The thick double coat must be brushed regularly (but only when wet, to avoid breakage).
Shelties love their families, but may be reserved at first with strangers. As a herding dog, they can be inclined to bark at and herd people. Shelties thrive on the farm, but adapt to many living situations if given proper exercise. The breed's dense double coat requires regular maintenance.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds.
The Shetland Sheepdog is a medium breed and has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your pet. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Their ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Shetland Sheepdogs are devoted family pets that love to spend time with their family—and will often follow family members around the house. They are emotional animals that tend to feed off the mood of their owners and are not shy to speak their mind (literally—this breed likes to bark). Because of their history as herding dogs, Shelties love to run around an enclosed yard and love to be given a job to do.
Shetland Sheepdog &HEALTH
Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like hip and elbow dysplasia and eye disease. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Shetland Sheepdogs are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Sheltie can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.