Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Great Britain.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
19.08.2013.
KC
June 2010

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Companion dog and Sheepdog.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 1Sheepdogs and Cattledogs
Section 1Sheepdogs
Without working trial

KC
Pastoral
UKC
Herding Dog

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
UKC
Sometime around 900 A.D., the islands off the coast of Scotland were colonized by Norse people who brought with them the ancestors of the Shetland Sheepdog. These ancestors were Spitz-type dogs, probably similar in type to today’s Icelandic Sheepdog and the Swedish Vallhund. Over time, the Shetland islanders developed a small, highly intelligent dog, capable of herding with little or no supervision. The island’s harsh climate required a hardy, small dog with a thick, weather-resistant coat. In the 15th century, Shetland became part of Scotland and began importing sheep from the mainland. The Scottish Collie, then slightly smaller than today’s breed, was crossed with the Shetland dogs to give the island breed a more distinct Collie-like appearance. Today, the Shetland Sheepdog is a popular companion and working dog, excelling at all events requiring intelligence and agility. The United Kennel Club has recognized this breed since 1948.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Small, long-haired working dog of great beauty, free from cloddiness and coarseness, action lithe and graceful. Outline symmetrical so that no part appears out of proportion to whole. Abundant coat, mane and frill, shapeliness of head and sweetness of expression combine to present the ideal.
KC
Small, long-haired working dog of great beauty, free from cloddiness and coarseness, action lithe and graceful. Outline symmetrical so that no part appears out of proportion to whole. Abundant coat, mane and frill, shapeliness of head and sweetness of expression combine to present the ideal.
UKC
The general appearance of the Shetland Sheepdog is that of a Rough Collie in miniature. A male Sheltie should appear distinctly masculine, and a female distinctly feminine.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI
Skull and muzzle of equal length, dividing point inner corner of eye. Slightly longer from point of shoulder to bottom of croup than height at withers.
KC
Alert, gentle, intelligent, strong and active.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Alert, gentle, intelligent, strong and active. Affectionate and responsive to his owner, reserved towards strangers, never nervous.
KC
Affectionate and responsive to his owner, reserved towards strangers, never nervous.
UKC
The Shetland Sheepdog is affectionate, loyal, highly intelligent and an extremely willing worker. Shelties may be wary with strangers but are intensely devoted to their family members, including children and other dogs. Shelties excel in performance events, and many still serve as working farm dogs. Shelties make excellent guard dogs, alerting to any intrusion with enthusiastic barking.

HEAD

:
FCI
Head refined and elegant with no exaggerations; when viewed from top or side a long, blunt wedge, tapering from ear to nose. Width and depth of skull in proportion to length of skull and muzzle. Whole to be considered in connection with size of dog.
KC
Head refined and elegant with no exaggerations; when viewed from top or side a long, blunt wedge, tapering from ear to nose. Width and depth of skull in proportion to length of skull and muzzle. Whole to be considered in connection with size of dog. Skull flat, moderately wide between ears, with no prominence of occipital bone. Cheeks flat, merging smoothly into well rounded muzzle. Skull and muzzle of equal length, dividing point inner corner of eye. Topline of skull parallel to topline of muzzle, with slight but definite stop. Nose, lips and eye rims black. The characteristic expression is obtained by the perfect balance and combination of skull and foreface, shape, colour and placement of eyes, correct position and carriage of ears.
UKC
The head is refined but proportionate to the size of the body. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are of equal length, parallel, and joined by a slight but definite stop. Viewed from the front and the side, the Shetland Sheepdog’s head forms a long, blunt wedge shape.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Flat, moderately wide between ears, with no prominence of occipital bone. Topline of skull parallel to topline of muzzle.
UKC
The skull is flat and of moderate width. The occiput is not prominent. The skull tapers slightly toward the muzzle. Cheeks are flat.

Stop

:
FCI
Slight but definite.

