The Sheltie is a small and energetic breed, known for their keen intelligence and for being wonderful companion dogs. Contrary to popular belief however, Shelties are not Miniature Collies. The resemblance to their larger cousin came about when early Shelties of the late 1800s were crossed with the Collies of yesteryear to give the breed the beautiful look it has today.
The Sheltie is a beautiful little dog that is both active and intelligent, with an inherent eagerness to please and an inquisitive spirit that it quite endearing to its owners. They are affectionate and charming and make wonderful family companions that are good with children. Though Shelties are a friendly breed overall, they can be prone to shyness and be reserved toward strangers, so early socialization is required.
The Sheltie is highly intelligent and quite easily trained. They are often ranked amongst the top ten breeds overall in their intelligence and in obedience competitions. However, as with any breed, they do not train themselves regardless of their intelligence. Easy to train means just that, easy to train, but they still need proper direction from their owners. Training should be kept fun, reward based, and non-repetitive.
Shelties are alert and extremely vigilant of their surroundings, meaning they are highly aware of what is going on around them and this can lead to excessive barking. Though they are known to be a fairly vocal breed, some bark more than others. Excessive barking can also occur as a means of releasing pent up energy and tension from boredom if left unattended in the back yard.
AS A WATCHDOG
Because of their herding instincts, Shelties often carry a deep sense of property boundaries. They are not attack or guard dogs however, and their natural manner of protection is to bark and be very vocal in sounding the alarm!
Beneath all that beautiful long hair lies a very athletic dog that is quite agile for its size. Because they are an active herding breed, a moderate amount of exercise is required to keep them fit and healthy and to burn off excess energy. Daily walks and runs are usually required to keep them in top shape. A fenced yard is a must for this breed.
COAT and COLOUR
The Sheltie has a double coat, with a soft thick undercoat beneath long straight guard hairs. The coat is designed to provide insulation against the weather.
Colours include various shades of sable, from deep mahoganies to rich reds; tri-colour (black, tan and white); and blue merle, these latter two colours can be with or without tan markings. Shelties with no tan markings are called bi-colours (bi-black, bi-blue).
Regular bushing and occasional bathing are required to keep a Sheltie coat looking its best. This includes a thorough weekly brushing, occasional baths, and trimming of feet and nails. Some Shelties have heavier coats than others, and may require more grooming more often. Shedding varies with the seasons. Hair around the ear, legs, and underbelly can be prone to matting if not properly maintained. As with all dogs, teeth should be brushed regularly.
13-16 inches (31-41 cm)
Weight averages between 18-25 pounds (8-11 kg) in relation to their height.