Shelties

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by milos_mommy, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Beanie? Laur? Anyone else?

    I've recently seen a few shelties around the city and I find them ADORABLE.

    I used to really like their descriptions I heard as a child, but sort of "grew out of it". I know they're vocal, and that's not a trait I particularly like in dogs, and I'm not so sure a herding dog is for me...

    I like the intelligence, though. I like teh cute. I am very interested in doing agility, and I see many excel at that.

    What is living with them like? How vocal are they? Prevalent health issues? Are they often neurotic/obsessive? How much exercise do they usually need each day?
     
  2. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    I go back and forth on shelties a lot as well, so I will be watching this thread too :)
     
  3. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Auggie is really only barky when he's attempting to eat a squirrel in the yard. He doesn't bark much. Payton really doesn't either, honestly. If you are the kind of person who REALLY can't stand barking AT ALL I would stay away, but I don't think they are as bad as some people think.

    Living with them is great because they are really funny. I'm sure by some of the threads about my dogs and the photos you get an idea of them being funny. Auggie honestly just makes me laugh all the time. Some shelties are very velcro, they have to be near you or touching you... neither of my boys are must-be-touching types, my sister's weren't either. Auggie will actually sometimes go in another room and lay down as long as he knows where I am (and gets up to make sure I'm still there every now and again.) They are very smart and often seem to understand full sentences. I once tried to help Happy read before remembering THIS IS A DOG, HE CANNOT READ THE WORD "TRAIN" ON A BOX OF CEREAL.

    Health issues:
    hip displaysia. Make sure there are OFA x-rays for hips. A rating of fair doesn't mean GOD AWFUL but if the entire family line has fair hips, jump ship. You will likely see good more than excellent ratings. I also like to see elbow screens but not everybody does them - I don't consider it bad if somebody didn't do elbow screens.
    vonWillebrand's disease - must be tested for VWD or at the very least clear through parentage
    CERF for Collie Eye Anomoly.

    They can be soft but mine aren't, and they really aren't supposed to be. Poor Pepper is very soft but she is just a bit different on the whole. She is not at all the kind of dog I want. Auggie is balls to the wall, up for anything, go go go. So far Payton is pretty much the same thing. He is doing a bit of fear stage-y stuff but he is VERY quick to work through anything with a handful of cookies, a clicker, and the Look At That game. And he definitely only has the one speed of "GO."

    That said I don't need to "exercise" them so to speak... we go out in the yard and play fetch, chase each other around, play tug inside. I will say that with Auggie, when the weather really sucks and he can't get outside to rip around, he starts to get a bit destructive. Also, when he was on crate rest after his bladder surgery, he was destructive. He would grab stuffed toys and just begin ripping them apart because he was so frustrated with not being able to do anything. I haven't done winter with Payton yet so I dunno where he'll stand on that. If he's like Auggie I am going to guess about the same... too long with very little to do and he will get bored and frustrated and destructive. We started doing a lot of training and using a lot of interactive food toys for his meals and that curbed it (also I went outside and shoveled all the snow and ice out of most of my yard... yes, I shoveled my YARD for my dog... that helped.) I rarely walk my dogs - when I do it's for fun, not exercise.

    I would not say that shelties are OFTEN neurotic any more than I would say border collies are. That does not mean that they cannot be neurotic. Sometimes people do stuff to basically encourage the neuroticism thinking it's "cute" or "funny" and it's totally not. Some not-so-great breeders have accepted neuroticism (as well as softness) so that is why you will definitely find neurotic shelties out there.


    Hope that answers your questions or at least gets you going in one direction... they just updated and re-printed Sheltie Talk which is "the sheltie bible" so it might be easier to get ahold of these days to read, but that book is essential and REALLY gives a great description of what a sheltie should be. It's a lovely book. If you can borrow it from the library give it a read, it will answer all of your questions!
     
  4. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    How big are your dogs, Beanie? I know what the standard calls for, but it seems like a pretty good range, I'm just kind of curious if I usually picture your dogs to be the same size they actually are.
     
  5. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    I can only say the experience I've had with Shelties with Nikki (the dog I grew up with), relatives dogs, and Bailey, but here it goes...

