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Is my dog a full Sheltie?

Discussion in 'The Sheltie Standard' started by Giant Spruce, Nov 9, 2016.

Does your Shelite possess these traits?

  1. < 12 lbs

  2. < 15 inches tall

  3. Hair is less than 3 inches in length

  4. Pointed ears

  5. Small appetite

  6. Bare belly

  7. Rarely barks

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Giant Spruce

    Giant Spruce Forums Novice

    Nov 9, 2016
    Ever since we first adopted Poppy, we have questioned her claim to being a full Sheltie. Our love for her is unconditional, no matter the breed, but we are curious as to why there are some subtle differences between her and other Shelties. She just turned 9 months and is in perfect condition.

    - 9 months
    - 11 pounds
    - 12 inches tall ( to the withers )
    - Thin and slow growing coat
    - Pointed ears
    - Bare belly
    - Small appetite
    - Rarely barks ( without training )

    Links below are to photos of Poppy. Please view!



    We have speculated that she could have been the runt of her litter, and that may explain her slight stature. However, her thin coat ( at most 2.5 inches thick around the neck ) seems peculiar, along with other subtle characteristics such as pointed ears.

    Could this be caused by inbreeding? Would she still be considered a standard Sheltie? What may have caused this differences?
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    I can't open your pictures, I get an error message.

    I've seen shelties with what you are describing. One of my previous shelties had very pointy prick ears, and he was definitely a pedigree. My current female is less than 13" and you see a lot of undersized shelties over here. A friend had a sheltie (definitely pedigree) that never grew undercoat and always had a short coat. I guess it's part of our breed not being as in-bred as some other breeds - while it means some diversity in coats and sizes, it also means retaining a good gene pool.

    At 9 months your sheltie won't have an adult coat and it could take another 18mths until you see an adult coat. While there are some shelties who have a thick coat early on, many don't. A bare belly is unusual for any dog, so I'm not sure what's happening there (remember though not all the belly grows coat - only about half to 2/3 of the belly and the inside of the legs have coat, the rest may have whisps).

    Wish I could see the pics though, we all love pics here.
    Giant Spruce likes this.
  3. tesslynn

    tesslynn Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 3, 2014
    I couldn't open the pics either. But I can say I have a smaller sheltie. Her look is definitely sheltie but her personality has always made me question her breed. She is different than any sheltie I have known or had. Pointy ears are not unusual, most tape ears to get the desired look. Bare belly was common with mine until they matured. My smaller sheltie has more wispy fur, but now at 2 she really has coated up. She has had fur, and lots of it, but it now is more adult looking than the puppy version. Fur sometimes is related to what is being fed. If you pup isn't getting a truly quality diet, the fur will be scanter. Where did you obtain your puppy, was it a reputable breeder? Or was it a pet store purchase, or backyard breeder. Is it AKC registered that you can research the bloodline?
    Giant Spruce likes this.
  4. Silaria

    Silaria Forums Sage

    Sep 19, 2008
    Aspinwall, PA
    Sorry I can't open your pictures but what you described didn't sound to unusual.

    The pointed ears (prick ears) happen with the ears aren't glued or taped to create the tipped look. Breeders who show their dogs will always tip them. Pet owners, it's a matter of preference whether they take the time to create the tip or not. I personally like the tipped ear look and I know others who prefer the foxie look of the prick ear.

    At 9 months old, your Shetlie is still growing. My boy Keiran was a very small boy as a puppy and around 10 or 11 months had a growth spurt that pushed him into the 13 inch range; he currently measures 13.5 inches. Still small for a boy but in standard. Prior to that he was in the upper 11 inch to 12 inch range. Some Shelties stay small. One thing about Shelties, size wise they can be all over the chart - some very small to some that actually do look like miniature Collies because of their size.

    As for the coat, as others said, it can take up to two years old for the full adult coat to come in. The coat and overall build of a pup between 7 and 12 months is lovingly called the coyote stage because while they look like Shelties they tend to lack things like the beautiful coat and filled out body. I know both my boys were all legs and very short coated at around 9 months.
    Giant Spruce and tesslynn like this.
  5. Giant Spruce

    Giant Spruce Forums Novice

    Nov 9, 2016
    I edited the links to the photos. Please let me know if they are still not working!
  6. Cleo2014

    Cleo2014 Forums Enthusiast

    Jun 23, 2015
    Terre Haute, Indiana
    Looks like a beautiful sheltie to me. She is just going through her awkward looking coyote stage. All legs, not much fur. My Cleo has pointy ears. Usually when they are puppies you glue/tape the ears down to get that tipped ear look. I didn't do that with Cleo knowing she would not be a conformation dog. So Poppy will eventually start looking more like the typical sheltie you are use to seeing. Just give her some time to coat up. Like others have mentioned it can take 2 years. Cleo had a slow coat as well. She is about 2 years old now and she still does not have as full as a coat as other shelties do. Remember that every dog is different. :)

    Here is a recent picture of this past weekend for you to somewhat compare her too. Cleo is about a month shy of her second birthday.
    Evansville Trial 2.jpg
    Giant Spruce likes this.
  7. Cubby2014

    Cubby2014 Forums Enthusiast

    May 2, 2016
    Central California
    Here's a recommendation. I did this for my rescue girl and my shepherd rescue. Wisdom Panel Doggy DNA test 3.0 or 4.0 version test for the MDR1 mutation. If you are not aware of this, it's in herding breeds and is an intolerance to a lot of anesthesias, medicines, and preventives (like heartworm med). It's REALLY a good idea to know if your dog is normal/normal, normal/mutant, or mutant/mutant as this affects a lifetime of care. I would recommend testing the dog (simple cheek swab) primarily for the MDR1 data and then in the process you find out if your dog is 100% sheltie or any outcross. Like I said, I did it on my girl who I have always wondered could have aussie in her (she's 100% sheltie) and on my shepherd mix as shepherd also has a high incidence (he's mostly shepherd with some other stuff).
    Giant Spruce and Hanne like this.
  8. Sheltiemama

    Sheltiemama Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 15, 2012
    She absolutely looks like a Sheltie to me. I've seen Shelties that are full blooded, full grown and 10 lbs. 12" or less. Tiny little beauties! I love the little ones!

    We have one that is 12" at the withers and he's 9 years old!
    Giant Spruce likes this.
  9. Phoebe'smom

    Phoebe'smom Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 22, 2015
    Southern California
    What a cutie! I envy those pricked ears. Phoebe's are flopped over. She is almost 15 months now and I have certainly seen changes from nine months. Now she wolfs her food, where before she nibbled at it. She barks more as she feels more responsibility for protecting her turf. Also she has gotten wider in the shoulder and rib section. At a year old she was still narrow and lean.
    Giant Spruce likes this.
  10. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    I just had a look at my old puppy photos. This is one of Tully at 9 mths and then at 7years. Your girl actually did have a fuller coat than Tully at the same age. Tully's coat is really full nowadays, probably too full. I wouldn't want it any longer - being that small she's close to the ground so is always picking up grass seeds and mud.

    Tully 9 months.jpg Tully at 7.jpg
    Giant Spruce and tesslynn like this.

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