Shetland Sheepdog

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Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog Overview

The Shetland Sheepdog, also referred to as the Sheltie, is a herding dog from Scotland's remote and rugged Shetland Islands. This foxy faced cutie is an energetic breed who loves to learn and work. Previously a Scottish farmer's best friend, today Shelties make excellent family dogs. Shelties are playful, sensitive pups that have endless devotion for their loved ones. They're good-natured and affectionate with young children, and interact well with other dogs. When someone comes to the door, the Sheltie alarm is sure to sound! Sometimes aloof, the Shetland Sheepdog tends to bark at newcomers and act shy around strangers. It's important to start training your Sheltie at a young age to tame its protective nature. It’ll be frustrating for you and the neighbours if your Sheltie is always yapping. However, training your Shetland Sheepdog will be a walk in the park! They are very eager to please and ready to try anything you command. This is a breed that needs a job, and if it isn't kept busy it may take out its boredom on the furniture. Shelties do best when they have lots of mental stimulation and exercise. Some activities they excel in are competitive obedience, agility, tracking and herding. Shetland Sheepdogs are very versatile and can adapt to apartment living with the proper amount of activity. With a gentle yet alert expression, graceful movement, and undeniable intelligence, the Sheltie is sure to steal hearts!

Did you know?

A Shetland Sheepdog named Pikku was the inspiration for a popular video game called Nintendogs.

Shetland Sheepdog Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

  • Intelligent Intelligent

  • Easy to train Easy to train

  • Therapy dog Therapy dog

  • Service dog Service dog

  • Working dog Working dog

Popularity ranking**
13-16 in / 15-25 lbs (S)
Average lifespan
12-14 years
Activity level
Vocal and protective
Barking level
Vocal and protective
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

3-5 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Brushed regularly

Dog Food

Feeding your Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs do best with food that has lots of vitamins and nutrients. Shelties should eat a balanced diet that contains meat protein, carbs, and veggies, and have minimal artificial flavoring or preservatives. Without the proper ingredients, Shelties can't develop properly and may experience health issues. The recommended daily amount is approximately two cups of kibble each day. It’s suggested to divide the amount into two to three meals so they don't overeat and gain too much weight. Nourishing your Shetland Sheepdog with high-quality food is crucial they need the proper grub to fuel an active and playful doggy!


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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