The Shetland Sheepdog is a popular breed in the United States. They are affectionate, friendly, and adventurous companions, but they also love to cuddle on the couch. These dogs, originally from Cuba, are small in stature, but they have big hearts and loveable personalities.
A high-energy and playful breed, the Shetland Sheepdog is great with young kids and other dogs, and eager to please when it comes to training.
As for grooming requirements, they’ll need fairly regular brushing due to their long coats, and they are also quite prone to shedding.
A fully grown Shetland Sheepdog has an average height of 13–16 inches, and will weigh somewhere between 15–25 pounds.
The average life expectancy of a Shetland Sheepdog is around 12–14 years.
Shetland Sheepdog Average Statistics
Average size and life expectancy of a Shetland Sheepdog.
Shetland Sheepdog – Increasing in Popularity Since 2013
In 2022, the Shetland Sheepdog was ranked the 27th most popular breed overall, just scraping into the top 10 most popular small dog breeds, according to the total number of registrations with the AKC (American Kennel Club).
Shetland Sheepdog Characteristics
Just like humans, dogs have unique personalities. But did you know that there are common personality and character trends unique to each breed?
This means that it’s worth taking the time to understand the differences in personality, character, and needs of each breed before choosing the right dog for your family, for you, and your lifestyle.
Below is a table we created to show the personality and character traits commonly associated with Shetland Sheepdog‘s in an easy-to-read table. Each row contains a character trait, a score ranging from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest), and a description.
|Affectionate||5||How affectionate a breed is with family members or close friends. Some breeds are reserved around strangers, while others treat everyone as a close friend.|
|Playful||5||How eager a breed is to play, even as an adult. Some breeds will want to play tug-of-war or fetch until they are old, while others will be content to lounge on the couch with you.|
|Energy||4||A breed’s need for exercise and mental stimulation. High-energy breeds are always ready for their next challenge. They’ll spend the day running, jumping, and playing. Low energy breeds are like couch potatoes who enjoy a good nap.|
|Trainability||5||How easy it will be to train and how eager your dog will be to learn. Some breeds only want to please their owners, while others prefer to do their own thing, whenever they want!|
|Grooming Requirements||3||How often a breed’s coat needs to be brushed, trimmed, or otherwise maintained. When looking at the grooming effort required, consider your time, patience, and budget. Nail trimming is required on all breeds.|
|Shedding||3||How much fur and hair the breed will leave behind. High-shedding breeds require more frequent brushing, are more likely to cause allergies, and require more frequent vacuuming and lint-rolling.|
|Drooling||1||A breed’s drool-proneness. If you’re a neat freak, dogs that slobber on your arm or wet your clothes may not be the best choice.|
|Watchdog||5||How often the breed will bark or howl. Some breeds will bark at every passer-by or cat in the window. Some barkless breeds can still communicate using other sounds.|
|Good with Children||5||The breed’s tolerance to children’s behavior and overall family-friendly nature. Always supervise dogs around young children or children of any age unfamiliar with dogs.|
|Good with Dogs||5||How sociable a breed is with other dogs. Interactions and introductions with other dogs should always be supervised, but some breeds are naturally more likely to get along, both in public and at home.|
|Good with Strangers||2||How friendly a breed is towards strangers. Some breeds are reserved or cautious around strangers, whether at home or in public. In contrast, others will be excited to meet a new human!|
Keeping your Shetland Sheepdog happy & healthy
Did you know that each dog breed has different needs to keep them both physically and mentally healthy?
That means things like exercise requirements, grooming needs, mental stimulation, frequent training, and bonding time will need to be taken into consideration before you decide whether a Shetland Sheepdog is right for you.
So let’s start with listing out the needs of the Shetland Sheepdog, and describe the minimum expectations that will be required to keep your dog happy and healthy, helping you to decide if they’re the right breed for you.
Exercise Requirements for Shetland Sheepdog‘s
Shetland Sheepdog‘s should be exercised twice daily, 20 to 30 minutes at a time as they need plenty of active play time. We also highly recommend that you have a decent-sized yard or visit a local dog park, allowing them to run around and stretch their legs.
Are Shetland Sheepdog‘s a playful breed?
Yes, Shetland Sheepdog‘s are a playful breed. In fact, Shetland Sheepdog‘s are rated as one of the most playful small dog breeds, making them a perfect fit for young, fun, and playful families. They’ll just love running around playing in the house or yard, and love to play games such as rope pull, chase, and make games for themselves out of any soft toy.
Are Shetland Sheepdog‘s easy to train?
Yes, Shetland Sheepdog‘s are known to be one of the easier breeds to train, and are eager to please their owner even just to get positive attention and tummy rubs!
Just remember that as with any element of training, but especially potty training your dog, positive reinforcement and consistency from you is one of the most important aspects of training.
Random Facts about Shetland Sheepdogs
For a bit of fun, here are some facts about Shetland Sheepdogs:
- The Shetland Sheepdog is a very intelligent dog, and as such requires plenty of mental stimulation. That means this breed is not suitable for couch dwellers.
- Because of the mental stimulation requirements, the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the easier breeds to train.
- The average life expectancy of a Shetland Sheepdog is around 12–14 years.
- Yes, the Shetland Sheepdog fur really is as soft as it looks!
- Since Shetland Sheepdog are known for their long hair, it should be no surprise that they require frequent maintenance to keep looking their best. Be warned, they are known to shed, so you will be vacuuming quite regularly.
Some breeds are prone to medical conditions, so severe, others mild. But either way, it’s important for you to be aware of such issues as a responsible dog owner, so you know what potential symptoms to look out for, and what steps to take if you spot any in your dog.
FAQs about Shetland Sheepdog‘s
People also regularly ask the following questions about Shetland Sheepdog
What is the average height of a Shetland Sheepdog?
The height of a fully grown Shetland Sheepdog will be somewhere around 13 to 16 inches. Don’t worry if your Shetland Sheepdog is slightly over or under those figures, as this is just a breed average.
What is the average weight for a Shetland Sheepdog?
Ideally, your Shetland Sheepdog should weigh somewhere between 15 and 25 pounds. This is an average for the breed overall, so if your pup comes in slightly over, or slightly under this weight, don’t worry too much.
How to tell if my Shetland Sheepdog is overweight?
In surveys conducted by Pet Obesity Prevention since 2012, more than 55% of dogs are now classified as overweight or obese. This number has been steadily increasing from 52.5% in 2012, with the most recent numbers in 2018 being 55.8%.
That’s an increase of 3.3% in just six years, showing that dog obesity is a problem that is only getting worse over time.
We’ve created an easy-to-use dog calorie calculator to give a pretty good idea of how many calories your dog needs to maintain energy requirements (or MER).
Keep your dog happy and healthy, and be sure to regularly check the weight of your dog to ensure a long and healthy life.
What is the life expectancy of a Shetland Sheepdog?
The average life expectancy for a Shetland Sheepdog is 12 to 14 years, although don’t be surprised if your dog lives longer!
It’s not uncommon to fall outside of this age range, mainly due to health and medical conditions. So keep your dog happy and healthy, ensure your dog’s weight is kept within the ideal range, with plenty of exercise and playtime to keep his mind and body healthy, helping to extend his life!