The Shetland Sheepdog is a herding dog that looks a little like a small Collie. They are often called Shelties and they are loving, intelligent dogs. They tend to be energetic and playful. Here are a few more things to know about Shetland Sheepdog puppies:
1. Shetland Sheepdogs Need Mental Stimulation
On top of daily exercise and a job to do, Shetland Sheepdogs also need plenty of mental stimulation. Their high intelligence means they can get bored easily. So, if they are not given something to keep their mind engaged, they will find their own ways to amuse themselves and you may not always be a fan of what they come up with.
Instead of leaving a Sheltie to come up with their own entertainment, providing challenging games and toys can help keep their mind engaged. Training for dog sports, especially agility training, or learning more advanced commands can also help provide mental stimulation for your Sheltie. Because these dogs are sensitive to their owners and focused, they respond well to verbal cues. If your Shetland Sheepdog has already mastered verbal cues, you can try teaching them hand signals as well.
2. They Have an Urge to Chase
As herding dogs, the Shetland Sheepdog has an urge to chase anything that moves. This often means that they should only be let off-leash in securely fenced areas. It’s also something to keep in mind as you take on training so that a Sheltie has boundaries on when chasing is appropriate.
But, it is an instinctual behavior, so you may not be able to stop it and may only be able to redirect it to better outlets. Also, if they haven’t mastered basic commands, a Sheltie on the chase may not listen to “stop” or “come” commands. Making sure they have plenty of exercise is also a good idea so your Sheltie doesn’t get jittery or take up a chase just to get some energy out.
3. Shelties are Great Family Dogs
Shelties are loving and sensitive dogs with a gentle nature and a sweet disposition. They tend to get along fabulously with children and bond closely with their families. But, their sensitive nature means they don’t deal well with chronically chaotic or emotionally turbulent homes. These small fluffy dogs need to feel loved and that they are safe in their environment to be happy and healthy.
4. They are Vocal
A Sheltie will be prone to barking and other vocalizations. They often tend to bark when people or animals are near the house and they will make other whining and growling vocalizations to communicate with you.
You likely won’t be able to stop the behavior entirely. But, you can train them early on to only bark when it’s appropriate, to vocalize in response to certain situations, and to respond to a command to stop barking.
5. Shetland Sheepdogs are Fluffballs
Shetland Sheepdogs may come in a variety of colors and markings, but one thing is true regardless of coat color – they will be fluffy! They have a dense undercoat with a long, straight topcoat that gives them their fluffball appearance. They will shed considerably year-round with heavier shedding sessions as the seasons change, so frequent brushing is recommended to help contain loose fur to a brush.
Shetland Sheepdogs are energetic little dogs that thrive on human company and affection. They bond closely with their families and are a great fit for owners who can give them the affection, mental stimulation, and exercise they need to be happy and healthy. If you think this could be the right dog breed for you, learn more about them and check out the available Sheltie puppies for sale! You could end up finding your next best friend!