The Shetland Sheep dog, or "Sheltie" as it is affectionately known, originated from the Shetland Islands where it was used by crofters as a sheep dog. Few Shelties are used today for their original purpose as sheep dogs, but those people who have worked them vouch for their incredible stamina and instinctive ability to herd. They were first introduced into Australia in 1936. Often referred to as a miniature Collie, the Shetland Sheep dog certainly has the overall appearance of the Rough Collie, however, it is a breed in its own right and possesses some minor distinguishing features, apart from the obvious size difference.


Shetland Sheepdogs live from between 12 to 16 years of age.


Although rather a small dog, the Shetland Sheep dog is certainly not fragile. When feed was in short supply on the farms, the original Shelties were ferried on to small outlying islands with a flock of sheep and left for long periods to guard the flock and fend for themselves. Only the hardy would have been able to survive. When brought back to the farms after such isolation, the dogs would thrive on attention and affection. It is probably this part of their history that makes them so devoted to their owners, but suspicious of intruders and intent on protecting the family.


Excellent. It can live happily with the family cat and will get along with most other dogs.


The Shetland Sheep dog's glamorous jacket requires surprisingly little attention. A brush and a comb behind the ears each week will keep it in good condition. The breed's double coat enables it to adapt to both hot and cold weather, the second layer (undercoat) giving insulation against both heat and cold. Please take note: While the Shetland Sheep dog is certainly capable of barking, it is also smart enough to be trained not to bark unnecessarily. It makes an excellent watchdog and will alert you to visitors or unusual occurrences.


Almost anyone will benefit from owning a Shetland Sheepdog. The ideal owner is someone who understands the need for occasional grooming.


If you have decided that the Shetland Sheep Dog is the dog for you and you realise that a brush and comb behind the ears is needed each week, contact one of the groups listed below:

Canine Clubs

Australian Capital Territory:New South Wales:
Dogs ACT
(ACT Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 815
Dickson, ACT 2602
Tel: 02 6241 4404
Fax: 02 6241 1129
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs NSW
(Royal New South Wales Canine Council Ltd)
PO Box 632
St Marys, NSW 1790
Tel: 02 9834 3022
Fax: 02 9834 3872
(Details current as of 10/10/2013)
Northern Territory :Queensland:
Dogs NT
(North Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 37521
Winnellie, NT 0821
Tel: 08 8984 3570
Fax: 08 8984 3409
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Queensland
(Canine Control Council (Queensland))
PO Box 495
Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006
Tel: 07 3252 2661
Fax: 07 3252 3864
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
South Australia :Tasmania :
Dogs SA
(South Australian Canine Association Inc)
PO Box 844
Prospect East, SA 5082
Tel: 08 8349 4797
Fax: 08 8262 5751
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs Tasmania
(Tasmanian Canine Association Inc)
The Rothman Building
PO Box 116
Glenorchy, Tas 7010
Tel: 03 6272 9443
Fax: 03 6273 0844
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Victoria:Western Australia:
Dogs Victoria
(Victorian Canine Association)
Locked Bag K9
Cranbourne, Vic 3977
Tel: 03 9788 2500
Fax: 03 9788 2599
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)
Dogs West
(Canine Association of Western Australia Inc)
Cnr Warton & Ranford Rds,
Southern River, WA, 6110
Tel: 08 9455 1188
Fax: 08 9455 1190
(Details correct as of 10/10/2013)