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Giving up on Shelties for SD work?

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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Luna

Future Service- Dog
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 10:58am PST 
I recently took home my first SD prospect, and had to wash her out (if you can even call it that this early in the game) after less than a week.

She had anxiety issues that I didn't catch when I assessed her at the breeder's house. The breeder told me that all Shelties are basically like that.

Is this true? Should I give up on a Sheltie for SD work?
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Alva BH

I ordered the- best dog for me- & got her
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 11:26am PST 
I don't know about shelties and how bad situation you mean with anxious, and well, I only know household pets that far. So I do not know how solid or balanced temperament your dog must have and I neither know your breed.

But I wish there is still hope for you with shelties. I mean, they should not be timid or shy. No dog should. I have a rough collie and they have such reputation here where I live, that they are shy furballs that are good for nothing but to stand in a show ring. And still my collie is as good as any dog, she is not a schutzhund malinois or gsd but she isn't shy or timid either.

Next time, ask to see the dog also outside of their home or familiar settings. Shy dogs may seem normal when they know what is going on but when they are on their own and there is nothing familiar it's different.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 12:20pm PST 
I am not sure at all how one can fairly access a dog's temperament no matter what breed when it has only been away from its original home and in your home for less than two weeks. I know when Toto came here at 10 months he was in no way, shape or manner the same dog he proved to be after he had a few months to settle in. He was shy, afraid of loud noises or fast moves, and terrified of all men. Within those few months he settled in and even earned his rally and CD obedience titles, with placing and a HIT along the way during his first six months we me. He is now a certified therapy dog, specializing in young adults with home issues.
If I rejected EVERY young dog I brought into my home for "anxiety" or ANY temperament issues without giving them at least 4 to 6 weeks to settle in, I wouldn't have most of the calm, laid back, well trained dogs I now have. ALL of them had pretty serious insecurity issues which disappeared once they were part of my family, especially those who had been with their original breeder until they came to me.
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Zephyr

1213425
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 1:09pm PST 
I brought Zephyr home and seriously considered bringing her back after 6 hours. I'm very glad I didn't (and frankly I'm too stubborn to do that anyway).

And no, not all shelties are nervebags but many are and frankly I wouldn't have a lot of confidence in a breeder who said her dogs are like that. Most shelties are incredibly sensitive though which an inexperienced person could view as fear.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 1:52pm PST 
My OB Sheltie had the heart of a lion. He was NOT typical but Shelties should not be overly anxious or timid. I prefer to think of them as discerning.laugh out loud
I agree that you need to give her more time. But I also would be wary of a breeder who says this is normal. You have gone this far, it's unfair to write her off after a week.
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Luna

Future Service- Dog
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 2:10pm PST 
I took her to a petstore and filmed it. I had someone I trust (thanks, Happy) review the video, and she agreed that the dog would not have made it as a SD. It was a pretty bad reaction.

I did take her back after six days in my home. I honestly do not believe she would have been able to overcome her severe anxiety and become a working dog.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 2:12pm PST 
Shelties are very sensitive. I agree you'd need to give it more time, but at the same time, this is a less social, more sensitive and potentially somewhat reactive breed. I see more and more with SD posts here, someone picks the breed before the function. On some other thread, someone is dead set to get a Shihloh puppy. That makes no sense to me. This is a breed that is known to develop some issues as the get into adulthood. Not all do, but the breed is not as trackable as a Lab, and quite frankly it's better to start out with a young adult any way. Perhaps you miss puppy joy, but what you want is a worker. Most people who are serious, are SURE what they want is a, let's say, Schutzhund dog or top flight hunt dog, start with a young adult.

I say consider your function before the breed or age. It is a "must" that the dog is suited for its function, and these are things that stack the odds in your favor for success.
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Luna

Future Service- Dog
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 3:39pm PST 
I spent a good year or so debating breeds. I want a high energy, "Velcro" dog, 20-30 pounds, with long fur, very biddable, who is one of the more intelligent breeds.

Far as I know, a Sheltie is the best fit for the function I need.
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 3:52pm PST 
IMO, it was STILL way, way too soon. Even if the dog was hiding in a closet, snapping when you walking into the room, SIX DAYS is NOT enough time for the real dog to come out.
In our boarding kennel we do not even attempt to make friends with a new boarder for at least 48 hours... in many, if not most cases, the dog is nervous and frightened and WILL try to bite or even worse. Yet, this very same dog is happy and sound in every way IF they are allowed to have a couple of days without us forcing ourselves on them. If not pushed, just talked to and fed and NOT forced to respond to us they end up LOVING us and racing into the kennel the next time they visit.
I can tell you that if I had taken Toto anywhere during the first two weeks he was with me I most likely would have lost him by his bolting away OR biting me if he couldn't escape. Trust me, this is the soundest dog in the whole world, he has produced puppies with impeccable temperaments, and he is now unflappable, no matter what happens. He spends overnights with the children of my employees constantly and is perfect in every way.
Another example is Quincy's mother, a LABRADOR!!! When she was brought here to be bred she was so frightened and panicked that we could not get near her, much let get her bred. I had been to her home and she was a social butterfly there, unflappable, yet here in our kennel she was a disaster. It took her FOUR DAYS before I could even get a leash on her but once she accepted me, she accepted EVERYONE here and was perfect. She now greets any of us as if we were her long lost best friends.
I am not saying this happens with every dog and I hope I am not implying that Toto and Quincy's mom had temperament issues... they BOTH had never left their original birth home (except when accompanied by their original owners) before and then they were dropped into a situation of a completely new home and new people, EXACTLY the same situation as happened to this sheltie. Toto, for example, had attended dog shows with his breeder and had NO ISSUES with being even reserved or nervous. Anyone who has been to a dog show can understand what a scary, traumatic place they can be for a dog with temperament issues, yet Toto with his original owner, was fine with them.
No way, no how was this sheltie, a breed with known reticence to new situations, ready to go off to a pet store visit with strangers!!! She should have been allowed to get comfortable in her new home for a minimum of two weeks and then maybe taken for car rides, walks in a calm park, or the like, depending on how she was adjusting, until she was at the point where the sun rose and set over her new owner, usually about 4 to 6 weeks. Then and only then should serious exposure and training have begun.
I am not sure there is ANY BREED where a 10 month old, (in one of the KNOWN, WELL DOCUMENTED FEAR PERIODS), can be taken from its original home and expected to be normal and social and outgoing in less than a month. If social butterflies like labs and poodles have issues with this, a sheltie or like breed is way more likely to be traumatized!
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 4:22pm PST 
I agree all with the above. Particularly if you did the research. It really sounds to me like you need a mentor.
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