Shetland Sheepdogs, more commonly known as shelties, are often confused with collies and are sometimes referred to as "miniature collies". However, the Sheltie and the Collie are two distinct breeds. And, while they do look very much alike, there are quite a few differences. [...]
Shelties are one of the best choices in family pets. They are sweet and gentle dogs with a lively personality and a great sense of fun. They are also one of the most intelligent dog breeds, ranked number 6 in intelligence by the American Kennel Association. But, like all breeds, shelties have some particular personality traits that must be managed during training if you're to make your sheltie the perfect family pet. [...]
Shelties are beautiful dogs, but they require regular grooming to keep their long coats beautiful and free of mats. Here are some tips for grooming your sheltie that will keep his coat beautiful without requiring hours of your time.
First of all, don't shave your sheltie's coat. The coat provides insulation from the heat and cold, and you may severely impair your dog's ability to regulate his body temperature by shaving him. The only exception to this rule is in the event of severe skin problems. [...]
Shelties are an extremely active breed and require a fair amount of exercise to be happy and healthy. They're also very much "people dogs", so they will get the most joy out of exercise with their owners. Without the appropriate amount of exercise, your sheltie may become extremely rambunctious in the house and may even become destructive or begin digging your yard. But, just a little time spent attending to their need for physical activity is all it takes to ensure that your sheltie is in his best condition. [...]
Agility training is a great way for your dog to get good exercise for both his body and his mind and is also a great way for you and your dog to spend time together. Shelties are a naturally active and intelligent breed, so they are particularly well suited to agility activities. [...]
Therapy dogs have become quite popular in recent years and are used in a variety of ways to help meet the emotional needs of those who are ill, among others. [...]
Purebred shelties make excellent show dogs. They are intelligent and beautiful and usually enjoy the experience of being in the show ring. If you're interested in turning your sheltie into a show dog, here are some tips to get you started.
Your dog must be registered - In order to compete in AKC competition, your dog must be registered with the AKC. Both his sire and his dam must be registered and his litter must be registered. It is your breeder's responsibility to register the litter; you will need to register your own puppy. [...]
Shelties are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. This intelligence makes them prime candidates for showing and other competitions. Two of the types of competitions to which shelties are well suited are obedience and herding competitions.
Obedience competitions measure how well dogs perform the commands as directed by their handlers. The dogs are measured on activities such as heeling, sitting and lying down. Obedience competitions are conducted at several levels.
Dogs begin at the novice level, where they must demonstrate only the most basic commands. The second level, called open, is more difficult, with tasks like heeling off leash, performing figure eights off leash, retrieving, jumping and longer periods of sitting and lying down required.
Finally, as dogs have more training and develop more skill, they move on to the utility competition, the most difficult level. In utility competition dogs must respond to hand signals for basic commands such as "sit", "lie down", "come", and "stand". At this level of competition, voice signals are not used for basic commands. Dogs must also perform scent discrimination tasks, where the dog will be directed to find their handler's scent among a pile of articles. They will also be required to retrieve and return an item to the handler after being directed to do so only by hand signals.
Herding competitions are designed for herding dog breeds, such as the Sheltie, Collie, Border Collie and Sheepdog. These competitions are sometimes referred to as "sheepdog trials". In herding competitions the dogs must move sheep around a field, fences, gates, or enclosures as directed by their handlers. Some farmers use these competitions to teach their dogs proper herding techniques for use on the farm, while other dogs competing are just doing so as a hobby. Herding competitions are gaining popularity in the United States and are sometimes included as part of agility competitions for herding breeds. These competitions have been very popular for many years in hill farming areas, where dogs are still widely used for herding. They are particularly popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Sheltie breed was developed as a herding dog. The breed was first developed in the Shetland Islands by crossing collies 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 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. [...]
Three breeds of dog that are commonly confused are the Collie, the Border Collie and the Shetland Sheepdog. All three are distinct breeds. And, while they have some similarities, they also have many differences. Following are some of the most common differences and similarities between the breeds.
Collies were developed in Scotland as sheep herding dogs. They come in two varieties: the rough coated, or long haired collie, and the smooth coated or short haired collie. They stand approximately 20-25 inches tall at the shoulders. Males weigh between 46-66 pounds and females weigh between 39-55 pounds. [...]
There are several different groups that rank or rate dogs based on intelligence, however specifically how these rankings or ratings are determined is not always clear. In some of the rankings it is done by owner survey, which isn't always all that accurate but it is a definite poll of the more popular breeds. Ranking by training and number of repetitions of a command for mastery is another option, however some breeds are not tested or perhaps there was a non-compliant dog used in the testing. [...]
It is not news to anyone that has had the opportunity to own or work with dogs in this group that they are some of the most intelligent dogs in various ranking surveys. Within the top 10 smartest dogs there are at least four different members of the herding group that routinely place and those include the Border Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Australian Cattle Dog and the German Shepherd Dog. [...]