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Sheltie


Shelties originated from the Shetland Isles near Scotland. Like many of the shetland breeds they were bred smaller and hardier to suit the conditions. They were a working dog and primarily herded and protected the livestock. The Shetland Sheepdog used to be called the "Toonie", a name taken from "tun", the Norwegian word for farm. You will often see this reflected in kennel names for shelties throughout the world. The Shetland Sheepdog and the larger herding Collie probably have a common ancestor, a herding dog bred in the British Highlands, believed to be similar to today's Border Collie. The dogs that remained on the Scottish mainland eventually developed into the Rough Collie; those that were taken to the Shetland Isles were down-sized to meet the needs of the island and developed into the Shetland Sheepdog.

The English Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1909, the name given was the Shetland Collie, and in 1914, the Shetland Collie became known as the Shetland Sheepdog, a completely separate breed. Since then shelties have been dispersed around the world from Europe and Scandanavia to the US and to the "colonies" including Australia, NewZealand, South Africa, India, Hong Kong and Canada.

The Sheltie, or Shetland Sheepdog, is an extraordinary companion. Shelties are keenly loyal and wonderfully affectionate. They have an above average intelligence (in fact they have been rated as the fourth most intelligent breed) coupled with a desire to please you. They excel in obedience, agility, and even in tracking. They are always willing to obey your every wish and are ecstatic at the praise they receive. Kept as a pet, the sheltie will adapt to family life quickly and surely, settling into whatever routine is set.

Shelties can be a bit standoffish with strangers but usually they are not unfriendly. With a little time and reassurance from their owner, the sheltie will accept your attentions. Most certainly as a guard dog, they are not intimidating; however they will alert you to strangers. In all, they are a pleasure to live with and a delight to own. A sheltie has the special magic to make your life a whole lot more liveable. As their owners will tell you time and time again. Shelties are companions extraordinaire!

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