FACIAL REGION

:
FCI
The characteristic expression is obtained by the perfect balance and combination of skull and foreface, shape, colour and placement of eyes, correct position and carriage of ears.

Nose

:
FCI
Black.
UKC
The nose is black, and projects somewhat over the mouth.

Muzzle

:
KC
Jaws level, clean, strong with well-developed underjaw. Lips tight. Teeth sound with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. A full complement of 42 properly placed teeth highly desired.
UKC
Jaws are clean and powerful, with a well-developed underjaw, rounded at the chin that extends to the base of the nostrils. Lips are tight and black.

Lips

:
FCI
Tight with black rims.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws level, clean, strong with well-developed underjaw. Teeth sound with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. A full complement of 42 properly placed teeth highly desired.
UKC
The Shetland Sheepdog has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Flat, merging smoothly into well rounded muzzle.

Eyes

:
FCI
Medium size obliquely set, almond-shape with black rims. Dark brown except in the case of merles, where one or both may be blue or blue flecked.
KC
Medium size obliquely set, almond-shape. Dark brown except in the case of merles, where one or both may be blue or blue flecked.
UKC
Correct eye color, shape and placement is essential to proper Sheltie expression, which is alert, intelligent, and gentle. Eyes are medium in size, almond shaped, and set somewhat obliquely. The inner corner of the eye marks the central point of the stop. Eye color is dark brown, except that blue merles, sable merles, and predominately whites with merle coloration on the head may have one or both eyes blue or flecked with blue. Eye rims are black. Haw should not be visible.

Ears

:
FCI
Small, moderately wide at base, placed fairly close together on top of skull. In repose, thrown back; when alert brought forward and carried semi-erect with tips falling forward.
KC
Small, moderately wide at base, placed fairly close together on top of skull. In repose, thrown back; when alert brought forward and carried semi-erect with tips falling forward.
UKC
Correct ear set and carriage are essential to proper Sheltie expression. Ears are small, moderately wide at the base, and fairly high set, but not so high as to give a sharp, terrier-like appearance. When alert, ears are carried semi-erect with the top one-fourth of the ear dropping forward. Otherwise, ears may be folded lengthwise and laid back into the ruff.

NECK

:
FCI
Muscular, well arched, of sufficient length to carry head proudly.
KC
Muscular, well arched, of sufficient length to carry head proudly.
UKC
The muscular, well-arched neck is sufficiently long to enable the head to be carried proudly, blending smoothly into well-laid-back shoulders.

BODY

:
KC
Slightly longer from point of shoulder to bottom of croup than height at withers. Chest deep, reaching to point of elbow. Ribs well sprung, tapering at lower half to allow free play of forelegs and shoulders. Back level, with graceful sweep over loins, croup slopes gradually to rear.
UKC
The body is slightly longer than tall, measured from prosternum to point of buttocks, but the length is derived from good angulation and not actual length of back. Whether the dog is standing or moving, the line of the back is strong and level from the withers to the gradually sloping croup. The loin is moderately short, muscular and slightly arched, with very little tuck-up. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung out from the spine, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. The brisket extends to the elbow. Viewed from the front, the chest is well filled and of moderate width.

Back

:
FCI
Level, with graceful sweep over loins.

Croup

:
FCI
Sloping gradually to rear.

Chest

:
FCI
Deep, reaching to point of elbow. Ribs well sprung, tapering at lower half to allow free play of forelegs and shoulders.

