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Breed info ?
Posted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:44 am
My wife and I are looking to welcome a dog into our home and we have been very impressed by what we have read about Shelties but we thought that we should get some information from owners and breeders. We live in Brisbane Australia so we get hot and humid summers. We have three cats and no other dogs and our house is on a large fenced yard. We have two children (7 and 10). My wife and I both work so we are away from home from 8-5 mon to frid. Our main concern is that we are able to provide a Sheltie with the right home. The issues we would like more information about are;
- are Shelties ok with cats?
- is it true Shelties can be problematic barkers?
- are they ok in a warm/hot climate?
Any info or advice would be appreciated.
Re: Breed info ?
Posted: Sat May 18, 2013 7:43 am
Welcome. So glad you are looking at Shelties. They are a wonderful breed. I got my first in 1992 and now have three.
1. Are they good with cats? They can be. You just need to allow them time to adjust to one another, sometimes blocking the dog away from the cat.
2. Shelties are barkers. I have one, my boy, who is my barker but he does quiet when I tell me too. He will sometimes just run around in the yard barking at nothing. Strange boy. Some Shelties don't bark at all.
3. They can be okay in hot climates. Becky, who has set up this forum, lives in NZ and has two. I know of others in Australia and the southern United States with Shelties and they do alright. Just make sure to brush out the undercoat regularly - never shave as the double coat actually protects them and helps them stay cooler. Exercise in the cooler parts of the day. Make sure they have lots of water - you just use common sense, the same you would with your kids.
A large fenced yard is great - they can get exercise and they do need it at times. They are good with kids - my niece has one for her son with muscular dystrophy and this has helped him calm down a lot. I work and am away from around 8-8:30 t0 4:30 or so each day. My oldest girl, Emma, has the run of the house. The youngest one, Natalie, is crated. Liam, my boy, I have to crate simply because he is too curious and gets into things and chews them. This is a behaviour he picked up in the last few months since we lost my Dad - Dad lived with me and looked after the dogs during the day. Liam is crated for his safety.
Hope this helps with your search.
Re: Breed info ?
Posted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:58 pm
Thank you so much for that information Ronna58.
Re: Breed info ?
Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 9:59 pm
Hi there re; shelties great breed off dog had them for the last 25 years done a bit off breed showing in that time they can be a problem when it comes to barking I have had my two dogs debarked cost is around $200.00 they do not take to cats at all .
A dog sold as a pet is just that -a superb companion loyal and devoted shelites are so special in there own way they are very loyal and bright if you are not to sure about having a sheltie there are alot off books out there to read to check on Guy
Re: Breed info ?
Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:03 am
I am also in Brisbane and got my first Sheltie 8 months ago. I am already obsessed and trying to resist the temptation to get a second. During summer I made sure to leave fans on where Bonnie was going to be when I went out, filled water bowls with ice cubes and gave her ice cubes with cheese or other treats frozen in. She was usually inside in the air con with me when I was home, I'll probably consider leaving the air con on next summer when I'm out as well. There are lots of other ideas online to help keep them cool. And I definitely waited until quite late or even dark before walking because it was still so hot.
Bonnie has been great with cats that she has met, very curious about them, they have a herding instinct not a hunting instinct. She really just follows them around trying to get them to play, so sometimes the cat needed a break!
They can bark, but as has been said some more than others. I'd say Bonnie is moderate and it has changed as she got older what sets her off. Some things, like the microwave, I managed to stop by training the quiet command and slowly increasing her acceptance of it. Possibly with a big family and larger yard your dog would have less time to get distracted by the noisy birds in the tree/ cars/motorbikes etc! Exhaustion really helps with the barking, walks in the morning and evening calm her down. Bonnie does tend to sleep during the middle of the day so when I go to work she gets a walk in the morning, a play, a bone while I'm getting ready and then some treats left in a kong/bottle with holes cut in to while away some time.
A few of the Sheltie owners in Bris are trying to set up a play group for our kids to hang out. I'd strongly suggest no dog parks or be very choosy with them i.e. only enter if there are a few dogs and pick up if your dog is uncomfortable and leave. There are some quite 'bad' dog parks and there are a lot of people that bring their dogs that don't like other dogs to dog parks (i'm looking at you Staffies/Staffy owners). Not a great place for kids either. Shelties/herding breeds don't play like other dogs in a dog park, not rough and aggressive. More likely to be chasing and herding the other dogs. Play dates are a better idea, dogs can be over socialised and pick up bad habits from dog parks (they don't necessarily need other dogs company either). Fortunately we have so many great bushland areas and bikepaths around Bris for walking. We also go to a Sheltie breeders place not far from Brisbane who has sheep herding training facility. Also agility clubs all over the place.
Holey moley fur! Bonnie is just reaching her full coat and the grooming can take a while. Read the great article on grooming on Sheltie Planet to get an idea
Get ready for more sweeping/vacuuming!