    Nikki didn't bark that much at all. Mom said she used to bark something awful when my brother and I got to close to the pond when we were very little, but other than that she was not barky!
    In comparison, Bailey barks a lot... But only when playing/chasing other dogs (she likes to nip at their heels a lot) and when she's REALLY cranked up and has zoomies - and that's only when its been encouraged by the humans :p My Dad says she barks more when I am not home, though BUT he gives in to her a lot, so to her bark=get what she wants with my dad :p
    I would say that with my experience, they do make more 'talky' noises than some other breeds. I call it monkey noises :p lol. Growly-play noises, a quiet roo-roo-oo :D I think its cute lol

    Naturally, I absolutly agree with Beanie, of course. Hilarious little dogs - Bailey's very dorky :p but Nikki was more serious, but could be funny, too. And velcro... even when they're dead asleep if I get up and leave the room she will follow, but not an on-top-of-you-constantly-touching sort of way. I know sometimes that bothers some people....

    Very smart! Sometimes too smart for their own good ;) I think metal stimulation is a lot more important than a lot of physical exercise, although that helps too... If its not a training day I try to walk Bailey at least a half hour everyday, or let her run offleash at the park. They're fine if you miss some walks, as long as you keep up with the mental stimulation... Clicker training, puzzle toys, games, etc. But they'll find something to occupy themselves if you don't. Like you said, agility's a good outlet. RallyO, seen some do flyball. We're trying out treibball in class every Wed (yeah!), etc...

    Nikki was not soft at all, actually she was really tough, and almost more golden-like in the social department, but after that first greeting, she wanted no one else but the immediate family. In comparison Bailey's really soft - when I read about Beanie's Pepper I think Bailey shares a lot of similar qualities. I think Bailey's has a lot to do with her former home, but I'm sure genetics play a role as well.
    Part of the problem that Bailey and I have is everyone loves how cute shelties are, and EVERYONE and their brother wants to run up and hug, squeeze, pet, kiss, whatever (without asking :mad: )... Even the AKC standard says they're more reserved with strangers. Bailey's a little too timid, but it'd help if we didn't get mauled in public :rolleyes: we were making a lot of progress, too.

    "The Shetland Sheepdog is intensely loyal, affectionate, and responsive to his owner. However, he may be reserved toward strangers but not to the point of showing fear or cringing in the ring."
    I think that sums it up fairly well, actually. Loyal, affectionate, our shelties have always been pretty much a 1 person dog. I mean, they love their family, but they really love their person, you know?
     
  6. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I've never had a Sheltie but I have been around tons of them since I started doing agility years ago. So from an outside perspective...

    They are definitely cute :) Most are pretty trainable, even the freaky ones. Common temperament issues in them seem to be noise and/or sight sensitivity and shyness. I've met lots with at least one of those issues, even from good breeders. Even the highest drive ones I've been around don't seem to be as intense as an average BC. They are a herding breed originally and many still have instinct but they haven't been bred as true herding dogs any time in recent history. The modern Sheltie has been bred as a pet, show dog, performance dog and they definitely can fit into homes that wouldn't want most other herding breeds. Definitely can excel in agility and obedience. The only OTCH dog the local training club has had was a Sheltie trained by someone who had never competed before - Novice A to OTCH!
     
  7. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Pepper is about 15, Auggie is about 14, and Payton is just a bit shorter than Auggie right now but will probably be Pepper's size when he's done. Auggie weighs 15 pounds. I don't know what Pepper or Payton weigh; Pepper I never actually got on a scale and Payton has grown since he was last on the scale.

    When people who have only seen photos meet them they ALWAYS say "oh they're a lot smaller than I expected!" And often when I post photos here where there's a size reference I get "they look so tiny!" They are not small dogs, I think it just surprises people because they see them in photos and think of collies which are obviously much larger dogs.
     
  8. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I don't think of collies, but I guess I assumed they were around the size of my eskie growing up...He was 18 inches and 30 lbs.

    They're actually not all that much bigger than Milo....
     
  9. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    How about exercise? I'm not so much interested in how much they need as I am in how much can they take? Can they go on long, multiple hour hikes and still have energy? How do they do with heat since they have so much coat?
     
  10. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    It's the floof! Lol. But really, I thought they were bigger/taller than that....I think it's kinda crazy that they're taller than Mu and Tipper (albeit not by much) but they weigh less. And I'm forced to admit that I don't think I've ever seen a Sheltie in person.....which seems strange now that I think about it. I feel like I should have seen one at some point.
     
