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Links

This list of links makes no attempt to be comprehensive.  In no particular order, it is just a list of websites that I have found useful or interesting, and that I hope will be useful for Sheltie fanciers.
 



Health Registries
These registries record the results of health screenings for genetic diseases that are known to occur in Shelties.

  • Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA)
    The original registry for hips and elbows, now also certifies thyroids, eyes and a collection of other disorders.  Three veterinary radiologists evaluate each set of hip and elbow films.
    LIMITATION: The OFA hip positioning is based on older human positions and some researchers and veterinarians think it can hide subluxation.
  • PennHip
    A newer registry for hips based on the work of Dr. Gail Smith at the University of Pennsylvania.  This system grades hips on the degree of subluxation present on xrays taken in special positions.  It does not grade on a pass/fail basis, but assigns each hip a number called a distraction index which give the relative amount of looseness of the joint.  The distraction index is compared with those of other dogs of the same breed to estimate the likelihood that the dog will develop hip dysplasia. 
    LIMITATION: Although these radiographs are very sensitive in identifying subluxation, there are almost certainly other factors involved in dysplasia.
  • OFA Eye Certification Registry
    This is replacing the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) as the official registry for inherited canine eye diseases.  It certifies eyes based on examination by Board certified veterinary ophthalmalogists.
    LIMITATION:  Different ophthalmalogists may vary occasionally in their evaluation of the same dog.  The examination gives no information about the genetic status of a normal-eyed dog.
  • VetGen
    DNA based certification for Type III von Willebrand's Disease, that can identify genetic carriers of the disease.
    LIMITATION:  It gives no information about type I von Willebrand's disease, which may also occur in Shelties.
  • VetGen
    DNA based test for Cyclic Neutropenia (Gray Collie Syndrome) in Collies.  This condition is also present with small frequency in the Shetland Sheepdog.   
    LIMITATION:  Although the same gene most likely causes the defect in Shelties, the test has not been validated for the Sheltie at this time.
  • Washington State University
    A new DNA mutation-based test for MDR1, the gene that causes Ivermectin and other drug sensitivites in collie-related breeds.  The test has been validated for Shelties.  If you live in Canada, the test can be run by Health Gene (which will not accept samples from the US for this test).
    LIMITATION: Like all DNA based tests, it tests only for this one gene.  If any other gene causes drug sensitivity in the dog, this test cannot detect it.
  • OptiGen
    A DNA based test that can detect genetic carriers of Sheltie Eye Anomaly, thus allowing a breeder to avoid producing affected puppies.
    LIMITATION:  Some research which examined 8024 rough collies in Sweden before the age of ten week suggests that the disease may be polygenic.  The American researchers who developed the test concluded that the Swedish results can be accounted for by the "go-normal" phenomenon. 
 
 

Dog Coat Color

  • Dog Coat Color
    This comprehensive site from the University of Saskatchewan is maintained by a researcher who is actively involved in research on coat color genetics.  It is the most accurate and up-to-date site I am aware of that discusses the inheritance of dog coat color.
  • Sheltie Coat Color Calculator
    For those who want to keep it simple, this site has some basic information about the major Sheltie colors.
  • 2006 Article on the Identification of the Merle Gene
    OK, so this is pretty heavy reading, but it's also fascinating if you have any interest in genetics.  Download the pdf file and read it at your convenience. It seems that merle coloring results from the insertion of a decent sized sequence of DNA into a gene.  Most non-merle Shelties do not have this insertion at all.  Occasionally the insertion gets shortened during the cell duplication process, and the resulting damaged insertion can no longer produce merle. These are also non-merle Shelties.  This may be one explanation of the occasional tricolor produced by a double merle (the other being a cryptic merle).   Of interest to our Great Dane friends is that some of the normal appearing harlequins have turned out to be unsuspected double merles!
  • Genetic Testing For Coat Color
    • Vet-Gen
      This American company has a DNA based test for the genes at the agouti locus, based on the research of Dr. Schmutz.  Translation: It can identify the sable (ay), tricolor (at) and bicolor (a) genes, to tell you whether your sable is tri-factored or bi-factored, and whether your tricolor is bi-factored.
    • HealthGene
      This Canadian company has the same DNA based test as Vet Gen for the genes at the agouti locus.
    • Idexx
      Veterinarians can order this DNA test for the merle gene through Idexx Laboratories..  This can be useful for occasional inapparent cryptic merle, or for the merle Sheltie which has more white than usual so that it is not readily apparent whether or not the dog is a double merle.  The test is called "Merle Coat Color Gene-Canine", the test code is 3341.  The test requires either an EDTA (lavender-top) blood tube or two sterile cheek swabs, refrigerated and sent on ice.  Be prepared:  neither your American veterinarian nor possibly the customer service representative at Idexx will know anything about the test!  The test must be ordered through a veterinarian with an Idexx account.  The samples used to be sent to Idexx's Markham, Ontario lab to be run.  I don't know if this is still the case.
 
 

Dog Genetics & Breeding

  • Canine Genetics
    This website has a whole series of articles about canine genetics, including the articles by the late Dr. John Armstrong, who for many years maintained the Canine Diversity Project website.
  • Ancestry of the British Herding Breeds
    A one page article by Iris Combe & Pat Hutchinson on the relationships among the various herding breeds originating in the British Isles
  • Breeding Better Dogs
    A site that features the on-line articles of Dr. Carmen Battaglia, author of the book, Breeding Better Dogs.  Most of these have appeared in print elsewhere, but they are collected here together.  Print out a few and read them at your convenience.
  • Better Bred
    A site, originating from the University of California Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab that examines the importance and amount of Genetic Diversity in the breeds that have been studied, and encourages purebred to study genetic diversity in their particular breed so that a test for Genetic Diversity can be used in that breed.
  • Tufts University Breeding And Genetics Conferences 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015
    Conference proceedings to print and read.
 
 

Dog Health

  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
    PHONE HOTLINE: (888) 426-4435
     The $65 phone consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.  The website has lots of information about sources of poisons for pets.
  • Veterinary Partner
    This site is the public site of the subscription website, Veterinary Information Network, available to veterinarians.  It has a whole library of articles about health care, diseases, drugs and behavior.
  • Vaccination Guidelines
    This pdf file from the American Animal Hospital Association website that gives the updated AAHA vaccination recommendations for dogs and cats.  It's aimed at veterinarians, but anyone can understand the charts that list the recommended vaccines and recommended frequency of vaccination.
  • Veterinary Perinatal Specialties
    The company that provides the WhelpWise uterine monitoring service.  This can be of great assistance in continuously evaluating high risk pregnancies. 
  • International Canine Semen Bank
    Reproductive service that specializes in collecting, evaluating and freezing canine semen.
  • Dermatomyositis
    This site gives information from the Texas A&M Dermatomyositis researchers.  Good information about the current state of research on the genetics and treatment of the disease.
  • Canine Epilepsy Resource Center
    This site bills itself as "All you ever wanted to know about Canine Epilepsy", and comes pretty close to meeting that claim.  Click on the logo for a large list of epilepsy related articles.
  • Canine Influenza
    Coming soon to a dog near you!  The equine influenza virus has made the jump to dogs.  No single website gives a comprehensive view of this emerging disease, which was identified in 2004 in racing greyhounds in Florida.  It has now been found in most states.  The sites below all give useful information:

 

Other Great Dog Sites

  • Working Dogs
    This site is aimed at owners of the large working breeds, but is has tons of information and links on just about every canine subject–training, genetics, diseases, behavior.  If you can't find it anywhere else, you might find it here.
  • Dr. P's Dog Training
    This site, sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, contains lots of articles and links to articles on canine behavior and training.  However it has not been updated since 2001.
  • Hike With Your Dog
    What a great idea for a site!  This has lots articles on dog-friendly hiking and how to keep it that way.

 

Herding
There's lots of info on the web about herding, but these sites address the needs of the loose-eyed breeds like Shelties.


 

Tracking
Ok, so Shelties aren't the best known tracking dogs, but they can be darned good at it.  I'm providing these links because most Sheltie owners wouldn't know where to go for information about tracking.


 
 

The International Sheltie Scene

  • Shelties of British Type
    A lovely set of pages featuring kennels and Shelties of many countries who are of the British type.
  • Gwensigor's Website
    A delightful Dutch web site I happened to find.  Unfortunately for those of us in the United States, there is no longer an English language version of this web site.  However,  there are a number of old photos on its history pages, which can still be accessed at this address.  For the other pages, you can ask Google for a translation.  However, Google doesn't appear to speak very fluent Dutch.  Its translation is often amusing and occasionally incomprehensible.
  • Felthorn Shelties
    A British website, with a page on the history of the breed containing a number of old photos
  • Leeland Shelties
    A Norwegian Sheltie web site, in English, with a large number of historical photos of Shelties on its "Lines and Families" pages
  • Whalswick Shelties
    Another Dutch site.  Look in the pedigree database for about a gazzilion photos and pedigrees of Shelties going back to the foundation dogs
  • Shetland Museum Archives 
    From the Shetland Museum Archives, a large set of old dog photographs, some of them Shelties, including a number that I've never seen before.  You'll have to page through to find the Shelties in old farm and fishing scenes.

 

Sheltie Websites

  • ASSA Sheltie Rescue
    The ASSA list of Sheltie Rescue Groups
  • National Sheltie Rescue
    A nationwide listing of Sheltie Rescue groups
  • New Shetland Sheepdog Titleholders
    Bob Miller's monthly list and three generation pedigrees of Shelties with new AKC titles.  You can click on a link for the same information about newly titled CKC Shelties.  Anyone interested in pedigree research needs to order his Sheltie pedigree books–all of them!
  • Sheltie Pedigree Lines
    This site has information and pedigrees (with some photos) of many Shelties.  Breeders and owners of conformation or performance Shelties can become registered users who can add their own dogs, with information and photos.
  • Shelties OnLine
    This site advertises itself as "The weekly online magazine for lovers of the Breed".  It consists mainly of specialty show results, Sheltie group placements, advertisements and litter announcements.
  • The Shetland Sheepdog Home Page
    Access to the SHELTIE-LIST, and a nice collection of Sheltie-related links
  • Shetland Sheepdog Pedigrees
    Pedigrees and many photos of early Shelties, British Champions and Dutch Champions, part of the Portma Zathe Shelties Dutch website
  • Sue Bowling's Sheltie Pages
    Lots of info on Sheltie history, genetics, bloodlines and ROM Shelties, through the late 1990s
  • Wickets By Mel
    A good source of ear tape and glue (including Speed-Sew), wickets of several kinds, and a few grooming products.

 

Sheltie Publications
Sadly, with the advent of the internet and online publication and advertising, many lovely dog magazines devoted to individual breeds have gone the way of the dodo bird.  The Sheltie International is a survivor so far, and books still continue to be published.

  • Sheltie International
    A quarterly magazine for Sheltie fanciers, unfortunately no longer being published.
  • Sheltie Talk
    Sheltie Talk is arguably the best book on the breed, but this link to the publisher has a number of other great Sheltie books.

 

 

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