|Group:||Working Dogs (Group 5)|
|Club:||Shetland Sheepdog Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Ms Karen Lishman|
|Phone:||0414 882 568|
Background The Shetland Sheepdog, or “Sheltie” as it is affectionately known, originated from the Shetland Islands (Scotland) where it was used by crofters as a sheepdog and guardian around the farm. Few Shelties are used today for their original purpose as sheepdogs. First introduced into Australia in 1936, the Shetland Sheepdogs future was assured thanks to a number of very dedicated breeders, whose work is now continued and supported by the various breed clubs around the country. Often referred to as a miniature Collie, the Shetland Sheepdog certainly has the overall appearance of the Rough Collie, however it is a breed in its own right and possesses some minor distinguishing features, apart from the obvious size difference.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Shetland Sheepdogs live from between 12 to 15 years.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Sheltie is a small, long-haired working dog of great beauty. Besides being active, hard-working and always willing and eager to please, Shelties show great affection and loyalty towards their owner. Shelties are a highly intelligent breed and are very responsive to training. Many Shelties excel in dog activities such as the show ring, agility, obedience, tracking, herding and flyball. Shelties can also be seen competing in dances with dogs. Shelties are generally considered small to medium in size. The ideal size for a male is 37cm and for females 35.5cm (in the Breed Standard). The average weight is between 6-10kgs. Shelties come in three main colours: Sable, Tricolour and Blue merle.
Care Requirements Shelties have a double coat, the outer coat is made up of long hair, harsh textured and straight and the undercoat is soft, short and close to the skin. Some commitment is needed to keep the long, coarse coat in good order, though grooming is relatively easy and the coarse body coat is resistant to knots. A weekly brush removing dead hair is required. Trimming of nails and feet hair can occur fortnightly or more often if needed. A bath and blow dry every month or as often as needed will keep the skin and coat clean and healthy. Shelties love to be active but also enjoy plenty of rest-time. They will go for a walk/run one day and the next day curl up on the couch with their owner for most of the day. The Shetland Sheepdog is generally not a fussy eater, and requires a good quality, easily digested diet. They may become overweight if overfed or under-exercised.
Ideal Owner/s Shetland Sheepdogs make equally great pets for people with a quiet lifestyle or those perhaps interested in dog sports. Once settled in a new home, a Sheltie is quick to consider itself a member of the family and will be quite happy to follow its owners around all day. Shelties are an ideal family pet.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Shetland Sheepdog and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, please contact the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Victoria Inc. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. Anybody considering a new puppy should do their research to work out what breed will suit them best. Once a decision has been made, it is important to then choose a registered, responsible breeder.