mackland shetland sheepdogs shelties puppies south africa
PERFORMANCE  DOGS  WITH  HEART




General

The Shetland Sheepdog, often known as the Sheltie, is a breed of herding dog. They are small to medium dogs, and come in a variety of colours, such as sable, tri-color, and blue merle. They are vocal, excitable, energetic dogs who are always willing to please and work hard. They are partly derived from dogs used in the Shetland Isles for herding and protecting sheep. The breed was formally recognized by The Kennel Club in 1909.
The Shetland Sheepdog's early history is not well known. Although of obscure origin, the sheltie is probably a descendant of small specimens of the Scottish Collie and the King Charles Spaniel. It was developed to tend the diminutive sheep of the Shetland Islands, whose rugged, stormy shores have produced other small-statured animals such as the Shetland pony.
Today it is raised as a farm dog and family pet. They were originally a small mixed-breed dog, 330 mm in height and it is thought that the original Shetland herding dogs were of Spitz type, and were crossed with collie-type sheepdogs 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. The original name of the breed was Shetland Collie, but this caused controversy among Rough Collie breeders at the time, so the breed's name was formally changed to Shetland Sheepdog.

Unlike many miniature breeds that resemble their larger counterparts, this breed was not developed simply by selectively breeding the Rough Collie for smaller and smaller size. The original sheepdog of Shetland was a Spitz-type dog, probably similar to the modern Icelandic Sheepdog. This dog was crossed with mainland working collies brought to the islands, and then after being brought to England, it was further extensively crossed with the Rough Collie, and other breeds including some or all of the extinct Greenland Yakki, the King Charles Spaniel (not the Cavalier), the Pomeranian, and possibly the Border Collie. The original Spitz-type working sheepdog of Shetland is now extinct, having been replaced for herding there by the Border Collie. The Shetland Sheepdog in its modern form has never been used as a working dog on Shetland, and ironically it is uncommon there.
When the breed was originally introduced breeders called them Shetland Collies, which upset Rough Collie breeders, so the name was changed to Shetland Sheepdog. During the early 20th century (up until the 1940s), additional crosses were made to Rough Collies to help retain the desired Rough Collie type – in fact, the first AKC Sheltie champion's dam was a purebred rough Collie.
The year 1909, marked the initial recognition of the Sheltie by the English Kennel Club, with the first registered Sheltie
being a female called Badenock Rose. The first Sheltie to be registered by the American Kennel Club was "Lord Scott" in 1911.

The general appearance of the Sheltie is that of a miniature Rough Collie. They are a small, double coated, working dog, agile and sturdy. Blue merle Shelties may have blue eyes or one brown and one blue eye, but all others have dark coloured eyes. Their expression should be that of alertness with a gentle and sometimes reserved nature. They are often very good with children. They carry their tail down low, only lifted when alert and never carried over the back. They are an intensely loyal breed, sometimes reserved with strangers but should not be too shy.

Shelties have a double coat, which means that they have two layers of fur that make up their coat. The long, rough guard hairs lie on top of a thick, soft undercoat. The guard hairs are water-repellent, while the undercoat provides relief from both high and low temperatures.

The English Kennel Club describes three different colours: tricolour, blue merle, and sable (ranging from golden through mahogany), marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan. Essentially, however, a blue merle dog is a genetically black dog, either black, white, and tan (tricolour). In the show ring, blue merles may have blue eyes; all other colours must have brown eyes.

Basic coat colours
Sable – Sable is dominant over other colours. May be pure for sable (two sable genes) or may be tri-factored or bi-
factored (carrying one sable gene and one tricolour or bicolour gene). Tri-factored sable and shaded sable are not
interchangeable terms.
Tricolour – black, white, and tan. Tricolour is dominant over bi-black. May be pure for tricolour (2 tri genes) or may be
bi-factored (carrying one tricolour gene and one bicolour gene).
Bi-black – black and white. Bi-black is recessive. A bi-black Sheltie carries 2 bi-black genes; thus, any dog of any other
colour with a bi-black parent is also bi-factored.

"Modified" coat colours
Any of the above colours may also have a colour modification gene. The colour modification genes
are merling and white factoring. Merling dilutes the base colour (sable, tricolour, or bi-black) causing a black dog's
coat to show a mix of black, white, and gray hairs, often with black patches.
Blue merle—blue, white, and tan. A tricolour with the merling gene. May have blue eyes.
Bi-blue—blue and white. A bi-black with the merling gene. May have blue eyes.
Sable merle—faded or mottled sable and white. Often born with a mottled coat of darker brown over lighter brown, they usually present as a faded or lighter sable or can appear as a washed out blue-merle. Sable merles are shown in the breed ring as sables.
White factoring affects the amount of white on the dog. It is hard to tell, without actually breeding, whether a dog is white-factored or not, though dogs with white going up the stifle (the front of the hind leg) are usually assumed to be white-factored. Breeding two white-factored dogs can result in colour-headed whites—Shelties with coloured heads (sable, tricolor, bi-black, or blue or sable merle) and white bodies. For show dogs, dogs with more than 50% white are heavily penalized and thus are not shown in the breed ring; they are normal in every other way.
Double merles, a product of breeding two merle Shelties together, have a very high incidence of deafness and/or blindness.
There have been reports of a brindle Sheltie, but many Sheltie enthusiasts agree that a cross sometime in the ancestry of that specific Sheltie could have produced a brindle. Unacceptable colours in the show ring are a rustiness in a blue or black coat. Colours may not be faded, no conspicuous white spots, and the colour cannot be over 50% white.

Shelties normally weigh around 5–11 kilograms. In general, males are taller and heavier than females. Accepted height ranges may differ depending on country and standard used. KUSA specifies a male’s height as 37cm ± 2˝ cm at the withers, and a female’s height as 36cm ± 2˝ cm, however, some shelties can be found outside of these ranges but are not considered truly representative of the breed.

To conform to the breed standards, the Shelties' ears should bend slightly or "tip", this contributes to the "proper
Sheltie expression. The ear is to have the top third to a quarter of the ear tipped. Wide-set (too much distance between) ears are also not a desired trait, nor are ears which tip too low down.

Shelties have a double coat, and often shed a lot of the time, no matter the season. The top coat consists of long,
straight, water-repellent hair, which provides protection from cold and the elements. The undercoat is short, furry, and very dense and helps to keep the dog warm. Mats can be commonly found behind the ears, under the elbow on each front leg, and in the fluffy fur on the hind legs, as well as around the collar. The coat is usually shed twice a year. Females will also shed right before or right after giving birth. Male shelties technically shed less than females but fur still comes off constantly. Shaving these dogs is very bad for their skin and some do not regrow any significant amount of hair after being shaved, a condition known as alopecia. Spaying or neutering can alter coat texture, making it softer, more prone to matting and even more profuse. It should be noted that Shelties shed in clumps which can be pulled or brushed out of the main coat, rather than individual hair. This makes them much easier to groom and clean-up after than many smooth-haired dogs, which leave loose fur in their space.

Shelties have a high level of intelligence. According to Dr. Stanley Coren, an expert on animal intelligence, the Shetland sheepdog is one of the brightest dogs, ranking 6th out of 132 breeds tested.

Health

For the most part, Shelties are athletic and healthy. Like the Rough Collie, there is a tendency toward inherited
malformation and disease of the eyes. Each individual puppy should have his eyes examined by a qualified veterinary ophthalmologist. Some lines may be susceptible to hypothyroidism, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, or skin allergies.
Compared to other dogs, Shetland Sheepdogs have a four-fold increased risk of developing transitional cell carcinoma, a cancer of the bladder.
Dermatomyositis may occur at the age of 4 to 6 months, and is frequently misdiagnosed by general practice veterinarians as sarcoptic ordemodectic mange. The disease manifests itself as alopecia on the top of the head, supra- and suborbital area and forearms as well as the tip of the tail. If the disease progresses to its more damaging form, it could affect the autonomic nervous system and the dog may have to be euthanised. This disease is generation-skipping and genetically transmitted, with breeders having no clear methodology for screening except clear bloodline records. Deep tissue biopsies are required to definitively diagnose dermatomyositis.
Von Willebrand disease is an inherited bleeding disorder. In Shelties, affected dogs as a general rule are not viable and do not live long. The Sheltie carries type III of von Willebrands, which is the most severe of the three levels. There are DNA tests that were developed to find von Willebrands in Shelties. It can be done at any age, and it will give three results: affected, carrier and non-affected. Shelties may also suffer from hypothyroidism, which is the under-functioning thyroid gland. It is an Autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Clinical symptoms include hair loss or lack of coat, over or under-weight, and listlessness.
Although small breed dogs are not usually plagued by hip dysplasia, it has been identified in Shelties. Hip dysplasia
occurs when the head of the femur and the acetabulum do not fit together correctly, frequently causing pain and/or lameness. Hip dysplasia is thought to be genetic. Many breeders will have their dogs' hips x-rayed and certified .

