The effects of an externally imposed linear shear profile in the Vicsek model of self-propelled particles is investigated via computer simulations. We find that the applied field changes in a relevant way both the equilibrium and dynamical properties of the original model. Indeed, short time dynamics analysis shows that the order-disordered phase transition disappears under shear, because the flow acts as a symmetry breaking field. Moreover, the coarsening of particle domains is arrested at a characteristic length-scale inversely proportional to shear rate. A generalization of the original Vicsek model where the velocity of particles depends on the local value of the density is also introduced and shows to affect the domain formation.