TAIL

:
FCI
Set low; tapering bone reaches to at least hock; with abundant hair and slight upward sweep. May be slightly raised when moving but never over level of back. Never kinked.
KC
Set low; tapering bone reaches to at least hock; with abundant hair and slight upward sweep. May be slightly raised when moving but never over level of back. Never kinked.
UKC
The tail is set low, forming a natural extension of the topline. It is thicker at the base and tapers to the tip. A tail of the correct length extends at least to the hock. When the dog is relaxed, the tail hangs down naturally or with a slight upward curve. When the dog is moving or alert, the tail may be raised slightly, but never higher than the line of the back.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
Forelegs straight when viewed from front, muscular and clean with strong, but not heavy, bone.
Shoulders very well laid back. At withers, separated only by vertebrae, but blades sloping outwards to accommodate desired spring of ribs. Shoulder joint well angled.
KC
Shoulders very well laid back. At withers, separated only by vertebrae, but blades sloping outwards to accommodate desired spring of ribs. Shoulder joint well angled. Upper arm and shoulder blade approximately equal in length. Elbow equidistant from ground and withers. Forelegs straight when viewed from front, muscular and clean with strong, but not heavy, bone. Pasterns strong and flexible.
UKC
Shoulders are smoothly muscled. The shoulder blades are well laid back. The upper arm appears to be equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle. Elbows are close to the body.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Approximately equal in length with shoulder blade.

Elbow

:
FCI
Equidistant from ground and withers.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The forelegs are straight with strong, but not heavy, bone that is oval in shape. Pasterns are strong, flexible and slightly sloping. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are parallel. Viewed from the side, the point of elbow is directly below the withers, and equidistant from the withers and the ground.

Pastern

:
FCI
Strong and flexible.

FEET

:
KC
Oval, soles well padded, toes arched and close together.
UKC
Feet are compact, well knit, and oval in shape. Toes are well arched and pads are thick and hard. Nails are strong. Dewclaws may be removed.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Oval, soles well padded, toes arched and close together.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
KC
Thigh broad and muscular, thigh bones set into pelvis at right angles. Stifle joint has distinct angle, hock joint clean cut, angular, well let down with strong bone. Hocks straight when viewed from behind.
UKC
The hindquarters are broad and muscular. In profile, the croup slopes slightly. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the angulation of the forequarters.

Thigh

:
FCI
Broad and muscular, thigh bones set into pelvis at right angles.

Stifle

:
FCI
Joint has distinct angle.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The stifles are well bent, and the hocks are well let down. Hock joint is clean cut. When the dog is standing, the short, strong rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another.

Hock

:
FCI
Joint clean cut, angular, well let down with strong bone. Hocks straight when viewed from behind.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Lithe, smooth and graceful with drive from hindquarters, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum of effort. Pacing, plaiting, rolling, or stiff, stilted, up and down movement highly undesirable.
KC
Lithe, smooth and graceful with drive from hindquarters, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum of effort. Pacing, plaiting, rolling, or stiff, stilted, up and down movement highly undesirable.
UKC
The Shetland Sheepdog is a herding dog that requires an easy, almost floating movement, agility, and endurance. The correct shoulder assembly and well-fitted elbows allow a long, free stride in front. The forelegs should reach well forward without too much lift. Viewed from the front, the legs move in nearly parallel planes, inclining slightly more inward as speed increases. Hind legs should drive well under the body and move on a line with forelegs, with hocks turning neither in nor out. Feet should have no tendency to swing out, cross over, or interfere with each other. Short, choppy movement; rolling or high-stepping gait; or overly close or overly wide movement are incorrect.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Double; outer coat of long hair, harsh-textured and straight. Undercoat soft, short and close. Mane and frill very abundant, forelegs well feathered. Hindlegs above hocks profusely covered with hair, below hocks fairly smooth. Face smooth. The coat should fit the body and not dominate or detract from the outline of the dog. Smooth-coated specimens highly undesirable.
KC
Double; outer coat of long hair, harsh-textured and straight. Undercoat soft, short and close. Mane and frill very abundant, forelegs well feathered. Hindlegs above hocks profusely covered with hair, below hocks fairly smooth. Face smooth. The coat should fit the body and not dominate or detract from the outline of the dog. Smooth-coated specimens highly undesirable.
UKC
The Shetland Sheepdog has a thick, weather-resistant, double coat. The outer coat is long, harsh textured and straight. The undercoat is soft, short, and dense. The coat stands away from the body and is noticeably more profuse on males than females. The neck is heavily coated forming an impressive mane, frill and apron. The front of the forelegs are covered with short, smooth hair while the back sides are well feathered. The rump and hind legs down to the hock are covered with thick hair that forms the characteristic “trousers.” The tail is richly plumed. Hair on the face, tips of ears, feet and hocks is smooth. Trimming of these smooth areas is allowed.

