Granite State Shetland Sheepdog Club of South East New Hampshire

last updated


All images are property of GSSSC and its respective members - do not use without permission. All images on this site were used with permission of club members.

About the Shetland Sheepdog

Contrary to popular belief, Shelties are NOT miniature Collies.  Though they share a similar history and come from the same region, they are two separate breeds.

Shelties originated as herding and possible all-around farm dogs in the Shetland Isles.  The ancestors of this breed go back centuries.  As a breed, Shelties were first registered by the Kennel Club in Great Britain in 1909. The American Kennel Club registered its first Sheltie in 1911. For a more detailed Sheltie History, please visit this page: Sheltie History.

Shelties are a smaller-medium sized, dynamic, vocal, energetic breed.  The breed standard in the US calls for a dog 13”- 16” at the withers with weight being in proportion to height. Shelties have a double coat which consists of a softer, woolly undercoat that sheds out (and often quite profusely) and thickens up depending on the season and a harsher, more weather proof outer coat. Being a herding breed, Shelties love to work and if no activity is given, they may find their own form of entertainment.  However, a bored Sheltie’s idea of fun and yours may be two different things.  It is important that this quick, bright and working breed not become bored.  Boredom also leads to issues such as fence-running and nuisance barking. 

Shelties are devoted to their families but should be wary of strangers.  Once you have a Sheltie’s trust, you have a buddy for life. If properly socialized around children, Shelties can make excellent family dogs.  However, being herding dogs, they have a chase drive and must learn what they can and cannot go after.  If not, your children could become their flock. Shelties enjoy activity and a well-behaved child and well-trained dog can entertain each other quite well - with proper adult supervision of course! 


Breed Standards

American Kennel Club

The Kennel Club (Great Britain)



Shelties come in a variety of colors (too view a specific color, please click on the desired one or scroll down and note: all colors can have varying amounts of white from very little to a predominantly white dog. )



Sable: Sable is basically a brown dog with varying amounts of white.  The sable can range from page gold to dark mahogany (may be mistaken for a tri-color.  If in doubt, look at the undercoat, in a sable it will be more on the tan or creamy side).


Tri Color: This is a dog that is black with varying amounts of white and tan. If in doubt whether the dog is a dark sable or tri, look at the undercoat. In a tri it will be more on the gray side).

return to color list

Bi Black: This is a black and white dog - do not confuse Bi Blacks with small Border Collies!

return to color list

Blue Merle: This is a genetic dilution of the Tri color.  The black washes out to gray (ranging from a clear, ice-blue to a dark denim) with varying amounts of black (from ticking to patches) and tan.


return to color list


Bi Blue: This is a Blue Merle dog without the tan, basically a dilution of the Bi Black.