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Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland sheep dog, or "sheltie" as it is commonly called, traces it's roots back to Shetland where the breed was originally developed to herd the land's small statured sheep. The modern Shetland sheepdog is a result of mixed breeding with the rough collie, the now extinct Greenland Yakki, the King Charles Spaniel (not the Cavalier), the Pomeranian, and finally the border collie. This is a divergence from their origins where they were likely closer to a spitz type dog, similar to the modern Icelandic sheepdog and indeed the two breeds do bear some resemblance. The breed was originally called Shetland collies, but this aggravated rough collie breeders and the name was changed to Shetland sheepdogs. The breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel club in 1909 and the American Kennel club some years later in 1911.

Appearance

The Shetland sheep dog looks like a miniature version of the rough collie, ranging in sizes from small to medium. Height ranges from 13-16 inches and they may weigh up to 27 pounds. Their double coat has long, weather resistant guard hairs over an undercoat designed to moderate temperature in all degrees, keeping the sheltie cooler in the summer and warm in the winter. Hair length is shorter around the head and muzzle but forms a mane about the ruff of the neck. The color of the coat generally falls into three categories: sable, tri-color and blue merle. sable is by far the most common, with golden the primary color supplemented by varying degrees of white markings. Tri-color...

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