If you are seeking a new dog to welcome to your home, one great breed that you should consider is the Blue Merle Sheltie, a charming and beloved breed of dog.
Known for their striking coat coloration and affectionate personalities, these intelligent and energetic pups are a favorite among dog lovers.
Sounds promising, right? You’ll be doubly pleased to learn more about this lovable breed, so this piece is one that you will really want to dive in and read.
This article will walk you through the history of the blue merle Sheltie, their physical characteristics, and what makes them such wonderful companions. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to fall in love with the blue merle Sheltie!
|Size||Small to medium-size, 15-20 pounds and 13-16 inches tall at the shoulder|
|Coat||Double-layered Blue Merle coat with black, sable, gray, and white patches|
|Behavior||Intelligent, affectionate and loyal. Great with children and other pets.|
|Exercise Requirements||Moderate exercise – daily walks and playtime (avoids boredom, ensures healthy weight)|
|Training||Highly trainable dogs that excel in obedience, agility, and herding activities|
|Health||Prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems, and thyroid issues|
|Lifespan||Average lifespan of 12-15 years with proper care and nutrition|
|Diet||Balanced diet requiring quality protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates|
|Temperament||Alert, responsive, and adaptable dogs that thrive on human companionship and attention|
The origins of the Blue Merle Sheltie can be traced in the Shetland Islands of Scotland, where the breed was also known by the locals as the Shetland Sheepdog.
They were bred to help farmers with their flocks of sheep, and their ancestors can be traced back to the Border Collie and other Scottish breeds.
The Blue Merle Sheltie was brought to England in the early 20th century, where they were further developed and refined.
During those years, you wouldn’t be able to see the iconic blue merle coat color that has patches of black, gray, and white, as this color combination was considered rare.
This distinctive look only started to catch on during sometime in the mid-20th century!
It was only in 1911 when the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Shetland Sheepdog as a breed, and today they are a popular companion dog around the world.
The Blue Merle Sheltie is particularly sought after for its striking coat color and affectionate personality.
The Blue Merle coat color in mini Sheltie puppies is the result of a complex genetic process.
It became the way it is because of a gene mutation that affects the way pigment is distributed in the fur, resulting in the characteristic patches of black, gray, and white.
The gene responsible for this coloration can also cause certain health issues in some Shetland sheepdogs, such as blindness or deafness.
To avoid these problems, breeders should only mate dogs with healthy genes, and carefully screen their puppies for any genetic issues.
There’s no denying how the Blue Merle Sheltie (also known as the Shetland Sheepdog), is both beautiful and intelligent, easily capturing the hearts of many dog lovers.
And why won’t they fall in love with its distinctive coat that gives it a unique, striking appearance?
But the Blue Merle Sheltie is much more than just a pretty face. They are highly intelligent and trainable dogs that are eager to please their owners.
Owners will attest to the loyalty, affectionate nature, and playful personality of this breed.
In this next section, we will delve deeper into the characteristics of the Blue Merle Sheltie, exploring their temperament, health, and care requirements, so that potential owners can gain a better understanding of this wonderful breed.
The Blue Merle Sheltie is a breed that is well-known for its friendly and loyal temperament. Do Shelties like to cuddle? They are very affectionate and enjoy the company of their owners, which leads to lifetime bonds between human and pet.
Because they are highly intelligent and trainable, they are perfect for families or individuals who want a dog that can easily be taught a variety of entertaining tricks and commands.
Blue Merle Shelties are very adaptable and can adjust well to different living situations, whether it be in a small apartment or a large house with a backyard. They are great with children, making them an ideal family pet.
However, they can be stubborn at times, so consistent training and positive reinforcement are important for ensuring that they remain well-behaved pets.
They thrive on attention and affection and may become anxious or depressed if left alone for long periods of time.
Early socialization and exposure to different people, animals, and situations are important for preventing shyness or fearfulness.
The behavior of the Blue Merle Sheltie is characterized by its playful and energetic nature.
They just love to move around so much, so their owners must make sure to give them lots of playtime and exercise to keep their active bodies healthy and happy.
They love to play games such as fetch, frisbee, and agility, which also provide mental stimulation.
Playful as they are, this breed is also known to have a sensitive side and may become easily upset if you show them harsh treatment or neglect to pay them enough attention.
Keeping a Blue Merle Sheltie well-behaved and happy can be done by providing them with plenty of love and positive reinforcement.
Despite their high energy levels, Blue Merle Shelties are not aggressive dogs and will rarely become defensive or confrontational.
They are also excellent watchdogs and will alert their owners if they sense any potential danger, making them a great choice for families or individuals who are looking for a loyal and protective pet.
However, they may bark excessively if not trained properly or if they are bored. It is important to provide them with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
The Blue Merle Sheltie typically stands between 13 and 16 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 15 and 25 pounds.
They have a compact and sturdy build, with a wedge-shaped head and a thick double coat that provides insulation and protection from the elements.
