Sheltie Planet

Shetland Sheepdog Breeders in The US

Find Shetland Sheepdog breeders in our US directory and meet your new best friend.

Sheltie Photography by Kaylee Robertson

Sheltie Photography by Kaylee Robertson

Below are the contact details of professional Sheltie breeders in the US by state. While we have taken care to list only ethical breeders, we can't vouch for all of them personally. Please educate yourself on the difference between ethical breeders vs puppy mills:

How to Find an Ethical Sheltie Breeder

Aside from Sheltie rescues, professional Sheltie breeders are the only trustworthy place to buy Sheltie puppies. Never support backyard breeding or puppy mills as you're only investing in their cruel profit-driven trade and increasing the demand for more suffering.

How do you know if a breeder is ethical? You have to put your detective hat on. Here are my top tips:

  • Visit their website - Ethical breeders specialize in knowing everything there is to know about one or two dog breeds maximum. Their website will clearly show this. They'll also show off their champion dogs, who have won awards in conformation shows and make up their breeding stock. These are very good signs of dedicated, ethical breeding.

    WARNING SIGNS: Puppy mill breeders offer many different breeds of puppies for sale, including designer dogs and miniature Shelties. Hybrids Sheltie mixes like the Sheltie-Poo (Sheltie x Poodle), Poshie (Pomeranian x Sheltie) and Sheltie-Pom (Sheltie x Pomeranian) are bred purely for the pet trade to deliver profit.

  • Ask about breeding practices - Ethical breeders always perform genetic testing on their mating pairs to avoid passing on hereditary diseases. They also select dogs for breeding based on their overall health, appearance and temperament. They will talk expertly about these subjects with details in the official Shetland Sheepdog Breed Standard last overhauled in 1952.

    WARNING SIGNS: Puppy mill breeders may claim they perform genetic testing but they almost certainly don't. It's an expense they spare themselves and happily lie about. Dig into this lie. Ask what diseases they're looking for when they test (see Common Health Problems in Shelties). Similarly, ask what specific features they look for in appearance. Puppy mill breeders will blag a vague or incorrect response that's not specific to Shelties.

  • Visit the kennels - Ethical breeders will invite you to their kennels to pick up your puppy. There, you can tour the facilities, meet some of their champion dogs, and check that the living conditions are humane. They will have a professional setup with healthy, happy dogs who approach you with confidence.

    WARNING SIGNS: Puppy mill breeders often operate online with no in-person contact and no visits to kennels. They may ship puppies long distances and use this as an excuse for the non-contact. If they do allow you to visit their kennels, take a tour. Watch out for multiple dogs sharing cages and dirty living conditions like faeces in the cages, which suggests they haven't been let out for a long time. Their dogs will look subdued, unhealthy, and poorly groomed.

Now you know what to look for in an ethical breeder, here's our directory of Shetland Sheepdog breeders in the US.

US Breeder Directory

Alabama (AL)
Arizona (AZ)
Arkansas (AR)
California (CA)
Colorado (CO)
Connecticut (CT)
Delaware (DE)
Florida (FL)
Georgia (GA)
Hawaii (HI)
Idaho (ID)
Illinois (IL)
Indiana (IN)
Iowa (IA)
Kansas (KS)
Kentucky (KY)
Louisiana (LA)
Maine (ME)
Maryland (MD)
Massachusetts (MA)
Michigan (MI)
Minnesota (MN)
Missouri (MO)
Montana (MT)
Nebraska (NE)
Nevada (NV)
New Hampshire (NH)
New Jersey (NJ)
New York (NY)
North Carolina (NC)
Ohio (OH)
Oklahoma (OK)
Oregon (OR)
Pennsylvania (PA)
South Carolina (SC)
South Dakota (SD)
Tennessee (TN)
Texas (TX)
Utah (UT)
Vermont (VT)
Virginia (VA)
Washington (WA)
West Virginia (WV)
Wisconsin (WI)

At What Age Can You Bring a Puppy Home?

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 Pet Owner's Guide to Shelties.

