The Sheltie is ranked as the sixth most intelligent breed of dog by the American Kennel Club.
Shelties bear such striking resemblance to collies because the collie was one of the breeds that was used to develop the sheltie.
The Sheltie breed was created by crossing Collies that made their way to the Shetland Islands with the Icelandic Yakkin, a small island dog that came to the Shetland Islands via fisherman, who kept these small dogs as companions and rat hunters on their boats. The Island Yakkin is no longer a recognized breed.
Shelties were used for herding, but not for keeping sheep in a fold. Rather, they were used on the farm for keeping sheep away from areas of the farm where the sheep should not be allowed to graze. Today, when shelties are used for herding, they are often used to keep herds of sheep together, like other sheepdogs. However, in the US, shelties are primarily used as family pets today.
Shelties, particularly when they're young, have a tendency to nip at the heels. This is part of their herding behavior and was one of the tactics used by shelties to keep sheep in their proper place.
Shelties should never be brushed dry. The texture of their coat is prone to tearing and breaking if dry brushed. They should always be misted with water before brushing.
The Sheltie was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1909 but did not receive separate classification as the Sheltie (apart from Collie) until 1914.
The Sheltie is one of the most successful obedience breeds.
The first Sheltie registered by the AKC (1911) was "Lord Scott", who was imported from Shetland by John G. Sherman, Jr. of New York.
The American Shetland Sheepdog Association, parent club of the breed, was organized at the Westminster Kennel Club in 1929, and held its first specialty show in 1933.
Dermatomyositis is a genetic condition that is common in Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs. It is also seen in children. This condition is an inflammatory condition of the skin (face, ears, tail, legs) and muscles. The exact cause is unknown, but genetics are a factor. Other possible factors that may play a role in this disease (in combination with genetics) include environment, infectious agents, and chemicals.
Shelties are a breed that vary more than most others in size. In fact, it can be very difficult to predict how large a sheltie puppy will grow, even if you've seen both its sire and its dam. On average they range in weight from 15-25 pounds and stand 13-16 inches in height.
Shelties do not become fully mature until they are 3-5 years of age, which means that their coats also don't reach their full beauty and potential until this age.