About Shelties

Is a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) Right for You?

Like any other dog breed a Sheltie may not fit every household. Shelties have many temperament traits, most are fairly common to the breed. Shelties were bred in the Scottish Shetland Islands specifically to help shepherds with their sheep. These temperament traits made them perfect for this type of work. It's important to remember their roots when you think about their temperament.

  • Shelties bark! ....when something is not right, when they’re happy, when they play, and especially when they have something to say.

  • Shelties are somewhat reserved or as some people say “shy,” but most

    Shelties like to get to know someone before getting close to them.

  • Shelties are very loyal to the people they know best.

  • Shelties are sound sensitive and reactive. Shelties are “always on duty.”

  • Shelties chase (herd) almost anything that moves, especially wheels on cars and bicycles and deer running in the woods, or squirrels.

  • Shelties are smart and need to keep their minds and bodies active. If you don’t give them a job, they will invent one... and you may not like it.

  • Shelties don’t like to spend time away from their people. You will notice this when you try to leave or when you come home. If they are left alone all day, especially as an only dog, a Sheltie is usually not a happy dog.

  • Shelties are sensitive to the moods of their people. They want a home where calmness is the way of life.

  • Shelties are an active breed and need exercise everyday - one of the most important reasons they need a fenced in yard. or more than a walk around the block.

  • Shelties have a double coat (rough outer coat and soft undercoat), which requires regular grooming at least every two weeks. They shed their undercoat year-round. “Tumbleweeds”, as we call them, are common in Sheltie homes.

Shelties want to be an important part of the family. They make everyone's business their business and make loud comments on what they see. They do not like being left behind and will voice their disapproval by twirling and jumping as well.

Shelties are very selective on who is they give their affection, and they observe from a distance. They sense human moods and will be happy and sad along with you. They love attention, and love to learn because they are very easy to train. They excel at agility, obedience competition, rally, disc dog, flyball, and herding.

If you are considering adopting a Sheltie into your home, be prepared to spend a lot of time, energy, and love on this furbaby member…for that is what they need to thrive. In return, a Sheltie, will give you unconditional love, the most wonderful moments of your life and memories you will cherish in your heart forever.

You can learn more about Shelties on the website of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (www.assa.org) and in Sheltie Talk, by Betty Jo McKinney (the new edition 2010).

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