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Shetland sheepdog

Shetland sheepdog dog training, grooming and characteristics of shetland sheepdog breed

The Shetland sheepdogs, or Shelties as they are commonly known, are one of the newer breeds of dogs and their genetics are said to comprise of traces of Scandinavian herding dogs as well as the Norwegian Buhund.

Fitting firmly in the class of sheep herding dogs, these animals were known to tend over rather larger bodied sheep that were a regular import to the Scottish islands. The shelties of today are largely considered to be family dogs that are very adaptable between life in the openness of farmland as well as the confines of a city.

Their thick double coat can come in a number of patterns as well as colors, with the most common being a combination of brown, dark brown and white. The upper layer of the coat is rather coarse while the undercoat is lush and soft, and keeps them warm in the colder climates of their countries of origin.

Their heads are rather wedge shaped while their coats also feature a very prominent and elegant mane around the neck. The ears are small but flexible and feature drooping tips. Almost all variants of the breed feature black noses, something that is now a prerequisite for the animal to be registered with the Kennel Club.  

The Shetland sheepdog training uses the positive characteristics of the breed including their sensitivity as well as loyalty and uses them to enhance the animals overall character as well as effectiveness at performing certain tasks. The Shetland sheepdog breed is considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs in today's world and they are very friendly and affectionate. However, Shetland sheepdog training requires the trainer be a strong minded individual as anything les could prompt the animal to presume that it is the pack leader – a trait that could lead to a number of other character flaws including disobedience and jealousy.

While a number of people will look at the coat of the animal and assume that it may take a lot of grooming, this process may be a lot easier than it looks. However, the owner must be prepared for the fact that the dense undercoat is shed twice in the year, during the seasons of spring and fall. During the rest of the year the coat will require the occasional wash with the help of shampoo to relieve it of any dirt or grime that may have collected. The animals require a lot of exercise and are very comfortable when running without a leash. However, make sure that your dog is in a safe area to do so.

  Submitted on October 27, 2009  

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