Sheltie Inu

15-22 lbs
Shetland Sheepdog
Shiba Inu

The Sheltie Inu is a small designer dog, the deliberate hybrid of the Shiba Inu, an extremely old breed of hunting dog from Japan, and the Shetland Sheepdog, a herding animal developed on a group of islands off the Scottish coast known as the Shetland islands. While these dogs will typically be quite intelligent, their trainability may vary quite a bit depending on which parent breed they take after and they may be very easy or very difficult to train, or anything in between. While they are a fairly small dog, their activity levels and tendency towards excessive barking may make them somewhat uncomfortable to live with in an apartment, but they can sometimes adjust if given extra exercise and attention throughout the day.

purpose Purpose
Companion, Watchdog
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Shetland Sheepdog and Shiba Inu

Sheltie Inu Health

Average Size
Male Sheltie Inu size stats
Height: 14-17 inches Weight: 17-24 lbs
Female Sheltie Inu size stats
Height: 13-16 inches Weight: 15-22 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
  • Ulcerative Dermatosis
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Corneal Dystrophy
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
  • vonWillebrand’s Disease
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Epilepsy
  • Hemophilia
  • Ivermectin Sensitivity
  • Deafness in Merle-Colored Dogs
  • Cryptorchidism
Occasional Tests
  • Thyroid Tests
  • Eye Examination
  • Skin Evaluation
  • Blood Analysis
  • Electrocardiograph (ECG - measures rate and rhythm)
  • Hip and Elbow X-rays

Sheltie Inu Breed History

The Sheltie Inu is an intentional crossbreed, the combination of an extremely popular and extremely old breed of small hunting dog native to Japan, the Shibu Inu, and the Shetland Sheepdog, a petite shepherding dog that was developed on the Shetland islands off the coast of Scotland. The Shiba Inu, also referred to as the Shiba Ken, is the smallest of the six breeds of hunting dog that are native to the Japanese islands, all with similarities in structure, appearance, and temperament. While the Shiba Inu may have occasionally been employed to hunt larger game like boar and deer, they were more often utilized to find and flush out smaller game and birds. Bombing raids in World War II coupled with outbreaks of distemper shortly following the war decimated the Shiba Inu population and breeding programs in the 1950s were developed to save the breed by intermingling several strains of Shiba dog. The Shetland Sheepdog is also a small island dog, developed on a very different island for a very different purpose. The Sheltie originated on the Shetland islands off the coast of Scotland as a herding animal to help control the unusually small livestock that grew on the island. This animated little dog is the product of many centuries of development and although the history of this dog is somewhat murky, there are speculations that many different breeds were involved in their original development, including the Scotch Collie, the King Charles Spaniel, the Icelandic Sheepdog, the Border Collie, and a mysterious, now extinct dog known as the Greenland Yakki. When tourism to the islands increased in the 1800s the farmers began selling the little dogs to visitors to the island, even breeding them with smaller dogs such as Corgis, Papillons, and Pomeranians to decrease their size and increase the cute factor. In time, this made the dogs less suited to their original purpose and breeders reintroduced more Collie genetics to the breed, and today’s Sheltie is capable of being both an accomplished herding animal and a loyal and affectionate home companion. 

Sheltie Inu Breed Appearance

The Sheltie Inu is a fairly small but sturdily built canine, with a back that is typically a little longer than the dog is tall. Those that take after the Shiba Inu will have a more compact and well-developed musculature, whereas those that are more representative of the Sheltie will have a slightly longer and leaner look. They typically have a broad, wedge-shaped head with slightly long muzzle with a rounded noses and a strong, well-developed lower jaw, and triangular ears that are either held erect or three-quarters erect, although the eyes can vary between the slightly triangular eye shape of the Shiba Inu or the more almond shaped eyes of the Shetland Sheepdog. Although most Sheltie Inus will have dark brown eyes, some may inherit blue or parti-color eyes from the Shetland Sheepdog, particularly those Sheltie Inu dogs that have merle coloring or who have a parent or close relative with merle coloring. 

Eye Color Possibilities
blue Sheltie Inu eyes
brown Sheltie Inu eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Sheltie Inu nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Sheltie Inu coat
pied Sheltie Inu coat
red Sheltie Inu coat
brown Sheltie Inu coat
sable Sheltie Inu coat
cream Sheltie Inu coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Sheltie Inu straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Sheltie Inu Breed Maintenance

While this hybrid doesn’t require frequent bathing due to their naturally dirt resistant coat and their low odor issues, they do require regular brushing sessions to keep their double-layer coats healthy and shiny. Those that receive the shorter coat of the Shiba Inu are not prone to tangles, and you may be able to get by with brushing these dogs just one or two times a week, mainly to control shedding. Dogs that inherit the longer more tangle-prone coat that is characteristic of the Shetland Sheepdog will require brushing and combing at least several times a week, if not daily. It is important to be sure that you are brushing through all of the hair when grooming these dogs as they can be prone to developing tangles and mats, particularly behind the ears and under the armpits. The nails and the teeth should also be maintained regularly; cut the nails bi-monthly and brush the teeth a few times a week.

