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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Pawsome Sheltie Facts That Kids Will Love

Sheltie facts are packed with cuteness.

The American Kennel Club has categorized the Shetland sheepdog or commonly called the sheltie for short, under the herding group as it served as an exceptional herding dog for farmers. Their alertness coupled with intelligence made them adept at guarding the cattle as they could take spontaneous decisions. Shelties are known to be obedient dogs and are highly receptive to training. The origin of a Shetland sheepdog has disappeared into obscurity but it is believed that the dog breed originated from interbreeding of the King Charles spaniel with Scottish collie rather than with the rough collie with which it shares similarities in appearance.

The Kennel Club (UK) proclaimed it as a separate dog breed in the year 1909 with Badenock Rose being the first female Shetland sheepdog. The American Kennel Club also followed suit and identified it as a distinct breed in 1911, Lord Scott being the first to be registered.

If you love dogs and enjoy reading facts about dogs then these interesting sheltie facts have been curated just for you. Also, if you want to explore more about some other dog breeds then don't forget to take a look at these engaging facts about the border collie and the Airedale terrier.

Sheltie Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Sheltie?

A sheltie or Shetland sheepdog is a dog.

What class of animal does a Sheltie belong to?

A sheltie belongs to the class of mammals.

How many Shelties are there in the world?

Shelties are a common dog breed that is widely available throughout the world. It is difficult to ascertain the exact accurate number of the breed in current existence due to the lack of data. However, it can be said that they exist in large numbers as the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List has not listed them among the threatened or endangered species.

Where does a Sheltie live?

Shelties can be found all over the world and they currently live in houses as companions to humans.

What is a Sheltie's habitat?

As the very name of the breed suggests, the Shetland sheepdog originated in the Shetland Islands where they were mainly used for herding apart from serving as a companion. Historically they used to live in the highlands of Scotland but in modern times they can be found in the comfort of indoor spaces. Shelties now live with their masters.

Who do Shelties live with?

The Shetland sheepdogs live in human company. In the current times, they adorn the indoor homely spaces and serve as partners for human beings. They generally live with their master and their family members. Shetland sheepdogs are known to form deep attachments with their owner and other family members and since these dogs are sensitive in nature, they cannot stand loneliness or isolation. They are extremely dependent on humans for their dietary and emotional requirements. They might even die if stranded.

How long does a Sheltie live?

Shelties live for around 12-14 years. These dogs are healthy and given that they are provided with proper nourishment and care, they might enjoy a longer life span.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction cycle can be commenced once the males and females of the breed enter the puberty stage. In the females of the breed it is easy to know when the breeding process can be initiated, that is, with their heat cycle. A female goes through the heat cycle around the age of six to eight months with each heat cycle lasting up to 14 days or more. Breeding during the heat cycle increases the chances of conception. However, the dogs must be bred at the correct age to make sure that the female gives birth to a healthy litter. The best time to start the process is after your dog is two years old. After the females conceive, they need to be provided with intensive care during the gestation period that lasts for about 60 to 63 days. At the end of the incubation period, the females can give birth to a litter of four to six puppies.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List has not listed these Shetland sheepdogs under the threatened or endangered categories. This implies that these dogs are present in good numbers and can be located easily so their conservation is not much of a significant issue.

Sheltie Fun Facts

What do Shelties look like?

Sheltie facts are all about the Shetland sheepdog.

Shetland sheepdogs are small in size and are available in a wide range of shades and colors. The most famous shades are blue merle, sable white, white and tan, black and white, merle, sable, and tri-color. These dog breeds have a double coat of fur with a long and coarse outer coat and a dense undercoat that protects them from weather changes. The long, straight double coat makes them look plump and more beautiful. Shelties have white spots behind their ears.

How cute are they?

It can be said that the Shetland sheepdogs overflow their cuteness quotient. Their small size, friendly and adorable appearance makes them simply irresistible. It wouldn't be wrong to say that sheltie puppies define cuteness.

How do they communicate?

Just like other dog breeds, the Shetland sheepdog expresses its emotions in innumerable ways. The dogs often interact through gestures and movements of their body apart as well as vocalizing. Gestures like wagging their tail symbolize joy and excitement while hiding their tail between the legs implies that they are scared of something.

How big is a Sheltie?

