Standard Absolutely not!

Although a Shetland Sheepdog resembles a small Collie, it is not a “Miniature Collie”. The term “Miniature Collie” implies that the Sheltie is a bred down version of the Collie, which it is not. The early Shetland Sheepdogs came from a small herding dog, called the “Toonie Collie” or “Toonie dog”.

At a quick glance, the two breeds are strikingly alike, if you do not take the size difference into account. And they should look alike. The early Shetland Sheepdogs were crossbred with Collies for “refinement” of the little herding dog from the toons of the Shetland Islands. Even so, the amount of Collie in the Shetland Sheepdog is small. The two breeds developed independently of one another, in Scotland and on the Shetland Islands, and there are differences in history, appearance, size, and character.

If you come across someone who is claiming to have “Mini-Shelties”, all they are doing is breeding under-sized Shelties. Often these people will claim that these dogs are rare and worth more money…do not believe it! These dogs are worth no more than any other pet-quality Sheltie. If you would like a small Sheltie, you are better off just looking for one from a good breeder… there is often a range of different size Shelties produced within a litter.

Someone who is claiming to have “Miniature Shelties” or “Miniature Collies” either does not truly know anything about what a Sheltie or Collie is, or is purposely deceiving you. Regardless, this is not a breeder from which you should be buying a puppy.

One Response to “Is A Sheltie A Miniature Collie?”

  1. Cindy

    Misnomer. The Sheltie does, in fact, descend in part from the Collie. There is historical as well as documented fact of this. They descend from the Collie, the King Charles Spaniel (NOT the Cavalier), the so-called Toonie Dog/Yakki Dog and the Pomeranian (note the spitz-type appearance of many UK Shelties attributed to the Toonie/Yakki and Pom introduction into the mix in the very early years) with possible introduction of “working Collies” which can be described as a landrace type in the UK that included the blood of the various Collie and border collie dogs of the time. The first champion Sheltie had a Collie parent. In addition, breeders during the early to later mid 1970s (at least in America) would sometimes bring in Collie blood to help ensure the continuance of the highly desired Collie type and other attributes. Unfortunately, a century of even the occasional outcross also made it even harder to try and maintain the breed’s desired very small size within it’s tight range. Collie blood in the breed? You bet!! Without the Collie, there would be no Sheltie. The development of the toy collie or miniature collie, later called the Shetland Sheepdog, began about the very late 1800s. Later called the Shetland Sheepdog, when the Collie fraternity objected to the co-opting of the Collie breed name by folks calling this very small, even toy-sized dog a toy or miniature collie), during the 20th century the Sheltie developed into a beautiful, intelligent and charismatic popular breed.


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