There have been sheep on the Shetland Isles for a very long time. They
have changed in response to additions to the gene pool and the selection
pressures of their environment and their shepherds. The classic Shetland
probably dates from the 1700s. Prior to that time, the sheep on Shetland
may have more closely resembled the North Ronaldsay and/or the Soay.
Subsequent to that time period, a more commercial type Shetland has emerged as
well as the Bowmont (Shetland x Saxon Merino).