Shetland Sheepdog Breeders in New Zealand
Find Shetland Sheepdog breeders in our New Zealand directory and meet your new best friend.
A professional Sheltie breeder is the only trustworthy place to buy a purebred Sheltie puppy in New Zealand. Dedicated breeders work responsibly by performing genetic testing to avoid passing on hereditary diseases. They also select their breeding pairs for health, appearance and temperament.
Be sure to visit the breeder's premises when you collect your puppy and ask to meet the puppy's parents. This ensures you're not supporting the cruel puppy mill industry or encouraging backyard breeding (which contributes to the problem of dog overpopulation and sees millions of dogs euthanised every year).
Like all dog breeds, Sheltie puppies shouldn't be separated from their mother until they're at least 8 weeks old. Any earlier than this and the puppy becomes nervous and has problems settling into his new home. However, puppies should be re-homed by 12 weeks, when they start forming strong lifelong attachments with their family. So 8-12 weeks is the window of opportunity to take your puppy home.
For more information on raising a Sheltie puppy, including their vaccination schedule, how to de-worm and de-flea a puppy, and the ethics of de-sexing, see my Shetland Sheepdog Puppy Guide.
NOTE: If you suspect a puppy mill or unethical backyard breeder is at work, don't buy any puppies from them. You'll only be funding their cause. Instead, follow this advice on how to report animal cruelty to your local humane organization or animal shelter.
In contrast, you'll recognize a professional Sheltie breeder by visiting their kennels and meeting some of their dogs:
- Are they healthy? Check for a full-bodied coat and clear eyes, and an absence of injuries and parasites like ticks and fleas.
- Are they happy? Check they wag their tails and welcome you confidently on approach, rather than being subdued and nervous.
- Are they purebred? Check they're full-blooded Shetland Sheepdogs, rather than designer dogs or hybrid cross-breeds.
While we aim to list only ethical breeders, we can't vouch personally for all the names in our directories. Please use your best judgement and only support professional breeding practices.
New Zealand Breeder Directory
|Breeder||Eyespy Shetland Sheepdogs|
|Location||Hibiscus Coast, Auckland|
|Contact||beaucourt[at]xtra.co.nz / 07 579 9035|
|Breeder||Janter Shetland Sheepdogs|
|Breeder||Arangold Golden Retrievers and Shelties|
How Can I Become a Sheltie Breeder?
Are you so in love with Shelties that you might become a professional Sheltie breeder? There are a few things you need to consider as you explore this exciting lifestyle.
- Breeding is a big commitment. Besides the massive amount of breed research you'll need to undertake, you'll also need the time, money and facilities to accommodate many dogs in your house and/or kennels. You'll need whelping boxes, large penned exercise areas, and a suitable vehicle for taking multiple puppies to the vets. You'll also need to afford lots of dog food, pay ongoing vet bills, and have a good tolerance for barking. Grooming Shelties will become a necessary part of your daily routine.
- You'll need knowledge of genetics. To some extent, breeding animals means Playing God. Breeders undertake artificial selection (as opposed to natural selection) to match mating pairs for the ideal Shetland Sheepdog appearance, temperament and health. You especially need to understand how the parent genes interact to create physical characteristics in the puppies. Fortunately, the science is already done, so you just need to read up lots and talk to fellow dog breeders for advice.
- Raising puppies is hard work. Remember your first puppy? It certainly came as a shock to me just how much attention Howard needed - and he was just one puppy. Now multiply that by six (the number of puppies per litter) and imagine doing it over and over, year after year. Once weaned, you'll be doing all the work to keep them clean, fed and happy, round the clock. Like babies, puppies have tiny stomachs and tiny bladders, demanding high frequency attention.
- The dogs need many health checks. You'll need to take your mating pairs to the vets for pre-breeding genetic screening to ensure they're not passing on any genetic diseases. What's more, all your dogs and puppies will need routine vet care, vaccinations, quality nutrition, dental care and parasitic treatments. The vet bills alone will make it difficult to profit from ethical dog breeding as a business; it's more of a lifestyle than a career.
- A canine pregnancy lasts 63 days. That's just 2 months versus our human pregnancies of 9 months. You can verify when a female is pregnancy after the first 30 days, when the fetus is halfway through gestation, with ultrasound performed by a vet. Mom will need extra food, and some say extra protein, during this time, along with extra care and supervision.
- You'll be the midwife. You're in charge of overseeing the birth at home. The mother needs a familiar, quiet and warm space to whelp her puppies. It's crucial to match the number of placentas delivered to the number of puppies born. (Retained placentas can cause infection in the mother.) You'll also need to free the puppy from his amniotic sac and cut the placenta if the mother has trouble doing it. Among other things, you'll also need to stimulate the puppy's breathing and aid suckling immediately after the birth.
- You have to give up your puppies. Breeders only keep the puppies they think could make champion dogs in conformation or agility. And while you may form attachments with the puppies, keeping them all is likely unrealistic. Ultimately, you'll need to re-home some or all of your puppies with new families when they turn 8 weeks old. That could be too much to bear if you fall in love with all your puppies.
I'm sure many Sheltie fanatics have fantasized about breeding their favorite dog breed. I know I have! But this is a major lifestyle choice so please make sure you have the time, money and commitment to put into Sheltie breeding before you dive in. My best of luck to you if you do!