Would you love to adopt a Collie but don’t have the space for one of these gorgeous dogs? If so, you may want to consider the miniature Collie! This is a dog that has the same personality and appearance as the Collie, but in a smaller body.
We’ve put together some information about miniature Collies so you can decide if this is the right dog for you and your family. Let’s get started!
What is a Miniature Collie?
A common question about the miniature Collie and full-sized Collies is whether these are the same dog breed. The answer is no; the miniature Collie and regular-sized Collies are two distinct dog breeds, though they do resemble one another. Mini Collies look like a smaller version of the Rough Collie. The fact is that the miniature Collie is properly called a Sheltie (short for Shetland Sheepdog).
Like their Collie relatives, the Sheltie was also bred to herd in rough, rugged terrain. And these dogs make excellent herders! These dogs are highly intelligent and eager to please; however, they do have a reputation for sometimes being too smart. Shelties definitely need a job to do, or they easily become bored. You want to avoid having a bored Sheltie! This is a dog that can come up with their own fun activities. We’re pretty sure you won’t appreciate what a Sheltie can cook up for fun!
Shelties usually stand between 13 to 16 inches tall and weigh from 20 lbs up. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
Miniature Collie (Sheltie) Appearance
When looking at a Sheltie, you really believe this is a miniature Collie! And there’s a reason for that. The dogs look just like a smaller version of a Rough Collie (they look like Lassie). The dogs are small and have straight, thick coats that come in a variety of colors. The dogs do shed heavily in the spring and fall (the main shedding seasons).
The dogs usually have pointy ears that stand up or slightly bend over. The breed’s face has a long muzzle, like a Collie, and they always look alert. Shelties also have a low tail and an athletic build.
Miniature Collie (Sheltie) Temperament
Shelties are highly intelligent dogs. While they’re wary of strangers, the dogs are easy to please and trainable. They’re gentle, obedient, and confident dogs. They’re very loving and loyal with their families. The dogs are also quite playful and good-natured.
These mini Collies are smart and enjoy obedience training; however, they should also be properly socialized from a young age. The dogs are quick to learn, and they need plenty of mental stimulation, or they easily become bored.
The dogs are also known for being quite sensitive. They’re often used as therapy dogs for this reason.
Shelties make great watchdogs. Remember, they were bred to herd and protect cattle. They still have this instinct to protect today. While they may not chase off an intruder, their warning bark may be enough to scare them off and let you know something is going on.
Do Shelties Make Good Family Companions?
Yes, they can make excellent companions for families. They love kids; however, they do best with older kids who know how to properly play with dogs.
They can also get along with other dog breeds. But it’s best if the Sheltie (and the other dog) have been properly socialized. The dogs can also get along with cats once the dog understands he can’t herd the cat. That usually means the cat has to assert herself with the dog! After that, they may get along very well.
While Shelties are usually healthy dogs, they can suffer from certain health issues, including the following.
- Collie eye anomaly
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Hip dysplasia
We have to remind you once more that these are highly intelligent dogs. For this reason, they must be properly trained and socialized from a young age. This makes the dogs more obedient and teaches them how to behave in different environments, situations, and with other animals. The breeder should start training and socializing the puppies early, and pet parents need to continue the process.
Shelties respond best to positive reinforcement training methods, with plenty of praise and some treats. These dogs are sensitive to vocal cues and moods, meaning it’s not necessary to be too harsh or use firm methods when training these fur babies. They are eager to please and respond in a very well to positive training methods.
One more note—it’s essential to keep your Sheltie on the leash when out and about. That’s because these dogs will chase after almost anything. They have a strong instinct to herd and chase; they will run after small animals and other things.
Food & Diet
Shelties are active dogs that need about ¾ of a cup to 2 cups of high-quality dog food each day, divided into two meals. Of course, the amount and type of dog food depend on your dog’s age, activity level, and build.
Shelties were bred to be working dogs, so you know they have a lot of energy. These dogs can do well in the city and even live in an apartment if they receive plenty of exercise.
You’ll need to count on providing at least one to two hours of exercise every day for a Sheltie. They love long walks, jogging, hiking, and playing fetch. Shelties also excel at dog sports.
Shelties need to be brushed several times a week to keep their fur from matting and to control shedding. The hair around the dog’s legs, tail, and ears are especially prone to matting, so be sure to pay close attention to these areas.
During the fall and spring (main shedding seasons), these dogs will benefit from daily brushing. This is the best way to control shedding and avoid all the fur being spread around the house! It’s best to brush your fur baby outside, where you don’t have to be as careful about the shed fur going all over the place. Another great place to brush your dog is in the garage if it’s windy outside.
These dogs should be bathed about once every one or two months, though they will need a bath more often if they’re stinky and dirty.
Summing It Up
Shelties, also called miniature collies, are a distinct dog breed from the Rough Collie. This is a smaller dog breed that looks like a Collie and has the same temperament and personality. These dogs are highly intelligent and have a to of energy. They can get along great with kids and other dogs. The best family for a Sheltie is an active family that enjoys spending time with their canine companion!
When you adopt a Sheltie, you’re getting a loving, sweet dog that needs plenty of mental stimulation. Remember, they can be a little mischievous, too!