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.

(Page 2 of 3: Viewing entries 11 to 20)  
1  2  3  
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 12:48am PST 
I agree with Toto, I think you might have taken her out a bit too soon. My dog was a disaster socially in the beginning but in six months was really a different animal. And he was a nervous type too, with ears down and tucked tail. Now he is very outgoing, confident, ignores people, and very full of himself ... His true character. it was just the upheaval affecting his behavior, imo.

Daddys- Princess
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 2:21am PST 
I have owned shelties most of my life, 7 to be exact
and have never thought they were a good breed for service work. you may fine a rare one that will, but over all as a breed, not so much
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 9:18am PST 
I agree with Toto. I foster dogs and for the first few days their life here is limited to my living room, kitchen and back yard. As they get more confident they get to see more, the rest of the house and walks down the street and back. Then building from there, usually taking one of the other dogs with them for added confidence. I've had Jettsen since the end of Sept and I've just started taking him to REAL exciting places like my friend's farm, OB class and the hardware store. If I had done that when I first got him....I don't even want to think about it.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 10:58am PST 
I've known alot of shelties and I'm actually surprised that you chose them for therapy work. In the right hands, they can be fantastic dogs, but in many cases they lack the nerve to be serious working dogs. That's why you *usually* see them running agility and not doing too much of anything else.

I know a lady who takes her one laid back male to a nursing home to visit, but he doesn't live day in and day out as a service dog. He is just a nice diversion for some sweet old people once per week.

May I ask why you didn't want to go with the usual suspects? Typically labs and German Shepherds (if you like herding dogs) make fantastic pets and great service dogs. But even then, if you got a pet from an organization who supplies people with service dogs, you'd probably start out with a two year old dog.

10 months old is *very* young and they're still very very much puppies at that age. Plus, as one person mentioned, that's a well known fear period. Being a service dog can be very stressful and I don't know too many puppies that would be mentally mature enough to carry that burden.

You sound to me like you're going about this on your own, which is probably not a good idea considering the choices you've made thus far. You may want to reconsider what your needs are and forget finding a breed that works, just look for an individual dog that works for you.

Edited by author Mon Dec 3, '12 11:00am PST

Star BN RN- RA

Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 1:02pm PST 
I know lots of sheltie's and one is a wonderful service dog for a man with cerebral palsy (he is now in a wheelchair and has been the whole time he has had her)The service dog sheltie I know is great at what she does, Glory is the main thing in my friends life and he is so committed to her, they go everywhere together (as they should), he does agility for fun with her (they can speed around the equipment!) and she is very attentive to him...it is a perfect match.

i think that with shelties they take a long time to adjust to being away from a home where they are accustomed to being with people who they are used to being with. I personally agree with Tiller and the others about it being too soon to really evaluate the dogs personality.
Thor CGC

God of Thunder
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 4:10pm PST 
I think that 6 days is too soon to wash out a dog. A general rule is to give the dog two weeks to settle in, just interact with you. If you push them too fast too soon then you may have issues.

That being said shelties are *generally* an anxious breed.

Why do you want long coat? Have you looked at Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers?

What are your ideals for a Service Dog? What is most important to you? If you give people an idea of what you want then we can help you find a breed smile

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 4:36pm PST 
She did a great deal of research prior and has done breed matching here before and ultimately came up with shelties, I still agree that they could be a great breed. But the level of anxiety shown by the female was much higher than I could honestly advise to hold onto. Do hold out on the right sheltie you're on the right track you're just going to have to find the right one from the right breeder in my opinion.

Jeanene and Happy

Future Service- Dog
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 4:36pm PST 
During the time I had her home, she never got off the couch. Even to eat. She'd hop off to grab a bit of kibble, and take it back to the couch to eat. She saw it as her safe zone and never left, except for walks and pottying outside.

I may have been jumping the gun to return her to the breeder, but I don't see how she would have worked out as a SD.

Thor, I think I already described what I am looking for in a SD: 20-30 pounds, long coat, "Velcro", easy to train, intelligent.

Tollers were a breed I considered initially, but they are much larger than I'd want in a dog. (The size range is due to the task of deep pressure therapy.)
Thor CGC

God of Thunder
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 6:20pm PST 
Ah ok. Wait, nevermind. I didn't realize who you were till just now smile

I would continue to look at shelties, maybe a show dog that didn't make it? It sounds like she wasn't very well socialized.

Lets Run
Barked: Mon Dec 3, '12 6:58pm PST 
I've owned Shelties for over thirty years. I have 2 right now they are my eighth and ninth. Of the nine I would say probably 4 of them would have made good service dogs and one other would have been a maybe. The others would have been terrific performance dogs but disasters as service dogs. I still would not discount a Sheltie as a service dog. I have a friend on another forum that just lost her service Sheltie and another just got a Sheltie puppy for her nephew to train as a service dog. The puppy is doing great.

Shelties are a sensitive breed can, depending on the dog, take a very long time to adjust to changes in their circumstances. A week is a very short time but then again one of my current Shelties, a rescue, walked into my house and he was home. There was no adjustment period at all it's like he's always been here. He's extremely friendly and has never met a person he doesn't love especially if they pet him and tell him how handsome he is. This guy is in no way what people would consider a "typical" Sheltie. I'm not sure if someone did an extremely good job socializing him as a puppy or if this is just his temperament.

If you have your heart set on a Sheltie I wouldn't give up, keep looking. It may take awhile but I would hope there is one out there that will fit your needs.

Best of luck in your search.

Edited by author Mon Dec 3, '12 6:59pm PST

  (Page 2 of 3: Viewing entries 11 to 20)  
1  2  3