Shetland Sheepdog

A blend of deep devotion, intelligence, and a pretty face make me one of America’s most popular breeds. I’m gentle and affectionate, and I get along well with children, though I can be reserved and even timid with strangers. I’m quite playful and make a good overall companion.

Bred to protect shepherds’ flocks and property, Shelties will nip at children’s heels and can bark at anything. Early training can limit these behaviors; luckily I’m extremely bright and obedient. New dog owners can usually manage my quirks. Although sweet and sensitive, I’m very active and athletic. A brisk walk and some lively games every day will burn off energy and keep my sharp mind engaged. Obedience and agility competitions bring out the competitor in me.

I’m a smaller medium-sized dog at 11 to 24 pounds and 13 to 16 inches tall, with a distinctive narrow face and full mane. My lush coat sheds a lot; brushing should be done at least once a week on dampened hair to avoid breakage. The coat repels dirt, so frequent baths aren’t necessary. My coloring may be varying shades of sable, black, or blue merle—all with white or tan markings.

Due to overbreeding, I’m prone to a number of health issues. One key concern is dermatomyocitis (skin and muscle inflammation) along with hip dysplasia, joint degeneration, kneecap luxation, and eye problems. If obtained from a reputable breeder and given proper diet and care, I’ll be a loving and beloved family member for 12 to 14 years.