The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as a Sheltie, was once a farmer's best friend. They were originally bred to be a herding dog used for herding smaller flocks of animals.
The Sheltie is a friendly and devoted breed, known for their loyalty, affection, and need for companionship. They can be cautious towards strangers and as most herding breeds, they are extremely intelligent. Their intelligence matched with their eagerness to please their owner makes training a breeze. It is common to see this breed excel at obedience competitions. Shelties make great family pets doing well around children. This breed will fair well in a home with a large plot of land but since Shelties can adapt to most living situations, apartment living is okay as well. Regular walks should be provided to keep the pet well exercised. This breed can be very vocal and have a loud, piercing bark.
The breed has a double coat, the undercoat is short and dense while the outer longer coat is smooth and silky. You will usually see Shelties in one of three colors, sable - ranging from golden to mahogany, black or blue merle - blue-gray with black. The coat sheds throughout the year at and average level but, one to two times a year shedding is high. During most of the year the dog will require at least a weekly brushing in order to prevent any tangles and matting however more frequent brushing will be required during shedding season.
Shetland Sheepdogs have an average life span of 12 to 15 years. They stand 13-16 inches tall and are 20-40lbs as an adult.