Sheltie Planet

About Shetland Sheepdogs

By Becky Turner

Learn about the origins of the Shetland Sheepdog, to the modern day Sheltie breed standard, and how Shelties are different from the famous Lassie dog.

About Shetland Sheepdogs

The Shetland Sheepdog is a beautiful, intelligent, sensitive and affectionate dog breed. Shelties are family-oriented dogs, making them very loyal to their human pack. They are also great with kids if you socialize them early. And they are great lap dogs!

Typically standing at 13-16 inches tall and weighing 15-23 pounds, Shelties are a small to medium dog breed with a moderate need for exercise. Unlike some herding dogs, they don't need to run around all day. They are perfectly happy living in a city apartment or a country residence - as long as they get out and about for at least 30-60 minutes every day.


Shetland Sheepdog FAQ

Shetland Sheepdog FAQHow much exercise does a Sheltie need? How much do Shelties bark? How often should I groom my Sheltie? Should I teach my Sheltie to swim? How long do Shelties live for?

Our Sheltie FAQ covers many common questions about raising a Shetland Sheepdog and giving it a healthy, happy life.


A Brief Sheltie History

Sheltie HistoryThe Shetland Sheepdog is often met with cries of "Oh look! A mini Lassie dog!" -- because it resembles a miniature Rough Collie. But Shelties come from different breeding lines, with Collie crosses only in the last 100 years. Take a look at our fascinating Sheltie History, tracing the evolution of the Shetland Sheepdog from its herding dog origins in Scandinavia, to Collie crosses in the Shetland Islands.


The Sheltie Colors

Sheltie ColorsThere are three different Sheltie colors defined by the AKC breed standard. These are sable (including sable merle), black (including bi black and tri color), and blue merle (including bi blue). There are also more Sheltie breed coat variations like double merle and color headed whites (CHWs). Check out our pictures of these beautiful coat colors and their intriguing genetic variations.


The Truth About Miniature Shelties

Miniature SheltiesWhat's the truth about miniature Shelties? They may look cute, but toy breeds can suffer from serious health problems and frequently come out of puppy mills. It's not unnatural to have the occasional undersized Sheltie pop up today as a genetic throwback. But far more often it's the result of disturbing breeding practices.


The Sheltie Family: Collie Cousins

The Sheltie FamilyThe Sheltie family includes many Collie breeds. They were mainly crossed with Rough Collies and Border Collies during the 19th and 20th centuries, which is why the three modern breeds share so much in common today. Take a look at the different types of Collies and the characteristics of the famous Rough Collie (aka Lassie!)


Sheltie Puppy to Adult Dog: In Photos

Sheltie Puppy to Adult Dog: In PhotosHere are some cute photos of a Sheltie puppy growing up into a mature adult dog, revealing the changes in the face and body as the thick double coat comes in. These pictures are a good way of helping new Shetland Sheepdog puppy owners understand what their baby furball might look like in the near future.


10 Things I Love About Shelties

10 Things I Love About SheltiesShetland Sheepdogs are a beautiful dog breed with lots of great personality traits. They are family-oriented dogs, making them very loyal to their human pack. If you're looking for a new family pet there are, of course, lots of fantastic dog breeds to choose from. I decided to write 10 Things I Love About Shelties to convey just what it is that make Shetland Sheepdogs such wonderful companions.


Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds

Top 10 Dog Breeds ListWhat are the Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the US? Do Shelties make the list? The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 178 dog breeds, each boasting unique qualities. Here are the top ten dog breeds in 2014, ranked by popularity among pet owners, based on dog registrations with the AKC.


Top 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

Top 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds ListWhat are the Top 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds in the US? And where do Shelties fit in? Dogs can be smart in different ways: a breed with an acute and well­honed ability to work will be quick to learn how to do its job. Other breeds may be so eager to please their people that they're attentive and highly trainable.


How To Photograph Your Dog

How To Photograph Your DogI love taking photos of my Shelties and capturing them in a way that frames that moment forever. Here are me Pet Photography Tips based on what I've learnt using my digital point-and-shoot camera. I hope this helps you get the most out of your dog photography and creates some great images that you will treasure forever.


The Shetland Sheepdog Breed Standard

The Shetland Sheepdog Breed StandardThe Shetland Sheepdog Breed Standard is a set of guidelines that describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and physical appearance of the Sheltie breed. Learn about the exact requirements breeders have to fulfill in order to successfully breed and show Shelties. Plus, there's further reading on the Standard if you're thinking about becoming a Sheltie breeder.


Why Breed to The Standard?

Why Breed to The Standard?Charlotte Hulett of Sunridge Shelties in Missouri considers the breed Standard after breeding Shelties professionally for 50 years. Her guest article Why Breed to The Standard? includes comparisons of US and English Champions, and offers five excellent reasons why people should endeavor to breed Shelties correctly.


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.