13 – 16 inches
15 – 25 pounds
12 – 15 years
Brown, black, tan, red and white
Active families, families with older children, experienced dog owners, those seeking a fun pooch
Active, bubbly, fun, loving, independent
The Sheltie Pin is the spunky puppy of the Shetland Sheepdog and the Miniature Pinscher. He is much smaller in stature than his Shetland parent but much more robust than his Pin parent. He is a small to medium-sized dog, and unlike his Pin parent, he won’t leave you wondering whether you’ll squish him or not.
The herding and workaholic nature of his Sheepdog parent combined with the comical and fun nature of the Pin make this guy a pocket rocket. If you’re looking to welcome one of these guys into your life, you’ll need to match his energy. Otherwise, he’ll be off to find someone who can.
Here in this short, but comprehensive breed info guide, we’ll take you through everything that you need to know about the Sheltie Pin. From his high energy needs to always active mind, he can be quite an intense pooch for a little guy, but one who is worth the effort.
So, let’s find out if you’re a match made in heaven.
Sheltie Pin Puppies – Before You Get One…
The Sheltie Pin is not your standard small dog. His Pin parent is described as the ‘king of toys’, and he is full of feisty attitude, personality, and comedy. This sassy hybrid mix is an excellent option for those who love the Shetland breed but want a more feisty canine companion. He needs a lot of entertainment to keep him happy, so be sure to invest in a box of toys for both you and him to play with.
He is a very vocal dog who makes an excellent watchdog. He’ll be immediately suspicious of anyone that comes into his home and will bark until everyone is aware that there are incoming visitors. This is something to think about if you live in an apartment condo or somewhere where he will annoy neighbors easily.
But as soon as he knows that they are welcome, he’ll be making friends in no time. Always keen to impress his humans with tricks, your friends will adore him.
He is an intense hybrid who many find too much to handle. But, as long as you are prepared for how needy he can be, you will find a long-life friend in him for sure. He loves to be around humans, and as such, he can become anxious when left alone for long periods. A crate is the best way to tackle this problem and ease his worries, which we will discuss later on.
He needs a lot of exercise for such a small pup, and you’ll need to set aside at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. Not only will this keep his tiny body healthy, but it’ll keep his mind stimulated too. Do not mistake him for a lapdog who doesn’t need walking. He’ll be digging holes in your grass and chewing through your cables if you forget his needs.
The Sheltie Pin is not that tolerant of little hands who don’t know how to handle him. Combining that with the Shetland’s potential to herd younger family members, we recommend that he is only suited to families with older children.
3 Little-Known Facts About Sheltie Pins
Contrary to popular belief, his Mini Pin parent is not related to the Doberman in any way. It is believed that the Min Pin is the cross between the Dachshund and the Italian Greyhound.
2. The Sheltie Pin is a fantastic singer.
The Sheltie Pin can hold a perfect tune. Certain noises or you imitating a wolf is bound to set him off. This is another entertaining trait that he has on his belt.
3. The Sheltie Pin is a very mischievous pup.
He has so much energy packed into that little body of his that sometimes he doesn’t know what to do with it. You’ll probably find him digging holes in your yard, or making up games of hide-and-seek with whoever is game. If you can’t hear your Sheltie Pin, he’s probably up to no good. But this is all part of his charm.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Sheltie Pin 🧠
Alongside all the things in the “before you buy” section, the Sheltie Pin is an all-round fun-loving, crazy pooch who just wants to have a good time. He rarely has time to sit and snooze, unless he feels as though he has earnt it after a long day of having fun. When he does settle down, he loves a cuddle with his family. If he does snuggle up to you, enjoy it while it lasts!
He is a curious dog, and will always be sniffing for new friends and new games to play. For this reason, you should ensure that your yard is reinforced before you welcome him into your home. Otherwise, he’ll set sail into the sunset before you’ve even realized.
His curiosity and suspicion of unfamiliar people can cause him to bark at them. Despite his little stature, he will stand his ground between his family and danger. He will not back down until he is satisfied that everything is in order, and his family is safe.
He is very intelligent, and as such, he needs a lot of mental stimulation to keep him happy. A bored Sheltie Pin is a naughty or destructive one, so it’s best to keep him entertained. If you are not sure whether you have the time for this, for the next 12 to 15 years, you should find another mixed breed altogether.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡
The Sheltie Pin makes an excellent dog for the right family. He needs a family that can spend a lot of time at home with him. If you work longs hours and can take him with you, he’ll make a sociable office doggo. But if this is not possible, he will not appreciate being left at home alone all day.
He should be placed with a family that has older children who know how to handle him properly. Eager hands that treat him like a teddybear are not welcome. But older children or teenagers that know how to have fun with a smaller dog are in for a treat.
