Where performance counts!
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
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 elbows, 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.
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
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.
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.
DNA based test for Cyclic Neutropenia (Gray Collie Syndrome) in
Collies. This condition is also present with small frequency in the Shetland
LIMITATION: Although the same gene most likely causes
the defect in Shelties, the test has not been validated for
the Sheltie at this time.
DNA based test for three genes that have been associated with increased incidence of dermatomyositis.
- 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.
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!
- Merle - SINE Insertion from Mc - Mh
This site has extensive information about newly identified alleles of the merle gene. While the author's main interest is in the Catahoula Leopard Dogs, there is considerable general information and a page on Shelties.
- Genetic Testing For Coat Color
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.
This Canadian company has the same DNA based test
as Vet Gen for the genes at
the agouti locus.
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
Dog Genetics & Breeding
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.
Tufts University Breeding And Genetics Conferences 2003,
2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015
Conference proceedings to print and
- 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.
This 2017 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.
The company that provides the
WhelpWise uterine monitoring service. This can be of
great assistance in continuously evaluating high risk
International Canine Semen Bank
Reproductive service that specializes in
collecting, evaluating and freezing canine semen.
- Clemson University
This site gives information from Clemson University about the current state of research into Canine Dermatomyositis.
For those dogs who have been genotyped,the researchers give a dermatomyositis risk assessment for each genotype
American Shetland Sheepdog Association
This page give general information about dermatomyositis in the Sheltie, and, for those dog who have been genotyped, a risk assessment
chart for 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
- 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.
There's lots of info on the web about herding, but these
sites address the needs of the loose-eyed breeds like Shelties.
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.
You can ask Google for a translation, Google doesn't appear to
speak very fluent Dutch. Its translation is often
amusing and occasionally incomprehensible.
A British website, with a page on the
history of the breed containing a number of old photos
A Norwegian Sheltie web site, in English, with a large
number of historical photos of Shelties on its "Lines and
Portma Zathe Sheltand Sheepdogs
A Dutch Sheltie web site, in English, with a huge number of historical photos of Shelties on its
Lines and Pedigrees pages
Another Dutch site. The pedigree database, with about a gazzilion photos and
pedigrees of foundation Shelties, no longer appears to be online.
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
- National Sheltie Rescue
A nationwide listing of Sheltie Rescue groups
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
titled CKC Shelties. Anyone interested in pedigree
research needs to order his Sheltie pedigree books–all
- Sheltie Pedigree Lines
This site has information and pedigrees with
photos of many Shelties. Breeders and owners of
conformation or performance Shelties can become registered
users who can add their own dogs, information and
photos, and print pedigrees.
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. Sue died in 2014, so the web site is no longer being updated.
Wickets By Mel
A good source of ear tape and glue (including
Speed-Sew), wickets of several kinds, and a few grooming
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.
A quarterly magazine for Sheltie
fanciers, unfortunately no longer being published.
- Sheltie TalkSheltie Talk is arguably the best book on