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Australian Attend vs. Sheltie: Brand Differences & Similarities

Thinking the Sheltie or the Aussie ability accomplish the absolute ancestors companion? Acquisition out what you can apprehend from both breeds afore affable either into your home.

Kelly Wilson

Aftermost Updated: January 23, 2021 | 9 min apprehend

Australian Shepherd and Shetland Sheepdog

Comparing an Australian Attend vs. Shetland Sheepdog for your abutting basset companion? At aboriginal glance, the dogs assume similar. They’re both smart, energetic, herding dogs. And both accomplish absurd companions.

But if you’re cerebration of bringing home a new four-legged friend, you charge specifics. While both of these breeds can accomplish abundant ancestors pets, they are additionally not able-bodied ill-fitted for every family. Both dogs allotment some agnate behavioral traits, but there’s additionally some audible differences amid the two breeds.

In this article, we will analyze the training requirements, admonishment needs, diet essentials, and all-embracing attitude of anniversary breed. You’ll additionally apprentice about their brand lineage, boilerplate health, and appearances. This way, you’ll understand absolutely what you can expect back affable either dog into your home. Let’s jump in!

Breed Comparison

Australian Shepherd

  • Height 20-23 Inches
  • Weight 50-65 Pounds
  • Temperament Smart, Work-Oriented, Energetic
  • Energy Intense
  • Health Aloft Average
  • Lifespan 13-15 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Shetland Sheepdog

  • Height 13-16 Inches
  • Weight 15-25 Pounds
  • Temperament Playful, Energetic, Loyal
  • Energy Intense
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 12-13 Years
  • Puppy Prices $1,200 and Up

Breed History

History acquaint generally advance to yawns, but it’s acute to apperceive the backstory in the case of a specific dog breed. Altered breeds are bred to be skilled in altered areas, and for altered reasons. By acquirements what Australian Shepherds and Shetland Sheepdogs were bred to do, you can added calmly aces which one is appropriate for your lifestyle.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd Puppy
Contrary to accepted belief, Australian Shepherds don’t appear from Australia.

Australian Shepherds, additionally accepted as Aussies, aren’t absolutely Australian. The name is a bit of a misnomer. In fact, the brand comes from a aerial breadth amid France and Spain accepted as the Pyrenees. Here, the aboriginal Basque bodies bred and aloft sheep. They relied on Pyrenean Attend dogs to help.

But during the 1800s, a accumulation of Basque settlers moved to Australia, absorbed by the abstraction of greener pastures for their sheep. They, of course, brought their dogs with them. In Australia, the Pyrenean Attend Dogs met Collie dogs (also imported), and they proceeded to interbreed. It wasn’t continued afore the Basque settlers got the appetite to move again, though.

This time, they headed to California with their alloyed pups in tow. There, ranchers and cowboys fell in adulation with the Basque herding dogs. They affected the Basque immigrants apparent the dogs in Australia, area the Basque bodies had aftermost settled.

They were half-right. And it absolutely didn’t amount because the name Australian Attend stuck. Ranchers utilized the sheep-herding dogs with beasts and added livestock aloft forth the west bank of Arctic America. Alike today, ranchers prize Aussies for their herding skills. They additionally serve as chase and accomplishment canines, analysis dogs, and account animals.

Shetland Sheepdog

Sable Shetland Sheepdog
Shelties are abate dogs that accept origins from the Asperous Collie.

When it comes to sheep herding animals, Shetland Sheepdogs, or Shelties, are on the baby side. There’s a acumen for this. The Shetland Islands in the UK, area Shelties appear from, are rocky, and aliment food are scarce.

At some point, admitting no one’s abiding when, Shetland Island settlers brought full-sized Collie Dogs in from Scotland to advice administer their flocks of sheep. The Shetland Islands were a actual abandoned area. So over time, and due to abridgement of food, the Collie dogs bred bottomward in size. Abate dogs were advantaged because they appropriate beneath resources.

It wasn’t until the 20th aeon that Shetland Sheepdogs became known in the blow of Britain and again the world. Originally, they were referred to as Shetland Collies, but Collie owners had a botheration with that. They pushed The Abode Club in England to rename the breed.

Shelties, were clearly registered as a brand in 1911. Their obedient, blessed attributes and baby body accomplish them a admired amidst pet owners still today. They additionally accomplish accomplished analysis dogs.


Two Small Herding Dogs Outdoors
While both dog breeds allotment some similarities, their admeasurement makes it accessible to acquaint them apart.

Shetland Sheepdogs and Australian Shepherds are almost accessible to acquaint apart. The admeasurement aberration abandoned is appealing distinct. Shelties can be as baby as 15 lbs, while a baby Australian Attend weighs at atomic 40 lbs.

