Dog Breed Information
Shelties originated from the Shetland Isles near
Scotland. Like many of the shetland breeds they were bred smaller
and hardier to suit the conditions. They were a working dog and
primarily herded and protected the livestock. The Shetland Sheepdog
used to be called the "Toonie", a name taken from "tun", the Norwegian
word for farm. You will often see this reflected in kennel names
for shelties throughout the world. The Shetland Sheepdog and the
larger herding Collie probably have a common ancestor, a herding
dog bred in the British Highlands, believed to be similar to today's
Border Collie. The dogs that remained on the Scottish mainland
eventually developed into the Rough Collie; those that were taken
to the Shetland Isles were down-sized to meet the needs of the
island and developed into the Shetland Sheepdog.
The English Kennel Club recognized the breed in
1909, the name given was the Shetland Collie, and in 1914, the
Shetland Collie became known as the Shetland Sheepdog, a completely
separate breed. Since then shelties have been dispersed around
the world from Europe and Scandanavia to the US and to the "colonies"
including Australia, NewZealand, South Africa, India, Hong Kong
The Sheltie, or Shetland Sheepdog, is an extraordinary
companion. Shelties are keenly loyal and wonderfully affectionate.
They have an above average intelligence (in fact they have been
rated as the fourth most intelligent breed) coupled with a desire
to please you. They excel in obedience, agility, and even in tracking.
They are always willing to obey your every wish and are ecstatic
at the praise they receive. Kept as a pet, the sheltie will adapt
to family life quickly and surely, settling into whatever routine
Shelties can be a bit standoffish with strangers
but usually they are not unfriendly. With a little time and reassurance
from their owner, the sheltie will accept your attentions. Most
certainly as a guard dog, they are not intimidating; however they
will alert you to strangers. In all, they are a pleasure to live
with and a delight to own. A sheltie has the special magic to
make your life a whole lot more liveable. As their owners will
tell you time and time again. Shelties are companions extraordinaire!