The Shetland Sheepdog (also known as Sheltie) originated off the northeast coast of Scotland in the rugged Shetland Islands. Early Shelties were a nondescript group until they were taken to the mainland where dog enthusiasts crossbred them to toy breed and small Collies, and they developed a more distinct appearance.
A breed that is well loved both on farms and in family households, the Shetland Sheepdog is energetic, affectionate and responsive. The Sheltie has a long smooth coat and a full abundant mane that sheds twice a year and requires regular brushing. The three basic colours of the Sheltie are black, sable, and blue merle.
Used for herding, the Shetland Sheepdog is intensely loyal and therefore aloof with strangers. They can be quite vocal in protecting their turf. Proper socialization at an early age is important, particularly with children. Like other herding dogs, the Sheltie is very intelligent and active and requires abundant exercise and mental stimulation. If not properly stimulated, destructive and anxious behaviours may manifest. They perform well and excel in agility and other dog athletics.