Brushes for Sheltie Inu
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Sheltie Inu requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Sheltie Inu Temperament

This Sheltie Inu is an extremely intelligent and alert animal that may require a larger amount of socialization, attention, and training in order to be a confident and well-adjusted canine. It is essential to keep this dog’s mind occupied, particularly if you are away as this dog is likely to develop negative traits such as separation anxiety, nuisance barking, or destructive chewing if they are neglected. The Shiba Inu parent breed can be quite a challenge to train due to dominance issues and a general dislike of being told what to do but the Shetland Sheepdog is an extremely eager learner that is exceptionally trainable, and the Sheltie Inu could take after either parent breed on that front. They prefer to spend their time entertaining and being entertained by their families, and frequently make loving and affectionate companions for adults or families with older kids, but they may not be tolerant of smaller children, particularly small children that are loud or quick moving. They are very alert little canines and they make very good watchdogs as well, but excessive barking can be a problem and will need be curbed at an early age. 

Sheltie Inu Activity Requirements

This dog may be fairly small, but they are also quite active and athletic and require at least an hour of vigorous activity per day. These dogs should be kept on a leash or in a fenced area as they are known to have a very high prey drive and may take after anything that is quick moving, and it is important to take weather conditions under considerations, particularly for those Sheltie Inus that may be susceptible to the heat due to the long, dense coat inherited from the Sheltie breed. These dogs may be able to adjust to apartment living if given a great deal of additional exercise, but in most cases, they will be much happier in a larger home, preferably with a fenced in yard. 

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Sheltie Inu Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.90 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Sheltie Inu Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Sheltie Inu size stats at six months
Height: 14.5 inches Weight: 15.5 lbs
Female Sheltie Inu size stats at six months
Height: 13.5 inches Weight: 13.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Sheltie Inu size stats at 12 months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 20.5 lbs
Female Sheltie Inu size stats at 12 months
Height: 14.5 inches Weight: 18.5 lbs
18 Months
Male Sheltie Inu size stats at 18 months
Height: 15.5 inches Weight: 20.5 lbs
Female Sheltie Inu size stats at 18 months
Height: 14.5 inches Weight: 18.5 lbs

Sheltie Inu Owner Experiences

4 Years
3 People
I was never a dog person until we got Caesar. Now I have three! He is so smart and loving. He has had no health issues except he’s a bit overweight for how active we are. I am in the process of getting him checked for hypothyroidism. I can let him run free when we hike, and he stays close and comes to my hand when I call “touch.” At around one year, he showed aggression towards other dogs, but it resolved after getting him neutered and with aggressive socialization. Now he loves meeting other dogs. Training him was effortless. Now I’m that dog lady… yes, I want to see pictures! Yes, I want more dogs! I want all the dogs!
3 months, 3 weeks ago
15 Years
5 People
My Sheltie Inu, Sly, was given to my family when he was just five months old. Someone actually called animal control on him and said he was a fox. Low and behold, no fox here just a dog. In his youth he was quick, playful, and full of energy. He loved running outside and chasing people. He loved tug of war and playing fetch. He never had any serious injuries or problems growing up. He lived in a house with two cats and got along very well with them, I think sometimes he even thought he was a cat. Usually, shiba's are prone to bolting but Sly never did. He was trained very easily to sit, lay down, come, stay, and roll over. As Sly got older, he began to develop hip dysplasia. His hips would I've out while he would run and he would easily fall. However, he was still happy and eating. Around the age of 12 Sly began to go deaf. He moved slower and went from long walks to not even being able to make it to the mailbox without getting severely winded. Sly enjoyed being outdoors still, but instead of running around everyone he would lay down and smile and watch. He still, despite his slowness, chase other dogs as they walked on the other side of the fence. At around 14 Sly had a collapsed esophagus which caused him to cough frequently and sometimes in his hacking cough, he would spit up a clear goo. Among this, he was still eating and drinking. Sly is now 16 (very uncommon for his breed) and although he has a hard time getting around he still is healthy, alive, and well.
2 years, 11 months ago
7 Months
3 People
She is such a smart dog, intelligent and fairly easy to train. She absolutely adores all the members of the family including our Jack Russell Terrier and our cat. We also have pet rats and the first time I took them out she tried to nip at one but I just gave her a stern "NO!" And she now pays them zero attention. She is weary of strangers and a little nervous in new environments but that may all be my fault for not properly socializing her. She is never agressive though. Also she's a great little watchdog. All in all she's amazing and such a joy to have and be around. Everybody says how adorable she is.
2 years, 10 months ago
1 Year
2 People
Catch treats
He’s super energetic and very attentive. He loves to play with other dogs but he can get a little rough. He gets a long well with his sister who is a chihuahua (He gets the rough play from her). He’s a lover no matter what and he’s a great watchdog (He barks at every knock on the door). He likes to steal food as well lol.
2 years, 7 months ago
6 Years
2 People
Squeaky Toys
We only realized what she was when we got a DNA test on her. She's abnormally large for the breed,having a decent amount of collie in her from the shetland side.She is regrettably aggressive towards other dogs and children.She is exceptionally smart, but is also strong willed. She is a very good guard dog and seems to have decided that is what she wants to put her energy into. All and all she's an ass, but we love her.
1 year, 10 months ago
14 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Highly sweet, affectionate, smart companion.
1 year ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd