FCI – Standard No. 88
Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
Origin: Great Britain.
Date of publication of the official valid standard: 19.08.2013.
Utilization: Companion dog and Sheepdog.
Classification F.C.I.: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs. Section 1 Sheepdogs. Without working trail.
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 combine to present the ideal.
Important proportions: Skull and muzzle of equal length, dividing point inner corner of eye. Slightly longer from point of shoulder to bottom of croup than height at withers.
Behaviour/temperament: Alert, gentle, intelligent, strong and active. Affectionate and responsive to his owner, reserved towards strangers, never nervous.
Head: 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. Topline of skull parallel to topline of muzzle.
Stop: Slight but definite.
Facial region: 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.
Lips: Tight with black rims.
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws level, clean, strong with well-developed underjaw. 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.
Cheeks: Flat, merging smoothly into well rounded muzzle.
Eyes: Medium size obliquely set, almond-shape with black rims. 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.
Neck: Muscular, well arched, of sufficient length to carry head proudly.
Back: Level, with graceful sweep over loins.
Croup: Sloping gradually to rear.
Chest: Deep, reaching to point of elbow. Ribs well sprung, tapering at lower half to allow free play of forelegs and shoulders.
Tail: Set low; tapering bone reaches to at least hock; with abundant hair and slight upward sweep. May be slightly raised when moving but never over level of back. Never kinked.
Forequarters: General appearance : Forelegs straight when viewed from front, muscular and clean with strong, but not heavy, bone.
Shoulder: 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: Approximately equal in length with shoulder blade.
Elbow: Equidistant from ground and withers.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Strong and flexible.
Thigh: Broad and muscular, thigh bones set into pelvis at right angles.
Stifle: Joint has distinct angle.
Hock joint: 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.
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.
Hair: 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.
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 or 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.
Ideal height at withers: Males 37 cm, Females 35,5 cm
More than 2 1/2 cm 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 upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Aggressive or overly shy
- Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
- Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
- Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.