Welcome to our exploration of the Shetland Sheepdog! If you’re a dog lover, you’ve probably heard of this intelligent and beautiful breed. Originating from the Shetland Islands in Scotland, the Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is a popular choice for dog enthusiasts around the world.
In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history and origins of the breed, exploring how these dogs were developed for their herding abilities. We will also discuss the size and appearance characteristics that make the Shetland Sheepdog so distinctive and attractive.
One of the most important factors to consider when bringing a new pet into your home is their life expectancy. We’ll provide you with valuable information on the average lifespan of a Shetland Sheepdog, helping you plan for their long-term care.
The temperament of a dog is crucial in determining if they will be a good fit for your family. We will explore the Shetland Sheepdog’s temperament, highlighting their friendly and loyal nature, as well as their intelligence and eagerness to please.
Training and adaptability are essential considerations when choosing a breed. We will discuss the trainability of Shetland Sheepdogs and their ability to adapt to different living situations, making them a versatile choice for many households.
Exercise requirements and energy levels are important aspects to consider to ensure a happy and healthy dog. We will provide insights into the Shetland Sheepdog’s exercise needs, so you can plan activities that will keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
Grooming requirements vary among different breeds, and the Shetland Sheepdog is no exception. We will guide you through their grooming needs, including tips on how to keep their beautiful coats looking their best.
Health issues can affect any dog breed, and the Shetland Sheepdog is no exception. We will discuss common health concerns to be aware of, as well as steps you can take to ensure your Sheltie’s well-being.
For those considering the Shetland Sheepdog, we will also provide a list of comparable breeds to help you make an informed decision. Additionally, we will highlight notable dogs from this breed who have made a mark in various fields.
History and Origins of the Breed
The history and origins of the Shetland Sheepdog are fascinating and date back many centuries. This section will explore how this breed was developed and the purpose it served in its early days.
Origins in the Shetland Islands
As the name suggests, the Shetland Sheepdog originated from the Shetland Islands, a group of islands located off the northeast coast of Scotland. These islands are known for their rugged terrain, harsh climate, and rich history of sheep farming.
Ancestors of the Shetland Sheepdog
The exact lineage of the Shetland Sheepdog is not well-documented, but it is believed to have been developed from a combination of different herding breeds. Some theories suggest that the Sheltie shares ancestry with the Icelandic Sheepdog, the Scandinavian Spitz, and the Border Collie.
Purpose as a Herding Dog
The Shetland Sheepdog was primarily bred for its herding abilities. The rugged and unforgiving landscape of the Shetland Islands required a dog that was agile, intelligent, and capable of working with sheep. Shelties excelled in herding and were highly valued by the local farmers.
Miniature Collie Connection
In the early days, the Shetland Sheepdog was often referred to as the “Toonie” or “Toonie Collie” due to its resemblance to the larger Collie breeds. It is believed that the Sheltie’s development involved crossbreeding with Rough Collies, which contributed to its distinctive appearance.
Recognition as a Breed
The Shetland Sheepdog gained recognition as a distinct breed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Shetland Sheepdog Club of Scotland was established, and efforts were made to standardize the breed’s characteristics and promote its popularity.
Modern Role as a Companion and Show Dog
While the Shetland Sheepdog’s herding instincts are still present, today’s Shelties are primarily kept as companion animals and are highly regarded in the world of dog shows. Their intelligence, loyalty, and striking appearance have made them a beloved choice for families and dog enthusiasts worldwide.
Understanding the rich history and origins of the Shetland Sheepdog provides valuable insights into the breed’s characteristics and purpose. It is a testament to their resilience and adaptability that they have transitioned from working dogs in the challenging Shetland Islands to beloved pets in homes around the globe.
Size and Appearance Characteristics
The size and appearance characteristics of the Shetland Sheepdog contribute to its distinct and charming appearance. This section will delve into the details of their size, body structure, and coat.
