Shetland Sheepdog – A Loyal and Active Companion
The Shetland Sheepdog, or “Sheltie,” originated in Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands. This breed descends from Border Collies that were brought to the islands by Viking settlers, along with Spitz-type dogs. Over time, these breeds crossed to produce the Sheltie we know today. The first standard for the breed was created in 1909.
The average height of a Sheltie is 13-16 inches (33-40 cm) at the shoulder and weighs between 15-30 pounds (7-14 kg). They have a double coat consisting of a short undercoat covered by long, straight hair. Their fur can be sable, blue merle, or black with tan markings on their muzzle and legs. They have almond-shaped eyes that come in shades of brown or blue depending on their coat color.
Shelties are known for being loyal family companions who love nothing more than spending time with their humans. This breed is intelligent and easy to train due to its desire to please its owner; however, they can also be sensitive souls who don’t respond well to harsh training techniques.
Their herding instincts sometimes make them wary around strangers; however, proper socialization during puppyhood will help your sheltie feel comfortable around new people as an adult dog. Additionally, if youâ€™re considering getting a pet dog but already own one cat it may work out perfectly as shetlands get along quite well with cats once introduced properly.
Like all purebred dogs bred over generations from smaller gene pools than mixed breeds, there are some health problems inherent within the sheltie breed which owners must keep an eye out for such as hip dysplasia ,heart issues & eye diseases . The average lifespan of a healthy Sheltie is between twelve and fourteen years.
Shelties require daily exercise to maintain their physical health and mental well-being. They love going for walks, playing fetch, or running around in a safely fenced yard. As they were originally bred as herding dogs, keeping them active can also help curb potential problem behaviors like barking or nipping at family members.
Special Grooming Needs:
Due to their long hair coats shelties shed quite a bit so regular grooming is necessary to keep them clean & shiny. Brush your Sheltie once per week; during shedding season (twice yearly), brushing should be increased to two times per week or more frequently if you have allergies. Bathe your dog every four to six weeks with mild shampoo formulated specifically for pets.
Because of their intelligence and eagerness-to-please nature Shetland Sheepdogs are easy breeds to train & make excellent companions given proper socialization techniques . Start with basic obedience training commands such as “sit” , “stay” etc., then move on towards breed specific training needs such as â€śfetchâ€ť , obstacle courses etc..
Compatibility with children/pets:
Shelties generally get along well with children as long as they’re introduced properly from the start.Training both kids and shetlands together is important since it promotes mutual respect between the pair . This breed also tends gets along nicely with other household pets but remember that early introductions while supervision may be required before letting both pets play freely .
Some personality quirks associated with this breed include excessive barking when left alone unattended due separation anxiety issues if not trained properly in puppyhood – therefore owners need invest some time in crate training & desensitizing! Additionally some shetland sheepdogs will chase small animals like rabbits or squirrels out of instinct so again the earlier you start training these habits out of them by using positive reinforcement rewards instead negative ones will ultimately be more effective and promote a better relationship between the owner & their pet .
One of the most famous shelties of all time is Pal, who portrayed Lassie in both film and television for years. Additionally ,another notable celebrity Shetland Sheepdog is Chikito de la Dorgelutt (real name “Munchy”), who was owned by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.