The Pet Owner's Guide to Shelties by Becky Casale

Sheltie Breeders in Alabama

BreederSaranac Shelties
LocationHartselle, Alabama

Sheltie Breeders in Arizona

BreederChristmas Memory Maker Shelties
LocationPhoenix, Arizona
Contact623-979-5958 / Christmas-Shelties[at]

BreederIstari Shelties
LocationPhoenix, Arizona

BreederRoseglen Shelties
LocationPhoenix, Arizona

BreederSandcastle Shelties
LocationSouthern Arizona

BreederBeki Vale, Sunnyvale Shelties
LocationPhoenix, Arizona

BreederWildwest Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in Arkansas

BreederDeidra Pinkston-Campbell, Rosestones Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in California

BreederBearCreek Shelties
LocationSouthern California

BreederCaitlin Shelties
LocationSan Jose, California

BreederE' Dees Shelties

BreederIcon Shelties

BreederRobin Mc Taggart, Karosel Shelties

BreederLouise Siri, Mystic Isle Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationSebastopol, California

BreederTray Pittmand and Paul Flores, Paray Shelties

BreederJohanna, Primo Shelties
LocationMorgan Hill, California
Contact408-705-6530 / primoprimo[at]

BreederSea Haven Shelties
LocationBurlingame, California
Contact650-440-9714 / SeaHavenSS[at]

BreederSerena, Shantel Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in Colorado

BreederHalcyon Shetland Sheepdogs

BreederMtn. Mysts Shelties

BreederRacetta Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in Connecticut

BreederBarbara Paine, Asharon Shelties
LocationSalem, Connecticut
Contact860-889-1772 / mdpaine[at]

BreederKatana Shelties
LocationNew Haven, Connecticut

BreederBarbara Kenealy, Rockwood Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationMoosup, Connecticut

BreederRosmoor Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in Delaware

BreederJennifer Milani, Maplecove Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationBrandywine Valley, Delaware

BreederDebbie Willoughby, Wilobrez Shelties
LocationMiddletown, Delaware

Sheltie Breeders in Florida

BreederAnnessa's Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationOrlando, Florida
Contact407-886-3700 / honestly14[at]

BreederBill and Irene Munsey, Donlyn Shelties
LocationPlant City, Florida

BreederPattie, Firebaugh Puppies
Contact407-568-6731 / pwsties[at]

BreederHeaven's Seventh Acre
LocationGeneva, Florida
Contact407-468-0796 / Hvns7th[at]

BreederAnna Whiting, Highfields
LocationWest Palm Beach, Florida

BreederJanet and Dale Barber, Jandale Shelties

BreederSheile and Lucky Coleman, Kry'san Shelties
LocationJacksonville, Florida
Contact904-714-4069 / krysan[at]

BreederNola Boyd, Nowilla Kennel
LocationOrlando, Florida

BreederNina and Joe Plail, Plail's Sheltie Ranch
LocationWebster, Florida
Contact352-568-0862 / sheltieranch[at]

BreederRuth and Bill Tindle, Sequoia Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationPanama City, Florida
Contact850-722-4719 / rtindle828[at]

BreederSilver Trails Shelties

BreederLorrie Reed, Summerlove Shelties
LocationTampa Bay, Florida

BreederSunsational Shelties
LocationDunedin, Florida

BreederKaren Salvage, Sunspun Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in Georgia

BreederBecky, Blessed Shelties
LocationAtlanta, Georgia

BreederDavid and Kelly Hester, Chelsea Creek Shelties
LocationNorth West Georgia
Contact706-862-2409 / kdhester[at]

BreederCrestar Shelties
LocationAtlanta, Georgia

BreederBob and Joy Good, Goodtime Shelties
LocationSylvania, Georgia
Contact912-863-5767 / joy[at]

BreederRihadin Kennels
LocationNorth Georgia
Contact912-270-1852 / cleary1414[at]

BreederRod, Southcrest Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationAtlanta, Georgia
Contact678-923-2327 / rod[at]

