Sheltie or Shetland Sheepdog - a breed of shepherd dogs, known since the 18th century. Often it is mistaken for a collie , but this is not right.
Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
|Tendency to training|
|Attitudes towards children|
Shelties appeared in ancient times as an independent breed in the Shetland Islands, which lie north of Scotland. A special influence on the formation of the sheltie breed was made by the husky-like dogs imported by fishermen from Greenland.
The shepherds bred small dogs, because they were expected not to guard functions, but workers. These dogs took care of the sheep and brightened up the secluded life of the shepherds. Perhaps the close contact of a dog with a man isolated from others led to the high intellectual abilities of the breed.
History of the breed
Someone affectionately calls these pets chanterelles. Although in the distant past shelts were not friends with foxes at all. On the contrary, they zealously defended the chicken coops of their owners from the raids of these predators. Some charming shelties resemble a miniature copy of a collie. There is a grain of truth in this. The breed really was poured into the blood of Scottish Shepherds. But this happened only at the turn of the 19-20 centuries. The very same breed appeared many centuries before.
In the Shetland Lands
Somewhere on the border of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, to the north-east of Scotland, not far from the warm Gulf Stream is a picturesque archipelago. All the shores of the Shetland Islands are cut by deep gorges, where seals often swim. Inaccessible rocks are becoming a favorite place for loud birds' bazaars. Feathered fly here to eat fish.
There are almost no trees, because severe winds do not allow them to grow and grow stronger. The hilly plains are entirely covered with low, hard grass - plump sheep and shaggy ponies regularly graze on these endless pastures. 200 days a year on the islands are cloudy and humid. Fog is the eternal companion of Shetland. And the probability of snow falling is maintained throughout the year.
It is known that these islands were once an oceanic bottom, and then at the end of the last glacial period rose above sea level. People came here only 4 thousand years ago. There were almost no animals, so many of the representatives of the local fauna were brought to the islands from the mainland. It was on these harsh but beautiful lands that many centuries ago the ancestors of the Shetland Sheepdogs appeared.
What does "Tuni" mean?
Another honorable duty sheltie - the protection of houses and chicken coops from raids of foxes. They barked about the danger and drove away uninvited guests. As these pets lived with their owners directly in the households, not in the kennels, they were called the honorary word "tuni", which translates as "farm".
For centuries, locals bred sheep, goats and ponies. Predators on the islands were few, so in the protection of the herd did not need. It was necessary only to look after, that livestock went in the given direction, did not go far and did not get lost. With this task, until the 19th century, low-sheltered shelties were doing fine.
They remarkably managed cattle even during grazing on the uninhabited islands of the archipelago. The dogs easily maneuvered among the sheep, jumped over them and loudly clicked their teeth to drive away from the dangerous place. At the same time, they independently found their food, if grazing for several days. Birds and rodents became their prey.
But then the situation changed. Small farms have grown to huge sheep farms, livestock numbers have increased. Small four-legged shepherds could no longer keep track of so many animals, so they were replaced by larger sheep dogs. They stopped to study the breed, and it almost disappeared.
Fortunately, even then the sheltie had fans. They were enthusiasts who did not breed dogs professionally, but were ready to invest time and soul in their favorite breed. They believed that the shepherd dog, which was not the lot, was ideal for home keeping. Ancestors of sheltie were Scandinavian and Icelandic dogs. But lovers began to cross pets with many other breeds, including collies, border collies , Pomeranian Spitz, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Papillons. By the beginning of the 20th century sheltie began to resemble a miniature collie.
This change was reflected in the first breed standard, adopted in 1914, where the appearance of the dog was directly equated to the image of the collie. However, by 1948, the difference between the two breeds became evident, and the line about the Scottish Shepherds was removed from the text of the standard.
The harsh climate of the Shetland Islands, meager food supplies - all this could not but affect the appearance of the animals produced here. It was easier to grow and feed the medium-sized individuals. Sheltie is a vivid example of this. In addition, Shetland gave the world another animal - the charming Shetland ponies. These are pretty strong, but small horses with a pretty shaggy mane.
Breed description: main characteristics
Sheltie is not considered a dwarfish breed. Their growth is from 34 to 38 cm, and weight - from 5 to 10 kg. But as the breed was vaccinated with blood and large dogs like collies, sometimes in the litter, individuals appear larger. However, the deviation from the permissible size is more than 2.5 cm, the standard does not allow.
She has very expressive eyes, almond-shaped and slightly slanting brown, less often of blue color. The size, color and shape of the eyes, the position of the ears and the setting of the head - all this should create an elusive image of alertness, tenderness and soft intelligence. The tail is well pubescent, while the dog moves up, but not above the back line. The coat is long, stiff and straight, with a short muzzle.
"A small, long-haired working dog of great beauty" - this is how the description of sheltie in the updated standard adopted in 1986 sounds. This document is still valid today. The last clarifications were made six years ago.
