Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog is a lively, alert and intelligent dog with a thick double coat. It resembles the Rough Collie in looks, although smaller in stature. It forms part of the pastoral group.

Shetland Sheepdog breed group


Size of the Shetland Sheepdog


Colour varieties of the Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog comes in a variety of colours and markings that include:

  • Black & Tan
  • Black & White
  • Blue Merle
  • Merle
  • Sable
  • Sable & White
  • Shaded Sable
  • Shaded Sable & White
  • Tricolour

Country of origin


Shetland Sheepdog’s uses through history

The Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie as it is often known as was used as a working sheep dog in the Scottish Highlands. It is believed the Shetland Sheepdog originated from crossing the Rough Collie with other Spitz type dogs.

Size and weight of the Shetland Sheepdog

Height bitch 33-40.6cms

Height dog 33-40.6cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 6.4-12.3kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 6.4-12.3kgs

Exercise requirements of the Shetland Sheepdog

The Sheltie is an energetic and athletic breed that requires at least an hour of vigorous exercise daily off the lead.

Shetland Sheepdog temperament, socialisation with children, other dogs and other pets

The Sheltie is a confident, intelligent dog with an affectionate temperament. It is an obedient dog, but with a stubborn streak. It’s a dog that like to be kept busy, both physically and mentally. It tends to be a one-person dog and appreciates a confident handler. Training and socialisation should start from an early age, and be ongoing throughout its life. The breed can be prone to snappiness, so care should be taken around children, especially children it is unfamiliar with.

The Sheltie also retains its strong herding instinct, so may chase dogs, cars, bicycles and joggers. Contact with cats may be possible if introduced from an early age, but contact with other smaller pets should be avoided.

Is the Shetland Sheepdog a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes, the Sheltie is intelligent and easy to train and a practical size for most family homes. New owners should ensure this little dog does not assume the role of pack leader, as negative behaviour may occur.

Shetland Sheepdog coat length

Long. The Sheltie has a thick double coat that stand away from the body. The undercoat is short, downy and soft. The outer coat is longer and fairly coarse. The coat is thicker around the neck region.

Grooming requirements of the Shetland Sheepdog

High.The dense coat need daily brushing with a soft slicker brush or comb. The undercoat normally sheds twice a year. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly for any sign of infection or build up of wax.


No. The Sheltie is a heavy shedder, so an unsuitable breed for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Shetland Sheepdog

The Sheltie is generally a fit and healthy dog with few inherited health issues, but new owners should consult their breeder about the following conditions that have been found in the breed:

  • Hip Dsyplasia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Cancer of the bladder
  • Obesity

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Shetland Sheepdog

A healthy Sheltie can expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 11-15 years.

Approximate Shetland Sheepdog pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay from £800 upwards for a Sheltie pedigree puppy and litters are often available. On average there between 4-6 puppies in a litter.

Estimating how much a Shepland Sheepdog would need to be fed each day

A bitch or dog weighing 10kgs will require around 185gms of complete dry food daily.

A bitch or dog weighing 10kgs will cost around £4.50 per week to feed.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment