The Shetland Sheepdog comes in several colours with varying amounts of white and/or tan.

Sable is probably the most thought of colour when someone thinks of a Sheltie. Sable is basically a brown dog with varying amounts of white. The sable can range from a pale golden to reddish to a deep mahogany - almost a black-brown.



Tri Colour is a black, white and tan Sheltie. The main colour is black with varying amounts of white and tan.


tri colour

Sable Merle is a sable carrying a merling gene. Unlike the blues, a sable merle is tougher to determine. Many grow up looking like a sable.



Colour Headed White is a pattern. This is a dog with a predominantly white body, colouring on the head and a splash or two of colour on the body. If a CHW has too much colour, it is a poorly marked dog. Though Shelties with more than 50% white are allowed for UKC Conformation, in the AKC they are seriously faulted.

Double Merle White is what happens when two merles are bred together. Double merles are prone to vision and hearing problems of varying degrees. Breeding a merle to a merle should be discouraged.


Download Breed Standards PDF.