Search Menu
Shetland Sheepdog face.
mccun934/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Dog owners are a devoted lot, often completely taken by a specific breed. And owners of the Shetland Sheepdog have plenty of reasons to sing the praises of this breed. Having a Sheltie is like having a best friend who’s good at everything! Fans of the breed are sure to recognize these Sheltie traits.

1. He is the epitome of the herding dog.

Developed in the rugged Shetland Islands, off the coast of Scotland, near the Arctic Circle, the Shetland Sheepdog was bred to be an agile, alert, and intelligent herder. In fact, he’ll try to herd almost anything, including squirrels, birds, and kids.

2. Because he’s so smart and trainable, he succeeds in almost everything he tries.

Shelties are used as medical alert dogs, as well as service and therapy dogs. They also excel in dog sports, including rally, agility, herding, and obedience. In fact, this little “Collie in miniature” ranks among the top canine competitors in the world.

3. He’s playful, affectionate, and devoted to his family.

It’s not unusual for a Sheltie to follow family members around everywhere they go, just to be close. A sensitive breed, Shelties need companionship and don’t do well if left alone for excessive amounts of time.

4. Shelties can be reserved with strangers, although not aggressive.

They’re very protective of their family and quick to bark to let you know someone’s coming, which makes them good watchdogs. Speaking of barking, this is a vocal dog that likes to bark … a lot.

5. Shetland Sheepdogs love learning new tricks and tasks.

Shelties (and their owners) enjoy the challenge of coming up with new things to learn, from “helping” around the house to canine gymnastics. They’re considered extremely intelligent and respond well if you’re patient and also make training time fun.

6.  This is a high energy breed that needs lots of exercise.

Have kids? Shelties love playing with them. They can probably outlast the most energetic children. Along with that, they need lots of physical and mental stimulation. Without it, a Sheltie may find less appropriate ways to entertain himself.

7. Shetland Sheepdogs are beautiful.

The flowing coat comes in several colors, including various shades of sable, black, and blue merle. The long, refined head and expressive eyes combine to create a gentle, intelligent expression that melts hearts.

Related article: Do Dogs Have a Sense of Humor?
Get Your Free AKC eBook

Selecting a Puppy

How do you know what breed is right for your family? How do you find a reputable breeder? What questions should you ask a breeder? Download this e-book for guidance on these questions and other important factors to consider when looking for a puppy.
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download