He is suited to family homes of all sizes. Just as long as he gets his intense daily exercise and plenty of interactive playtime, he will happily live anywhere. He would like a yard to roam given his Shetland’s working employment on the Scottish Highlands, but this isn’t a must.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽
The Sheltie Pin gets along with all other pets, just as long as he is socialized well as a pup. He will happily play with the small dogs up to the big boys, not realizing, or caring, about his small size.
The Shetland Sheepdog genes might shine through, and you might find that he tries to herd other animals in the house. Although it is harmless behavior, the other pets will not appreciate this. Left to his own devices, it could cause an unhappy household. If he is a herdy hound, playing treibball with him, or other impulse control games, will decrease his need to herd other family pets.
He sometimes extends this behavior to smaller children, which is another reason for him to be placed into a family with older children.
Things to Know When Owning a Sheltie Pin
Just like all dogs, the Sheltie Pin has certain expectations of his owners and what they should provide him with. Let’s find out what these are.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
The Sheltie Pin will need around 1 to 1½ cups of dried kibble every day. Because of his compact mouth, he needs to eat dried kibble because the hard biscuits will help to breakdown the build of plaque. A high-quality kibble will provide a well-balanced diet that will take care of his nutritional needs.
Look for a kibble that is designed specifically for small breeds, because he will often find standard-sized kibble hard to chew. The Sheltie Pin is known to be fussy when it comes to his food. Try mixing a splash of warm water or low-sodium chicken broth to encourage him to eat his kibble.
Because of his fast metabolism and never-ending energy, it is unlikely that this guy will put on weight quickly. If you notice that he is piling on the pounds and he doesn’t seem to be eating anymore or exercising less, be sure to take him to the vet. There might be an underlying cause for his unexplained weight gain.
The Sheltie Pin needs around 60 minutes of intense exercise every day. Always mix up his activities, and make them as fun as possible to avoid him getting bored and becoming mischievous.
Try the treibball game, flyball, or fetch to peak his interest, and take him down to the local doggy park when you can to keep him socialized. Just be sure to keep an eye on his herding behavior. Otherwise, you’ll probably notice people leaving when they see you and Fido approaching.
After his daily exercise is complete, the fun does not end here. Throughout the day, he’ll be pawing and whining for fun-time, and this is where his box of toys comes in handy.
Reputable breeders will socialize their pups from day one, by keeping them with their littermates and parents. When you bring him home, it is your responsibility to carry on his socialization. Introducing him to loud noises, walking along the sidewalk during busy periods, and mixing him with other animals and unfamiliar humans will increase his confidence.
Interaction down the puppy park will ensure that he remembers his manners, as well as tiring him out. If you notice any undesirable behaviors, don’t ignore them just because he is small, be sure to correct him. Positive reinforcement training is the best way to train him. Keep training sessions short and sweet because the busy Sheltie Pin will probably only have 5 minutes to spare – he’s far too busy doing his own thing.
Because he can be quite the nervous pooch when left alone, you must crate train him from a young age. He will come to love his new space, just make sure he has access to a toy to keep himself entertained. Getting him the right size is the key to him enjoying it and feeling comfortable.
The Sheltie Pin will only need brushing twice a week or so, depending on which parent he takes after. If he takes after his Min Pin parent, he’ll only need a brush once a week. If his coat is longer and thicker like his Sheltie parent, he’ll require brushing a few times a week. With a longer coat, his fur will be more likely to matt, tangle, and pick up dirt.
His bathing routine will be dependant on his coat again, but you can expect to wash him every 12 weeks. Always choose the right shampoo for his jacket, and choosing a natural and gentle formula is always best for his skin. Look for ingredients such as oatmeal, chamomile, and coconut.
You’ll need to brush his teeth at least once a week to keep periodontal diseases at bay, with a specific doggy formula (no human toothpaste, please). Keeping his eyes and ears clean will help to prevent infections, and be sure not to let his claws become too long by clipping them when needed. Overall, the Sheltie Pin is relatively easy to care for when it comes to his grooming routine.
Health and Conditions ❤️
Just like all mixed breeds, he is susceptible to all the health conditions that are associated with each of his parent’s breeds. Thankfully, with his increased genetic diversity, he is a relatively healthy breed who will enjoy a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Here are the primary health concerns to make yourself aware of:
Male vs Female
There is not much of a difference between the male and female Sheltie Pins, except for their size. The males tend to be larger than the females, but because they are tiny dogs anyway, this isn’t a significant size difference.
The Sheltie Pin is a fun-loving, crazy canine who craves games, entertainment, and laughter. He needs a family that can match his energy, both with his daily exercise and daily playtime. And he also requires a lot of activity for a small dog, and he craves human company.
Yes, he is slightly needier than the average small pooch, but if you have the time for him, he will make a fantastic family companion that everyone will love.
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Featured Image Credit: Lina Novotna, Shutterstock