The Shetland Sheepdog, also known as the Sheltie, is a breed of herding dog that originated in the Shetland Islands. The original name of this breed was Shetland Collie, but when this caused controversy among the Rough Collie breeders of the time, the breed's name was formally changed to Shetland Sheepdog. This hard-working small dog is intelligent, vocal, excitable, and willing to please. The breed was formally recognized by The Kennel Club in 1909.
Like the Shetland pony and the Shetland sheep, the Shetland Sheepdog is a hardy but diminutive breed, developed to thrive amidst the harsh and meager conditions of its native island. While the Sheltie still excels at herding, today it is also raised as a farm dog and family pet.
The Shetland Sheepdog's earliest origins are obscure but what is certain is that the Sheltie is not a direct descendant of the Collie. The Sheltie is a descendant of small specimens of the Scottish Collie and the King Charles Spaniel. They were originally a small mixed-breed dog, often only about 8 inches to 12 inches in height at the shoulder, and it is thought that the original Shetland herding dogs were of the Spitz type, and were crossed with Collies from mainland Britain. In the early 20th century, James Loggie added a small Rough Collie to the breeding stock, and helped establish what would become the modern Shetland sheepdog.