Be prepared for being stopped in the street and having people stare at your dog. As well as the looks they also have the sweetest personalities that just make people smile. You can't help laughing and loving them more when they get their zoomies on and run around the house.
Bonnie seems to adore kids and is really patient, her breeder had 3 so she was very use to them. I think they recognise the 'mini' humans as similar to them being always confused for 'mini' lassies.
They aren't the lap dog/lazy type dog, they will really want to be with you/apart of what you do.
If you are super keen, the Shetland Sheepdog club of QLD has a get together picnic on this Sunday, I'm sure it would be okay if you came along to meet some shelties, just check the front page of their website for details.
Anyway I should stop because I can rave about them too much! Summary - best thing I ever did
Re: Breed info ?
Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 4:58 pm
This is an article we at Sheltie Rescue send out to people who are considering adopting a sheltie and never have owned one before. It's not meant to discourage you from adopting a Sheltie but will give you an honest appraisal of what they are really like.
Are Shelties for Everyone?
Based on an article by Trini Gilmore
In truth the Shetland Sheepdog is NOT a breed that fits into all households.
Naturally, Shelties have a wide range of personality traits that cannot be
"lumped" under one description. However, there are certain traits that are
fairly universal to the breed.
1. Shelties are very verbal.
2. Shelties are reserved by nature and early socialization is needed to keep
them from being shy.
3. Shelties are extremely loyal either to one person or one family.
4. Shelties are sound sensitive and sound reactive.
5. Shelties will chase (in attempt to herd) anything that moves.
6. Shelties are very bright and need to be given something to occupy their
mind and bodies. Many will invent a "job" if they are not given one.
7. Shelties do not like to spend time away from their people. A Sheltie that
is left alone all day is usually not a very happy little dog.
8. Shelties are an emotional breed. They are very sensitive to the moods of
their people. They do best in a home where gentleness is the way of life.
9. Shelties are an active breed and need exercise everyday. They need more
than a 10-minute walk around the block.
10. Shelties need regular biweekly (minimum) grooming and they shed
If someone is looking for a very laid back, not particularly sensitive,
doesn't really care if you are coming or going, low maintenance, average
intelligence dog…they would find the Sheltie exasperating, to say the least.
Shelties demand to be an integral part of the family to which they belong.
They stick their noses into everyone's business and feel compelled to make
comments on their observations.
They will follow their person to the corner of the earth and ALWAYS into the
They consider you leaving them behind as an aberration of proper behavior
and will voice their disapproval…loud and long…often accompanied by frantic
twirling and jumping.
They are selective as to which of your friends is worthy of their affection,
and which are to be observed from a distance, before a verdict is rendered.
They will steal FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD, right out of the mouths of babes, and
show no shame.
They will give chase, if not properly restrained, to any and all moving
They will sense your every mood and will be happy and sad along with you.
They love attention and they love to learn.
In short, they demand nothing less than being a FULL member of your family…
they do not consider themselves mere dogs (banish the thought!).
So if you are considering bringing a Sheltie or, Shelties, into your family,
be prepared to spend a lot of time, energy and love on this new member…for
that is what they need. In return they will give you some of the most
wonderful moments of your life, and memories you will cherish forever.
Judy and the Rescue Squad
Re: Breed info ?
Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:12 am
Judy what a fantastic answer! This is exactly how I would describe Shelties even taking into account the range of personalities you come across.
We are away from Howard and Piper at present staying in the UK and although it makes me sad to read the bit about "following you to every corner of the earth" it is all so true. They are loyal dogs and want to be in on everything you do. I cant really comment on the effect of leaving them alone all day while you're at work, we have never done this, but I can imagine it would be a bit miserable for them. Keeping two or more Shelties together at least means they can keep each other company as Ronna has done.
On the subject of barking - yes Shelties do talk A LOT and it's not until I spend time with other dogs I realize just how much Shelties insist on being part of the conversation! Other dogs by comparison seem to blend into the background and you can forget they are there. The alarm-barking is the only problematic part of their chattiness (for us anyway) and this has to be curbed through training. But they do like to point out when someone new has arrived outside or if there is a cat/rabbit in the garden. It has been difficult at times with a sleeping baby in the house....!! But aside from that I love the rest of their Sheltie yappering, singing, noisy yawns and general attention seeking sounds, it gives them HEAPS of personality.
Re: Breed info ?
Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:25 am
My sheltie is an only dog and copes very well with being left alone (with the cats) while I am at work. I think it would depend a lot on the dog's temperament as to whether they would be ok with this.
I had originally intended to get him a sheltie friend but moved to a city where the local council has a fairly strict two dog policy. As my mother and her dog will be moving in with me sometime in the future it was better to avoid additional complications.
I'm lucky Curdie has been so co-operative!