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shetland sheepdog face sheltie Meet the Shetland Sheepdog, this week's featured dog breed! Also known as the Sheltie, this breed looks like a small version of the Collie. In fact, the Sheltie is very closely related to the Collie, but was bred down in size over time. However, many of the Collie's traits have remained. The Sheltie is a wise, gentle soul that is intensely loyal to its owner. The breed is an excellent competitor in obedience, agility and herding. The Sheltie is also a wonderful dog for kids!

I have always found Shelties to be affectionate, sensitive dogs that make lovely companions. Do you have a soft spot for the kindly Shetland Sheepdog? Please share your thoughts and your photos with other readers!

Photo China Photos / Stringer / Getty Images


January 15, 2009 at 12:24 am
(1) M. says:

I absolutely LOVE Shelties! I’ve had two Shelties in my lifetime and I would recommend this breed to anyone. They are smart, eager to please, loving, beautiful, loyal, a good watchdog,… well, I just can’t say enough good things about them. They are an excellent breed for children also. I personally feel like they are much happier when they have a large yard to play in, since they do require exercise. They get restless just being in a house or small apartment.

January 15, 2009 at 9:18 am
(2) Robin Dilg says:

I have my first Sheltie as of one year ago and after many dogs (I’m 63 and dog crazy). She is one of my favorite dogs ever but I’ve had to work on the barking with a squirt water bottle which works and teaching her to bark on command and then NOT bark. She passed her therapy dog international test with flying colors and I’m looking forward to trying herding or rally with her. She was a rescue because she was unregisterable because she is white but her vision and hearing are fine. She’s 2 years old. I’m getting her some ducks to herd in the spring. Very fun dog.

January 15, 2009 at 9:36 am
(3) T. Louise says:

I have a 13 year old Sheltie and he is GREAT! We got him when our son was 12, and he has been the best dog. Shelties are bright, loyal and fun. He loves to snuggle on the couch with us in the winter. Everywhere I go, he is. I will never own another breed of dog. They do like to bark though, but their good traits outweigh the barking.

January 15, 2009 at 11:09 am
(4) Kris maule says:

My family has had shelties for many many years. My Grandparents were breeders and I would never consider having any other kind of dog. They are so smart, excellent at obedience (my dogs have been state champions) and have wonderful funny personalities. They are so gentle with small children. One interesting note regarding the breed. They were bred for herding of course, but they were also bred to flush small animals out of gardens, etc. Mine are great at scaring away squirrels, etc. they have no desire to hunt or kill them, just to get them out of their space.

January 17, 2009 at 1:47 am
(5) Joyce Reid-Lukens says:

I adore Shelties and have followed the breed since the late 1970s. I love them in whatever color they happen to sport and have owned blue merles, sables and a bi-black. Each of them had their own personalities and I’ve loved every one of them that have shared my life with me.
I would like to correct one thing, though. Shelties are not the result of breeding collies to a smaller size. Originally they were a small collie-ish herding dog with a less dense coat, snd their heads were rounder and their muzzles shorter yet snipier. At this point they were sometimes called the Tooney dog. Later on, a few collies were added to the breeding programs to help fix type, leading to the collie-like appearance they have today. I know this may seem to be a trivial point, but regardless of their collie-like appearance, the Shetland Sheepdog really isn’t a miniture collie. The collie helped it become the breed it now is, but the true core of the breed is that remarkable Scottish herder, the Tooney dog.

January 24, 2009 at 8:15 pm
(6) Laura Dye says:

Thank you Joyce, for correcting the article’s mistake on “bred-down collies.” With three Shelties in my home, that mis-statement was the first which jumped out at me. All of my fur-kids are from Sheltie Rescue, the joys of my life; but they’re definitely not minature Collies! ;-)

January 24, 2009 at 11:07 pm
(7) Jenna - Dogs Guide says:

Thank you all for your comments, and to Joyce for your observations. I see that my wording in the above blog entry was not quite clear, but the full article is a bit more descriptive.

Of course, Shelties are NOT bred-down Collies, but the two breeds do share the same origins. As the two breeds were separately developed over time, Shelties were bred down in size while Collies were not. Again, my full article goes into a bit more detail about their history:


Sorry for any confusion. Thanks for reading!

October 6, 2009 at 11:30 am
(8) daniel says:

i have a 10 month old sheltie and he is my first dog, he is awsome he loves to go play frisbee

June 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm
(9) dave says:

I have had 3 shelties, and am sure i will have one the day that i die. I have never found a dog breed that i loved more. My shelties have all been sweet,loyal,affectionate, kind, smart, and fun. God bless the sheltie, long may they live.

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