BreederGeoff and Peggy Browne, Bronwyn Shelties
LocationDacula, Georgia
Contact770-339-2944 / geoffreybrowne[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Hawaii

BreederDonna Crabtree, GorDon Shelties
LocationKailua Kona, Hawaii

BreederSusan F. Ancheta, Jisude Shelties
LocationHilo, Hawaii

Sheltie Breeders in Idaho

BreederAkadia Shelties
LocationRigby, Idaho
Contact208-754-4275 / akadia[at]

BreederClan Duncan Shelties

BreederIona Shelties

BreederWincrest Shelties

LocationIdaho Falls, Idaho

Sheltie Breeders in Illinois

BreederTherese Poirier, Saranac Shelties
LocationEdwardsville, Illinois

BreederCarloway Shelties

BreederErin's Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationMonmouth, Illinois

BreederDorothy Chistiansen, Lynnlea Shelties

BreederJackie and Jerry Parisek
LocationElgin, Illinois

BreederCarol Steiner, Honeyblossom Shelties
LocationNew Lenox, Illinois

BreederKaren Ferraro, Dgio Shelties
LocationGeneva, Illinois
Contact630-886-9548 / dgioshelties[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Indiana

BreederRhonda Ahlenius, Ahlenius Shelties
LocationKnow, Indiana
Contact574-249-0043 / ahleniusshelties[at]

BreederBaramoor Shelties,
LocationCharlestown, Indiana
Contact812-256-4944 / kerra[at]

BreederKan Du Shetland Sheepdogs

BreederKathryn and Gretchen Hensley, Rushwind Shelties

BreederMelissa Blackmer, Twin Acres Shelties
LocationGaston, Indiana
Contact765-759-3893 / shelties_47383[at]

BreederWendy Chalfant, JWC Shelties
Contact765-716-4694 / jwchalfant[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Iowa

BreederAlexa Brink, Allie's Legacy
LocationOakland, Iowa
Contact712-482-5588 / allieslegacy[at]

BreederJeannette Powers-Hodson, Kell Shelties
LocationSwan, Iowa

BreederLaurie Kron, Skyward Shelties
LocationHarper, Iowa

BreederCharizma Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationCharles City, Iowa
Contact641-426-9244 / charizmatp[at]

BreederSusan High, C-Mar Shelties
LocationMarion, Iowa
Contact319-373-0000 / jhighjr[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Kansas

BreederKat and Cal McGuire, Majestic Shelties
LocationWichita, Kansas
Contact316-880-2995 / majesticshelties[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Kentucky

BreederAbigailsdream Shelties
Contact270-792-3179 / abigailsdream[at]

BreederSirius-Trek Shelties
LocationSouthern Kentucky


BreederAcres Flat's Shelties
LocationCaneyville, Kentucky

Sheltie Breeders in Louisiana

BreederLynette and Doug Stewart, Millenium Shelties
LocationMandeville, Lousisiana

BreederBellevue Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationNorthwest Lousisiana

BreederAwawka Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationCentral Lousisiana

Sheltie Breeders in Maine

BreederNancy Everett, Brandina Shelties
LocationSmithfield, Maine

BreederCathcance Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationTopsham, Maine
Contact207-729-0478 / lbernier[at]

BreederMajesyk Belcroft Shelties
LocationBelmont, Maine

BreederWoodland Farm Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationFairfield, Maine

Sheltie Breeders in Maryland

BreederJade Mist Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationDavidsonville, Maryland

BreederJonjerel Shelties

BreederRic O'Shar Shelties
LocationLittle Orleans, Maryland

Sheltie Breeders in Massachusetts

BreederGenesis Shelties
LocationHanson, Massachusetts

BreederFoxglove Shelties
LocationCarlisle, Massachusetts

BreederCindahope Shelties

BreederBTI Shelties
Contact508-966-3768 / db_two[at]

