Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs are a lively, smart and athletic herding dogs that also makes a great family pet.

Quick Facts


Height

Male: 13-16in

Female: 13-16in

Weight

Male: 14-27lb

Female: 14-27lb

Fun Fact

The Shetland Island farmers bred the Shetland Sheepdogs to be smaller and fluffier so they could be sold to visitors.

About this Breed

The Shetland Sheepdog, commonly referred to as a ‘Sheltie’, hails from the Shetland Islands which lie between Scotland and Norway. The Shetland Sheepdog was used to protect protect and herd sheep on the islands, while keeping hungry birds and sheep away from the farmer’s garden. They were bred by crossing the Border Collie with other smaller dogs. They were brought to England and Scotland in the early 1800s where they were described as a Miniature Collie. However, they were officially recognized by the England’s Kennel Club as ‘Shetland Collies’ in 1909. Collie breeders weren’t happy with the breed name which led to the the AKC first recognizing them as ‘Shetland Sheepdogs’ in 1911. Today, Shelties are bred as farm and family pets.

Shetland Sheep are excellent companions and excel in dog sports. The small, energetic Sheltie are loving family dogs with a willingness to please their owners. While being very loyal to their owner, they are known to be reserved with strangers. They are also highly intelligent, ranking 6th in intelligence in a study run by animal expert, Stanley Coren, out of 142 breeds. Their smart nature, combined with their desire to please and athletic ability, makes the Shetland Sheepdog a strong sports performer. Shelties often portray their natural herding instinct, chasing around small animals such as rabbits or squirrels. A notable feature of this breed is their loud, high pitched bark, which again displays their herding nature. The Shetland Sheepdog has a double coat which you can expect to excessively shed year round, particularly in spring.

Shetland Sheepdogs on Embark

Explore some Embark dogs that share Shetland Sheepdog ancestry.

  • Smoky

    Smoky

    Purebred

    Feather

    Feather

    Purebred

    Lacy

    Lacy

    Purebred

    Bruno

    Bruno

    Purebred

  • Dash

    Dash

    Purebred

    Brioche

    Brioche

    Purebred

    Juice

    Juice

    Purebred

    Nelson

    Nelson

    Purebred

  • Sadie

    Sadie

    Purebred

    Belle

    Belle

    Purebred

    Penny

    Penny

    Purebred

    Marty

    Marty

    Purebred

Favorite Names

For Males

  1. Charlie
  2. Toby
  3. Tucker
  4. Blue
  5. Cooper
  6. Bruno
  7. Buddy
  8. Baxter
  9. Bandit
  10. Bentley

For Females

  1. Bella
  2. Luna
  3. Ellie
  4. Millie
  5. Zoey
  6. Piper
  7. Lulu
  8. Molly
  9. Gracie
  10. Lucy

Common Locations

  1. Texas, United States
  2. Pennsylvania, United States
  3. North Carolina, United States
  4. Ohio, United States
  5. California, United States
  6. Florida, United States
  7. New York, United States
  8. Tennessee, United States
  9. Virginia, United States
  10. Maryland, United States

Discover Your Dogʼs DNA Story

Embark Dog DNA Test for Breed Identification

Breed Identification Kit

Breed ID Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, ancestry, and relatives.

$129

LEARN MORE

Breed + Health Kit

Breed + Health Kit

Learn about your dogʼs breed, health, traits, ancestry, and relatives.

$149

LEARN MORE

What's your primary interest in dogs?

Help us get you the most relevant information.

What kind of dogs are part of your family?

Help us get you the most relevant information.