Shetland SheepdogThe Shetland Sheepdog is a proud little dog that is fast and light on it’s feet, as well as being a graceful jumper. Excelling at agility and obedience competitions, they are very smart and learn quickly.

They are good with children but because of their strong herding instincts, they must to taught not to herd children or other pets.


Shetland Sheepdogs are from the Shetland Islands, between Scotland and Norway. Farmers there bred Border Collies with smaller dogs to herd sheep.

Shetland Sheepdogs guarded the farmer’s gardens, keeping out the sheep and birds. They would also herd sheep.

The Shetland Sheepdog was brought to England and Scotland in the early 1800’s and bred with possibly a Spaniel and Pomeranians.


The Shetland Sheepdog dog breed is a member of the American Kennel Club’s herding group and officially recognized in 1911.


These dogs are small is size, standing 13 to 16 inches at the shoulder. Their weight starts at 20 pounds and goes up.


According to the American Kennel Club the standard colors for a Shetland Sheepdog are black and white, black white and tan, blue merle and white, sable and white, and sable merle and white.

Shetland SheepdogTemperament

They are loving companions that are affectionate and good with kids. As alert dogs, they make good watchdogs and bark at anything suspicious. They are sensitive in nature and you should only use positive reinforcement.

Socialization is necessary for the Shetland Sheepdog as they can be shy with strangers. They should be exposed to different sights, sounds, people and animals when they are young puppies.


The Shetland Sheepdog has a moderate to high energy level and will require daily mental and physical stimulation. Without proper exercise, bad behaviors will develop like excessive barking.


Shetland Sheepdogs have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years of age and are generally healthy dogs, although some may develop hypothyroidism, blindness, von Willebrand’s Disease, hip dysplasia or dermatomyositis.


Regular brushing will be necessary to keep their coat tangle free and remove any loose hair. Their coat is long and thick and they shed heavily, especially in the Spring and Fall.

Other Grooming

Only give your Shetland Sheepdog a bath when it is necessary, but you should clean their ears weekly to prevent bacteria and infection. Brush their teeth 3 times a week to remove plaque and trim their nails regularly.


Being very intelligent dogs that are very willing to please their owners, they excel at agility, obedience, tracking, herding, and flyball.

They are sensitive in nature, therefore you should use calm verbal corrections and positive reinforcement. Mental and physical stimulation must be given daily to avoid developing bad behaviors.

Shetland Sheepdog puppySeparation Anxiety

They will stay home alone if their owner will give them lots of mental and physical stimulation when they are home.

Take your Shetland Sheepdog for a walk before you leave home and leave them a toy to play with or a treat dispensing toy. When you return home, take your Shetland Sheepdog outside, and exercise and train with them to release their energy.


If you have an interest in the Shetland Sheepdog dog breed, please consider adoption. Search for a Shetland Sheepdog available for adoption in your area by going to PetFinder.

To find a Shetland Sheepdog rescue organization, you can enter “Shetland Sheepdog Rescue” into a search engine such as Google. You can also search including your zip code by entering “Shetland Sheepdog Rescue + zip code”, replacing zip code with your actual zip code.

What do you think about the Shetland Sheepdog dog breed? Leave a comment or share a story about your dog below. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.