BreederKathy Ryan, Sunaire Shelties
LocationNorwood, Massachusetts

Sheltie Breeders in Michigan

BreederAgape Shelties
LocationGrand Ledge, Michigan

BreederBaker Park Shelties
LocationSt Louis, Michigan

BreederBreakaway Shetland Sheepdogs

BreederLynne Gilbert, Kristilyn Shelties
LocationHemlock, Michigan

BreederHidows Shetland Sheepdogs

BreederMakats kennels
LocationFreeland, Michigan
Contact989-781-2430 / sheltiewmn[at]

BreederPhoenix Shetland Sheepdogs

BreederRomyldale Shetland Sheep and Sheepdogs

BreederShadowBrook Shelties
LocationGrass Lake, Michigan
Contact517-522-3286 / mrsgee33[at]

BreederTerra Shelties
LocationDewitt, Michigan

BreederTwin Cedar Shelties
LocationWhite Cloud, Michigan

BreederWoodhue Shelties
LocationDorr, Michigan

BreederWalters' Way Shelties
LocationBurton, Michigan

BreederWalt & Mary Christensen, Neahm Shelties
LocationWestland, Michigan
Contact734-421-7065 / waltmary[at]

BreederKM Shelties
LocationScottville, Michigan

Sheltie Breeders in Minnesota

BreederSomerhaven Shelties
LocationNorthern Minnesota

BreederWeis Shelties
LocationRedwood Falls, Minnesota

BreederPat Bores, BluValley Shelties
LocationSouthern Minnesota

Sheltie Breeders in Missouri

BreederSunridge Shelties
LocationBarnhart, Missouri

BreederGeorge and Tatsuko Danforth, Romayne Shelties
LocationOak Grove, Missouri
Contact816-690-6413 / gdanf[at]

BreederRapporlee Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationCedar Hill, Missouri

BreederOakdale Shelties
LocationKansas City, Missouri

Sheltie Breeders in Montana

BreederSapphire Shelties
LocationStevensville, Montana

Sheltie Breeders in Nebraska

BreederSchipperke Rescue
LocationLincoln, Nebraska
Contact402-466-5596 /[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Nevada

BreederValley View Shelties
LocationGardnerville, Nevada

BreederDaedream Shelties

BreederHillstone Shelties
LocationGardnerville, Nevada

Sheltie Breeders in New Hampshire

BreederJopavist Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationBrookfield, New Hampshire

Sheltie Breeders in New Jersey

BreederAneita Frey, AllSpice Shelties
LocationBridgewater, New Jersey

BreederFlorence Martin, High Born Shelties
LocationBelleville, New Jersey
Contact973-751-2079 / flo[at]

BreederCrofthaven Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationNew Jersey

Sheltie Breeders in New York

BreederJulie Blasi, Beacon Shelties
LocationNew York
Contact516-353-6361 / beaconshelties[at]

BreederCanami Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationNorthern New York

BreederHeatherland Shelties
LocationGuilderland, New York

BreederImperial Shelties
LocationEast Aurora, New York

BreederKimark Shelties
LocationNiverville, New York
Contact518-784-2413 / bhackel[at]

BreederM&M Shelties
LocationNew York

BreederNorlea Shelties
LocationWalworth, New York

BreederStoneyAcre Shelties & Collies
LocationOswego, New York

BreederToven Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationColonie, New York

BreederWyndeway Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationAlexandria Bay, New York

Sheltie Breeders in North Carolina

BreederKimberley Cox, Cox Shelties of Mayberry
LocationPilot Mt, North Carolina
Contact336-374-7403 / kicox27041[at]

BreederCaostal Kennels
LocationSwansboro, North Carolina

BreederHaw Creek Shelties
LocationAsheville, North Carolina
Contact828-298-2440 / tmorriso[at]

BreederKintyre Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationNorth Carolina

BreederLindores Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationJacksonville, North Carolina
Contact937-830-6827 / lindoresshelties[at]

BreederNandina Shelties
LocationMount Ulla, North Carolina

BreederShadow Hill Shelties
LocationJackson Springs, North Carolina

BreederWistwin Shelties
LocationFuquay Varina, North Carolina

BreederAmelina Shelties
LocationGreenville, North Carolina

BreederCandace Sasser, Candescent Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationStanley, North Carolina

