Dog-of-the-Month October: Jethro

Jethro sheltie


Shetland Sheepdog, or “Shelties” as they are often called, hail from the Shetland Islands and look like small versions of their cousin, the Collie. These adorable dogs are known for their intelligence, agility and devotion to their owners.

Jethro is a gorgeous example of the breed. He’s so handsome, in fact, that his owner Susan Berkhout says it’s very hard to go anywhere without people commenting on him. “He’s a true beauty for the breed, and we can’t take him anywhere without getting many compliments on how handsome he is. When he was a little puppy, people actually stopped their cars, rolled down their windows and said, “That’s the cutest puppy I’ve ever seen!” – and I mean on a daily basis.”

We asked Susan to tell us a bit more about the seven-year-old pooch that she and her husband Lewis share their home with in San Rafael:

Jethro Puppy
Susan with Jethro as a puppy.

How did you meet?

We were looking for a new companion for our aging Sheltie (Deuce), and talked to a breeder down in Half Moon Bay. She had a litter of puppies and said that we could come take a look. There were eight puppies to choose from and we chose him based on size (we wanted him to be on the bigger side) and disposition – he was more assertive than his litter-mates. All of them were beautiful, so that wasn’t really an issue.

Jethro and Deuce meeting for the first time.

How did he get his name?

I made a list of names that I liked and gave it to my husband without telling him my preferences. He chose Jethro, and that just happened to be my first choice as well.

Jethro sheltie
Photo by Arthur Chandler

What’s his favorite snack?

He loves to eat but we limit him to dog food, he’s not allowed to have any people food. He is very fond of Nutro Crunchy Treats in any flavor.

Jethro bed

Does he sleep in your bed?

If he feels like it. We don’t allow him on the furniture, but when he was about six months old, he discovered that if he jumped up on our bed in the middle of the night and was very careful he wouldn’t wake us up.  We were shocked to find him there in the morning, but since he was capable of doing it without waking us, it became his “thing”.

Jethro beach
Jethro on Muir Beach.

Does he have any favorite trails or places to walk?

He pretty much demands a walk every day. We usually take him a couple miles either down in the Forbes area on the flat or up on the Terra Linda fire road trail.

Tell us something unique about him.

We can set our watches by his behavior. He is our third Shetland Sheepdog and the first one was also like this. He appears for his meals at 6:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. and if we happen to be sleeping for his morning meal, he will do some fake sneezing to wake us up!

Photo by Arthur Chandler

If you’d like to enter your dog into Marin’s dog-of-the-month, please contact [email protected].

Jessica Gliddon

Jessica Gliddon is the Group Digital Content Manager for Marin Magazine. An international writer and editor, she has worked on publications in the UK, Dubai and Cape Town. She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, and is the former editor of Abu Dhabi’s airline magazine, Etihad Inflight. When she’s not checking out the latest exhibit at SFMOMA or searching out the best places to eat and drink near her home in San Francisco, she volunteers at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito.