A “Mini ______”? I am not.

A mini collie? A mini sheltie? Nope, no such thing. In fact, according to breed standards, I shouldn’t be considered a mini anything, I’m overgrown! Standing at a proud 17.5″ at the shoulder I’m one big sheltie. Anyway, I thought I’d take some time to clear up this common misconception that I run into quite regularly.

First off, there is no such thing as a “mini collie” or a “mini sheltie”, there is only the Shetland Sheepdog or Rough [/Smooth] Collie.  According to breed standards, a sheltie’s height can range from anywhere between 13-16 in/33-41 cm at the shoulder. Of course there will be those outside the standard, like myself, but responsible breeders will always aim to meet those standards.

From what I’ve observed there are two main reasons for this “mini” misconception.

1) Many people either believe that shelties are just mini Rough Collies (ie the Lassie dog), resulting in the term “mini collie”. While shelties do greatly resemble Rough Collies in general appearance, they were bred down as Spitz-type dogs  using other breeds which included the Border Collie and King Charles Spaniel. Rough Collies were added in later, creating the modern day sheltie, a breed of its own.

2) The second common misconception I run into is belief that Rough Collies are actually Shetland Sheepdogs. Meaning that the Shetland Sheepdogs are the larger versions of the “mini shelties”. Once again, this is incorrect as they are separate breeds.

Shetland Sheepdog on the left and Rough Collie on the right. Two visually similar, but separate breeds.

Personally, I don’t mind being called a “mini_____” because I don’t expect everyone to be an expert. However, I do think it is important to address this misconception for individuals who may be interested in owning a sheltie one day. I DO NOT support the selling/purchasing of any puppies being sold as a “mini sheltie/collie”. This is a tell-tale sign of an irresponsible breeder. A responsible breeder, among other criteria, will be interested in conforming to breed standards and bettering the breed.

On behalf of all dogs out there, hoomans, please do your research before purchasing any dog/puppy. It may not only save you from personal heartache, but will also save/improve the lives of my future and current dog family out there!

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Posted on May 3, 2013, in Did you know? and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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