Sheltie Breeders in Ohio

BreederHarriet and Bob Smith, Waldenwood Kennels
LocationCincinnati, Ohio

BreederBelmark Shelties
LocationDe Graff, Ohio

BreederDaisy Chain Shelties
LocationDayton, Ohio
Contact937-431-1504 / purath[at]

BreederLerwick Shelties
Contact614-849-2911 / mwi9136772[at]

BreederMeadowing Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationPataskala, Ohio

BreederParagon Shelties
Contact330-607-1477 / paragonshelties[at]

BreederStill-Water Shelties
LocationLancaster, Ohio

BreederSherri Nester, Falmist Shelties
Contact567-224-3271 / javared5[at]

BreederKeystone Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in Oklahoma

BreederKristy Vaughn, Vaughn Kennels
LocationInola, Oklahoma
Contact918-543-6469 /kristyvaughn[at]

BreederOkies Shelties
LocationTulsa, Oklahoma

Sheltie Breeders in Oregon

BreederCharBar Shelties
LocationJunction City, Oregon

BreederCherden Shelties
LocationScappoose, Oregon
Contact503-543-2993 / cherden11[at]

BreederCoronet Shelties
Contact541-773-5295 / kjettinger[at]

BreederGranite Gables Shelties
LocationGrants Pass, Oregon

BreederIvanLee Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationLebanon, Oregon
Contact541-259-1275 / ivanleeshelties[at]

BreederKensil's Shelties

BreederSheltie Acres
LocationSalem, Oregon
Contact503-393-3680 / info[at]

BreederCorina Olsen, RavenWyn Shelties
LocationWest Portland, Oregon

Sheltie Breeders in Pennsylvania

BreederMisty Foehlinger, Misty Morning Shelties
LocationMaytown, Pennsylvania
Contact717-426-2171 / mistyshelties[at]

BreederBrieya Shelties
LocationBechtelsville, Pennsylvania
Contact610-845-9858 / brieya[at]

BreederCastleGate Shelties
LocationSouthwestern Pennsylvania

BreederDante Kennels
LocationWestern Pennsylvania

BreederDenise Perkovich, Jemari Shelties
Contact570-561-3992 / perkjemari[at]

BreederL-N-D Shelties
LocationElizabethtown, Pennsylvania

BreederMirmar Shelties
LocationHellertown, Pennsylvania
Contact610-838-0837 / mirmar[at]

BreederTriumph Shelties
LocationGreen Lane, Pennsylvania

BreederVista Dei Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationWestern Pennsylvania

Sheltie Breeders in South Carolina

BreederCelestial Shelties
LocationBonneau, South Carolina
Contact843-565-3592 / debmartin[at]

BreederCrosswood Shelties
LocationSaint Stephen, South Carolina
Contact843-567-2504 / maryejb[at]

BreederTrish Watters, Creekside Shelties
LocationSeneca, South Carolina

Sheltie Breeders in South Dakota

BreederAngela Bieber, Clearview Shelties
LocationBowdle, South Dakota

BreederExplosive Shelties
LocationSioux Falls, South Dakota

Sheltie Breeders in Tennessee

BreederJeff and Kerri Denter, Felicity Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationWestmoreland, Tennessee
Contact615-442-7056 / kerri82286[at]

BreederAldebaran Shelties
LocationLenior City, Tennessee

BreederRod N' Stuff Shelties
LocationSavannah, Tennessee

BreederSundrifter Shelties

BreederWinterlace Shelties

Sheltie Breeders in Texas

BreederDiana Rockwell, Rivendell Farms Kennel
LocationHarper, Texas
Contact830-864-5325 / rivendellfarms1[at]

BreederGwen Buckner, Circle B Shelties
LocationNew Waverly, Texas

BreederJR's Little Cuties
LocationFerris, Texas
Contact469-386-7381 / SheltieGirl1215[at]

BreederMary Masek, Masek Kennels
LocationFerris, Texas

BreederBreyston Shelties
LocationHouston, Texas

BreederCaprock Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationCedar Park, Texas

