Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Shetland Sheepdog: Are Shelties Miniature Versions Of A Rough Collie?

Sheltie Dog History, Intelligence, Temperament and Care Tips!


Shetland Sheepdogs may not be the as well-known around the world as compared to other Dog breeds, but this does little to change the fact that they are still very much loved by many. Perhaps we might have even mistaken Shetland Sheep Dogs for a Collie— ever wondered why this "Collie" seems so much smaller in size? 
Beautiful Sheltie with cute bandana
via ZeldatheSheltie on Tumblr

Fun Fact #1      The Shetland Sheepdog breed was given the name Shetland Collie initially. Today, they are also known as Sheltie for short.



Shetland Sheepdog


Shelties are a breed of Dog from the Shetland Islands in Scotland best known for purpose with herding. While they were originally given the name Shetland Collie in the past, this caused a long standing dispute with Rough Collie breeders— which brought about the change of the breed's name to Shetland Sheepdog, as we know of today. Understandably, it wasn't just because the names were clashing, Shetland Sheepdogs looked remarkably similar to Rough Collies too. Shelties like other animals from Shetland Islands (i.e. Ponies and Sheeps), were bred to cope and withstand against the harsh weather conditions on the islands.

Fun Fact #2      The OG sheep-herding Shetland dogs were regarded as a Spitz-type dog. They no longer exist as their jobs were taken over by Border Collies. 
Shetland Sheepdogs personality
via KyleandKodi on Tumblr
Although the animals are miniatures of their own kind, Shetland Sheepdogs are not a smaller version to the Rough Collie. The original "concoction" is still shrouded in mystery— breeds involved included the Scottish Collie, King Charles Spaniel, Pomeranian and also the much rumoured Border Collie. Only much later were small Rough Collies added to the equation by James Loggie, contributing to the Sheltie version we see today. In 1909, the Shetland Sheepdog breed got recognized by the EKC (English Kennel Club), and in 1911, by the AKC (American Kennel Club). 

Fun Fact #3      Did you know, the modern Shetland Sheepdog we know of today is uncommon in their native lands? Interestingly, they are also not used for sheep-herding purposes!   



What Does A Shetland Sheepdog Look Like?


From mere photographs of individual breeds, its is rather inevitable to mistake a Sheltie for a Rough Collie and sometimes, colour variations can have them confused with other breeds like the Border Collie, and even the Australian Shepherd Dog.

How do you tell a Sheltie from a Rough Collie if they look so similar?

Sheltie Size — A Shetland Sheepdog is a small Dog breed. In size comparison itself, the Rough Collie is way larger than a Sheltie— also the reason why Shelties are thought of as a miniature version of the Rough Collie.
Size comparison of a Sheltie and Rough Collie
Left: Sheltie Right: Rough Collie — via Wikipedia
Sheltie: Average weight 5 to 11 kgs, standing 33 to 41cm tall.
Rough Collie: Average weight 22 to 31 kgs, standing 55 to 66 cm tall.

Sheltie Features — Double coat made up of a soft undercoat, and rough guard hairs above. Bushy plush tails hang low most of the time, and are only lifted when alert or excited. Only Blue Merle Shelties may have Blue eyes, or Odd-eyes (one Blue, one Dark), all other Sheltie colour variations have brown or dark eyes.
Blue Merle Blue Eye Sheltie
via Pinterest
Fun Fact #4      The double coat of a Sheltie is useful in all weather conditions— rough guard hairs are water-resistant, while the soft undercoat provides just the right insulation


Sheltie Colours  Sable, Tri-colour and Blue Merle are three colour variations of Shetland Sheepdogs. These variations can range from Brown shades to Golden and even Reddish-brown with White and/or Tan. Predicting how much White will appear on a Sheltie is not as simple as breeding two Shelties with minimal White— a coloured variant Pup is possible between two predominantly White Shetland Sheepdogs too.
What does a Sheltie look like?
via RockyFarr on Flickr
Fun Fact #5      Shelties with more than 50% White on their coats do not fair well in scoring at Dog shows, lesser White is much preferred with Judges for breed standards.




Grooming A Sheltie


The beautiful plush coat of a Shetland Sheepdog sheds quite substaintially. Grooming maintenance requires copius brushing and combing, preferably 2 to 3 times per week— soft undercoats are prone to matting, pay closer attention to areas around the joints, ears, neck and tail.

How to groom a Sheltie
via SheltieBeauties on Blogger
Trim their nails so they do not get too long and start clacking on floors, and swab out dirt build-up in the ears and around the eyes with a dog-friendly cleanser and cotton balls if necessary. To keep your Sheltie's coat healthy and ease up your grooming efforts, visit a professional Groomer at least once every one or two months.


HOT TIP      Owners are advised not to opt for shaving— once shaved, the coat of a Sheltie may not regrow as smoothly to it's original state. Shaving is also reported to be harmful for their skin.



Shetland Sheepdog Personality and Temperament


Known as one of the most loyal and ranked highly for intellegence, Shelties fair really well with training and are often top choices in competions involving agility and obedience. Walks and playtime keeps a Sheltie feeling happy and purposeful. Active, playful, and loving, Shelties are also favourites to families. 
Shetland Sheepdog temperament
via KyleandKodi on Tumblr
It almost seems like there isn't anything a Shetland Sheepdog can't provide as a companion— they're make great therapy Dogs too! Topped off with an even temperament, they'd make a great addition to any home. With lots of love and proper care, a Sheltie's average lifespan ranges from 12 to 13 years.


Fun Fact #6      Shelties are reportedly one of the fastest at grasping a command as compared to other Dog breeds. Got a farm? Don't forget their innate ability for Sheepherding! A friend, companion and working breed is a Shetland Sheepdog ☺



You might also be interested in these:

Dog Obedience And Training: Classes And Schools To Attend In Singapore!

Dog Life Hacks: Ten Useful Tips For Every Dog Owner

*UPDATED* Dog Boarding In Singapore: The Largest List Of Dog Hotels And How To Pick One!

Dog Behaviour And Body Language: What Is My Dog Trying To Tell Me?




Your Stories Can Be Heard Too


Got a Corgi of your own? Your voices are important to us and the Pets community! Our readers are encouraged to share their  Pet-related reviews of a place and its services, experiences, even lifestyle tips and tricks to better our Pets lives, on our platform, one paw at a time. Be a part of an educational and informative Pets community because at ThePetsDialogue, your voices could make a huge difference on a global scale.

Write to us at hello@thepetsdialogue.com today!

Our website is a work in progress, however, if you did find our articles interesting please do feel free to share! For more Pet care tips and other Pet-related articles, head to www.thepetsdialogue.com ☺



Disclaimer


This article was written with informational purposes, as you know, we’d love to share our collective research and experiences as fellow Pet owners and lovers. It is not meant to alternate in any way as advice or diagnosis of Professionals.

ThePetsDialogue claims no credit for images posted on this article unless otherwise displayed/stated. All rights go to respective owners as mentioned. If you do not wish for your image(s) to appear here do drop us an e-mail and it will be removed promptly. If you do wish to use any of our original published information, you are welcome to contact us!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Lion Head Rabbit: The Breed With A Majestic Mane And Gentle Heart

Lion Head Rabbit's History, Personality and Care Tips!


Demands for fancier looking Pets in the past have often led to selective breeding, providing a myriad of Pets that varies in terms of physiques and personality. Even small animals such as Rabbits have some that are more unique looking than others. While it isn't uncommon for a few Dog or Cat breeds to resembles larger mammal cousins/ancestors in the wild— for Rabbits however, we've got the Lion Head Rabbit.
Lion Head Rabbits Singapore
Source
How did the Lion Head Rabbit come about?


Lion Head Rabbit


Hailing from Belgium, Lion Head Rabbits were a result of crossbreeding. Natural occurances of genetic mutation is what gives this Rabbit breed its special appearance— though the specifics in regards to the cocktail of breeds used to achieve the Lion Head Rabbit is still a little hazy. First reports on crossbreeding were between a Netherland Dwarf and a Miniature Swiss Fox (a long hair Rabbit breed). 

Fun Fact #1      The original purpose of the above crossbreeding was to create a new long haired breed. That however, resulted in a genetic mutation— a long ring of mane around the Rabbit’s head. Thus, the Lion Head was born. ☺
Being a relatively new breed, Lion Head Rabbits continued to gain popularity around Europe and only arrived in America in the late 1990s. Although this breed was already recognized in the UK by British Rabbit Council in 2002, the Lion Head breed was still undergoing a 5 year test for consistency in America as presented by the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association). Three successful presentations of the Lion Head Rabbit breed within five years finally earned them their recognition title in 2014.


Lion Head Rabbit Appearance


Size — A larger-than-dwarf sized Rabbit with a small compact body frame. The average weight of an adult Lion Head Rabbit ranges from 1.4 to 1.7 kgs.

