What is a Shetland Sheepdog
The official Canadian definition of a Shetland Sheepdog, called the "Shetland Sheepdog Standard", is maintained by the Canadian Kennel Club and may be viewed at the CKC website.
These little dogs are from the Shetland Isles, off the coast of Scotland, and are shown in Conformation Shows under the "Herding" Group.
In Conformation classes, the Sheltie (standing 13 to 16 inches in height) is placed on a table so that the judge can go over every dog individually to determine physical structure. The Sheltie is then moved onto the floor to determine correctness of movement. The dog closest to the Standard then wins the coveted "Best in Breed Award".
Shelties are extremely intelligent, excelling in Obedience and the popular "Dog Sports" such as Agility, Flyball, Scent Hurdling and Free Style Obedience, which is obedience put to music!
Shelties have a long double coat, that with practise is very easy to maintain. Colors range from various shades of brown (SABLE) to black with brown and/or white (TRI or BI) to blue (MERLE).
Shelties are "family" dogs, content to jog with Dad, play ball with the Children and/or sit and read with Mom. They can range from High Energy to Couch Potatoes all in one day! They are "companion" animals, and as such are definitely "house dogs".
Shelties are very alert, often acting as "guard dogs" using their keen hearing, sharp eyes and often a big bark to alert owners to what is happening outside.
The NEGATIVE aspects of owning a sheltie are:
- SHEDDING - Frequent grooming by the owner can take care of this problem. Males do not shed as much as a female who is not spayed.
- BARKING - Control of this action is accomplished by consistent training while a puppy.
- SHY SHELTIE SYNDROME - Socialization plays a HUGE part in the raising of a Sheltie. They MUST go to puppy kindergarten - at 12 weeks and subsequent obedience or fun classes after that.