Shetland Sheepdogs

Shetland Sheepdogs are known for their excitable, eager to please and hardworking personalities. Here’s all you need to know about these fluffy friends! 

The Shetland Sheepdog breed, also called the Sheltie, originated in the early 20th century when Collies and Shetland herding dogs were interbred. They used to be known for tending to the small sheep of the Shetland Islands, but today they are raised as farm dogs and family pets.

The Shetland Sheepdog breed is beloved for their affectionate, playful, and obedient disposition. These pups are the ultimate companion dogs—incredibly smart, loving, and eager to please. Shelties love intellectual stimulation and any activity that involves engaging with their humans! 

Why We Love the Shetland Sheepdog Breed

  • Shetland Sheepdogs are some of the brightest dogs around. They can understand a new command with less than five repetitions and obey it the first time almost without fail!
  • Shelties are affectionate, loyal, and devoted to people they are familiar with. They thrive with guardians who give them lots of intellectual stimulation and exercise.
  • Shelties shed in clumps that can be pulled or brushed off of the main coat, rather than shedding individual hairs. This makes grooming much easier!

Things to Consider

  • Shelties do best with a sensitive, attentive owner since they require lots of intellectual stimulation.
  • Some Shelties have a strong herding instinct and the entire breed likes to run in wide-open areas. Make sure they get lots of exercise and pay attention to how they’re expending that energy. You don’t want your Sheltie rescue trying to herd a bunch of kids on tricycles at the park!
  • Shetland Sheepdogs do well with children if they are around them from an early age; since this is a smaller breed, it’s easy for a child to accidentally injure them, so be sure to supervise the socialization process between your Sheltie and your children.
  • If a Sheltie doesn’t get an adequate amount of exercise and intellectual stimulation, they can resort to excessive barking and nervous behavior; however, this is easily remedied! Just an hour of exercise with your pup will set them back at ease. 

Why Rescue?

Shetland Sheepdogs are lively, brilliant and playful dogs. Because of their popularity, Shelties are victims of overbreeding. Poor breeding practices like puppy mills can exacerbate health issues in the breed, such as hip dysplasia, eye problems, and hypothyroidism. Help Shelties avoid this sad fate. If you’re looking for a smart, loving, and bubbly companion, consider opening your home to a Shetland Sheepdog rescue.

Shetland Sheepdog Rescues

Whether you’re looking for a Sheltie puppy or a full-grown companion, there are tons of Shetland Sheepdog rescues that are looking for their forever home! Here are just a few: 

Energetic, devoted & eager to please
Avg. Weight
15 - 30 lbs
Avg. Life Span
12 - 13 years
Shetland Sheepdogs near 20149
Animal Rescues near 20149
Organization City, State Contact
Persian Rescue of Virginia
Ashburn, VA
The Cats at Longstreet
Sterling, VA
Save The Tails Rescue Group, Inc.
Leesburg, VA 1 888 379 5558 x1
Humane Society of Loudoun County
Leesburg, VA (703) 777-2912
Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society
Reston, VA
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