Shetland Sheepdogs are considered a medium-sized breed. On average, adult males stand between 13 to 16 inches (33 to 41 cm) tall at the shoulder, while adult females typically measure between 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 cm). Weight-wise, males usually range from 20 to 25 pounds (9 to 11 kg), while females generally weigh between 15 to 20 pounds (7 to 9 kg).
Proportion and Body Structure
The Shetland Sheepdog is well-balanced and exhibits an elegant yet sturdy build. Their body length is slightly longer than their height at the shoulder, giving them a rectangular appearance. They have a well-developed chest, a level topline, and a moderate tuck-up in the abdomen. Their hindquarters are muscular, allowing for agility and quick movements.
Head and Expression
One of the most distinctive features of the Shetland Sheepdog is its head. They have a refined and wedge-shaped head with a gentle slope from their forehead to their muzzle. Their eyes are almond-shaped, medium-sized, and dark in color, expressing intelligence and alertness. Their ears are small, erect, and set high on the head, contributing to their attentive and alert expression.
Coat and Colors
The Shetland Sheepdog’s double coat is one of its most admired characteristics. The outer coat is long, straight, and harsh to the touch, providing protection from the elements. The undercoat is dense and soft, providing insulation. Their abundant coat gives them a distinctive “mane” around their neck and a plumed tail.
Shelties come in various colors and patterns. The most common color is sable, which ranges from golden to mahogany. They can also be black, blue merle (a mix of black and gray), or bi-black (black with white markings). Some Shetland Sheepdogs may have white markings on their chest, legs, and face, adding to their beauty.
The Shetland Sheepdog’s tail is long and abundantly coated. It is set low and carried low when at rest, but it is raised in a graceful curve when the dog is alert or in motion. The plume of fur on the tail is a distinguishing feature.
The size and appearance characteristics of the Shetland Sheepdog make them an eye-catching and elegant breed. Their well-proportioned body, distinctive head, and luxurious coat contribute to their overall charm and beauty. Whether they are participating in dog shows or simply enjoying life as a family pet, the Sheltie’s appearance is sure to captivate all who encounter them.
When considering adding a Shetland Sheepdog to your family, it’s important to understand their life expectancy. This section will provide valuable information on the average lifespan of a Shetland Sheepdog, as well as factors that can influence their longevity.
On average, Shetland Sheepdogs have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. However, it’s essential to note that individual dogs may vary, and factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health care can impact their lifespan.
Factors Influencing Lifespan
Several factors can influence a Shetland Sheepdog’s lifespan. Here are some key considerations:
Genetics play a significant role in a dog’s lifespan. Responsible breeders strive to produce healthy puppies by selecting breeding pairs with good genetic backgrounds and health clearances. This helps reduce the risk of inherited health issues that can affect longevity.
Diet and Nutrition:
A well-balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for a Shetland Sheepdog’s overall health and longevity. Providing them with high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs, along with appropriate portion control, can contribute to a longer and healthier life.
Exercise and Physical Activity:
Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential for a Shetland Sheepdog’s physical and mental well-being. Engaging in activities such as walks, playtime, and training sessions not only helps keep them fit but also provides mental enrichment, which can contribute to a longer and happier life.
Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care are vital in ensuring a Shetland Sheepdog’s health. Routine vaccinations, parasite control, dental care, and early detection of any health issues can have a positive impact on their overall lifespan.
The living environment and overall quality of life can influence a Shetland Sheepdog’s lifespan. Providing them with a safe and comfortable home, protecting them from extreme weather conditions, and minimizing exposure to toxins and hazards can contribute to their well-being and longevity.
Health Issues and Longevity
While Shetland Sheepdogs are generally a healthy breed, like any other breed, they may be prone to certain health issues that can affect their longevity. Some common health concerns for Shelties include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), von Willebrand’s disease, and thyroid disorders. Responsible breeders perform health screenings on their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of passing on these conditions.
By being proactive in their care, providing a healthy lifestyle, and addressing any health concerns promptly, Shetland Sheepdog owners can help ensure their beloved pets live a long and fulfilling life.