  11. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Likely going to depend on the dog, but I honestly can't think of a time when Auggie has quit on me. I have pretty much wiped him out before, but the only way I know is because he sleeps really well that night, or on the long drive home. =P He doesn't stop going, and he will never turn down a thrown tennis ball no matter how long we've played or worked earlier in the day (in fact the tennis ball test is how I gauge if I should be worried about my dog - if he ever DOESN'T chase the tennis ball, I know we have a problem.) Payton is permanently stuck in gear so I haven't had him stop on me either, though of course we have not done anything NEAR the kind of work and play I do with Auggie. Pepper is less drivey on the whole but generally speaking I lose her interest in something rather than she is worn out... she is less focused.

    As far as heat goes, I've seen dogs with less coat do far worse than Auggie in heat, but I am also going to say that will be an individual dog thing based on what their tolerance level is. We also have a problem with humidity more than heat here in the Midwest and that is when dogs (of all breeds) really start to struggle, and I can't blame them, because as a runner myself I have a horrible time just trying to breathe when it's humid out. We've done agility in 100+ degree temps before... not something I would do routinely, but can he handle it? Oh yeah.
     
  12. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    There are so many older shelties in rescue here! Tons of 7 and 8 year olds....
     
  13. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I have a soft spot for senior rescue shelties! Kota came to us as a rescued dog and there's always been something special about him. Just something different in that bond. Something in his eyes.
    If you're looking for your next serious activity partner, that may not be the best way to go. But you could absolutely get an older rescue sheltie and start playing in agility, see if you like the breed, see if you really even like the game. A rescue probably won't be the best example of the breed, but that definitely doesn't make them crappy dogs. Kota is a **** good dog, not neurotic like poor Happy was, a really smart, even keel dog. And you will get a really good picture of how they are and if they work in your lifestyle.
    Then you'll be more determined when you come to the footwork of finding an excellent breeder if you wanted to go that route later, LOL.
     
  14. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    There are plenty of Shelties that size...and bigger! Also plenty smaller and much smaller than Beanie's. There is a huge size variance in the breed and even the most careful breeders have a hard time keeping dogs within the standard. This is likely because of outcrossing to small and large breeds in the more recent history of the breed. I knew a Sheltie so tiny that she was almost toy dog sized and one so big people asked if he was a collie - both from the same litter out of average sized parents. This talks a bit about the size issues in Shelties: Sheltie Size And this one talks about the breed history - talk about a breed that's changed quite a bit. I sort of wish the original , "unimproved" type was still around: Sheltie History
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Havent' read the responses yet.

    Mine were 18, 25, and 35 lbs full grown. I have known 40+ lb shelties and some that are as tall as Summer. My old trainer's (whom I REALLY hope to get back to training with) had a 14 lb multiple MACH dog. He was AWESOME. Size is not set in the breed. The modern sheltie is a recent creation- collie was added not all that long ago and there were lots of little breeds (I've even heard papillon suspected) added in too. You get big and small from the same lines and even litters.

    They are barky dogs, but I think it is over-exaggerated for the most part. A sheltie that barks all the time has something wrong with it. There are breeders breeding dogs that don't stop barking so be careful if you run across a breeder that routinely debarks. But my shelties would alert bark probably not much more than the papillons. They WERE however, more creative with their vocalizations. Shelties are talky dogs and have a large vocabulary- honks, yodels, grunts, chirps, etc. Nikki in particular would mimic human vocalizations. She also loved to sing along to music. I miss that a lot about them.

    shelties vary a lot. I think that's one of the most important thing. Shyness is a real problem in the breed. Timidity. Should NOT be like that but many are and I've known a lot of really weird shelties. They're quirky dogs as is but not in a bad way. I think they're a lot of fun. Drive varies, herdiness varies. I had one that heel nipped a lot and was very motion sensitive. I had one that was stereotypical wanted nothing to do with strangers and one that was an attention *****. I will say in general the breed is a lot more aloof than the papillons in my experience. My shelties were more apt to be in the doorway keeping watch than on top of you like Mia or Summer tends to be.

