the American Kennel Club in 1983.
Today, Shetland is raised to graze, protect, and guard homes. In particular, they are also adopted as pets in households.
Shetland Sheepdog Origin
The Shetland Sheepdog (also known as Sheltie) originates from the island of Shetland in Scotland – England. They are the result of a cross between two extinct breeds of Border Collie and Icelandic Yakkin. The Rough Collie breed is also a descendant of the Border Collie, so they and the Shetland Sheepdog have relatively similar genes.
In ancient times, Shetland Sheepdogs were mainly raised by Europeans to graze livestock and guard and protect homes and factories. Nowadays, they also have another role as pets in households: to become loyal and affectionate, close friends with humans.
The Shetland Sheepdog was recognized as a separate dog breed by the American Kennel Club AKC in 1909. They are currently ranked 20th out of 155 dog breeds recognized in the world. And at number 6 in the world’s top 10 smartest dog breeds.
Shetland Sheepdog physical characteristics
The Shetland Sheepdog is considered a medium-sized dog breed with a height from 32cm to 40cm and a weight of 7kg-12kg in adulthood.
The Sheltie has short legs and a long body. They do not belong to the muscular dog group, so their chest and thigh muscles are underdeveloped. The Shetland Sheepdog has a rather large tail, covered with hair and always hanging down. When moving, the tail is slightly curved but not beyond the level of the back.
The Shetland Sheepdog has a small head with slanted almond-shaped eyes. Eye color is mostly black or dark brown. The ears are small, triangular in shape, parallel to each other, slightly tilted forward. The Shetland Sheepdog’s muzzle is long and pointed. In general, their faces look quite similar to foxes.
The most outstanding feature of the Shetland Sheepdog is its double, long, thick, and dense coat. Fur is composed of two layers. Short, soft inner fur covers the body. The outer coat is rough, long, and somewhat sparse. The hair on the head, legs, and belly is short, while the hair around the neck is long and jagged, looking like a lion’s mane, increasing the bravery of the Sheltie.
The coat of the Shetland Sheepdog is relatively diverse, ranging from monochromatic to multicolored. Among them, the most popular colors are Blue, dull gray, black, brown, and yellow-brown combined with white,…
Shetland Sheepdog personality characteristics
The intelligence of the Shetland Sheepdog is their highlight because this breed ranks at number 6 in the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds in the world. The closest relative of the Shetland Sheepdog is the Border Collie – the dog breed currently holding the first position on the list. Because of its intelligence, the Shetland Sheepdog learns very quickly. Training a dog is very simple; you only need to repeat the command 4-5 times for them to remember. The Shetland Sheepdog is also highly appreciated for its ability to watch over the house, guard, or protect.
In addition to being intelligent, the Sheltie is also extremely loyal. They always give all their love to their owners. So if the Shetland Sheepdog feels its owner is in danger, they will be ready to fight and sacrifice themselves to protect their beloved owner. If you want to raise an intelligent and loyal dog, the Shetland Sheepdog is the perfect choice.
As a docile, friendly, and affectionate dog, the Shetland Sheepdog can integrate well with families with young children. They love children and can run, jump, and play with them daily. Western families love Shetland Sheepdogs because of this. They do not consider them simply as pet dogs in the house but also consider them as a family member, a close childhood friend of the children.
How to care for Shetland Sheepdogs
Habitat for Shetland Sheepdogs
The Shetland Sheepdog originates from Europe, where the climate is temperate and cool. The Sheltie adapts well to cold winters thanks to a thick, long coat. However, they usually do not tolerate heat. Temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius can cause heat shock for dogs. It would be best to keep them indoors or in a cool place with trees below 30 degrees Celsius. Only go out for a walk in the morning or evening when the temperature has dropped.
Shetland Sheepdogs have an average body size and do not require much living space. You can keep your dog in an apartment or condo, but you need to let your dog walk at least 25-30 minutes a day. Because Shetland Sheepdogs are herding dogs, they like to run, jump, and exercise in large, airy places. If your house has a garden, trees, and a sandy beach, it is a favorable environment for the Sheltie.
Nutrition for Shetland Sheepdogs
Shetland Sheepdogs are easy to raise because they are not picky eaters like other pet breeds. You need to provide them with a reasonable diet to develop their overall physique and their fur to be smooth and shiny. Below, DailyPets.net will share your dog’s nutrition and diet for each age stage.
For Shetland Sheepdog puppies 2-3 months old
You should feed the Shetland Sheepdog porridge, rice, and minced meat at this stage. Dry food should be soaked for 5-10 minutes before eating. Divide food into many small meals; about 3-4 meals/day is enough. The daily food is equivalent to about 7-8% of their body weight. At this age, you must not feed your dog hard and difficult-to-swallow foods to reduce the risk of choking on food for your dog. The digestive system of young Sheltie dogs is still weak; you should cook the food, not feed the dog raw or raw.
For Shetland Sheepdog puppies 3-6 months old
When Shetland Sheepdogs reach 3-6 months old, you should train them to eat tough meats such as Beef, chicken, lean pork, etc. These meats contain a lot of protein, which is extremely good for the growth of the Sheltie. In addition to meat, you can also add vegetables such as Carrots, potatoes, pumpkins, vegetables, lettuce, etc. Shetland Sheepdogs dislike eating vegetables; you can grind and mix them with meat.
The number of meals for a Shetland Shepherd at this age can be reduced to 3 meals/day, spaced between meals. Food at this age still needs to be cooked, and avoid giving dogs bones. Besides, you can add more milk to your dog to help him develop more comprehensively.