Understanding the average lifespan of a Shetland Sheepdog and the factors that can influence it allows prospective owners to make informed decisions and take the necessary steps to provide their Shelties with a happy and healthy life for many years to come.
The temperament of a dog is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a breed, as it determines their behavior, compatibility with different environments, and suitability for various lifestyles. In this section, we will explore the temperament of the Shetland Sheepdog, highlighting their friendly and adaptable nature.
Intelligent and Alert
Shetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent dogs. They possess a keen sense of alertness and are known for their ability to quickly assess and react to their surroundings. This intelligence makes them highly trainable and allows them to excel in various activities, including obedience, agility, and herding trials.
Loyal and Affectionate
Shelties are renowned for their loyalty and devotion to their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on human companionship. They are often described as affectionate dogs who enjoy being close to their loved ones. Their loyalty makes them excellent companions and family pets.
Gentle and Good with Children
The Shetland Sheepdog’s gentle nature makes them well-suited for families, including households with children. They are generally patient and tolerant, making them great playmates for kids. However, as with any dog, it is important to supervise interactions between children and dogs to ensure mutual respect and safety.
Reserved with Strangers
While Shelties are generally friendly, they can be reserved or cautious around strangers. This reserved nature is a result of their herding instincts, where they naturally assess new people or situations before fully engaging. Early socialization can help Shetland Sheepdogs become more comfortable with unfamiliar people and reduce any potential shyness.
Good with Other Pets
With proper socialization, Shelties can get along well with other pets, including cats and other dogs. Their herding background may cause them to exhibit some instinctual behaviors, such as chasing or nipping, but with training and guidance, they can learn appropriate boundaries and coexist harmoniously with other animals.
Vocal and Watchful
Shetland Sheepdogs have a tendency to be vocal and alert their owners to any perceived threats or changes in their environment. This trait makes them excellent watchdogs, as they will bark to alert their families of anything unusual. However, it is important to provide them with proper training to prevent excessive barking.
Adaptability to Different Lifestyles
The Shetland Sheepdog’s adaptability is one of their standout qualities. They can thrive in various living situations, including apartments, suburban homes, or rural settings, as long as they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. However, they are a breed that craves companionship and should not be left alone for long periods as it can lead to separation anxiety.
Understanding the temperament of the Shetland Sheepdog is crucial for potential owners to determine if this breed aligns with their lifestyle and preferences. With their intelligence, loyalty, and gentle nature, Shelties make wonderful additions to households looking for a devoted and adaptable companion.
Trainability and Adaptability
The trainability and adaptability of a dog breed are important factors to consider when choosing a pet. In this section, we will explore the trainability and adaptability of the Shetland Sheepdog, highlighting their intelligence and versatility.
Intelligence and Learning Ability
Shetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent dogs, known for their ability to quickly grasp commands and learn new skills. Their intelligence, combined with their eagerness to please their owners, makes them highly trainable. They excel in obedience training, agility, and other canine sports.
Positive Reinforcement Training
Positive reinforcement training methods work exceptionally well with Shetland Sheepdogs. They respond best to praise, rewards, and consistent, gentle guidance. Harsh training methods or punishment can be detrimental to their sensitive nature and may result in fear or anxiety. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key to effective training.
Early and ongoing socialization is crucial for Shetland Sheepdogs. Exposing them to various people, animals, environments, and experiences from a young age helps them develop into well-rounded and confident dogs. Proper socialization ensures that they can adapt to different situations and interact positively with others.
Adaptability to Different Environments
Shetland Sheepdogs are adaptable dogs that can thrive in a variety of living environments. While they appreciate a fenced yard where they can safely explore and play, they can also adapt to apartment living as long as they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. Their smaller size makes them well-suited for urban or suburban living.
While Shetland Sheepdogs are adaptable, they have moderate exercise needs that should not be overlooked. Daily exercise, such as brisk walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation activities, is essential to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. They enjoy activities that challenge their intelligence and herding instincts, such as puzzle toys and obedience training.