COLOUR

:
FCI
Sable: clear or shaded, any colour from pale gold to deep mahogany, in its shade, rich in tone. Wolf-sable and grey undesirable.
KC
Sable: clear or shaded, any colour from pale gold to deep mahogany, in its shade, rich in tone. Wolf-sable and grey undesirable. Tricolour: intense black on body, rich tan markings preferred. Blue Merle: clear silvery blue, splashed and marbled with black. Rich tan marking preferred but absence not penalised. Heavy black markings, slate or rusty tinge in either top or undercoat highly undesirable; general effect must be blue. Black and White, and Black and Tan: also recognised colours. White markings may appear (except on black and tan) in blaze, collar and chest, frill, legs and tip of tail. All or some white markings are preferred (except on black and tan) but absence of these markings not to be penalised. Patches of white on body highly undesirable.
UKC
Acceptable colors include: black, blue merle, sable, sable merle, and predominantly white. The black, blue merle, sable, and sable merle are marked with varying amounts of white, tan, or white and tan trim. Sable ranges from golden through mahogany. The predominantly white has a sable, black, blue merle or sable merle head, with or without tan trim, and the body has small amounts of like-colored markings. White should never predominate on the head and should never surround the eyes. The ears should also be predominately colored. When evaluating the relative merit of dogs, faults and merits of color and markings are always secondary to those of physical soundness and gait, except that a dog with the serious color faults described below should never be considered for awards in conformation competition.

SIZE

:
KC
Ideal height at withers: dogs: 37 cms (141/2 ins); bitches: 35.5 cms (14 ins). More than 2.5 cms (1 in) above or below these heights highly undesirable.
UKC
Height for a mature Shetland Sheepdog ranges between 13 and 16 inches. Weight is proportionate to height.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males 37 cm Females 35,5 cm
More than 2 1/2 cm above or below these heights highly undesirable.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Characteristics: Shyness, timidity, nervousness, snappishness.
Head: Skull and muzzle not parallel or of equal length; stop too prominent or absent.
Skull: Prominent occiput; broad or domed skull; prominent cheekbones.
Muzzle: Snippy muzzle; short, receding, narrow or shallow underjaw; Roman nose.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite; missing or crooked teeth; teeth visible when mouth closed.
Eyes: Eyes too light, too large, too small, or too round; visible haw; blue or blue-flecked eyes with any coat color other than merle or predominately white with merle.
Ears: Ears set too low or too high; erect, drop, bat, or twisted ears; ear leather too thick or too thin.
Forelegs: Upright shoulders; short upper arm; insufficient angulation; loose shoulders; out at elbows; crooked legs; bone too heavy or too light.
Body: Back too long, too short, swayed, or roached; barrel ribs or slab sided; narrow or shallow chest; croup too steep or too flat; croup higher than withers.
Hind Legs: Poorly muscled thighs; poorly defined hock joint; hocks turning in or out.
Feet: Feet turning in or out; round, splay or hare foot.
Tail: Tail too short; kinked tail.
Coat: Short or flat coat; absence of undercoat; wavy, curly, soft, or silky texture.
Color: Rustiness in a black or blue merle coat; washed-out colors, such as pale sable or faded blue; self-colored blue or sable merle with no merling or mottling.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC
Color: Predominately white head.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.) Height above 16 inches or below 13 inches.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Smooth coat. Albinism. Brindle. White surrounding one or both eyes. One or both ears predominately white.
Coat: Smooth coat.
Color: Albinism; brindle; white surrounding one or both eyes; one or both ears predominately white.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.