The Shetland Sheepdog is better known as the "Sheltie." He is a miniature Collie developed on the Shetland Islands, located northeast of Scotland. The original Collies of Scotland were medium-size dogs, probably resembling Border Collies. From this type, the larger dogs were developed to create the Collies of today, and the smaller ones became the Shelties.
Because of his small size, the beautiful Sheltie can be happy in the city or country. He may not need as much space as a Collie, but he needs just as much attention. These intelligent, loving, and sensitive dogs become deeply attached to their families. Shelties are famous for their learning ability. Besides being smart, they want to please. Training is a pleasure; a light hand is all that is required. They like to be clean, too, and are easily housetrained. They usually get along well with gentle and thoughtful children.
This sweet, clever, and bright little dog comes wrapped in a lovely, big coat, almost identical to the bigger Collie's--except in size, of course. The outer coat is straight and harsh. It stands out from the softer, woolly undercoat. He needs brushing every other day, daily when shedding.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance:Small, alert, rough-coated, agile.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--13 to 16 inches at the withers.
The small Collie dog was better suited to the harsh island life of Shetland. Food was scarce, and smaller animals survived better since they needed less food. That's why Shetland ponies are also small. The Sheltie is called the Shetland Sheepdog instead of the Shetland Collie so that people will know it is a separate breed from the Collie.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.