In addition to physical exercise, Shelties require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Engaging their minds through interactive toys, treat puzzles, obedience training, and other stimulating activities helps keep them happy and content.
Adaptability to Owner’s Lifestyle
Shetland Sheepdogs are generally adaptable to their owner’s lifestyle. They can be active and energetic when needed, but also calm and relaxed indoors. However, they thrive on human companionship and should not be left alone for long periods. They are best suited for families or individuals who can provide them with the attention, exercise, and mental stimulation they require.
Understanding the trainability and adaptability of the Shetland Sheepdog is important for potential owners to ensure a successful and fulfilling relationship. With their intelligence, willingness to learn, and adaptability to different environments, Shelties make excellent companions for individuals and families alike.
Exercise Requirements and Energy Level
Understanding the exercise requirements and energy level of a dog breed is crucial to ensure that their needs are met and they lead a happy and healthy life. In this section, we will explore the exercise requirements and energy level of the Shetland Sheepdog.
Moderate Exercise Needs
Shetland Sheepdogs have moderate exercise needs, which means they require a regular amount of physical activity to stay fit and mentally stimulated. While they are not extremely high-energy dogs, they still benefit from daily exercise and mental enrichment.
Taking your Shetland Sheepdog for daily walks is an essential part of their exercise routine. Aim for at least 30 to 45 minutes of brisk walking each day to help them burn off energy and maintain a healthy weight. Walking not only provides physical exercise but also mental stimulation as they explore their surroundings.
In addition to physical exercise, Shelties require mental stimulation to keep their intelligent minds engaged. Engage them in activities that challenge their problem-solving skills, such as puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive games. Mental stimulation helps prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.
Playtime and Interactive Toys
Playtime is an important aspect of exercising a Shetland Sheepdog. They enjoy interactive games such as fetch, hide-and-seek, or agility activities. Providing them with a variety of toys that keep them mentally and physically engaged, such as treat puzzles or interactive toys, can help fulfill their exercise and stimulation needs.
Due to their herding background, Shetland Sheepdogs may exhibit herding behaviors such as chasing and nipping. Engaging them in activities that simulate their herding instincts, such as participating in herding trials or agility courses, can provide both physical exercise and mental fulfillment.
Adaptability to Exercise Routine
Shetland Sheepdogs are adaptable to different exercise routines. They can be versatile in their activities, including hiking, jogging, or participating in dog sports such as obedience or agility. However, it’s important to avoid excessive high-impact activities that may strain their joints or cause injury.
Monitoring Energy Levels
While Shelties have moderate energy levels, it’s important to monitor their individual needs. Factors such as age, health, and overall fitness can influence their energy levels. Some Shelties may require more exercise or mental stimulation, while others may be content with a slightly lower activity level. Pay attention to your dog’s cues and adjust their exercise routine accordingly.
Understanding the exercise requirements and energy level of the Shetland Sheepdog allows you to provide them with the appropriate physical and mental stimulation they need to thrive. By incorporating regular walks, playtime, and mental enrichment activities into their routine, you can ensure that your Sheltie remains happy, healthy, and well-exercised.
The Shetland Sheepdog has a beautiful and abundant coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and looking its best. In this section, we will explore the grooming requirements of the Shetland Sheepdog.
The Shetland Sheepdog has a double coat, consisting of a long, harsh outer coat and a soft, dense undercoat. This double coat provides insulation and protection from the elements.
Regular brushing is essential for Shelties to prevent matting and keep their coat in good condition. Aim to brush their coat at least two to three times a week, or even more frequently during shedding seasons. Use a slicker brush or a pin brush to gently remove any tangles, debris, or loose hair.
Shetland Sheepdogs experience seasonal shedding, typically in the spring and fall. During these times, their coat will shed more heavily. To manage shedding, increase the frequency of brushing and consider using a de-shedding tool or a grooming rake to remove the loose hair.
Shelties generally do not require frequent bathing, as it can strip their coat of natural oils. Aim to bathe them only when necessary or when they become dirty. Use a mild dog shampoo recommended by your veterinarian and thoroughly rinse to avoid any residue.
