Shetland Sheepdogs as Pets

For potential pet owners seeking an dog that provides something more than just lazy companionship a Shetland Sheepdog might be the perfect pet. Shetlands, or Shelties as they are often affectionately called, are a breed from the herding dog group.

Shelties might be mistaken for the popular Border Collie breed that was made famous by the television show Lassie. The Sheltie and the Border Collie have more in common than just similar looks. Both Collies and Shelties are excitable herding dogs that need plenty of activity and exercise. The main difference between the breeds is size. Shelties hale from the Shetland Islands. And just as there location would seemingly indicate, Shelties are a small breed.

The breed has been recognized by the English Kennel Club since the first decade of the 20th Century. Shelties generally weight between 10 to 30 pounds and are ideal for as either show dogs or pets. As a pet, Shelties are extremely loyal and crave attention. This intelligent breed needs plenty of human contact and activity. Luckily, the Sheltie is easy and willing to be trained. As a natural herder the breed enjoys work, so it is natural for Shelties to learn and perform tricks.

While the Sheltie is an ideal dog for a family with the time and willingness to provide their pet with plenty of activity, it might not be an ideal breed for more passive owners. Sheltie ranked as one of the most intelligent breeds according to research by Dr. Stanley Coren. It ranked 6th out of the more than 100 breeds tested. Coren found that Shelties could learn activities in less than five repetitions. The Sheltie was also eager to please. The breed would perform the trick 95 percent of the time that it was asked to repeat it during trials.

The active and intelligent Sheltie might be an ideal pet in a loving household.

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