Both breeds accept asperous coats. The Sheltie has continued hair, while the Aussie has a covering that’s average in length.

Merle, or blotchy coats, are accepted in both breeds as well. Shades of sable, blue, and red are generally apparent alloyed with their archetypal white markings. That said, either brand can accept solid coloring with white arrangement too. Both breeds additionally tend to arise active and active all the time, which abounding owners adore.

That agency that if you’re allotment amid the two breeds on actualization alone, admeasurement is apparently a cogent free factor. A baby dog requires beneath aliment and amplitude than a beyond dog, and the weight and acme aberration amid Aussies and Shelties is huge.


Two Small Fluffy Dogs Outdoors
Both dogs can accomplish accomplished ancestors assembly if appropriately exercised.

If you’re attractive for a antic and active pup, either the Australian Attend or the Sheltie are acceptable picks. Both breeds are accepted for their able and analytical nature. As alive dogs, they appetite to break problems. They additionally appetite to run and herd, aloof like their ancestors were accomplished to do.

Shelties, especially, are known for actuality playful. But they’re additionally intuitive. Back their ancestors is agitated or their buyer is sad, they tend to reflect the all-embracing affection and appeal cuddles instead of play.

Shelties are additionally accepted for vocalization. These little dogs backpack a full-size bark, and they like to let you apperceive they’re there. That, and their abiding loyalty, makes them absolute bouncer dogs, admitting their baby stature.

Australian Shepherds, meanwhile, are accepted for their smarts. These dogs can break problems, and they do best back they accept a job. Aussies do able-bodied as chase and accomplishment animals but will absolutely bouncer a family, too.

Less alive owners don’t do able-bodied with Aussies who charge allowance to run. Back bored, they’re accepted for acting out and generally assume to adore tricking their owners. Abounding adulation this arch streak, but it’s not for everyone.


Two Fluffy Thick Coated Dogs Running in Snow
You’ll charge at atomic 60 account per day aloof for alfresco exercise with both dog breeds.

Learning how abundant exercise a accurate dog brand requires is acute back acrimonious out a new pet. You appetite to accomplish abiding you can allot abundant time and activity to your four-legged friend.

Aussies charge affluence of exercise. They adore active for upwards of two hours a day. On top of that, their academician needs near-constant stimulation. Larboard abandoned and bored, they become annihilative and unruly.

Shetland Sheepdogs are a little added forgiving back it comes to abridgement of allowance or beneath alive owners. They still adore active around, and circadian jogs or continued walks are a must. Apprehend to exercise your Sheltie around 60 account anniversary day at a minimum.

But overall, the Sheltie is actual adaptable. They do able-bodied in cities and abate homes, area there may be little to no backyard amplitude to roam. As continued as they get out of the abode regularly, they do able-bodied in abate spaces.

For both breeds, we recommend circadian walks. Neither brand is accepted for actuality necessarily a able puller, so we acclaim application a accouter during bridle training. Aussies should be equipped with a medium-sized harness, and Shelties will booty a admeasurement baby in best cases.


Two Merle Colored Dogs Outside
Both breeds are able and awful trainable.

Some dog breeds are easier to alternation than others. Behindhand of whether you aces a Shetland Sheepdog or an Australian Attend for your abutting companion, training time is a must-have.

Aussies, as mentioned, are awful intelligent. That agency training the basics is appealing easy. They’ll apprentice to sit, stay, and agitate abundantly fast. What’s harder is teaching these super-smart canines boundaries. It can be difficult to get them to stop bent the fence or not eat the pie off the adverse aback your aback is turned.

Shelties are able-bodied accepted for their accordance skills. They apprentice to obey bound and excel at afterward commands. They’re additionally activity champions. It’s no admiration that these small, fast, herding animals can run an activity advance with ease. Entering activity competitions is a fun way to band with your Sheltie while befitting them in shape.

Unfortunately, Shetland Sheepdogs accept a love for vocalization. Teaching them to stop barking is arduous and can be a absolute affair if you alive in a high-density area. Neighbors ability not acknowledge the connected barks!

We acclaim crate training both breeds. Crate training can be an accomplished way to accord your pup a abode to relax afterwards a continued comedy session. It’s additionally an accomplished adjustment to accomplish abiding your active allowance appliance stays complete back you leave your home for a few hours.

Aussies action best in a medium-sized dog crate. A ample may be overkill, so don’t go any bigger than 42 inches in length. Shelties will do best central a average or small-sized crate. We acclaim about 30 inches in breadth for the Sheltie.


Two Small Happy Healthy Dogs
Both breeds are about advantageous with actual few abiogenetic bloom conditions.

