Custom Pet Portraits in Oil
by Artist Zann Hemphill

A Brief Diagram of What I’ve Learned About Shelties from Owning One

Anatomy of a Sheltie

“Oh, he looks just like my Sammy”

Being on the receiving end of this phrase is an unusually common experience peculiar to Sheltie owners.

I have my theories as to why, and I believe the reason is twofold. Firstly, I think some Shelties have an uncanny similarity with other shelties. More so than most breeds.

Apart from the sable, tricolour and blue merle coat types, shelties (or Shetland Sheepdogs if you’re feeling formal) have a couple distinct facial shapes. There are shelties with long faces whose muzzle transitions seamlessly into their forehead like a collie’s, and then there are shelties with a more pronounced stop, giving them a more puppyish appearance and an alert, slightly concerned expression. The two look nothing alike but are often the spitting image of others of their type.

And secondly, Sammy is a great name for a Sheltie.


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