While the Shetland Sheepdog’s coat does not require extensive trimming, some owners may choose to trim the hair around the paws, ears, and tail for a neater appearance. Professional grooming services can help with specific trimming requests.
Regular ear care is essential to prevent ear infections and keep the ears clean. Check their ears weekly for any signs of redness, irritation, or wax buildup. Clean their ears with a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner and cotton balls or pads, being careful not to insert anything into the ear canal.
Dental hygiene is crucial for the overall health of your Shetland Sheepdog. Brush their teeth regularly with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent tartar buildup and maintain good oral health. Additionally, provide dental chews or toys that help promote dental hygiene.
Regular nail trims are important to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. Trim their nails every few weeks or as needed, being cautious not to cut into the quick (the sensitive tissue inside the nail). If you are unsure, consult a professional groomer or veterinarian for guidance.
Keep an eye on your Sheltie’s eyes for any signs of redness, irritation, or discharge. Use a damp cloth or a veterinarian-recommended eye cleaner to gently wipe away any debris from the corners of their eyes.
By following a regular grooming routine, you can keep your Shetland Sheepdog’s coat healthy, prevent matting, and contribute to their overall well-being. Additionally, proper grooming sessions provide an opportunity to bond with your dog and ensure they look their best.
Like all dog breeds, the Shetland Sheepdog is prone to certain health issues. In this section, we will discuss common health concerns that are known to affect the Shetland Sheepdog breed. It’s important to note that not all Shelties will experience these conditions, and responsible breeding practices can help mitigate the risk.
Hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic condition that can affect Shetland Sheepdogs. It occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to instability and potential arthritis. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and responsible breeding practices can help reduce the risk of hip dysplasia.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an inherited eye disease that leads to the degeneration of the retina, eventually causing vision loss. Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist and genetic testing can help identify carriers of PRA and prevent its spread through breeding programs.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Von Willebrand’s Disease is a blood clotting disorder that can affect Shetland Sheepdogs. It is characterized by a deficiency or dysfunction of a specific protein involved in clotting. Dogs with this condition may experience excessive bleeding or prolonged bleeding after injuries or surgeries. It is important to screen breeding dogs for von Willebrand’s Disease to reduce the risk in future generations.
Shetland Sheepdogs are known to be prone to thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to various symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and blood tests are important for early detection and management of thyroid disorders.
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
Collie Eye Anomaly is a genetic eye disease that can affect Shetland Sheepdogs. It is characterized by abnormal development of the eye, leading to vision impairment. Responsible breeding practices, including genetic testing, can help reduce the occurrence of CEA in the breed.
Some Shetland Sheepdogs may be prone to epilepsy, a neurological disorder characterized by recurring seizures. Epilepsy can have various causes, and management typically involves medication prescribed by a veterinarian. If you suspect your Sheltie is experiencing seizures, consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Shetland Sheepdogs can be prone to allergies, including food allergies, seasonal allergies (atopy), or contact allergies. Symptoms may include itchiness, skin inflammation, and gastrointestinal issues. Identifying and avoiding allergens, as well as working with a veterinarian, can help manage allergies in Shelties.
Regular Veterinary Care and Health Screenings
To ensure the overall health and well-being of your Shetland Sheepdog, it’s crucial to provide regular veterinary care. Routine check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive measures such as flea and tick control are important. Additionally, health screenings, including hip evaluations, eye examinations, and genetic tests, can help detect potential health issues early on.
By being aware of these potential health concerns and taking proactive measures, such as responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary care, you can help ensure your Shetland Sheepdog leads a healthy and happy life. Early detection, proper management, and a good quality of life are key in addressing any health issues that may arise.
While the Shetland Sheepdog is a unique breed, there are several other dog breeds that share similar characteristics and may appeal to those interested in the Sheltie. In this section, we will explore some comparable breeds that share certain traits or qualities with the Shetland Sheepdog.