Color is trichromatic (black with bright-red tans and white legs, chest and tip of the tail), black, marble-blue, sable (from gold to rusty-red) with tan and white marks.
Shette has an elongated, straight and stiff coat with an abundant, short and soft undercoat. In earlier times, it was not just an ornament, but protected dogs from the cold and overheating. A special charm of the breed is attached to the long mane and toad, lowered front paws and saber-like fluffy tail. The impression is produced not only by the luxurious fur coat of a pet, but also by the good-natured cute expression of its wedge-shaped face with its ears curiously bent forward. In general, shepherd dogs never looked threatening, otherwise the timid sheep would run away from them.
Sheltie movements are more elegant and flexible, she runs fast and jumps superbly. A general impression of a beautiful dog with natural intelligence and high intelligence is created.
Character of sheltie
This is a friendly and soft-tempered dog, very attached to the owner, but does not tolerate a rude attitude towards himself. At the same time, it becomes an excellent companion for all family members. In communicating with outsiders, she is reserved, but does not show any signs of nervousness.
Sheltie is inherent in an innate sense of self-worth, independence and delicacy. She will not bother the owner if he is busy, but at any time ready to join the game.
This is one of the most trained breeds with a quick reaction and the ability to make meaningful actions. She looks closely into her eyes , waiting for orders. First of all, it will fulfill the commands of the owner and always strives to absorb its best qualities.
This brave and sensitive watchman, with a growl, warns of the appearance of an outsider. Easily get along with any pets. Tender and caring for children, especially the master. Suitable for both single people and a large family.
It has sheltie and unique features that you can not find in other breeds.
Their language is amazingly diverse. Sheltie can moan, plaintively squeal, grumble, whimper, peacefully gag, and even restlessly whine. Lai their sonorous, with numerous overflows. On it, the attentive owner will always determine what the dog tells the outside world. But it is easy to disaccustom it to bark.
Differences in the temperament of males and females, unlike other dog breeds in sheltie, are insignificant.
They do not like it when a stranger approaches them, but they themselves come up with pleasure, seeing to themselves a friendly attitude.
It is impossible to train sheltie cruelly. It's enough to show the difference between the wrong and correct execution of the team. And in general they can not be beat otherwise the character of the dog will seriously deteriorate: it will become malicious and stubborn or hammered and cowardly.
Of course, in earlier times sheltie had coped with the protection of the farms perfectly. They easily drove the small predators away from the farms. But these dogs could not defend property from large animals and humans. Their task was simply to warn the hosts of the danger of loud barking.
Even modern shelties are very wary of strangers. However, a full-fledged defender of them still will not work. For this reason, special attention should be paid to the socialization of the Shetland Sheepdog, otherwise the pet will be timid, timid or screaming.
By the way, shelties are very talkative dogs. They like to bark, growl and whimper. This habit has been preserved since the days of their shepherd's service. But the talk of a growing pet with proper upbringing can be controlled. Use the command "Fu!", And barking for no reason will stop.
Today, Sheltie is no longer used as a shepherd, nor as a guard. But this mobile and easily trained breed perfectly copes with agility. Sports or long walks with games are mandatory, since the brisk and smart shetland sheepdog needs physical exercise very much.
And since Sheltie always lived among people and animals, it will be difficult for her to spend hours alone. If you work day and night, the breed is clearly not for you. Without fun and human attention, shelties quickly become uncontrollable: they bark and howl, spoil furniture and shoes.
Conditions of detention
Like any long-haired dog, Sheltie needs some care. It will be necessary to acquire a whole arsenal of all sorts of combs: a pair of metal combs with sparse and frequent denticles, massage and bristle brushes, and a soft "puerper". Every decade you have to comb the hair, remove the tangled hairs and remove the coils.
Bathing sheltie is recommended not more than once a month. In this case, you can not pour shampoo directly on the animal's coat. It should be opened in water in a basin and then watered with a fur coat. It is especially useful to do this when molting, as water accelerates the process of release from dead wool. By the way, during moult it is necessary to comb out the pet daily.
Sheltie will suit everyone who needs an aggressive but alert dog of a small size. She gets along well in the apartment and on the street, likes to go in for sports ( agility , etc.). For the paddock you need a good space and the opportunity to properly run.
Needs regular physical exertion, while not requiring the attention of the owner and with sufficient scope is able to occupy itself.
Shelty is really good health. In the severe Shetland climate, these hardy dogs are well seasoned. Usually they live to 15, and sometimes 20 years. At the same time, the vivid character of life is not lost with the years.
Communicative pet perfectly gets along with adults, and with children, and even with other animals. The main thing is for the family that takes shelti to be friendly, sociable and non-conflicting.
As for health, Sheltie has a tendency to inherit diseases and eye defects. There is also a propensity to dislodge the patella, hypothyroidism, which are inherited. Also, they can not be overfed, since dogs of this breed easily gain weight, although the average life expectancy is up to 15 years. It is necessary in the treatment to check the sensitivity to certain drugs that are safe for other dogs, and for shelties can be fatal.