The Shetland Collie, or Shetland Sheepdog as they are called today, originated in remote windswept islands off the north coast of Scotland. "Shelties" were bred to herd sheep. The sheepdogs stayed with the shepherd in small stone cottages with thatched roofs and thick walls to keep out the freezing howling wind that blew in off the sea. The dog's thick coat protected him for snow and sleet. Sheep often wandered off and fell into snowdrifts in the winter. Good shepherds cared for the sheep and thought nothing of walking miles to hunt for missing sheep, risking their lives climbing up crags and ravines. The Shelties rounded the sheep up and guided them into the safety of walled pens made of rocks. In between snowstorms, and in summer, the sheep wandered over the hills and found pasture. It was the dogs' job to bring them back when necessary. Read the origins of dog breeds.
Shetland sheepdogs are petite, dainty dogs with an abundance of long hair especially on the mane, the chest and the neck, which needs brushing to keep it in order.
Some Shelties bark incessantly, so maybe not the best breed for a home that is close to neighbours.
A Shetland sheepdog is a good-natured dog and easily trained. They look like a miniature "Lassie." (for Lassie, see rough collie)
The best-known colours are golden-brown and white, but they can be any colour.
Height: dogs 37 cm, bitches 35.5 cms at shoulder.