The Border Collie is highly intelligent, energetic, and known for its exceptional herding abilities, much like the Shetland Sheepdog. Both breeds excel in activities like obedience, agility, and herding trials. Border Collies are slightly larger in size and have a similar level of intelligence and trainability.
The Rough Collie, also known as the “Lassie” dog, shares a similar ancestry with the Shetland Sheepdog. Both breeds have a gentle and loyal nature, along with a striking resemblance in appearance, especially in their long, flowing coats. Rough Collies are larger in size and have a more laid-back temperament compared to the energetic Sheltie.
The Australian Shepherd is another intelligent and versatile herding breed. Like the Shetland Sheepdog, Australian Shepherds are highly trainable and excel in various dog sports. They share a similar level of energy, requiring regular exercise and mental stimulation. Australian Shepherds are slightly larger and have a wider range of coat colors and patterns.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi may be smaller in size compared to the Shetland Sheepdog, but they share some similarities in temperament and herding instincts. Corgis are intelligent, lively, and affectionate, making them great companions. They have a distinctive appearance with their short legs and long bodies. Both breeds benefit from regular exercise and mental stimulation.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi, like its Pembroke counterpart, shares herding ancestry with the Shetland Sheepdog. They are intelligent, loyal, and have a similar body structure with a longer body and shorter legs. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a slightly more laid-back temperament compared to the energetic Sheltie.
The Icelandic Sheepdog is a breed that shares a similar herding background with the Shetland Sheepdog. They are known for their intelligence, friendly nature, and adaptability to different environments. Icelandic Sheepdogs are slightly larger in size and have a thick double coat that helps protect them from the harsh weather conditions of their native Iceland.
These are just a few examples of dog breeds that share certain characteristics or traits with the Shetland Sheepdog. Each breed has its own unique qualities and considerations, so it is important to thoroughly research and interact with different breeds to find the best fit for your lifestyle and preferences.
Notable Dogs from This Breed
The Shetland Sheepdog breed has produced some remarkable and notable dogs that have made their mark in various fields. In this final section, we will explore some of the notable dogs from the Shetland Sheepdog breed.
Ch. Canami Jason JW
Ch. Canami Jason JW, also known as “Jason,” was a Shetland Sheepdog who achieved great success in the show ring. He was a multiple Best in Show winner and a top-winning Sheltie in the United Kingdom. Jason’s beauty, movement, and overall breed type made him a standout in the show world.
OTCH Wildfire Storm Warning UDX
OTCH Wildfire Storm Warning UDX, also known as “Storm,” was an exceptional Shetland Sheepdog who excelled in obedience trials. Storm earned the prestigious Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) title, which is the highest obedience title a dog can achieve. His intelligence, trainability, and precision in obedience exercises set him apart in the obedience ring.
Ch. Laureate Landslide
Ch. Laureate Landslide, also known as “Landslide,” was a Shetland Sheepdog who left a legacy in the breed. He was a highly influential sire, producing numerous champion offspring who went on to excel in the show ring. Landslide’s contribution to the breed’s conformation and pedigree is recognized and admired.
MACH2 Belcroft Light My Fire MXG MJG
MACH2 Belcroft Light My Fire MXG MJG, also known as “Ember,” was a Shetland Sheepdog who achieved great success in the world of agility. She earned the title of Master Agility Champion (MACH) twice, indicating her exceptional speed, agility, and teamwork with her handler. Ember’s athleticism and enthusiasm made her a standout in agility competitions.
Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs
Many Shetland Sheepdogs have made a significant impact as therapy dogs and service dogs. Their gentle nature, intelligence, and ability to form strong bonds with their handlers make them well-suited for these roles. Shelties have provided comfort, support, and assistance to individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and various therapy programs.
These are just a few examples of the notable dogs from the Shetland Sheepdog breed. Each of these dogs has left a lasting impression in their respective fields, showcasing the breed’s intelligence, versatility, and exceptional qualities. Whether in the show ring, obedience trials, or as therapy and service dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs have proven their worth and made a positive impact in the lives of many.