Origin: United Kingdom (Scotland)
Dog Breed Group: Pastoral (Herding Dog)
Life Span: 12-14 years
Weight: Male: 7-12, Female: 7-11
Height: Male: 14-16, Female: 13-15
Origin of Name: The Shetland Sheepdog, often known as the Sheltie, originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.
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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.