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. He loves having a job to do and learns easily.
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 him to follow family members around everywhere they go, just to be close. Given his natural instincts, don’t be surprised if your Shetland Sheepdog herds the kids in the yard.
4. Shelties can be reserved with strangers, although not aggressive. They’re 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.
6. Have kids? Shelties love playing with them and can probably outlast the most energetic children. Why not teach your Sheltie to round up the kids at dinnertime, too?
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.