Origins of the breed
The Shetland Sheepdog or Sheltie as it is commonly called originates from the windswept and harsh group of islands to the north of Scotland.
The modern Sheltie is derived from hardy little working dogs, which were used by the crofters to herd the diminutive Shetland sheep then common to the islands.
It is generally believed that one of the early contributors to the breed was a King Charles Spaniel (rescued from a shipwreck), and in later years Rough Collie blood lines were used in the make up of the modern Sheltie.
In common with the Shetland pony, the Sheltie's small size made them economic to maintain with the limited resources of the islands. They fitted in well to the life style of the crofters, taking up little space in the home, being excellent companions, and even acting as “hot water bottles” in the long, dark winter nights of the northern isles.
The modern Sheltie still retains many of the virtues of its for-bearers, being excellent little watchdogs, warning of the approach of friends or foes, without the viciousness of some of the larger dog breeds. They make wonderful family pets when brought up with children, and coupled with their sweet temperament and good looks, they often tend to be kept in the family from generation to generation.
As modern day living space becomes more restricted, the suitability of the affable Sheltie still holds true today. Having said this the Sheltie thrives on regular exercise and loves nothing better than to race through the fields, or to walk in the woods. Because of their great intelligence and beauty, the Sheltie makes a wonderful competitor in show, obedience, and agility competitions.
A Sheltie comes in an array of colours, various shades of Sable, Tricolour, Blue Merle, Black and White, and the now rarely seen Black and Tan.
The Sheltie is the ideal family companion, guardian, and playmate, - a true all rounder.