According to the breed standard set forth by the American Kennel Club, a Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, is often loyal, affectionate and respectful towards its owner. However, there are number of outside influences that can affect a dog's personality.

In general, Shelties are alert, highly intelligent and loyal companions. Shelties are typically docile animals that are easy to train and possess a keen sense of understanding. These dogs love being part of a family, but they can become reserved when they first encounter strangers. According to the American Kennel Club, a healthy Sheltie is not reserved to the point of shyness or showing fear.