Dog breeds: Shetland Sheepdog - Shetland Shepherd

Dog breeds: Shetland Sheepdog - Shetland Shepherd

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Origin, classification and history

Origin: Great Britain.
F.C.I classification: Group 1 - shepherd dogs and cattle dogs (excluding Swiss cattle dogs).

Even for the Shetland Sheepdog (Shetland Shepherd) there are various hypotheses on its derivations. Some argue that the breed originated from the cross between the "Collies" and the "Icelandic Yakkin", a small Icelandic dog now no longer recognized. During the eighteenth century the breed had developed strongly. For many centuries this particular type of dog has been used in the Shetlands islands to guard and lead flocks of sheep. The selective improvement of the breed took place essentially in the twentieth century, when it was imported to the Continent. The breed was officially recognized in 1909 and entered in the United Stated registers in 1911. Today it is a very common breed in Great Britain and also in many European countries. The breed is currently recognized by the following associations and organizations: FCI, CKC, AKC, UKC, KCGB, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, APRI.

General aspect

Small long-haired working dog of great beauty, in no way heavy or coarse. Harmonic forms so that no part is disproportionate in relation to the whole. The hair, the mane and the thick bib, the well-sculpted head, the sweetness of the expression contribute to the presentation of the ideal Shetland.


It is a race that proves to be very smart. She is sweet to people she considers friends. Just being a few minutes in direct contact with a subject of this breed can understand that he is very intelligent. It is very solid and extremely active.
Affectionate temperament, receptive to the master. He is a very reserved dog towards strangers, but never shows signs of shyness. Very affectionate. If used, he can also be a discreet guardian.

Shetland Sheepdog (photo

Shetland Sheepdog (photo


- males from 33 to 38 cm
- females from 30 to 36 cm
Scraps greater than 2, 5 cm more or less are considered serious defects.
- males from 6 to 8 kg
- females from 5 to 7 kg.

Trunk: the length of the body, from the point of the shoulder, the tip of the buttock is slightly greater than the height at the withers. The chest is high; it barely reaches the level of the elbow. Ribs well circled which, however, elongate in the lower part, to allow free play of the front and shoulders. The back is straight and the kidney line has a graceful curvature. Croup gradually tilted backwards.
Head and muzzle: the head is refined in its lines and, seen from above and / or in profile, it has the shape of an elongated, truncated cone, which gradually becomes pointed from the ear to the truffle. The width of the skull is proportionate to its length and that of the muzzle. The whole must be considered in relation to the size of the dog. The skull is flat, of a moderate width between the ears, without prominence of the occipital crest. The cheeks are flat and blend gently into a well-rounded muzzle. The skull and muzzle are of equal length and the center is at the height of the internal commissure of the eye. In profile, the upper line of the skull must be parallel to the upper line of the nasal bridge, with a slightly accentuated but defined stop. The truffle, lips and periocular area are black. The characteristic expression is the result of the perfect balance and harmony of the skull, the nasal bridge, the shape, the color, the position of the eyes, the correct position and bearing of the ears. jaws of good length, dry, strong; the jaw is highly developed. Clenched lips. Healthy teeth with perfect scissor bite.
Truffle: large and black in color.
Teeth: complete in number and development.
Neck: muscular, convex neck, of sufficient length for the head to be worn proudly.
Ears: the ears are small and moderately wide at the base, positioned very close to each other at the top of the skull. When the dog is at rest, they are folded back, but when attentive, they are directed towards washing and carried upright, with the tips falling forward.
Eyes: the eyes are of medium size, arranged obliquely, in the shape of an almond. Dark brown in color except in merle-colored subjects, in which one or both eyes can be blue or speckled with blue.
Skin: fairly well fitting to the body.
Limbs: the anterior ones with the arm and the scapula that are of approximately equal length. Elbow equidistant from the withers and the ground. Seen from the front, the forelegs are straight, muscular and dry, with a strong bone structure. Solid and flexible metacarpian cannons. Hindquarters with wide and muscular thigh. The femur forms a right angle with the coxal joint. The articulation of the grassella offers a clearly marked angle. The hock is clean, angled and well descended, with a strong bone structure. Seen from behind, the metatarsian cannons must be perpendicular. Oval shaped feet. Very thick bearings, arched and tight fingers.
Shoulder: very well inclined backwards. At the withers, the shoulders are separated only from the vertebrae, but they tilt outwards to allow a refined curvature of the ribs. The shoulder joint is well angled.
Movement: elastic gaits, united graceful. The thrust is given to the hind limbs, the dog covers the maximum of the ground with minimum effort. A wobbly or swaying gait, exchange, the sparse walking of the dog as mounted on stilts, hopping gait with important vertical movements constitute a serious defect.
Musculature: well developed.
Tail: thicker at the root.
Coat: double coat. The long coat is straight and rough in texture. The soft, short and tight undercoat. The mane and the harness are very abundant, the forelegs are very fringed. The hind limbs are covered by a very abundant hair above the hocks, while below the hair is rather short. Short face hair. The subjects known by the name of short hair are to be rejected.
Allowed colors: sable subjects are light or shaded; all shades are allowed, from pale golden to intense fawn, but in any case the color must be bright. The washed out color and gray are to be avoided.
The tricolor subjects are of an intense black on the body; live tan spots will be preferred.
Merle blue: light blue silvery, sprayed or streaked with black. Prefer live tan spots, but their absence should not be penalized. To be penalized: large black spots, slate color a reddish tinge, both in the coat and in the undercoat. The overall effect produced must be blue.
Black / white and black / tan are equally recognized colors. The white spots can appear (except in black and tan subjects) on the chest, the collar, the limbs, the end of the tail; they can form a list or even a collar. The white spots will be preferred, in part or in their entirety (except in black and tan subjects) but their absence should not be considered a defect. To penalize white spots on the body.
Most common defects: non-standard measures, monorchidism, cryptorchidism, prognathism, enognatism, lack of premolars, colors of the coat not allowed, defective rear end, little inclined shoulder, little muscled thighs, low chest, thin skeleton, little muscular neck, big ears, light eye, lips not tight, aggressive or shy character, incorrect movement.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Video: Sheltie Mios everyday life u0026 the beginning of his agility training, 6-8 months old (June 2022).