Please tell me about Shelties!!!

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Nova, CGC

All your cats- belong to me.
Barked: Sun Dec 10, '06 6:56pm PST 
Nova is my crazy dog: she twirls in the air, is very athletic, barks a lot (although I can get her to stop with a firm "hush"), and pulls a lot. I am working on the pulling, and she was my first dog, so I did have some mistakes with her and she forgives me for them. However, there are two Shelties that live in the neighborhood and she can't hold a candle to their exuberance. They bark about 20 times a minute and pull their owner everywhere. Some Shelties are very ecstatic about everything, and some are calmer. It depends on how the dog was raised mostly.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Dec 12, '06 7:32am PST 
I grew up with a Sheltie and feel like they just took a bit of a beating on this board so just wanted to stick up for them a bit. I know all dogs of a breed are different and my dog was not hyperactive at all. Nor was she a yipper. I found that my Sheltie was very sensitive to what was going on in my family and would base her own behaviour on that. If all the kids were running around the yard... she was running too. If one of us was crying she would come and sit right next to you with this concerned look until she thought you were okay. If she knew I was upset in my room she would sit by the door until she saw me. They are definitely dogs that reflect their owners. My best friend also has two shelties and hers are like my old dog too. Calm and sensitive. Her girl can be aloof with strangers though. They definitely have the watchdog thing down though and they WILL bark at anyone who knocks the door. And some can be escape artists too so you definitely need a fence! Hope I've convinced you that not all shelties are out of control. I guess if you're friend is hyperactive and out of control then maybe she shouldn't get a Sheltie in case her dog decides to follow her lead wink I'm looking for a new dog now (my old dog, Bonnie, died a week before my 21st b'day at the age of 13) and can't bear to get another Sheltie just because my old girl was a total star.

Barked: Tue Dec 12, '06 12:44pm PST 
I agree with you totally Guest. I've known many a wonderful Sheltie, and they are definately a reflection of their owners. I would be one to recommend the breed. They are smart and love to be trained. They also care for their families incredibly well.

Duncan, CD,- CGN, RNMCL,- RACL,

velcro dog
Barked: Tue Dec 12, '06 12:59pm PST 
Ouch! I feel as well that Shelties sure have gotten the short end of the stick on this post. As you can see, I own three, and would have no problem owning more, if I had the space!

They are extremely lovable, very smart, easy to train, but they they do have their problems, like any breed. They are sensitive. They do not do well with corrective, or negative training. They need only be told something once, and they listen. They are supposed to be standoffish to strangers, but should not be scared of them. If you are being calm and relaxed (sitting, laying down) they just come and sit with you. If you are up and being active, they are right there with you. They are like a shadow, or velcro dog. They do bark, but can be trained not to. They are excape artists, though, and they need to have a well fenced yard. They can get through the smallest holes!

I have the three shelties, Duncan is too friendly, much like a lab, and very smart. He is too worried about doing something wrong when we train! Lexi is a perfect in between, she is sensitive, but doesn't stress the way Duncan does, and she is a bit shy of strangers, but warms up quick. Mila, is the total opposite of the other two. Scared of strangers, extremely yappy, but trains well, and is excited to work.

They all have their differences, which comes in any breed. It depends on the breeder, and what they have been sociallized to, and what your lifestyle is.

Duncan was my first sheltie ever, and he was such a joy to have and work with, I got 2 more. I don't regret it at all, and I totally recommend anyone who is willing to train them, and work with them to get a sheltie! Not the energy of a border collie, but just as smart and just as enthusiastic.

Barked: Tue Dec 12, '06 1:11pm PST 
I'm torn about what to write here. If I write that they are great dogs, I would hate to see too many people rushing out to get one without researching, because they do NEED training, work, routine, and a JOB! If I write "bad" things about a Sheltie, then I would be lying and have all the Sheltie lovers out there jumping on me.

Shelties are fantastic dogs and I have had the breed for the majority of my life. I would strongly recommend a Sheltie BUT ... and that is a huge BUT ... only if you are willing to work with them. They require a lot of brushing (nothing strenuous, you can do it at home) a few times a week, they shed a lot (you will get used to the taste of dog hair ... when I find a hair in food I just say that Gio was helping to cook it), and they are a working breed. They don't require the nearly constant work like a higher drive dog will need (I'm thinking Border Collie or Aussie here), but they definately need a job. They are prone to being overweight and will get into trouble if you don't give them something to do. But if you are willing to put the time and training into them, they are fantastic dogs!

Someone else mentioned it before, and I want to repeat it here because it is so true. There are definately two types of Shelties: the confident Sheltie and the skittish Sheltie. I've had both types so I can say for a fact that it is not do to training, socializing, or how they were raised. The bold, confident Sheltie will be loud and proud, the skittish Sheltie had better stay on a leash because any sudden movement or loud noise can send them running for the hills.

I like to refer to Shelties as "velcro dogs". They will bond to a family, but have their favorites and rarely leave their side. Gio hates to be separated from me when it is out of routine. If I'm gone for a weekend he goes off feed and will sit and stare out the window until I come back. But as long as I am around, he is confident and very social. However, social and loving to a Sheltie will more often mean "willing to accept a bum scratch" than "give kisses all over".

Shelties are eager to learn and catch on super quick ... even if you are not trying to teach them something. At last count, Gio knows ~65 commands/tricks and multiple differentiations. The one trick he does not know is "quiet". Shelties do bark. They bark when they are excited or happy and they bark to alert. This can be curbed if worked on consistently, but it is sometimes impossible to stop a Sheltie from barking completely. Mind you, one of my previous Shelties might have barked a total of 4 times in his life, each time scaring himself and running to hide from the noise! (He was the skittish type of Sheltie.)

Take home message is:
Shelties are great dogs but require an owner dedicated to training, socializing, and providing for them. GIVE YOUR SHELTIE A JOB!!
Duncan, CD,- CGN, RNMCL,- RACL,

velcro dog
Barked: Tue Dec 12, '06 9:27pm PST 
Thank you, Gio, you defintely said that the best. They are a great breed, if you are willing to work with them.

That is just like most breeds.

i'm a pap pup!
Barked: Tue Dec 12, '06 10:44pm PST 
Gio that was a remarkable answer! smile Growing up my family dog was a Sheltie, but sadly he passed away less than a year ago.. He was a very sweet dog, and as you said, when I say sweet I mean heartfelt and he would know how we were feeling. When I was upset he would come lay next to me, he would give kisses when he/we were in a happy mood, and he would be energetic when we were bounding about. He loved everyone in my family though, and yes he did bark when strangers would be walking around the neighborhood or the UPS truck would pull by. He was very smart as well, and he was amazing at catching frisbees and pushing the soccer ball with his nose. He is really missed frown
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