The Shetland Sheepdog is also called Sheltie for short and is a perfect companion. Due to its friendly and uncomplicated nature, it is also suitable for beginners. However, everyone should be aware of how much energy is in this little dog. If the future master or mistress is as eager to move as the Sheltie, nothing stands in the way of a pleasant life together.
The Shetland Sheepdog originally comes from the Shetland Islands. Its appearance is strongly reminiscent of a longhaired collie. Although the two are related, the Sheltie is much smaller. His coat is long and dense. The lush mane and ruff are striking.
The undercoat is fine and soft, but at the same time very full. The coat color has a great variety. Although brown and white tones dominate, black and blue-merle also occur. The latter is due to a genetic defect, which unfortunately can lead to blindness and deafness.
Shelties have a friendly and playful character. They learn quickly, are lively and easy to train. They bond strongly with their caregiver and tend to be reserved with strangers. Nevertheless, they remain friendly towards strangers and rarely become nervous.
Shelties have an outgoing nature. However, they are also said to have a certain stubbornness and a tendency to bark. However, this can be controlled with consistent and loving training.
This alert and good-natured dog can be kept even in a big city apartment. The prerequisite for this is that he Sufficient employment and the caregiver takes him for walks as often as possible. Walks are relaxed due to the fact that the dog is usually low hunting instinct.
Since they are herding dogs, they react quickly to movement stimuli. Depending on the individual hunting instinct, the dog may run away. With a "No" you whistle him back quickly. This requires good training. If this is given, walks in the pedestrian zone are no problem.
For active beginners, the Shetland Sheepdog is an uncomplicated companion. The willingness to invest time and love in the occupation with the animal is required. Then man and animal will have fun in nature and on the dog sports field. The high need for exercise should therefore be clear to the future owner.
Shelties are sensitive and are less able to cope with very strict and moody people. This is because they directly perceive mood changes in their environment. A loving interaction is therefore very important. Nevertheless, the education should be consistent enough to allow a relaxed coexistence.
They get along well with other pets and dogs and best of all with other Shelties. Dogs that are looking for trouble will stay out of their way. Puppy play sessions are especially useful for young Shelties. Here they can learn important behaviors through contact with peers.
The Sheltie also gets along well with children, as long as they respect his retreats.
The right food
When it comes to nutrition, the Shetland Sheepdog provides quite low demands. This usually makes feeding uncomplicated. Nevertheless, this should be so be as varied as possible. This is the only way to prevent possible deficiency symptoms. It is particularly important that all important nutrients are contained in the food. And this is independent of whether BARF, dry or wet food is offered.
The question of the right food also depends on what the dog likes. But the Nutritional form is also co-determined by age and activity. In addition, the diet must be adapted to overweight or certain allergies. The amount of food and the frequency of daily meals also depend on these points.
If you can no longer feel the ribs, the amount of food should be reduced. At the same time, increased physical activity is appropriate. Proteins represent the most important source of energy. But also the demand for Vitamins and Minerals should be covered. Sufficient Carbohydrates and Dietary fiber are also part of a balanced diet.
Master and mistress should also always make sure that enough fresh drinking water is available. There may also be an occasional Bones be given to counteract tartar. Only no cooked poultry bones may be offered, because they splinter.
Raw food is also gladly taken by the Sheltie. But never feed raw pork.
Shetland Sheepdog Care
In general, Shetland Sheepdogs are quite undemanding in terms of care. Although their coat is very long, it does not require excessive treatment. Regular brushing is usually already enough. The hair is very thin and smooth, so they do not mat and hardly accept dirt.
Shelties are usually healthy and robust. However, they tend to Eye diseases and MDR-1, a metabolic disease. As a result, some drugs are not tolerated. In addition, cases of Epilepsy and Heart disease known.
Shelties with a blue-merle color should not be bred to each other. Here there is a higher risk of blindness and deafness.
This should be observed for health and animal welfare reasons. Also the hereditary disease Collie Eye Anomaly is possible. It affects the back of the eye and results in visual impairment.
The long and dense coat quickly suggests that Shelties get too hot in the summer. But this fear is unfounded. The seasonal coat change regulates the body temperature all by itself.
Nevertheless, to make hot summer days more bearable for the Shetland Sheepdog, fresh water and shade should always be provided. A dog pool can also provide cooling. Walks in the midday heat should be avoided.
Meanwhile, shearing the fur is not recommended, as it may result in hair loss. Sunburn can occur more quickly with shorn fur. In the worst case, the skin is permanently damaged, so that little or no fur grows back in these areas.
In winter, the dense fur protects the dog from cold, wet and wind. Otherwise, no more attention must be paid than with other dogs. Regularly attended appointments for vaccination and deworming as well as control for parasite infestation are self-evident.
Also on the cleanliness of eyes, ears and After as well as the Dental health should be respected.
Shelties are very active dogs. They enjoy spending time with their master or mistress and going for long walks with them every day. Because of the agile character of these dogs are various Dog sports already almost mandatory. You need and want a lot physical and mental exercise and love variety.
That is why they are for Agility, Dogdancing, flyball or other popular sports quickly. You can also become Assistance, rescue or therapy dogs be trained.
Like all dogs, Shelties are also happy to have a Treat in between. However, the ingredients must be taken into account. Otherwise, the small reward in between may have a negative impact on health.
Also with different Toys you can give your Sheltie a treat. However, since they are quite sensitive to stimuli, it is recommended to use toys that do not squeak.
As additional accessories are Brush and Comb advisable. Just as Tick Pliers and Fur shears. Like other dogs, the Sheltie should have stable, easy to clean bowls available and of course also a Basket or even just a regular security ceiling. collar respectively Tableware and leash are also necessary, of course.
Origin & History
The Sheltie has its roots in Great Britain. More precisely, it comes from the Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland. Therefore, his official name is also Shetland Sheepdog. Despite the visible relationship to the Collie, Collie breeders prevented the name "Shetland Collie".
The small stature of the Shetland Sheepdog is probably due to an adaptation to the harsh climate. Similar to the small Shetland ponies.
Probably the people were happy about a smaller dog that needed less food. Because the barren landscape did not give much. On the islands there are no large predators, against which the Shelties would have to protect the flocks. This is also believed to be the reason for the small size.
Despite their small stature, Shetland Sheepdogs are very good herding dogs. They are agile and fast and work almost independently. Little instructions from the shepherd is already enough. Sometimes no commands are necessary at all.
Besides being related to the collie, genetic influences from the dwarf spaniel and dwarf spitz are also possible.
Already in the year 1914 recognized the British Kennel Club recognized the Sheltie as a separate breed. The official recognition by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale The Shetland Sheepdog is looked after in Germany by two clubs in the VDH. Once from the Shetland Sheepdog Club Germany and the second club is the Club for British Sheepdogs.