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The 'Sheltie' (sometimes referred to as a miniature collie) is believed to have originated in Scotland. The breed is classified as a working dog due to the fact it has been bred to herd sheep and cows. The AKC description of the breed says Shelties should be between 13-16 inches tall, 14-16 pounds, with a pure black nose and almond shaped eyes. The shape of the head should be conical, with the ears semi-erect and the tips slightly folded over. The Sheltie comes in 4 colors: Tri, Sable and White; Blue Merle, and Black and White. The quality of the coat should be a rough texture with a soft undercoat..
Personality wise, the Sheltie takes the prize for being sweet and even-tempered. If properly socialized and obtained from a reputable breeder the Sheltie is a dog for all seasons and situations. It is outgoing and friendly with adults and children and makes a great companion for young and old alike. Because of its working dog nature the Sheltie can be a high-energy dog, but due to their small stature exercise needs are easy to fulfil! These dogs can do well with apartment dwellers if taken for walks and exercised properly.
The Sheltie's main fault is their tendency to bark excessively if not properly trained while they are young. One of the top obedience breeds for competitors, these dogs are very intelligent and easy to train. Grooming requirements are also a bit more involved than shorter-haired breeds. A twice weekly brushing and a trip to the groomer every other month will usually keep the coat in good shape.
A tip to the wise: avoid high-strung, timid dogs which can result from poorly bred animals. The well-bred, well socialized Shelties are calm, docile, and easy going. Early training will result in a fun, placid, friendly companion you can take with you anywhere. Since their life expectancy can be as long as 16 years, your hard work early on will pay for a long time to come!