For Shetland Sheepdog puppies over six months old
At this age, Shetland Sheepdogs grow very quickly. Food for them needs adequate nutrients: Protein, calcium, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These substances are found in the following foods:
- Protein, fat: Found in many types of meat such as Beef, pork, chicken,…
- Fiber: Found in vegetables, carrots, salads, etc. Fiber is extremely good and important for the digestive system of Shetland Sheepdogs.
- Minerals: Seafood such as shrimp, crab, fish, and clams,… often contain many important minerals such as Sodium, Potassium, Zinc, etc…
Starch: You can provide it through foods such as rice, porridge, potatoes, cassava, etc.
The number of meals for Shetland Sheepdogs at this age can be reduced to 2 meals/day, which is enough. The amount of fat provided to puppies should not be too much because Sheltie is very susceptible to obesity. Food should be cooked but not too soft because the nutrients will be lost. Cut meat into large pieces, stimulating Shetland Sheepdogs to chew and help develop jaw muscles. Do not feed your dog spoiled food, expired food, spicy food, etc.
How to care for and hygiene for Shetland Sheepdogs
Caring for the coat of Shetland Sheepdogs
The Shetland Sheepdog’s coat is very thick and dense. They easily get dirty when Sheltie plays. You need to pay attention to cleaning their coat regularly because dirty hair can be a favorable environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. At the same time, in the hot summer, you should trim your dog’s hair. About once every 1-2 months to keep Shetland’s body cool and avoid heat shock occurring to the dog.
Shetland Sheepdogs shed very little hair, only shedding 1-2 times a year. You can use a wide-tooth comb to brush their fur regularly. This aims to remove dead hair and stimulate new hair growth. You can feed the Sheltie 2-3 duck eggs weekly to keep the Shetland Shepherd’s coat shiny and smooth. At the same time, use hair-smoothing shower gel products specifically for dogs during the bathing process.
Hygiene for Shetland Sheepdogs
Bathe your Sheltie dog at least once a week. If their fur is not dirty, wipe it with a wet towel.
After each bath, it is recommended to dry the hair to avoid getting wet, which can cause odors or breed bacteria and fungi.
Clean your dog’s ears, eyes, and nose regularly to reduce diseases that affect your dog’s senses.
Regular nail trimming for Sheltie. If the nails are too long, they can penetrate the flesh, causing pain to the animal.
After feeding your dog, you should clean the food + drinking tray.
Do not leave leftover dog food from day to day.
The Shetland Sheepdog’s sleeping area should be placed in a dry, clean place. Do not place it in a humid place, such as the bathroom under the stairs, because this will be a favorable environment for bacteria and fungi to multiply and grow, greatly affecting the animal’s health.
Shetland Sheepdog training
Shetland Sheepdogs are naturally docile and easy-going, so you don’t need too much training. You need to teach them how to go to the toilet in the right place and basic commands like: “Stand up, sit down, turn around, …”. The best time to start training your puppy is two months old.
DailyPets.net will introduce you to the simple method of training Shetland Shepherd dogs to go to the toilet in the right place as follows:
- Step 1: Determine a fixed toilet for Shetland. You can choose indoors or outdoors. However, the indoor location will be more suitable when facing weather conditions such as Hot sun and showers.
- Step 2: When the Shetland shows signs of sniffing, walking back and forth, with one leg lifted, you must quickly carry the dog to the other fixed toilet spot. At first, the Shetland Sheepdog may not cooperate and want to run away. You should patiently hold him and continue to the next step.
- Step 3: Shout out loud, clear commands such as: “Go to the toilet.” Voice commands like that will give Sheltie dog a conditioned reflex, knowing how to obey every time you give a command.
- Step 4: Wait for the dog to go to the toilet. When you’re done, get up. If they are in the right place, you should give them a pat on the head to reward them, stimulating them to do better next time.
Shetland Sheepdogs are very intelligent. You need to repeat these steps every day for about half a month, and Sheltie will be able to memorize them.
Shetland Sheepdog lifespan
The average lifespan of a Sheltie is relatively high, about 12-15 years. In general, throughout their lifespan, this breed lives quite healthy. However, they sometimes have minor health problems such as skin diseases, fleas, eye pain, joint disorders, etc.
In particular, long-bodied, short-legged dog breeds like the Shetland Sheepdog are susceptible to obesity if they do not have a reasonable diet. In the diet, you should limit the Sheltie to eat a lot of fat. The usual fat is already in the meat; you don’t need to provide anything more.
When caring for Shetland, you should note that you should take your dog for regular vaccinations as soon as he turns two months old. Vaccination helps your dog prevent some dangerous diseases caused by viruses such as Pravo, care, rabies, etc. In addition, you should also periodically deworm your Sheltie once a month. If you see unusual symptoms such as Diarrhea, loss of appetite, vomiting, etc., you should take your Sheltie to a veterinarian immediately for timely treatment.
Shetland Sheepdog price
The price of a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) can vary widely depending on several factors, including the dog’s age, pedigree, breeder reputation, location, and whether the dog is intended for pet, show, or breeding purposes. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $2,500 or more for a Shetland Sheepdog puppy from a reputable breeder.
Keep in mind that the initial purchase price is just one part of the cost of owning a Sheltie. You will also need to budget for ongoing expenses such as food, grooming, veterinary care, training, and supplies. Additionally, consider adopting a Shetland Sheepdog from a rescue organization or shelter, which can be a more cost-effective option and provide a loving home to a needy dog.
Always choose a responsible breeder or adopt from a reputable rescue organization to ensure the health and well-being of your future Shetland Sheepdog. Avoid purchasing from puppy mills or backyard breeders, as these sources may not prioritize the health and welfare of the dogs.