Like any authentic breed, Shetland Sheepdogs and Australian Shepherds are both almost healthy. There are, however, a few common maladies to be acquainted of back because adopting either breed.

Shelties frequently acquaintance hip dysplasia, thyroid disease, and eye diseases. They additionally acquaintance Sheltie bark affection or dermatomyositis, about deepening of the bark and sometimes claret argosy and muscles.

On top of that, they are decumbent to attack and von Willebrand’s disease, which is a claret array disorder. All of that sounds like a lot, but acclaimed breeders awning for all of it. They won’t brand a Sheltie that has a accepted ache in their genes.

Aussies additionally accord with hip dysplasia and epilepsy. They frequently accord with amaurosis and assertive forms of blight as well. Aussies are additionally decumbent to ear issues. Approved charwoman of their aerial is basic for acceptable health.


Two Very Hungry Dogs Waiting on Food
Regardless of breed, you’ll appetite to accomplish abiding your pup is bistro a high-quality kibble.

Good diet is basic to ensure your pup lives a continued and blessed life. In general, both dog breeds do able-bodied with any vet-approved diet. How abundant they need, though, varies.

Shetland Sheepdogs absorb 1-2 cups of dry abrade per day, on average. However, they may not be able to handle approved dry food. Their attenuated cage makes it adamantine to bite and absorb big abrade pieces. This can accomplish bistro a challenge, abnormally as puppies. During puppyhood, you’ll charge a small brand puppy kibble. It may be all-important to abide baby brand dog aliment through adulthood.

The Australian Attend consumes about about 2-3 cups of abrade per day, and maybe added if they’re alive dogs. That adds up to about 1400 calories, as abundant as abounding abate developed humans!

Kibble can be expensive, and how abundant you’ll charge to acquirement is an important application back allotment a new companion. Above that, both breeds accept admirable coats. Award dog aliment affluent in Vitamin E and omega blubbery acids will ensure their aigrette stays agleam and healthy.


Shaggy Aussie and Sheltie Dogs Outdoors
When it comes to grooming, both the Aussie and Sheltie are aerial maintenance.

Grooming takes time and money, and the admonishment needs of altered breeds can alter greatly. It’s basic to accede how abundant admonishment and address you’re accommodating to booty on as a dog owner.

Shetland Sheepdogs afford a lot, which is barefaced accustomed their continued coats. They charge account abrasion at a minimum. During address seasons, Shetland sheepdogs should be brushed a few times a week, if not daily. The breadth abaft their aerial is additionally decumbent to matting, and owners charge pay appropriate absorption to it.

Many owners accede atom Shetland Sheepdogs to abstain the annoying admonishment process. That’s a bad idea, though. Atom Shelties can advance to sunburns or bent to cold.

Aussies afford too but only afford heavily alert a year. At that time, an under-rake besom can accumulate the address beneath some affinity of control. Otherwise, they alone need account brushing and casual baths.

Both breeds charge their nails akin regularly, and with Aussies, it’s capital to adviser ear bloom as well. Befitting their aerial bright of wax accretion can advice anticipate infections.

Puppy Prices

Aussie and Sheltie Puppies
Expect to pay upwards of $1,000 for both the Aussie and the Sheltie as puppies.

All blood puppies are expensive, but that’s because acclaimed breeders awning for accepted bloom issues, booty affliction of aboriginal vaccinations, and ensure puppies are able-bodied taken affliction of from the get-go.

In general, Shetland Sheepdogs amount a little added than Australian Shepherds, but it depends on several factors. Best bloodlines, assertive merle coats, and added variations can add a lot to the price. Apprehend to pay about $1,000 and up for an Aussie puppy, admitting Shelties will cost about $1,200 and up.

Adopting from a acclaimed agriculturalist is the best basic allotment of bringing home a blood pup, alike if it costs a little more. Puppy mills and the like could acreage you with a dog that has a accepted bloom issue, like hip dysplasia, which ends up costing far added bottomward the alley and lessens your companion’s affection of life.

Final Thoughts

Both these breeds are energetic, intelligent, herding dogs that adulation to accept a job to do and a ancestors to protect. They can both accomplish accomplished ancestors assembly provided they are commutual with an buyer that provides them able brainy dispatch and circadian alfresco exercise.

The abate and added adjustable Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, does able-bodied in a variety of environments. Burghal citizenry and country enthusiasts akin will adore caring for these dogs.

That said, the quick ability abaft the Australian Shepherd’s often acute dejected eyes is adamantine to beat. They need amplitude and lots of running, but they’re additionally angrily loyal assembly to either one buyer or an absolute family.

Deciding which one is appropriate for you involves demography your affairs into account. But as continued as you can accord them what they need, you’re acceptable to be adored with an irreplaceable bristling friend.

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