Sheltie Planet

Sheltie Traits: Characteristics of The Shetland Sheepdog

By Becky Turner

A fun look at some of the bizarre Sheltie traits. From the Sheltie smile, to Sheltie talk, to sleeping on their backs. This is a quirky breed indeed...

The Sheltie SmileThe Sheltie Smile

Is the Sheltie smile real? Experts say yes - but it's not for the reason we think. Take a look at the real reason behind the Shetland Sheepdog smile and its origins in wolf behavior. Plus, how we reinforce this characteristic through classical conditioning.


Sheltie TalkThe Sheltie Talk

Sheltie talk is just about any noise a Sheltie makes that isn't a bark or a whine. It is, without question, completely adorable. Does your Sheltie talk to you? We've discovered the chattiness of Shelties goes way beyond barking. Check out these silly noises...


Why Do Shelties Sleep on Their Backs?Why Do Shelties Sleep on Their Backs?

Why do Shelties sleep on their backs with all four paws in the air? Check out these cute Sheltie photos of back-sleeping in action. Plus, learn about the psychology of this behavior and what kind of mood your Sheltie's in when he sleeps belly-up.


Shy DogsSheltie Shyness

Shelties are notoriously shy dogs. But it doesn't have to be that way. Socializing Shelties when they're young boosts their confidence for the rest of their lives. While this nervous Sheltie trait is genetic, there is more you can do to help your pooch be confident.


Water SheltiesWater Shelties

While many owners say their Shelties hate water, it turns out that with the right encouragement, many Shelties take to it like ducks. If you want your pooch to become a true water Sheltie, you need to gently encourage lots of positive swimming experiences early on.


53 Cute Sheltie Antics53 Cute Sheltie Antics

Today I asked Sheltie Planet readers: what's the cutest thing your Sheltie has done recently? And what a brilliant response I received. Here are the 53 cute Sheltie antics suggested by our readers. Which of these has your Sheltie sprung on you?


Cute Dog QuotesCute Dog Quotes

Here's a collection of famous dog quotes to bring a smile to your day. You'll recognize your Sheltie in more than one of these. "If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them..."


Sheltie Cartoons50 Funny Sheltie Cartoons

Cartoonist and animal lover, Rob Middleton, has put together a collection of 50 Funny Sheltie Cartoons. Fall in love with the quirky nature of Shetland Sheepdogs all over again in these adorable cartoon sketches.


Here are some more common Sheltie traits. Do you recognize any of these in your dog?

  • The Sheltie spin. Shelties can jump and spin in circles when they're excited. Multiple Sheltie owners will recognize this as a game of "zoomies".
  • Being hand shy. Even the best trained Shetland Sheepdogs can be hand shy at times. It's a breed trait and does not signify past abuse.
  • Herding children and animals. The herding instinct is strong in Shelties. Ours even help round up other dogs on the beach who won't come to their owners.
  • Fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. Most Shelties are on high alert when there are strange noises afoot, so keep your dog in a secure place when there is a lot of noise outside. (Though this is not always the case - some Shelties love fireworks!)

About The Author

Becky Turner is a writer and zoologist-in-training. Learn more about Becky here. If you'd like to support her work, check out her ebook, The Sheltie Anthology, a complete guide to everything Sheltie.