Country/Date of Origin: Great Britain/1700s
Looks are deceiving. The Shetland Sheepdog is not a miniature Collie. The Highland Collie is a shepherding specialist. The Sheltie, on the other hand, is a farm dog of all trades. It herds sheep and ducks, pigs and cattle too. It keeps the barn and garden free of vermin and warns of intruders, human or animal on the property.
The harsh, bleak Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland, are known for their miniature animals such as the Shetland pony and the Shetland Sheepdog. Life was hard in the islands and the animals were small but tough as the conditions demanded.
The breed began to come to prominence in 1908 when the Scottish Club was formed. In 1911 the American Kennel Club began to include this diminutive sheepdog in its registry and by the 1950s it was close to the top on the popularity chart.