Questions about herding dogs?

Are Shetland Sheepdogs and Rough Collies easy to train? Are they obedient?

Asked by Member 1029178 on May 17th 2011 Tagged colliesshetlandsheepdogsbreedeasytotrainobedient in Shetland Sheepdog
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I have a Shetland Sheepdog mixed. She has been very easy to train. She learned her name within a couple hours of getting her. I read somewhere that they are the 5th smartest dog breed and answer commands 95% of the time and on average learn a command in under 5 tries. She is so obedient! When she is on our patio with the glass door closed, my fiance will tell her to sit or lay down and she will immediately. The only thing is they are very active dogs. She loves to play and run and it is hard to let her do that every day because we are in an apartment, and usually take her to the picnic area. If she hasn't had exercise, she tends to get very wound up.

Kasey answered on 5/17/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Gray Dawn Treader

My dog is supposed to be a Sheltie mix, but I don't really have any experience to go by on this, so most of what I'm telling you is what I read from numerous sources when researching these breeds. I've read that Collies are generally easy to housetrain, not sure about Shelties. Both breeds are fairly easy to train in general. Keep in mind individuals will vary.
Also, read up on training techniques. Even with a dog that's more than willing to learn, there's still some things you need to know.

Here's a site (incidentally, the trainer who made the site has had mostly Collies), they also list some other resources:

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 5/17/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


They are both generally great dogs. Easy to train, smart and obedient. They both need to be socialized quite a bit as they can be shy with strangers.

Herding dogs as a group were raised and bred to work with humans and handle animals larger than themselves. This takes a determined dog, which can be seen as "stubborn" by less informed owners.

The 2 breeds you mention are not bred for herding much anymore and have been tempered to nice companion animals.

Pepper answered on 5/18/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Shelties are still used a great deal for herding. While not as prominent in the US - they are in other places and are still valuable working dogs. As a whole they are VERY obidient when trained and tend to be easy to train given their high level of intelligence. Because they are such high energy dogs they need a near constant activity level. This keeps their minds active and their confidence high. Since they do work so closely with humans they tend to respond much better to positive reinforcement than old fashioned negative...(yelling, rougher handling, etc). They can be a sensitive breed (especially Shelties) so the positive reinforcement works especially well.

Harley answered on 1/7/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer