American Canine Association


Miniature Shetland Sheepdog


The Shetland Sheepdog originated in Scotland prior to the 1700's. This breed, also called a "Sheltie" was created by crossing the Border Collie with the Icelandic Yakkin bloodlines. The Shetland Sheepdog was used to herd and guard livestock for their owners. Today, this breed is extremely popular in the United States as a companion, herder, and known for their excellent ability to preform tricks and agility. The Miniature Shetland Sheepdog is the result of breeders using selective breeding with the smallest dogs over generations resulting in the miniature version of the Shetland Sheepdog.


The Miniature Shetland Sheepdog is a medium sized dog breed with males and females measuring under 13 inches in height and weighing under 14 pounds in weight. Their wedge shaped heads are small in size and form into a rectangular muzzle with a scissor bite. Their two ears are small in size, triangular in shape and stand firm at the top of their head. The Shetland Sheepdog has two small, almond shaped eyes available in light hazel to black in color; sometimes blue. This breed has a long tail that is carried up and over their back with their coat flowing off of it. They have a double layer coat that is thick and soft in texture; long in length and available in blue merle, sable and black with different amounts of white or tan overall in the coat.


The Miniature Shetland Sheepdog is a very active, social, intelligent dog breed that truly needs jobs and tasks to do daily in order to be happy. This breed is wonderful with children and other pets that he or she is raised with. Best suited for owners who are able to watch their tone of voice, yet remain pack leader at all times. This breed is very sensitive to tone of voice and either too rough, or too polite, the Miniature Shetland Sheepdog will beg to differ from what you are asking of them. This breed is excellent with agility and obedience competitions due to their eagerness to learn and obey their owner. In general this breed is loving, social, affectionate and needs to feel that they are family members themselves and be included in as much as possible. Early socialization and obedience classes are recommended for this breed. Positive reinforcement training methods only. Please note that this breed may try and herd his or her family or groups of kids.


This breed requires daily brushing and bathing when needed. Professional grooming is required on a daily basis.

Special Notes

This breed requires a properly fenced in yard or properly fitting harness and leash while outdoors at all times. The Miniature Shetland Sheepdog is prone to eye issues, and the MDR1 gene that is able to be tested for; this gene makes the dog extremely sensitive to medications and can result into a fatal incident. All dogs originate from wolves (Canis Lupus). Each breed of dog was originally created by mixing different breeds together in an effort to bring forth certain characteristics. Once a breeder has created acceptable “breed characteristics” within their bloodline and these “breed characteristics” have shown to be reliably reproduced in the offspring for three (3) generations, the bloodline may be upgraded from the category of “foundation stock” to “pure-bred”. The same “pure-bred” breed standards vary from different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders. Dog DNA testing companies can have accurate results for a specific bloodline of a small colony of dogs. However, there are tens of thousands of different bloodlines in the world which have not yet been tested for marker baseline results by Dog DNA testing companies as of 2017. For this reason Dog DNA testing companies do not guarantee the 100% accuracy of their breed lineage results and will also show different marker results for the same pure-bred breed in different continents, countries, territories, regions, breed clubs, and canine pure-breed registries depending on the goals of their breeders.

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