The Shetland Shepherd is still a little-known breed in some countries, even if agility enthusiasts have appreciated its extraordinary versatility on the competition fields for years. Due to its courage, its liveliness, and its resistance, the little Shetland, so similar to the larger collie, can be an excellent life companion in the city and support the sportsman in the most varied occasions of outdoor activities.
It was once known as a “dwarf collie” and is often mistaken for a miniature of the largest herding dog, with which it shares ancestry, but the Shetland is a full-fledged breed.
Despite its small size and refined beauty, this breed holds a prominent place among working dogs. The Shetlands, in fact, protected by their thick coat, were used to herd sheep in the rugged Scottish lands.
Their short stature did not translate into a handicap at all as all the animals that populate the Shetland Islands – the birthplace of the breed – appear to be smaller than normal, but they associate their small size with incredible strength and the ability to resist fearlessly. to bad weather and adverse weather conditions.
The Shetland Shepherd has an exceptional temperament
The Shetland Shepherd also makes an excellent companion dog, as long as they are guaranteed physical activity and daily walks. It is also an excellent watchdog, by virtue of its somewhat suspicious temperament towards strangers which often leads it to bark insistently at the sight of what does not completely convince it.
Do not treat the Shetland Shepherd, therefore, like a lap dog. Despite its small size, in fact, it is a courageous and sometimes a bit stubborn dog. A firm upbringing from a young age will make it a delightful and perfect companion even for metropolitan life.
“The Shetland is a little known dog, but with undoubted qualities: it can count on an audience of enthusiasts who appreciate its intrinsic characteristics of beauty and rusticity”.
For those who love the collie, for example, but can’t afford it, the little Shetland sheepdog is ideal. It is easy to handle, can fit perfectly in an apartment, does not require coat care, and needs less exercise than its ‘cousin’ collie ”.
Furthermore, the Shetland is perfect as a companion of children and the elderly, it is never nervous and distrustful, it has an excellent character and a joyful temperament, but never excessive.
Iron health, but small litters
The Shetland is a healthy and hardy dog. However, it should be checked for hereditary eye diseases before eight weeks of life and after one year of age. In fact, mares and stallions should always be subjected to specific tests in this sense every two years to avoid problems with the offspring.
“As far as daily care is concerned, the long coat of the Shetland – as in the case of the collie – needs some attention especially considering that under the rough outer coat there is a soft and thick undercoat, intended to protect it from the cold and from the humidity of the Scottish lands where it is born. A good and energetic brushing, therefore, is a must at least two or three times a week.
The only drawback regarding the Shetland is the low prolificacy. Litters of three subjects are a norm for this breed: if you choose it as a companion it is good to be patient and, with the help of serious breeding, wait with confidence to be able to have the much-desired puppy.