BreederKismet Kennels
LocationRichmond, Texas
Contact281-342-3623 / gamauldin[at]

BreederLockehill Shelties

BreederMusical Shelties
LocationAzle, Texas
Contact817-448-8444 / Dmusick[at]

BreederShalaine Shelties

BreederStarlight Shelties
LocationHouston, Texas

BreederWildwind Shelties
LocationVenus, Texas
Contact817-703-8746 / wildwind[at]

BreederLinda Cobbs, Lil Shelties of Texas
LocationHouston, Texas
Contact409-956-4537 /

Sheltie Breeders in Utah

BreederLacewood Shelties

BreederRoyal Hill Shelties
LocationSouth Jordan, Utah

Sheltie Breeders in Vermont

BreederConBrio Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationBraintree, Vermont

Sheltie Breeders in Virginia

BreederAmarden Shelties
LocationNorthern Virginia
Contact703-753-5012 / amardenshelties[at]

BreederC-A-Moon Shelties
LocationLanexa, Virginia

BreederDundee Shelties
LocationLeesburg, Virginia

BreederMedolyn Shelties
LocationNorthern Virginia
Contact703-926-5795 / Jen[at]

BreederSeaoak Shelties
LocationVirginia Beach, Virginia

BreederSparkshire Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationSpotsylvania, Virginia

BreederDarmil Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationShenandoah Valley, Virginia

BreederKuntry Road Shelties
Contact276-251-5909 / kuntryrdshelties[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Washington

BreederAccent Shelties
LocationBuckley, Washington
Contact360-897-9090 / nancy[at]

BreederChelson Shelties
LocationBellingham, Washington

BreederHillview Shelties
LocationKennewick, Washington

BreederMistybrook Shelties
LocationPort Orchard, Washington

BreederMontrose Shelties
LocationSpanaway, Washington
Contact253-847-7647 / sheltypaws[at]

BreederShadoway Shelties
LocationWoodland, Washington

BreederSnoview Shelties
LocationSequim, Washington

BreederWynstone Shetland Sheepdogs

BreederChery Mullen, Conestoga Shelties
LocationBenton City, Washington

BreederCarol Nelson, Harborlite Shelties
LocationGraham, Washington
Contact360-893-6568 / cnofhl[at]

Sheltie Breeders in West Virginia

BreederMisty Buhrman, Buhrman Shelties
LocationBerkeley Springs, West Virginia
Contact304-258-6761 / sheltiemist77[at]

BreederBelmar Shelties
LocationEast Bank, West Virginia

BreederCarmylie Shelties
LocationHedgesville, West Virginia
Contact304-821-1012 / carmylie[at]

Sheltie Breeders in Wisconsin

BreederBirchwoods Shelties

BreederBirchwynd Shelties
LocationGreen Bay, Wisconsin

BreederCandlelit Shelties
LocationMilwaukee, Wisconsin

BreederJust A Dream Shelties
LocationClintonville, Wisconsin

BreederLaurel Hill Shelties
LocationWestby, Wisconsin

BreederMoes Windy Hill Shelties
LocationSpring Valley, Wisconsin
Contact715-772-3191 / moe[at]

BreederPurdee Shelties
LocationHolmen, Wisconsin
Contact608-526-1107 / purdeeshelties[at]

BreederRoseview Shetland Sheepdogs
LocationCedarburg, Wisconsin

BreederSilverpine Shelties
LocationSouth Eastern Wisconsin

BreederTouchTone Shelties
LocationRedgranite, Wisconsin
Contact920-566-0145 / creations[at]

BreederWynwoods Shelties
Location Marinette, Wisconsin

BreederStable Lane Shelties

BreederVicky Johnson, 7 Bridges Shelties
LocationGalesville, Wisconsin

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 pregnant 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!

Author Bio

Becky Casale is the creator of Sheltie Planet and The Pet Owner's Guide to Shelties. She lives in New Zealand with her partner and two children.

The Pet Owner's Guide to Shelties by Becky Casale The Best Dog Brush for Your Sheltie