Shetland Sheepdog

Published: Last updated: by Kyle J. Larson three Shetland Sheepdogs laying down in a row

The Shetland Sheepdog (aka Sheltie) is an affectionate, active breed that is very intelligent.

Average size and lifespan

chihuahua silouette
great dane silouette
Height: 1ft 1in - 1ft 4in
Weight: 15-24lbs
Lifespan: 12 - 15 Years

Behavior

  • Affection4/5
  • Kid-Friendly3/5
  • Stranger-Friendly2/5
  • Dog-Friendly4/5
  • Barking Amount4/5

Care

  • Grooming Difficulty3/5
  • Shedding Amount3/5
  • Easy to Train5/5
  • Can Be Alone2/5
  • Exercise Need3/5

Environment

  • Cold Tolerance4/5
  • Heat Tolerance3/5
  • Apartment-Friendly2/5

Shetland Sheepdog Information

Intelligent and playful, the Shetland Sheepdog makes a fabulous family pet. He loves to play with kids, is affectionate toward his humans, likes to learn, and is easy to train. As for the Sheltie’s history, there is very little doubt that it evolved from the Collie and was bred from smaller members of the breed.

The Sheltie was a herding dog; as such, he has an instinct to herd people and bark when he doesn’t know someone. In addition, they love to chase moving things, so be sure to keep him on a leash or in a fenced-in area and give them plenty of exercise.

Shetland Sheepdog Training and Temperament

The Sheltie tends to be a little stubborn and can be bossy sometimes, so if you are looking for a dog who will follow your every command without question, this may not be the breed for you. On the other hand, if you want a dog who will love you unconditionally and do his best to please you, look no further than the Shetland Sheepdog.

He loves his people and will do just about anything to please them. Though he can sometimes be moody (especially when he doesn’t get enough exercise), he generally has a good disposition and loves everyone he meets. If socialized as a puppy, he does well with other dogs.

He is outgoing and playful with kids of all ages, but the downside of this breed is that they have an instinct to herd people (including children). They bark when they don’t know someone or something new comes into their territory. They are very protective of those they love and can take a while to warm up to strangers but are not aggressive unless provoked.

Exercise

These dogs are moderately active and need some good walks or runs to stay healthy. They also like to romp in open spaces and enjoy the company of other dogs. A good game of fetch or tug-of-war is always welcomed by this breed, as well as swimming and chasing games.

Grooming

The Sheltie’s long, straight hair needs brushing once a week at the very least, more if he is shedding heavily. His ears need cleaning regularly (once a week), and his nails should be clipped every 2-3 weeks. The Sheltie isn’t an overly stinky dog, so bathing him occasionally is usually enough (unless he gets really dirty). He sheds a good amount, so it might not be a good match for you if you have allergies.

Sources: Wikipedia, AKC

All dogs have their own personality and unique training, causing them to differ slightly from these breeds stats. However, please let us know if we made an error in the stats, we appreciate your help!

Breed FAQs

Can Shetland Sheepdogs be apartment dogs?

The Shetland Sheepdog needs room to run and play. This makes them difficult to keep in small spaces like an apartment.

Can Shetland Sheepdogs be left alone?

Shetland Sheepdogs don't like being left alone for too long. They tend to show some symptoms of seperation anxiety when left apart from their owners for long periods of time.

Are Shetland Sheepdogs good with kids?

Shetland Sheepdogs can do fine with kids. They will require some monitoring and training to make sure they get along and react well to unpredictable behavior.

Are Shetland Sheepdogs friendly with strangers?

Shetland Sheepdogs tend to be uncomfortable with strangers. They will require extra training effort to socialize them with those outside their family.

Do Shetland Sheepdogs get along with other dogs?

Typically, Shetland Sheepdogs get along well with other dogs or are easy to socialize with them. It's uncommon that they're overly agressive.

Do Shetland Sheepdogs bark a lot?

Most Shetland Sheepdogs bark fairly often, which can be a nuisance. Some steps can be taken to limit this, but is part of their nature.

Do Shetland Sheepdogs shed a lot?

Shetland Sheepdogs shed a medium amount. They will have seasonal shedding, but aren't terrible to clean up after.

Do Shetland Sheepdogs need a lot of grooming?

Although Shetland Sheepdogs require a medium amount of maintenance to keep their coats healthy. Simple tasks like brushing and bathing will suit this breed.

Do Shetland Sheepdogs need a lot of exercise?

A Shetland Sheepdog will need a moderate amount of exercise to be happy. You'll need to plan some basic walks or fetch during the day.

Are Shetland Sheepdogs easy to train?

The Shetland Sheepdog is smart and extremely trainable. They will learn commands quickly and love the bond of training with their owner.

Can Shetland Sheepdogs handle cold weather?

Shetland Sheepdogs do well in cold weather. You may need to protect their paws, but they'll do well in colder climates.

Can Shetland Sheepdogs handle hot weather?

Although Shetland Sheepdogs can tolerate hot conditions, be careful not to expose them for too long.

View All Breeds