The Shetland Sheepdog comes in several colors with varying amounts of white and/or tan.
SABLE - Sable is probably what most people think about when they think of Shelties. Sable ranges in hue from light
golden sable to a deep mahogany (that can be almost black it is such a dark brown) with various shades in between.
Sable is the dominant color.
TRI COLOR - A tri color Sheltie is a black dog with varying amounts of white and tan.
BLUE MERLE - The Blue Merle is a dilution of the Tri Color. The black is diluted out to grey with varying amounts of
black mottling or merling. The grey can range in shade from an icy gray to dark grey. The Blue Merle has varying
amounts of white and tan.
BI BLACK - This is basically a black and white Sheltie
BI BLUE - This is a Blue Merle and White dog without any tan points (what you get if a Bi Black has the dilution gene).
SABLE MERLE - This is a Sable dog with a dilution gene. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell a Sable from a Sable
COLOR HEADED WHITE - This is a dog with a primarily white body with some colored spots and color on the head. This
happens when the white factoring (what helps determine the amount of white on the dogs) gets a little "out of control."
CHWs (color headed white) are not AKC showable in Conformation but they are in UKC.
DOUBLE MERLE (. Double Dilute White) - This is what happens when two merles (either blue or sable) are bred
together. The doubling of the dilution gene causes almost totally white dogs. Double Merles are also prone to hearing
and vision problems so breeding two merles should be avoided.