Features — Be enchanted with the wispy, thin "Lion’s mane" of approximately 2 inches long— at times forming a fringe for the Rabbit's head (yes, it is as adorable as it reads). Their bold heads are coupled with short, upright ears. 

Fun Fact #2      Did you know, Lion Heads are available in two types of manes?— Single and Double manes. Some of them can also have different diversification of their fuzz, the thin feathering wisps could be located around their flanks, cheeks and chests too. 
Colours — The wispy colour variations of Lion Head Rabbits are pretty wide. Some available colours are Chocolate, Golden, Lilac, Opal, Black, White, Blue, Sable, Tortoise Agouti, Chinchilla, Fawn, and Chestnut.
Lion Head Rabbit Colours
Source


Grooming A Lion Head Rabbit


The pretty coat of a Lion Head Bun comes with extra care requirements. Run through with a slicker comb and brush at least 2 to 3 times a week. This rids loose hair and prevents matting. During moulting (shedding) periods, increase the number of times you comb weekly— the build up of loose hairs causes a higher chance of matting!
Lion Head Rabbit grooming
Source
Generally fastidious creatures of keeping themselves clean, Rabbits do not require water bathswater baths are said to be very stressful for bunnies, and they are also highly susceptible to coldSince the possibility of dirt getting stuck on a long coat is higher, check for debris frequently. 

Hot Tip      To clean off any soiled areas, use a damp cloth to spot clean, then towel dry them very thoroughly after. It is also equally important to check for long nails, clip away whenever necessary!

If you are unsure how to perform some of these tasks, bring them in for a professional grooming session by an experienced or trusted Groomer for small animals!


Lion Head Rabbit Personality And Behaviour


Not only are these adorable, fancy-looking Lion Head Rabbits majestic, they are also playful, active and friendly— did we also mention gentle? Active Rabbits as such require even more space to explore and keep them entertained, better still if you have an allocated space just for them! Lion Heads are also intelligent and are possible to be trained (with the help of some treats). Bear in mind that all Rabbits are often wary and jittery at the start, but there is nothing a good amount of patience, effort and care can’t overcome.☺ With proper care and love, the average lifespan of a Lion Head Rabbit is 7 to 10 years.


Rabbit Housing And Feed


Hygiene — It is extremely important to maintain the cleanliness of your Rabbits home. A regular change of food, water, bedding and litter is mandatory. Clear out their litter trays daily, and check for soiled bedding (the risk of infection is serious, leaving your Buns to accidentally consume or sit in their own waste is absolutely not good)

Litter — Should you choose a cage with wire flooring, make sure there is a solid area for your pet Rabbit to rest its feet. Should you pick a solid flooring cage or enclosure, litter-train your Buns by introducing a litter tray filled with litter (i.e. wood based pellets) and add in some feeding hay to entice them.
Lion Head Rabbit double mane
Double Mane


Bedding & Toys — Avoid Pine and Cedar wood based beddings to prevent potential respiratory problems, especially known for small Pets. Keep your Buns entertained with toys and hiding spots within their space when you're not available. Wooden chew toys are handy in preventing overgrown teeth.

Feed — Hay has multiple uses besides being an important staple food source for Rabbits. Good quality Hay such as Timothy Hay provides your Bun with sufficient fiber, aside from daily servings of food pellets and greens. 

Hot Tip #2      Note to only introduce greens to rabbits above 8 weeks of age. Fruits can also be given in tiny proportions as an occasional snack or treat.


You might also be interested in:



Your Stories Can Be Heard Too

Do you own a Bun? Share your story with the rest of the world! Your voices are important to us and the Pets community! Our readers are encouraged to share their Pet-related reviews of a place and its services, experiences, even lifestyle tips and tricks to better our Pets lives, on our platform, one paw at a time. Be a part of an educational and informative Pets community because at ThePetsDialogue, your voices could make a huge difference on a global scale. 

Write to us at hello@thepetsdialogue.com today!

Our website is a work in progress, however, if you did find our articles interesting please do feel free to share! For more Pet care tips and other Pet-related articles, head to www.thepetsdialogue.com 



Disclaimer

This article was written with informational purposes, as you know, we’d love to share our collective research and experiences as fellow Pet owners and lovers. It is not meant to alternate in any way as advice or diagnosis of Professionals.

ThePetsDialogue claims no credit for images posted on this article unless otherwise displayed/stated. All rights go to respective owners as mentioned. If you do not wish for your image(s) to appear here do drop us an e-mail and it will be removed promptly. If you do wish to use any of our original published information, you are welcome to contact us!