All About Shelties
How They Score
0 - 5 Bones
|Good w/Other Pets|
Watch Dogs- They make keen watch dogs! You can trust a Sheltie to alert you upon every knock at the door, ring of the bell or random cat who happens by.
Size- Show dogs range between 13" to 16" high, but this can vary slightly for pet quality Shelties. Full grown weight for this breed is around 20 pounds.
Friendly- Shelties are loving and very "people friendly" for the most part- and they typically get along well with other animals. However, due to careless breeding and poor socialization, there is a risk of timidity and nervous biting in some lines.
Trainability- Shelties learn quickly and are naturally eager to please. With gentle training, Shelties excel in obedience and dominate the agility competitions in their size group.
Loyal- Shelties are happiest when in the company of their owners and will be a loyal shadow for every trip to the bathroom, kitchen, dining room, office...
Excitability- In some lines, there is a tendency to be a little quick-tempered. A careful search for a reputable breeder will help ensure the most desirable temperament. Shelties are typically loving, gentle and easy going.
Shelties do exceptionally well with children when they are introduced to them at an early age. Early socialization with any breed can help to prevent shyness and nervous behaviors like nipping.
Side Note: With the popularity of small dogs increasing, so too has the number of breeders, both good and bad. With the hype surrounding many small breeds, so in turn has the population of unwanted dogs become ever increasing. There is probably a Shetland Sheepdog rescue group near you. Why not consider adoption first?
Prepare Yourself For…
Separation anxiety is common- He will show you his frustration by destructive chewing and barking or by having "accidents" on your furniture. This is probably not the breed for you if you work long hours and would have to leave him home alone.
Maintenance- Shelties need thorough brushing at least once per week to prevent their fur from becoming tangled and matted. Heavier shedding occurs in spring and autumn, so their coats will need extra attention during these seasons.
The hair between the pads as well as their toenails will need clipped at least once per month. A professional groomer is recommended unless your confident in doing this job yourself without causing injury to your dog.
High Activity Level- Shelties need regular excercise. A fenced in backyard is ideal for a daily run and will help to prevent boredom that can lead to destructive chewing or barking. This breed is also prone to obesity when not given the proper opportunity for exercise.
Emotional Sensitivity- Shelties are very receptive dogs with delicate spirits. They are peace loving and respond by withdrawing in chaotic households. Loud noises, yelling and fighting will have adverse emotional effects on these little dogs.
All puppies deserve loving homes. It's sad that backyard breeders and puppy mills get away with producing litter after litter of sick dogs and dogs with poor temperaments.
We can help to alleviate this situation by
Producing healthy puppies with good temperaments and improving the quality of the breed overall is the passion of a reputable breeder.
Their puppies are socialized properly and come with health guarantees and grow up to conform to breed standard.
Below are some of the health problems facing Shelties that good breeders are working tirelessly to help eradicate.
Hypothyroidism-A condition of the thyroid gland which causes weight gain, hair loss and scaly skin.
Sheltie Eye Syndrome (SES)- A congenital, inherited disease of the eye which can vary in severity and lead to blindness. There is no cure or treatment for this disease.
Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy (CPRA)-Is an eye disease characterized by pigment spots in the retina. It's hereditary and can lead to blindness. There is no cure or treatement for this disease.
Dermatomyositis- Also known as Sheltie Skin Syndrome, is a disease almost entirely exclusive to Shelties and Collies. An owner should be suspicious of any patches of hair loss or skin problems in this breed. Once DM reaches the autonomic nervous system there is little hope of saving the dog.
Von Willebrand disease- There are varying degrees of this hereditary bleeding disorder. vWD is an absence or deficiency of a protein factor in the blood, known as vWF, von Willebrand Factor. Some clinical symptoms include spontaneous bleeding from the gums or nose. In severe cases, toenail trimming can lead to major blood loss or internal hemorrhaging. Treatment for this disease requires a transfusion.
Epilepsy and Hip Dysplasia also occur in Shelties.
The use of Pet Steps has been shown to significantly reduce the wear and tear on joints that can lead to many common joint diseases.