The two basic forms of inherited eye diseases/defects in Shelties are Collie eye anomaly (CEA) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Collie eye anomaly: An autosomal recessive inherited trait which results in incomplete closure of the embryonic fissure; seen almost exclusively in Collies, Border collies and Shetland sheepdogs. CEA can be detected in young puppies by a veterinary ophthalmologist. The disease involves the retina. It is always bilateral although the severity may be disparate (unequal) between eyes. Other accompanying defects (ophthalmic anomalies) may wrongly indicate a more severe manifestation of CEA. CEA is present at birth and although it cannot be cured, it doesn't progress. Signs of CEA in shelties are small, or deepset eyes. That is, the severity of the disease at birth will not change throughout the dog's life. CEA is scored similar to the way hips are.
CEA is genetic, inheritance is autosomal recessive, this means that even a dog that shows no phenotypic signs of the condition may be a carrier. Breeders should actively try to breed this disease out by only breeding with dogs that have "clear" eyes or very low scoring eyes. A CEA score considered too high to breed with may still be low enough not to affect the dog's life. These dogs live happy and healthy lives as pets but should be not used for breeding. The recent development of a DNA test for CEA makes control of this disease much more likely as more breeders take advantage of the test.

PRA can be detected at any time but usually does not show up until the dog is around two years of age. Breeding dogs should be tested for genotype for this condition before breeding and only animals found "clear" should be used for breeding. PRA can occur in most breeds of dog including mix breeds. In Most breeds it is also an autosomal
recessive condition, however it has been found in other breeds to be autosomal dominant and sex-linked in others. As the name suggests, it is a progressive disease which will eventually result in total blindness. Like CEA, an affected dog should not be bred with but these dogs can live happily as pets. Currently there is no treatment for either disease, but as both diseases (CEA and PRA) are hereditary it is possible to eliminate them using selective breeding.

MDR1 Gene Mutation - According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, the Shetland Sheepdog, and many other herding breeds, have a risk of being born with a MDR1 Gene Mutation, with about 15% of individuals affected. Cross-breeds are also affected. Dogs carrying Mdr1-1 share a common ancestor that experienced remarkable evolutionary success, having contributed genetically to at least nine distinct breeds of dog. Due to this genetic mutation, affected dogs may exhibit sensitivity or adverse reactions to many drugs. including Acepromazine, Butorphanol, Doxorubicin, Erythromycin, Ivermectin, Loperamide, Milbemycin, Moxidectin, Rifampin, Selamectin, Vinblastine, and Vincristine.

Work & Dog Sports

As the name suggests, Shelties can, and have been, used as sheepdogs and still participate in sheepdog trials to this day.
Herding dogs conduct livestock from one place to another by causing fear-flocking and flight behaviour. The instinct to herd is primarily a product of breeding. No amount of training can substitute this trait.

In their size group, the breed dominates dog Agility, Obedience, Conformation, Flyball, Tracking, and Herding.
 
 
 
 
                          

GENERAL APPEARANCE
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 combined to present the ideal.

CHARACTERISTICS
Alert, gentle, intelligent, strong and active.

TEMPERAMENT
Affectionate and responsive to his owner, reserved towards strangers, never nervous.

HEAD AND SKULL
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.

EYES
Medium size obliquely set, almond-shape. Dark brown except in the case of merles, where one or both may be blue or blue flecked.

EARS
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.

MOUTH
Jaws level, clean, strong with well-developed under jaw. 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.

NECK
Muscular, well arched, of sufficient length to carry head proudly.

FOREQUARTERS
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. Forelegsstraight, when viewed from front, muscular and clean with strong, but not heavy, bone. Pasterns strong and flexible.

BODY
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.

HINDQUARTERS
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.

FEET
Oval, soles well padded, toes arched and close together.

TAIL
Set low; tapering bone reaches to at least hock; with abundant hair and slight upward sweep. Maybe slightly 
raised when moving but never over level of back. Never kinked.

GAIT/MOVEMENT
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.

COAT
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.

COLOUR
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 of 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.

SIZE
Ideal height at withers : Dogs : 37 cms (14˝ ins)
Bitches : 36 cms (14 ins).
More than 2˝ cms (1in) above or below these heights highly undesirable.

FAULTS
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 on health & welfare of the dog

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

 
shetland sheepdog (sheltie)


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