The Sheltie -
an introducion
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Created: 23.03.1998
Updated: 03.02.2007
Webmaster: R.Döhne


About the Sheltie

Origin of the Sheltie

As the name of this sheepdog tells, his nativ place is on the shetland islands, situated north-east of scotland. By the years there was breeded a small race, being resistant to the rough weather conditions, in order to keep the likewise small shetland sheep. The dogs had to keep away the sheep from the "toons" (little houses), therefore they have been called "toony-dogs" previous. Alone with a sheep herd they were often brought to a deserted island for some days, where the sheep pastured the scanty grass and mossed at the cliffes. Sometimes the dog had to jump over the back of the dwarf sheep in order to drove them back from the cliffes and to beware them of the fall. That is why the dog had to be small and light. The dog had to care himself for his feed during that time, and it's supposed that he wasn't pampered at his court as he had to participate in the scanty life of the inhabitants of the shetland islands.

The origin of the breed is obscure. Of course different dogs took part in - the border or working collie first of all, who came over from Scotland. Not untill about 1910 the English got attention to the little, laborious and lovely shetland dogs, brought them to Great Britain and began a tendered breed of an uniform type there. By the last years life has very modified, oil business is ruling. The inhabitants are living better now and they also keep large sheep, usually kept by border collies.

So the sheltie, as we call him shortly, has become generally a family dog and becomes fond of friends more and more.


The sheltie is small but by far not a dwart dog. His withers height is about 35 - 40 cm. He needs a lot of exercise as he was originally used to work the whole day. He has a wonderful, full coat, the strong cover coat is straightly and let run off well the water at raining weather without moisting the wool under that. Therefore the sheltie should possibly not take a bath. The shampoo would dissolve the genuine grease of the hairs. Long walking in the rain improve a beautiful coat. For care the coat should be brushed to and fro, not daily, except that the dog is in change of coat. His movement is full of harmony: without serious efforts he is preceding quickly. Also his jumping power is exceedingly developed in proportion to his height. The most imposing at the sheltie is his face expression: lovely, attentive, always asking what he can do for us. He is frugal, but varied food would be correct. The most common colour of the coat is gold-sable; this is golden-brown with all shades, with white badges at chest and paws and occasionally with a ruff. Tricolours are very attractive, jet-black with brown and white badges; striking and very rare are the Bluemerles: blue-grey with little black dots and also brown and white badges.