If we were to get a dog breed with a zest for versatile pursuits like herding and obedience trials, we could name more than a handful. But if we were to name a breed that does those with the added “garnish” of an eager to please attitude, none of us can miss naming the sheltie.
Indeed, the one or two family members that pour the most effort into playing and training the sheltie will turn out later on to be the the sheltie’s more favorite family member, which is something most of the breed are wont to do. But then shelties tend to seek out more responsive companions if a busy family member gives it the cold shoulder, or does not give it its daily dose of recreational bonding. In fact, if there’s a sublte way to drive the sheltie to the ends of its wits, it is family members spread throughout the house!
There are at least two main drawbacks to shelties. Aside from their notorious inclination to barking (if untrained), the sheltie may be wary of strangers. A sense of aloofness around strangers may look detrimental to some, but it is nonetheless permissible in the case of this breed. An example of a flaw is shyness or aggressiveness, which is not the same as a sheltie on its guard when strangers reach out for them. Shelties that initiate contact instead when they feel like it turn out friendly. The sheltie is however not the type of dog that is eager to greet each and every newcomer.
Shelties actually seem to be the most alive when playing and interacting with sensible and well-mannered children. Sometimes the dog plays with them, and other times simply watches them. But no chances must be taken when dogs will accompany toddlers and infants, since these will need supervision.
Just as they are versatile when it comes to activities, shelties can also adapt to a range of family situations. They fit in to a wide diversity of settings, and do not mind dealing with owners of all ages. While they were indeed bred as herders, their complex history of bloodlines have toned down the important aspect of their working drive. This is an important detail for those looking to have a sheltie for a pet.
With their herding history, the breed gets to mature and grow when it is given work assignments at home. Play is important and very much welcome. Shelties will tire and get bored of repetitive tasks, so put creativity in your play. Why settle for only fetch if you can throw two or more balls to keep the dog on edge? In any case, there is no way to miss the importance of shetland sheepdog training.
But despite its lush coat, grooming the sheltie is quite easy. The only cleaning required for a neat looking dog is a thorough brushing once a week, occasional baths, and regular nail and dental care.
All these considerations tell us that choosing the right sheltie is more of a challenge than most think it is. After all, you need a dog that will blend with your life style and family set-up. The model dog for obedience or herding may not be the best for a sedentary person, while a sheltie more suited for a retiree may suffer living together with preteens. For a more guided decision, get in touch with a seasoned breeder who will discuss with you the dog that best matches your specific needs.