    They're generally highly trainable. All of mine were but street smarts/common sense varied. Trey was not very bright and I am not saying that to be mean, he was just short a bit. Rosie and Nikki (especially Nikki who is near par with Mia) were very clever dogs. Nikki just plain KNEW so many things. She was so sneaky and had such an attitude.... I joke that she sent me Mia. ;)

    Nikki was my buddy growing up. She was a delightful dog and I credit her with a lot of my love for dogs now. I wish I'd had her now, she'd be a blast! I got interested in training dogs because she'd pick up tricks left and right. I think they're great family dogs. Nik and Trey nannied us a lot and were always up for whatever. Ball playing, chase games (they loved that), training, whatever.

    Drive varies... I've known some very drivey shelties and then some that weren't. Mine were all so-so. Mia surpasses them all in drive but my trainer's dogs are up there with her. A bit different kind of intensity than a BC or something like that but they're fast intense dogs in their own right if you find the right lines. Too many are dumbed down a bit. But I've known shelties that rock at a lot of different sports.

    Thyroid seems to be a problem with a lot of them. And there's a lot that gain weight looking at food.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  16. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Neurotic/Obsessiveness to me is a hard one... I would say mine would obsess a bit but no more than any other dog. Each had their quirks. Nikki's big one was her love for my chinchilla. she would sit and watch her all day. A lot is just training/management. If you have a sheltie that likes to bite heels or attack the vacuum- stop them! They learn fast.

    Exercise- totally adaptable would be what I say. They're pretty good (in my experience) to fitting in with the flow. Mine could go go go or be fine with a small amount of exercise. Mine enjoyed exercise but weren't all that demanding about it provided they got some exercise or training. But I've always been pretty involved with my dogs. They're not a breed you can get and then expect to spend no time with by a long shot. They need some meaningful interaction daily. Does it have to be real hard exercise? No. Overall I think their exercise needs have been the most moderate of any breed I've owned. Socialization is the absolute biggest thing with them in my opinion.

    As far as coat and heat tolerance- ours lived in Houston. And my dad used to bike with Nikki all the time. she did fine provided it was built up to of course.
     
  17. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

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    How much do they shed? Shedding's not a huge deterrence for me, but it'd be a nice change from Violet to have a dog that doesn't shed much. :p

    So far they sound like my perfect dog. I'm really enjoying this thread!
     
  18. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I'm curious about the shedding, too. The shelties I've known shed like CRAZY, but they also were sometimes shaved down, were rarely brushed or groomed, and ate crappy dog food.
     
  19. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    They do shed, but it's different than how some dogs (like a GSD or something) shed. They tend to tumbleweed rather than just dropping hair all over the place, LOL. And often they shed and it's like a little tuft of white that starts floating around in the coat and you just reach down and pull it out...
    I usually find little tumbleweeds hanging out in the corners of rooms and I vacuum once a week and it's not terrible. If I don't vacuum and it goes to two weeks I vacuum up a whole dog and it looks kinda bad. They blow coat twice a year and that's the worst time, but I usually keep it under control by giving Auggie a nice warm bath, using my forced air dryer, then line brushing outside. It's best to brush outside during shedding season because the hair tends to just go flying everywhere and I find it easier to be outside and just let it fly. =P

    Most people say if you brush them once a week, that keeps it under control. Honestly, Auggie doesn't quite get brushed that often... and I didn't brush Pepper that often either. Maybe once every other week or so? Just depending on when they "looked" or "felt" like they needed it, and usually I just grabbed one of my combs and did a quick job.

    That said, if you like to wear black (or even dark blue), you'll need to invest in some fabric rollers. It's not so bad that you have to roll your clothes all the time, but usually I'll put on a black t-shirt and then wrestle with the boys, then look down and go "...oh. Oops!" But I think that goes for most dog breeds (and cats too), really.
     
  20. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

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    My experiance was like Beanie's when it comes to shedding. Tylers parents had a blue merle Sheltie and I dont really remember the hair getting all over my clothes that often, Also the hair was not all over and they hardly ever brushed her. They maybe vaccumed once or twice a week and the hair was not all over it was mostly in corners in clumps or under the couch, which got vaccumed under all the time just for that reason.

    Question: Is being overly timid a common thing in Sheties?? I know Tylers shelie was so timid and fearful when it came to people she did and did not know. I was around that dog for 4 years and it was always fearful towards me.

    And I have met quite a few sheties who have been timit like that as well.

    Is that because of BYB's
     

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