A Shetland sheepdog is not big. In fact, it has a small build. Although it is a descendant of the breed of collie family, it is not half as big. While a rough collie is 20-24 in (51-61 cm) tall, a sheltie stands at 13-16 in (33-41 cm).

How fast can a Sheltie run?

Shetland sheepdogs are highly energetic and active dogs. Although they have a small size, they can sprint at 11 to 15 mph (18-24 kph). With proper training and exercise, the breed has the potentiality to compete in championships and dog shows.

How much does a Sheltie weigh?

A Shetland sheepdog is not too heavy. It is pretty lightweight to be carried to places. However, holding them for long hours can strain your arms. On average, a sheltie weighs around 15 to 25 lb (7-11 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male Shetland sheepdog is referred to as a dog while a female is called a bitch.

What would you call a baby Sheltie?

A baby sheltie is either called a pup affectionately or just a puppy.

What do they eat?

A Shetland sheepdog is an omnivore in nature. They can be offered a combination diet comprising the goodness of fruits, green vegetables, as well as animal proteins. A wholesome meal would enhance their health. These dogs must be served two bowls of food packed with essential nutrients every day. The calorie intake of these dogs depends on their weight and levels of activity. Dogs with a weight of 15 lb (7 kg) or so must be provided with 600 calories per day. The food must include an assortment of animal fats, raw meat, fish, soft bones, vegetables, and fruits.

Are they slobbery?

You don't need to worry about your carpets or favorite linens as the Shetland sheepdog does not slobber too much. In fact, they have very low drooling tendencies.

Would they make a good pet?

The Shetland sheepdog is always willing to please. They are highly obedient dogs. However, they are normally quite reserved with strangers. They are diligent and highly receptive to training. Shelties are great family dogs.

Did you know...

Shetland sheepdogs were originally referred to as Shetland collies.

Since these dogs served as herding dogs they might prove to be great guard dogs or watchdogs due to their inherent quality of watching over and protecting the herd from adversity.

The American Kennel Club ranks it as the sixth most intelligent breed among all dog breeds.

Shetland sheepdogs are prone to several health issues and diseases. Patellar luxation, von Willebrand’s disease, cataracts, collie eye, dermatomyositis, gallbladder mucoceles, hip dysplasia, and epilepsy are some of the diseases that can affect their health. An occasional health checkup must be done to ensure that these problems are kept at bay. However, even after adequate care, these dogs tend to contract diseases with aging. In this case, the dogs would show certain symptoms that are common to the disease and this indication must be taken seriously by taking the dog immediately to a nearby vet. The good health of a Shetland collie depends largely on the nourishment it derives and the training and exercise regimes it engages with.

The American Shetland Sheepdog Association, founded in 1929, works enthusiastically for sheltie rescue and protection. The association also helps in training shelties as therapy dogs, herding dogs, or even fit and energetic pet dogs.

History of the Sheltie

Famously known as a Shetland sheepdog, shelties are believed to have descended from the collies. Just like a border collie, a Shetland sheepdog was used for herding. These dogs were restricted to their original breeding space in the Shetland Islands in the United Kingdom due to which the entire world was unaware of their existence. The history behind their breeding from the collies do not have evidential records due to which certain sheltie dog facts like how they got their miniature forms, who bred them, and other significant sheltie information and facts remain missing. A Shetland sheepdog was bred to serve as a herding dog to aid the farmers residing in Shetland. It was only around the early 20th century that the breed received its due recognition.

Having your own Sheltie

A Shetland puppy costs around $800 to $1000.

Shelties cannot be left on their own or alone for a long time as they have high chances of developing anxiety problems and might even slip into severe depression.

Although these Shetland sheepdogs are average shedders, they do have grooming requirements. Since they come with a dense and coarse fur coat, they need to be given a cleansing bath at least twice a month accompanied by regular brushing. Additionally, these dogs must be provided with frequent ear and eye checkups and dental care. They need occasional trims too. This helps to maintain a clean and tangle-free coat. You can simply take your dog to a professional groomer or try trimming at home (but only with proper supervision).

These dogs are extremely agile, flexible, playful, and have high energy levels. They need to be taken out for regular walks or be involved in different types of exercises.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the shi tzu and the cheagle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our sheltie coloring pages.

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