Sheltie vs Miniature Collie – Are They The Same? (Solved!)

Shelties and Miniature Collies look so much alike that people often think it’s the same breed.

In fact, Shelties are often referred to as downsized Rough Collies. However, as any Collie enthusiast would tell you, this is a false statement.

That would imply that they are a bred-down variant of Collie, but Shelties are a separate breed.

The small version of Collie already exists, and it’s Sheltie’s lookalike, Miniature Collie.

Even though they are not yet recognized by dog breeders organizations, Miniature Collies are rather popular among small dog owners.

Shelties do have some Collie genes, as the early dogs of this breed were crossbred with Collies.

And, that’s probably where the striking resemblance comes from.

When comparing Sheltie vs Miniature Collie just by looking at them, you can hardly tell a difference.

However, the two breeds have some notable differences when it comes to history, personality, and temperament.

AttributesSheltieMiniature Collie
Good For First Time OwnersYesYes
Good Guard DogNot The Best ChoiceNo
Apartment FriendlyPossible With Enough ExerciseYes
Good Family DogYesYes
Shedding Moderate To High Moderate To High
Barking And HowlingModerateLow To Moderate
Height12-17 inches (33-41 cm)13-16 inches (33-40 cm)
Average Life Expectancy12-15 Years12-13 Years


Sheltie – Dog Breed Information

Shelties, or Shetland Sheepdogs, are a herding breed hailing from the Shetland Islands in the United Kingdom.

They’re famous for their sweet and kind personality, as well as their unbelievably cute appearance.

However, their herding genes are still very much alive, so they are very energetic, active, and hardworking.

Nowadays, they are among the most popular family dogs, but still occasionally perform their original duties at farms.


As I noted, Shelties carry a striking resemblance to Collies but are an entirely different breed.

They have small and compact bodies but are surprisingly strong and muscular.

The breed has a long double coat develop to protect them from the harsh weather on the British Isles.

A soft and dense undercoat is under the rough, straight, and long topcoat.

There are several color varieties, but the most common are golden, blue merle, and black.

More often than not they will have white markings.

One of the things people love the most about Shelties is their kind and friendly expression coming from their dark, almond-shaped eyes.

The head is similar to Collies, long and wedge-shaped with triangular ears which are three-quarters erect.

Male and female Shelties have a pretty similar size. They can be 12-17 inches (33-41 cm) high and weigh 13-27 pounds (6-12 kg).


Sheltie’s temperament can vary from dog to dog, most of them are eager to please, gentle, and loving.

However, some are more confident, and can sometimes appear even arrogant.

They are rather sensitive and adaptable to different situations, which makes them suitable for almost any type of household.

They love to be with their family and engage in all joint activities.

This breed is also very protective and loyal to its family.

On the other hand, they don’t express their usual kindness when it comes to strangers.

This, combined with their herding genes, makes them great and fearless protectors of the family.

Shelties are known to excel at all kinds of dog competitions. This is mostly due to their high intelligence, agility, and willingness to learn.

They’re very trainable and can easily learn new commands and tricks.

Miniature Collie – Dog Breed Information

Miniature Collies are an adorable and lovable breed that brings to the table most of the qualities of their larger cousins, only in a smaller package.

Just like bigger Collies, they’re great family dogs, active, loyal, and devoted to their owners.

Miniature Collies are bred down from regular Collies, but are still not officially approved by breeding organizations.


As the name says, they are a miniature version of larger Collies.

They have the same long and muscular furry body with a dignified stance and elegant gait.

The body of a Miniature Collie is covered with a long and straight double coat. The hairs of the upper coat are very long and straight.

The undercoat is thick, soft, and protects them from heat and cold. Miniature Collies commonly have more fur on the chest and around the legs.

They can vary in color, but the most common patterns are black and white, white and orange, and a tri-color combo of orange, white, and black,

Like all Collies, the miniature variant has a long, wedge-shaped head with small ears on top.

Eyes are small and usually have a dark ring around them. The tail is long, fury, and hangs low.


Miniature Collies are affectionate, very active, loyal, and are great and loving companions.

They’ll enjoy various games and activity, but will be happiest during the cuddling session.

However, sometimes they can be a bit shy and reserved towards other members of the family, including kids.

Still, with proper socialization and training, they’ll let their guard down and happily hang around with children and other pets.

It’s imperative that you start training at a very young age and include interaction with kids and other animals or you may end up with a dog that can be rather aloof at times.

They’re not the smartest dogs around, but they can be taught to perform basic commands and tricks.

Still, don’t be surprised if sometimes they answer your command with just a blank stare.

Sheltie vs Miniature Collie- What’s the Difference?

SheltieMiniature Collie

The first thing you’ll learn when comparing Sheltie vs Miniature Collie is that only one of them, Sheltie, is an officially recognized breed.

So, if you care about that and plan to take your dog to shows, then Sheltie should be your choice.

Both dogs are small and can adapt to life in an apartment but will require daily exercise with Sheltie being the more energetic of the two.

They’re also more vocal, and their barking may cause problems with neighbors.

Sheltie will get bored faster, so you’ll have to keep them engaged almost all the time.

On the other hand, Miniature Collies are often happy just to sit still or take naps whenever they can.

Each of these breeds is relatively high maintenance, but Miniature Collies tend to shed more, so that’s more work for you.


Shelties and Miniature Collies are both pint-sized, loving, and above all, adorable. Everyone in your family will enjoy having these cute little dogs around.

However, which one is better for you depends on your lifestyle and living situation.

Shelties are more suitable for active people, who love to be on the move and spend a lot of time with their dogs.

Miniature Collies may be better for you if you live a typical urban life, in an apartment, and have a little less time available.

Shelties are also a tiny bit smarter and will react better to your commands and engage in any games you think up for them.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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