The Shetland Sheepdog is a small, active and agile shepherd dog that stands between 13 and 16 at the shoulder. The long coat is stiff and straight, with a dense undercoat, and comes in black, blue fair and sable with white markings. Coat, with a long, wedge-shaped head; Short, three-quarter erect ears; And the deep chest, level-backed torso, gives Shelty the appearance of a short rough-coated coli.
The bright and keen Shelty is an easy trainer and world class competitor in obedience, agility and animal husbandry tests. They are sensitive and affectionate family dogs, which suit the mood of the house. They like to bark and are reserved for strangers – two abilities of an excellent watchman.
Shetland Sheepdogs originated on the rocky Shetland Islands, the northernmost point in the United Kingdom. They were employed by farmers for sheep, ponies and poultry farming. (“”Toonie Dog”” was an old slang name for Shelty, “”Toon”” is the Shetland word for farm.)
There is a reason why Shelty was younger than her close cousin, Rough-Coat Collie. Thanks to its compact size, Shelty eats less than coli and other large shepherd dogs. This is an important consideration in the harsh, cold climate of the breed’s motherland, where food may be scarce. It also explains the small size of the Shetland pony.
In fact when the Collies were imported into the island from the Scottish mainland and bred into the Shalti shape, there is a detail lost in history, as the breeders of the islands have left no written record. And, because the islands were so inaccessible, the Shelties lived in virtual isolation from other breeds and were virtually unknown in the rest of Britain until the early 20th century.
Shelty was first recognized as the Shetland Collie in 1909 by the Kennel Club (England). Under pressure from Collie fans, the breed’s name was soon changed to the Shetland Sheepdog. The AKC registered its first dog of this remarkably bright and obedient breed in 1911.
The Shetland Sheepdog is a short, vigilant, fat-coated, long-haired Working Dog. He should be healthy, agile and strong. The outline should be so symmetrical that no part appears out of proportion to the whole. Dogs should look masculine; Bitch woman
The gestation period in lasts for 60-64 days The primary period of the reproductive cycle of the female is called Proestrus and goes on for around 9 days. During this time the females begin to draw in males. The subsequent part is the Estrus when the bitch is receptive to the male. It goes on for around 3 to 11 days. The third part is the Diestrus. Usually, it happens around day 14. In this period the bitch’s discharge changes for distinctive red and reaching its end. The vulva gets back to average, and she will no longer allow mating. The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time span between heat periods ordinarily keeps going around a half year. The litter size ranges between 6 to 8 puppies at a time’
Shelty has a plentiful double coat that weaves to a great extent. The outer coat has long, straight, stiff hair, while the undercoat is short, furry and very dense. Owners should be prepared to brush the coat weekly, and more often during the shedding season, to help remove at least some loose hair before it gets swept throughout the house. Be sure to check the mats in the “pants” behind the ears, under the elbows on each front leg, and under the tail. Shaving the dog is not recommended, as the coat protects against sunburn and heat as well as cold. Shelty seldom requires a bath. Nails should be cut regularly.
As with all breeds, introductory socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Very intelligent, trained, and ready to please, Shelty will reach her full potential as a companion if taught at least basic obedience — and they are superstars in dog sports like agility. Shelty can be quite vocal and express her pleasure with barking, so owners should be prepared to teach the dog to stop barking if desired. As is common with other shepherd breeds, shelties like to chase moving things, including cars, so they should have a well-fenced yard and walk on a leash.
Shelties are active and athletic, and while they require moderate amounts of exercise, they are also very adaptable to their family way of life. As long as the owners provide adequate exercise, they do as good as the city dogs. They enjoy going out with their people who will exercise both their mind and body. Shelty enjoys and excels at many dog events, including obedience, agility, herding and trekking, and they shine as medical dogs.
Shetland Sheepdogs should perform well on high quality dog food, whether manufactured commercially or prepared at home with the supervision and approval of your vet. Any diet should be appropriate for the age of the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are at risk of being overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight levels. Treatment training can be an important aid, but giving too much can lead to obesity. Know which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. Contact your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water must be available at all times.
Shetland sheepdogs are generally healthy dogs, and the breeders responsible for their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, thyroid disease, eye diseases, dermatomyositis (Shelty Skin Syndrome), von Willebrand disease (VWD), gallbladder mucosals, and epilepsy. Let’s examine. Tests for several potential genetic disorders are available, and a minimum health test of the breeding stock is recommended by the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA), the national guardian club of the breed.
Recommended health tests from the National Breed Club: