Shetland Sheepdog

     

Intro

The Shetland sheepdog is a dog that looks like a small rough coated Collie. As the name denotes, this dog though small was bred as a work dog which would help in guarding sheep. The head and muzzle give the impression of a blunt wedge when looked at from the size. The muzzle tapers downwards from the ear level as it moves down.

The teeth of the dog meet in a scissors bite. The nose of the dog is always black. The dog has small almond shaped eyes that are dark in color. The color shade seen in the eyes is determined by the coat that the dog has. It may be black, brown or even a shade of dark blue.

The dog has very small ears that are semi erect in the event of the dog being alert. Ordinarily, the ears lie flat on the back. The dog has a muscular and arched neck that supports the head. The tail of the dog is long and feathered and drops below the top line of the dog.

Appearance

The Shetland sheepdog is a dog that has a long double coat and that covers all the body in equal measure. The undercoat is dense and short while the over coat is long tough. Common coat colors include blue, sable and black and these color coats all have markings of white and tan. Height range stands at 13 – 16 inches and the weight range is about 14 – 27 pounds.

Temperament

The Shetland sheepdog is a dog that has a lot of energy and is willing to please. It is a wonderful companion and is docile and pleasant attitude. This dog though docile is very loving and loyal to the immediate family that it interacts with. Good socialization skills since the dog was a puppy is recommended to ensure that it gets used to people as failure causes it to grow up being very reserved.

Firm and consistent training leads to great results where the dog understands you as the owner and you get to form a very strong bond. It is quick to learn as it has been said to be one of the dogs with the highest IQ. This dog can even handle advanced training as it has the mental capability of handling the stress that the training needs.

As the Shetland Sheepdog has been bred for many generations as a herding dog, it is recommended that it should beer be left unsupervised with non canine pets as the hunting instincts may kick in.

Health Problems

Most of the conditions observed are inherited. These include eye problems, hypothyroidism and patella luxation. Weight management goes a long way in preventing health conditions.

Mortality

L:ow mortality is observed, with the Shetland Sheepdog living an average of 15 years

Grooming

Regular brushing is recommended. More frequent brushing of hair is recommended when it is shedding.

Origin

The dog is a relative of the Rough Collie and Border Collie. It was developed in the 17th century and was recognized by the AKC in 1911.