The Shetland Sheepdog - The 'Sheltie'
The dog is named after the islands where he was originally bred, although he is also a native of the Orkneys. Like most of the native stock of those islands, he was a diminutive of a mainland counterpart.
He was the native working sheepdog of the islands, just the right size to tend the scaled down farm animals. In earlier days, life was very harsh in the Northern Isles and the Shelties shared the home of the crofters being very much part of the family group. Not only were they valued as workers and certainly as companions but in winter too they often served as hot water bottles!
With such a background, no wonder they integrate well into the family. With living space being so scarce on the crofts, the Sheltie was well used to taking up little space, an asset too in these modern days in the flat or town house.
His working background was not just as a herder - he took care of the croft, not only giving warning of approaching strangers but also by guarding the precious potato and oat patches against the depredations of wandering stock and ravenous wild birds. With their acute hearing, Shelties are usually anxious to let you know when people are around.
The Sheltie's background as companion, working sheepdog and house guardian makes him the ideal as a modern day companion. No wonder that all who own a Sheltie are so convinced that they have such a special doggy friend!
Shelties come in a variety of colours...
Sable and White:
Black and White:
With such a range, there must be a Sheltie to suit everyone!