Sheltie Puppies For Sale

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Shetland Sheepdog Information

Lifespan

The Shetland Sheepdog resembles a miniature Collie in form, and only grows 13 to 16 inches tall. The Sheltie, as it is known, typically weighs 16 to 20 lbs. Females give birth to 4 to 6 puppies per litter. Shelties have a longer lifespan, and can live from 12 to 15 years.

Temperament

Shetland Sheepdogs are considered to be an all-around wonderful pet. Originally bred has herding and farm dogs, the Sheltie still retains some of its working dog instincts while remaining a loving family companion. The breed is extremely loyal and dedicated to its people. The Shetland Sheepdog has an especially kind and patient, yet playful and lively disposition that makes it an excellent breed for families with children. Shelties are happy to romp in the yard and play games of fetch, and have an even tempered demeanor that can tolerate rough play.

Shelties are very affectionate. They are happy to curly up by a favorite owner’s feet, or roll over for a belly rub. They bond very closely with their people, and want to be involved in whatever is going on. They are equally happy whether indoors or out. They get along well with other pets, including cats and smaller animals.

The Sheltie is an excellent watchdog, and naturally alert. They will give a warning bark if there is a stranger or an intruder, but the breed is not known to attack unless it is provoked. While they can be wary and reserved around strangers, this is something that can be adjusted with proper socialization. Often, they will look to their owners to ascertain who is welcome, and who is not. Shelties are even able to be trained to limit their barking, and to recognize who is an intruder.

The Shetland Sheepdog was, and still is, a working breed. They require regular exercise, including daily walks. Shelties love to play games and romp in the yard. This is a breed that needs ample time to run, whether it is in a fenced in yard or during a jog with their owner.

Shelties are highly intelligent, and require as much mental activity as physical activity, if not more. They excel in advanced obedience classes, and are able to learn a variety of tricks. Shelties love to learn new skills and be challenged. They do extremely well in agility competitions, as well as herding trials and other canine activities. Shetland Sheepdogs have a reputation for being very easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement, learn quickly, and actually seem to enjoy the training process. Like any other breed, a Sheltie who becomes bored can develop negative behavioral traits, such as nervousness or excessive barking.

The Shetland Sheepdog does not have many behavioral traits that can be described as negative, though it does have some particular quirks. As a herding breed, the Sheltie still has a tendency to want to gather its “flock.” The breed will herd other pets, family members, and children by nipping at their heels. This is not intended as aggression, but the dog’s natural instinct to want to keep the group together.

Shelties should always be leashed when walking, and should be in a fenced in yard when outside on their own. The Shetland Sheepdog will happily go to greet the neighborhood children, bark at the mailman, and may even try to herd passing joggers or bicyclers. This is a breed that is small enough to do well in a variety of homes, including apartments, provided it receives plenty of exercise.

Care

The Shetland Sheepdog has a thick double coat. The outer coat is harsh and weather resistant, while the undercoat is thick and supports the outer coat. The coat should be brushed once per week to keep shedding under control and prevent tangles. Shelties are prone to matting, and dirt and debris can get caught in their hair, so regular brushing helps to keep this under control. It is recommended that the breed is brushed when wet.

Shelties will shed seasonally, and will require daily brushing during that time. Other care includes regular nail trimmings, ear cleanings, and dental hygiene.

Shetland Sheepdogs can be prone to some inherited diseases. They can be subject to Collie Eye Anomaly and Von Willebrand’s Disease. Minor ailments include joint problems, eye conditions, and some skin problems. Regular vet care is recommended.

Shelties do have a tendency to become overweight. This, as well as their need for mental and physical activity, makes daily activity a must. This is a breed that should only be adopted by owners who have the time to commit to the dog’s activity needs.

Training Shelties is fairly easy. They do well with rewards and positive reinforcement. They are typically eager to please and learn quickly. The Shetland Sheepdog should never be trained with raised voice, harsh commands, or physical punishment. The breed will only become fearful and anxious. Training should always be respectful. The Sheltie loves to be challenged, and advanced training is highly recommended for this breed. This is not a dog that requires a strong alpha leader, but rather an owner who will provide them with problem solving activities and plenty of fresh routines.

Shelties will need to be taught to curtail their barking. Some dogs tend to bark more, while others are said to hardly make a noise. It truly depends on the individual animal. The good news is that unlike some of the more “yappy” breeds, Shelties can be taught to control their barking.

The Sheltie needs a fenced in yard or a long lead when outside, as its herding and watchdog instincts tend to kick in. The success of underground fencing will depend on the individual dog.

Owning a Shetland Sheepdog

Potential owners of Shelties should always research the breeder and observe some of their dogs in order to make sure they have an even temperament. There are also plenty of rescue organizations dedicated to re-homing Shelties. Older adopted Shelties also make wonderful family pets.