One of the most loyal and obedient breeds, the Sheltie makes for a superb companion dog. They are sensitive and incredibly intelligent, making them easily trainable and a natural fit for life with people.
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They are great at herding, guarding, tracking, and performing tricks, making them incredibly versatile. However, being one of the smartest breeds, these dogs need stimulation, or they may get bored and attempt to occupy themselves in negative and destructive ways. They also need a surefooted leader, otherwise they may see themselves as the alpha and try to lead you.
Shetland Sheepdogs can be sable, golden brown, mahogany, blue merle, tricolored black, white and tan , bi-blue black, grey and a bit of white , and bi-black black and tan coloring. The major health problems which affect the Shetland Sheepdog are:. Enter your e-mail address to get a secret discount code for your first purchase:. Home Wellness Breed Guides.
Is the Shetland Sheepdog right for you? Lifespan 12 and 15 years. Hair Length Long.
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Male Height 13 to 16 inches tall. Male Weight 16 to 20 pounds. Eyes — Brown, blue or one of each. If brown, very dark is preferred.
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If blue, a pearl, china or wall-eye is considered typical. An amber or yellow eye is most objectionable. Skull — Capacious and rather squarely formed giving plenty of room for brain power. The parts over the eyes supra-orbital ridges are well arched. The whole well covered with hair. Stop — Well defined. Jaw — Fairly long, strong, square and truncated. Attention is particularly called to the above properties as a long, narrow head or snipy muzzle is a deformity. Nose — Always black, large and capacious.
Teeth — Strong, large and evenly placed.
Shetland Sheepdog Information, a Guide to the Sheltie
The bite is level or tight scissors. Neck — Fairly long and arched gracefully. Topline — Stands lower at the withers than at the loin with no indication of softness or weakness. Attention is particularly called to this topline as it is a distinguishing characteristic of the breed. Neither slab-sided nor barrel-chested. The loin is very stout and gently arched. Shoulders well laid back and narrow at the points.
The forelegs dead straight with plenty of bone. The measurements from the withers to the elbow and from the elbow to the ground are practically the same. Profuse, but not so excessive as to give the impression of the dog being overly fat, and of a good hard texture; not straight, but shaggy and free from curl. Quality and texture of coat to be considered above mere profuseness.
Softness or flatness of coat to be considered a fault. The undercoat is a waterproof pile when not removed by grooming or season. Ears coated moderately.
The Old English Sheepdog: A Complete Guide | Doggie Designer
The whole skull well covered with hair. The neck well coated with hair. The forelegs well coated all around. The hams densely coated with a thick, long jacket in excess of any other part. Neither the natural outline nor the natural texture of the coat may be changed by any artificial means except that the feet and rear may be trimmed for cleanliness. Round and muscular with well let down hocks. When standing, the metatarsus are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from any angle.
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Their eyes when you can see them are dark brown, or blue, or one of each. OES move with a bear-like shuffle but are famous for their nimbleness afoot. Regular exercise is required for these strong, able-bodied workers. Equally famed are their many fine housedog qualities: watchfulness, courage, kindliness, and intelligence. Great with children, OES make patient, protective playmates.
They are sensible watchdogs known for a loud, ringing bark. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. The coat is what attracts most people to the Old English Sheepdog. The breed is double-coated and requires a thorough grooming down to the skin, over the entire dog, at least weekly to maintain their full coats.
Potential owners need to be prepared to spend the time required to do this, or pay a professional groomer, for several sessions each month for the life of the dog. As with all breeds, the nails should be trimmed regularly. This is a breed that requires some physical activity. There is a wide variance in the activity levels, but all require some regular exercise.
Most Old English Sheepdogs are quite intelligent and have a biddable nature. After they learn something, they do not forget it. They do get bored with repetitive, robotic training exercises. If you want to participate in some of those activities, you need to change things up and make it new and fun. As with all dogs, early socialization in puppyhood is vital. Fortunately, DNA tests now exist for cerebellar ataxia and primary ciliary dyskinesia, two deadly diseases that breeders can avoid producing simply by identifying carriers and not breeding them to other carriers.
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