The Shetland Sheepdog, affectionately called Sheltie, is sometimes referred to as a "mini collie". The two dog breeds also look very similar in terms of their coat color; the color shades sable-white, tricolor (black, white, brown) and blue-merle are common to them. What they also have in common is their thick, lush fur, which can be divided into two layers: a soft, fluffy lower layer and the somewhat rougher top coat. That means: These animal companions lose a lot of fur and want to be brushed regularly. Both Collie and Sheltie are from the UK, strictly speaking: Scotland. There they were originally kept as herding dogs, but the two breeds had different tasks.
Sheltie vs. Collie: herding dogs with different tasks
The collies take their name from the English word "colley", that is how sheep with a black head and black legs are called. The Collie breed was created from the "colley dogs", the dogs that guard these sheep. The herding dogs were raised to keep the herd together. The Sheltie, whose origin can be traced back to the Shetland Islands as far back as the 17th century, once served a herding dog. However, it was her job to keep the voracious sheep away from sowing and harvesting in the meadows and fields.
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Sheltie and Collie differ in their temperament
The fact that the Sheltie is often referred to as a miniature collie suggests the larger stature of the collie. Its height at the withers is between 51 and 61 centimeters, while the smaller Shetland Sheepdog only reaches a height between 35 and 37 centimeters. But especially when sitting, it is difficult to make the difference between the two breeds due to the similar fur color. Based on its size, you should assume that the Collie would need more movement than the Sheltie. In truth, it is the other way around: The Sheltie is watchful, agile and has a more pronounced play instinct than the Collie, so it needs to be more busy and needs more exercise. If the four-legged friend is bored, it can happen that he nibbles on the furniture or other things in the house. Collies are also very active, want to be entertained and regularly walked, but unlike the Sheltie, they have a calmer temper.
What Sheltie and Collie have in common: their suitability for family dogs
Both the Sheltie and the Collie are two extremely intelligent dog breeds that are capable of learning and obey their owner and eat out of your hand if he trains them well. It is not for nothing that the two breeds are used as herding, blind and, in the case of the Collie, as rescue dogs. However, they are also demanding animals that require a lot of attention and affection. Someone who has little time for them and cannot guarantee an extensive daily walk with them should better choose a dog that is less keen to move than the Sheltie or Collie. New dog owners could also be a little overwhelmed with the bright nature.
Both breeds work well as guard dogs. The Collie and the Shetland Sheepdog can also make the perfect family dog. As a rule, it is not a problem if you have children and the four-legged friends grow up with them. But what you should consider: The herd instinct is innate to the collie and the sheltie. He will take care of his family or herd and you may want to protect something too carefully - even if there is no dangerous situation at all. Your loyal companion can accompany you up to 14 years (Sheltie) or up to 12 years (Collie).