How Big Do Shetland Sheepdogs Get? [Sheltie]


How Big Do Shetland Sheepdogs Get? [Sheltie]

Unless you own a farm or have a huge and endless backyard, then we can understand why you would want to know how big sheltie dogs get. After all, if you live in a smaller home right now and are not sure when you would be able to move, then you might not want to bring home a dog that could take up half your house. We understand that but we also understand just how cute sheltie puppies can be.

If you are interested in adopting or buying a sheltie or if you are just simply entertaining the idea and want to know how big they get, then we have got you covered. Let’s get started!

Size Does Matter | Here is Why

The reason why so many people search up how big shelties get is that they want to know if they can house them. Some dogs are so big that they require a lot of assistants and they also need space to roam.

A smaller dog is great for people who have smaller homes while those who have bigger homes could also accommodate bigger dogs. Luckily for all of us sheltie lovers, they do not get too big; however, they do love a lot of room to run and roam around.

How Big Do Sheltie Dogs get?

Okay, so here is the moment of truth: just how big do sheltie dogs get? Well, are you ready?

The size of shetland sheepdog depends on whether or not you want a male or female.

  • Male: 16 inches.
  • Female: 14 inches.
  • Male: 14-20 pounds.
  • Female: 14-20 pounds.

So the good news is that whether or not you get a female or male sheltie, their size and weight do not fluctuate a lot. If you want a more in-depth answer, then here is what the experts over at Hills Pet had to say:

They are strong and compact yet agile. The head is wedge-shaped, although not as refined as the modern show collie. The small, high-set ears are erect with the tips falling forward slightly.

The thick, double coat of the Sheltie provides excellent protection from bad weather. The outer coat is long and straight. The dog has a generous mane and frill and feathering on the legs and tail. The undercoat is dense and woolly. Shelties are either black, blue merle or sable, and are marked with white, tan, or both.

Shelties range in height from about 12 to 15 inches and weigh from 14 to 20 pounds (six to nine kilograms). They live for about 12 to 15 years.

What is the history of shelties?

If you love shelties then you might roll your eyes when people say that they are just miniature collies. However, do not be too hard on those people since collies and shelties do share the same ancestors.

If you love your shelties then you will want to know everything there is to know about them, including their history. We understand that so here is a brief history of shelties, according to the experts over at Hills Pet:

Shetland sheepdogs, known affectionately as Shelties, look at first glance like miniature rough collies. They are often mistakenly called Miniature collies; however, although they may share the same ancestors, the Shetland sheepdog is a distinct breed developed under unique circumstances.

Shelties hail from the Shetland Islands of Scotland, also known for Shetland ponies and other small breeds of animals. The area’s harsh conditions, with sparse vegetation, favored smaller breeds of livestock and thus, smaller dogs to herd them.

Shelties are probably the result of crossing the larger rough collie of the time with other island dogs including small herding breeds and spaniels. Some historians believe that the Sheltie was developed by 1700. The breed was refined after it was imported to mainland Scotland in the 20th century. Shelties were first recognized in England in 1909 and first registered in the United States in 1911.

The Shetland sheepdog was bred to herd sheep and was considered a kind, smart, hard-working animal. The Shelties we know today are somewhat larger than their original ancestors, but they retain a reputation for intelligence, willingness to work, and good humor. The same qualities that made them exemplary helpers and herders combine to make them popular family pets.

Why People Love their Shelties | More about Shelties!

Shelties are super dogs that people cannot get enough of. Maybe it is their kind eyes? Or could it be that luxurious fur? Shelties are also known to just stand out in a crowd because they are that beautiful. We don’t need to tell you, we know that you already know.

How Big Do Shetland Sheepdogs Get? [Sheltie]

There seems to be a lot of reasons but here are some that we found:

  • They are super intelligent pets.
  • They have very distinctive personalities.
  • They are natural alarm dogs; they are very alert.
  • They have a sweet face.

Now, that is what we have gathered but here is what the experts over at Sheltie Planet had to say:

●     Personality:

I like to drop a little history bomb when people reveal their Sheltie-Collie naivety When the breed first became distinct, Shelties used to be known as Shetland Collies for their strikingly similar appearance to Rough Collies. However, the two breeds sport different lineages.

The original Sheltie ancestor was a Scandinavian Spitz-type breed imported to Scotland in the 1700s. Later, after crosses with Collie breeds, they began to strongly resemble Lassie. And later still, some miniaturization took place by cross-breeding with Pomeranians and possibly even Papillons and Corgis.

It’s usually by this point that the befuddled Lassie-lover backs away from me in horror mumbling something about just wanting to pat my dog.

●     Intelligence:

Oh boy, Shelties are smart dogs! Some more than others, of course, but they all seem to have this attentiveness that’s unmatched by many other breeds. Shelties are the sixth most intelligent dog breed. So what does this mean for your relationship with your Sheltie?

It means they can learn new commands in as little as five repetitions and excel at performing tricks and agility. Training your Sheltie as a puppy can be very rewarding and heaps of fun. Other dogs will seem resoundingly dumb once you’ve had a good conversation with a Sheltie.

Having a smart dog comes with responsibility, though. It means you need to keep him busy: daily walks with lots of smells, time off the leash, socializing with other dogs (and humans), and games around the house.

Sheltie games can be tricky because they don’t tend to play fetch like most dogs. However, they love to herd. We soon came to realize Howard would herd a rolling rock along the beach if suitably hyped up. Piper, meanwhile, looks at you like you’re an idiot. I guess every Sheltie has this thing.

●     Natural alarm dogs:

Their working dog history on the Shetland Islands means Shelties were selectively bred for certain alarm dog traits. These include attentiveness, intelligence, keen eyes, and alarm barking which all make a very driven alarm dog.

These traits live on today in your pet Sheltie. He’s extraordinarily compelled to protect his home from potential predators and this includes house guests, neighbor dogs, prowling cats, and, of course, the mailman.

He’s not a guard dog – so he won’t attack them. Alarm dogs simply raise the alarm of suspicious activity and will continue to do so until you give the all-clear.

(The magic word, by the way, is a short, sharp, authoritative “SHHH!” Do this every time your Sheltie barks for a whole day and be amazed.)

To alleviate his need to alarm you for every single spec of dust that floats past the window, try giving him alternative types of mental stimulation.

Getting out and about at the start of the day is excellent. Giving him edible chews and play chews are also a good distraction.

Be creative and see what “jobs” you can train your Sheltie to do at home, lest he assigns himself, Watcher of Cats and Listener of All Noises, resulting in copious, shrill, and deafening barking.

In Conclusion | The Takeaway

All in all, size does matter and now you know why. Even if you love a specific breed of dog but know that you cannot take care of them, then we highly suggest you either get a different breed or you wait until you can.

However, if you can house a puppy sheltie and an adult sheltie then we hope that this article encourages you to go for it! Shelties are one of the sweetest dogs and we think you made a great choice.

If this is your first time owning a pet, then congratulations! Being a pet parent is such a great experience and honor. We would highly suggest reading up on articles about this great breed to understand them better.

We would start with this great article! We hope you found this article helpful and best of luck with your amazing sheltie!

Jennifer Nelson

Jennifer loves animals! Jennifer used to work in animal rescue but she brought too many of them home so she had to stop. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge for all kinds of pets. She has been part of the Embora Pets team since 2018.

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