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The Shetland Sheepdog originated
in the 1800s and its ancestors were from Scotland, which worked as
herding dogs. These early dogs were fairly small, about 20 inches in
height, which further developed into the current Shetland Sheepdog. It
is said that other dogs came into the mix as well, which helped produce
this breed, namely the early Collie, the Iceland dog, and the King
Charles Spaniel (black and tan version).
Because they were isolated from
the rest of the world, the Shetland Sheepdog was able to breed to its
original form in a fast amount of time compared to other dog breeds who
might have taken decades, or even centuries of mixed breeding to form
their current AKC recognition. England became fond of these animals
when the British naval fleet used to take puppies back after visiting
Their name in the beginning were
referred to as “Toonie dogs” which made reference to their local
Shetland farming area. Sometime in the early 1900s the name was termed
“Shetland Collies”. However, Collie enthusiasts were not very fond of
his name so they changed it to the Shetland Sheepdog.
This dog breed is a very
intelligent animal that is considered to be extremely bright, a bit on
the sensitive side, and always willing to please. Shetland Sheepdogs
learn very quickly which makes them easily trainable. They are very
obedient dogs and just as equally gentle, amiable, and make great
companions to any family, especially those with small children.
Upkeep And Maintenance: This dog is very energetic, therefore it must
have daily exercise to maintain its physical energy output needs. Brisk
walks throughout the day on a leash, short jogs, or playful training
sessions are all perfect ways to spend time with the Sheltie while
getting the dog its required exercise.
Shetland Sheepdogs are best to
be kept indoors with its family, as it longs for companionship and
human contact at all times. However, this dog can sleep outdoors if
necessary, so long as the climate is decent. It is just not recommended
for its stable emotional happiness.
Health Information: As a member
of the herding group, the Shetland Sheepdog has a lifespan of a 14
years when it maintains good health. Veterinarians suggest that dog
owners have their Sheltie dogs specifically tested for DNA for vWD, hip
dysplasia, eye problems, and thyroid issues. The only major health
concern that is common for this dog breed is dermatomyositis. Minor
issues to lookout for include allergies, patellar luxation, CHD, PRA,
CEA, hypothyroidism, trichiasis, Legg-Perthes, and cataracts.
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