Today’s breed, the Shetland Sheepdog, is, I think, one of the prettiest dog breeds. The Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, looks like a miniature Collie (which, essentially, it is, according to the AKC website).
So how is the Sheltie different from a Collie, but similar? The most obvious similarity is the appearance of this small dog. I snapped a shot of a gorgeous Sheltie at the AKC National Agility Trials.
The long nose, abundance of double fur coat, coloring (their color combinations are typically black, blue merle, sable, mixed with white and/or tan), and those squinty little eyes. Y’all, every time I see a Collie or Sheltie, I can’t help but think of the animated version of 101 Dalmatians. You’ll see what I mean in this video:
The Shetland Sheepdog is beautiful. And I don’t just say that because of the similarities to the Australian Shepherd.
Fine. Maybe that is exactly why I like them so much.
So It’s Not a Collie?
Other ways the Sheltie mirrors the Collie? They’re intelligent, loyal working dogs. Easy to train, sweet natured. This dog is a herding dog, which means that they probably nip at heels and backs of knees. And when I say they’re a small dog, I don’t mean small in the miniature sense, but more like almost knee high dogs.
Are you an agility dog fan? The Sheltie is a GREAT agility dog! I attended the agility trials here in Tulsa in March and there were several Shelties there. Quick, agile, they dart and twist like nobody’s business.
Train, Train, Train
The down side of owning Shelties? Smaller dogs can be a little nervous. This breed is no exception, especially since they’re reserved with strangers. They shouldn’t be shy dogs, but they can be.
If you bring home a Sheltie pup, please socialize it at every opportunity. Take your puppy with you to PetSmart, to dog parks, on long walks in the neighborhood. Everywhere you can take a dog, take your dog. If you have company, put the puppy away before they arrive, but bring it out once people are settled.
Here’s the deal – Shelties are super smart. Like any other smart dog, they require attention and work (like smart kids). The more intelligent a breed, the more easily it grows bored. The faster the dog gets bored, the faster it ruins your stuff. Or develops nervous habits. Or the more it barks at everything and nothing.
So what does that mean for a new Sheltie owner? Obedience school. Agility training. Lots of long walks, or other forms of vigorous exercise. Puzzles for your dog. A job to do, if you live on a farm. The more daily activity your Shetland Sheepdog has for its body and brain, the better your dog owning experience will be! Try to teach your dog something new at least once a week.
Some day I’m going to feature a stupid dog. Unfortunately, I haven’t really met any stupid dogs. Anyone out there know of one? I’ve heard there is such a thing, lower maintenance, dimmer wattage dogs. But I don’t know any. Well, we had this one dog once …
But that’s a story for another day.
Until I write again …
Today’s post is gently recycled