Their coat is usually longer and somewhat thicker around the neck area, chest and legs. This gives them the distinctive “mane” and “feathery” appearance.
While the size of the Blue Merle Sheltie may vary slightly depending on the individual dog and their lineage, they are generally considered to be a small to medium-sized breed.
Their size makes them perfect for families or individuals who live in smaller spaces like condos or apartments, since they don’t require a lot of room to roam around like larger breeds do.
However, they still require regular exercise and playtime to keep them healthy and happy.
What is the Lifespan of a Blue Merle Sheltie?
The lifespan of the Blue Merle Sheltie typically ranges from 12 to 15 years. Like other dog breeds, this range will vary and is dependent on several factors. These factors include genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health care.
Since they are prone to health conditions like hip dysplasia, eye problems, and thyroid issues, it’s important to always keep these potential issues in mind and to monitor your dog’s health for possible symptoms.
With proper care and attention, however, the Blue Merle Sheltie can live a long and healthy life, providing many years of love and companionship to their owners.
How Do You Take Care of a Sheltie?
Taking care of a Blue Merle Sheltie shouldn’t be too hard for as long as you know the basics, such as:
1. Provide regular exercise. Blue Merle Shelties are an active breed and require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Make sure to provide them with daily walks or runs, as well as playtime in a secure area. Consider taking them to a dog park or agility course to provide additional mental and physical stimulation.
2. Groom regularly. Blue Merle Shelties have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Brush them at least once a week with a slicker brush or comb to remove loose hair and debris. They will also require occasional baths, especially if they get into anything dirty or smelly.
3. Provide a healthy diet. Blue Merle Shelties require a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and energy levels. Make sure to provide them with high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Avoid feeding them table scraps or human food, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues.
4. Monitor their health. Blue Merle Shelties may be prone to certain health conditions, such as hip dysplasia, eye problems, and thyroid issues. Make sure to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian and monitor your dog’s health closely. Be aware of any changes in their behavior, appetite, or energy levels, as this may be a sign of an underlying health issue.
5. Train and socialize. Blue Merle Shelties are highly intelligent and trainable, but may also be stubborn at times. Consistent training and positive reinforcement are important for ensuring that they remain well-behaved pets. Early socialization and exposure to different people, animals, and situations are also important for preventing shyness or fearfulness.
6. Provide mental stimulation. Blue Merle Shelties are an intelligent breed that require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Consider providing them with puzzle toys, chew toys, or training games to keep them mentally stimulated and engaged.
7. Give them plenty of love and attention. Blue Merle Shelties are affectionate dogs that thrive on attention and affection. Make sure to spend quality time with them every day, whether it be through playtime, cuddling, or training. This will help to strengthen your bond and ensure that they remain happy and well-adjusted pets.
Exercise Suggestions for Your Blue Merle Sheltie
Blue Merle Shelties are an active breed that require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being.
They thrive on daily walks or runs, as well as playtime in a secure area. Consider taking them to a dog park or agility course to provide additional mental and physical stimulation.
Playing fetch, tug-of-war, or other interactive games can also be a great way to exercise your Blue Merle Sheltie.
Swimming can also be a fun and low-impact form of exercise for this breed.
It is important to note that Blue Merle Shelties have a high prey drive and may be prone to chasing after small animals, so it is important to keep them on a leash or in a secure area to prevent them from running off.
Food and Nutritional Concerns
When it comes to the food and nutrition of Blue Merle Shelties, these five ideas should be top of mind for all owners:
1. Choose high-quality dog food. Blue Merle Shelties require a balanced and nutritious diet that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Select high-quality dog food that is rich in protein and fat, and has a moderate amount of carbohydrates.
2. Avoid feeding human food. Feeding your Blue Merle Sheltie human food or table scraps can lead to obesity and other health issues. Stick to feeding them dog food and treats that are specially formulated for their dietary needs.
3. Monitor food intake. Blue Merle Shelties can be prone to obesity, so it is important to monitor their food intake and adjust their diet accordingly if they begin to gain or lose weight.
4. Consider specialized diets. Some Blue Merle Shelties may have sensitive stomachs or food allergies, so it may be necessary to choose a specialized diet or work with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog.
5. Provide plenty of fresh water. Make sure to provide your Blue Merle Sheltie with plenty of fresh water and avoid overfeeding or free-feeding, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues.
Grooming a Blue Merle Sheltie is important in keeping them healthy. Here are ten tips that are good to know so you can make sure your Blue Merle Sheltie is as clean as a whistle:
1. Brush their coats regularly. Do shelties shed? You bet. Blue Merle Shelties have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year. To prevent mats and tangles, it is important to brush their coat regularly using a slicker brush and a comb.
2. Bathe as needed. While Blue Merle Shelties do not require frequent baths, it is important to bathe them as needed to keep their coat clean and healthy. Use a mild dog shampoo and avoid getting water in their ears.
