Shelties and the White House

Shelties and the White House

A President helped popularize this breed in the U.S.

The presidential election in the United States is just a few days away, and like the general population, dog lovers hold varying political views and opinions. Most will agree that it’s fun to have a dog-loving President in office, and Presidents certainly can help popularize otherwise obscure breeds. Sheltie lovers may be interested in learning that it was a President, President Calvin Coolidge, who helped popularized Shetland sheepdogs in the U.S., according to an article on the Psychology Today website.  

President Coolidge had been an ardent dog lover, and he and his wife had an all-white Rough collie. When this collie died, two children from Michigan gave an all-white female Sheltie to the President as a replacement. 


The Shetland sheepdog, who seems to have been a bit of a tomboy, was noted for getting dirty, and so she became nicknamed Calamity Jane. Calamity Jane sparked the public’s desire to own one of these beautiful dogs, though the traditional Shetland sheepdog sable color was more well-known. 


Since the Coolidge presidency, it seems Shetland sheepdogs have remained a fairly popular breed. Their smaller size makes them easy to keep in smaller homes compared to Rough collies. Usually trainable and intelligent, they can be easy pets to live with, though some potential owners are put off by the thought of grooming those magnificent coats. 


It caught my attention that the First Sheltie, Calamity Jane, was all-white. All-white Shelties, although beautiful, are discouraged by the AKC because of genetic concerns, and they are rarities these days. 


Had any of you heard about the First Sheltie, Calamity Jane? If so, please share how you learned.