3. Trim their nails. Blue Merle Shelties’ nails should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks to prevent them from getting too long and causing discomfort. Use a sharp nail clipper and be careful not to cut the quick.
4. Clean their ears. Blue Merle Shelties’ ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections. Use a damp cloth or ear cleaning solution to wipe the inside of their ears, and avoid inserting anything into their ear canal.
5. Brush their teeth. Blue Merle Shelties’ teeth should be brushed regularly to prevent tartar buildup and gum disease. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a dog-friendly toothpaste, and start slowly to get your dog used to the process.
6. Trim hair around the eyes and paws. Blue Merle Shelties have long hair around their eyes and paws that can become matted or dirty. Trim this hair regularly using scissors or clippers to keep it neat and tidy.
7. Use a de-shedding tool. To reduce shedding, use a de-shedding tool or a shedding blade to remove loose fur from your Blue Merle Sheltie’s coat.
8. Check for fleas and ticks. Blue Merle Shelties are prone to flea and tick infestations, so it’s important to check their coat regularly and use a flea and tick preventative as recommended by your veterinarian.
9. Consider professional grooming. If you’re not comfortable grooming your Blue Merle Sheltie at home, consider taking them to a professional groomer. A groomer can provide a variety of services, including a bath, haircut, nail trimming, and ear cleaning.
Training Your Blue Merle Shetland Sheepdog
Training a Blue Merle Shetland Sheepdog requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.
These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, making them a pleasure to train. The following are some tips for training your Blue Merle Sheltie:
1. Start early. Begin training your Sheltie as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the easier it will be to establish good behaviors and prevent bad ones.
2. Use positive reinforcement. Reward your dog for good behavior with treats, praise, and affection. This will encourage your dog to repeat good behaviors.
3. Be consistent. Use the same commands and training techniques consistently. This will help your dog to understand what is expected of them.
4. Socialize your dog. Expose your Sheltie to new people, animals, and environments. This will help them to develop good social skills and prevent fearfulness.
5. Be patient. Training takes time and effort. Don’t expect your Sheltie to learn everything at once. Consistency and positive reinforcement will pay off in the long run.
How Much is a Blue Merle Sheltie?
The price of Sheltie puppies for sale can vary depending on various factors such as location, breeder reputation, pedigree, and availability.
On average, you can expect to pay between $1000 to as much as $4500 for a miniature with red, gray, bi blue or tri colored sheltie coats. Blue Merle Sheltie puppy from a reputable breeder.
However, it is important to note that you need to factor in additional expenses such as food, supplies, veterinary care, and training.
How Does One Adopt a Blue Merle Sheltie?
One option is to search for local Sheltie rescue organizations. These groups are dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Shelties in need of a loving home.
You can search for these organizations online or check with local animal shelters to see if they have any Shelties available for adoption.
Another option is to contact reputable Sheltie breeders and inquire about their available puppies or adult dogs.
It is important to do your research and choose a breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs and who follows responsible breeding practices.
You can also attend dog shows or events where Shelties are exhibited and speak with breeders and owners to learn more about the breed and potentially find a dog to adopt.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the health problems of Blue Merle Shelties?
Blue Merle Shelties may be more prone to health issues such as deafness, eye problems, and skin sensitivities due to their coat color genetics.
2. What color is considered rarest for a Sheltie?
The rarest color for a Sheltie is the color white, which is not a recognized color by major breed standards.
3. What is the color of Blue Merle Shelties eyes?
Blue Merle Shelties can have various eye colors like blue and tan, but the most common eye color for them is dark brown.
4. Is the Sheltie a high-maintenance dog?
Shelties require regular grooming and exercise, but with proper care and attention, they can make excellent family pets and are not considered to be high maintenance.
5. Are Shelties counted as one of the smartest dogs around?
While Shelties are a highly intelligent breed, they are not necessarily considered the smartest dogs, as intelligence can vary greatly among individual dogs and breeds.
6. Which two dog breeds were used to create the Sheltie breed?
The Sheltie breed was created using the Border Collie and other Scottish breeds.
7. Can you list some undesirable characteristics or traits of a Sheltie?
Some undesirable characteristics or traits of a Sheltie can include excessive barking, anxiety or shyness, and a tendency to herd and nip at small children or animals.
8. Is it possible to leave Shelties alone?
While Shelties can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time, they are a breed that thrives on human interaction and may experience separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods of time.
9. Is it common for Shelties to exhibit aggression?
Shelties are generally not known for exhibiting aggression, but individual dogs may display aggressive behavior due to various factors.
10. What is the reason for Shelties’ excessive barking?
Do Shelties bark a lot? Quite so! Shelties have a tendency to bark excessively due to their protective and vocal nature.
A Breed Worth Owning
Now that you know everything about the Blue Merle Sheltie, you’ll be a more confident owner who knows exactly what the breed needs to thrive in your home.
There’s a lot of care involved, but the affection and companionship that you get from this breed will be well worth it!
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about the Blue Merle Sheltie? Share your thoughts below!