Dismiss Notice
Hello Guest, Welcome to the new version of Sheltieforums.com. If you have any questions regarding the new software, please post in the following section: Forum Upgrade

Is a Sheltie Right for Me?

Discussion in 'Considering a Sheltie?' started by angel_night, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. angel_night

    angel_night Forums Regular

    Feb 6, 2011
    Wales, UK
    Hi everyone,

    I currently do not own a Sheltie but am doing lots of research into them at the moment!

    I am looking into getting my own dog (although as a family we have always had them) next June/July 2012. I want to make sure I've looked at all everything and haven't jumped into it!

    Some information about my lifestyle:
    1. I will be living with my parents in a largeish house with a good sized garden after I graduate from University next summer.
    2. When I get the dog I'd have about 3 solid months to get good training in order, toliet training, basic commands, and a routine in place re feeding and walking which will suit my lfiestyle for when I do my teacher training and then my teaching career.
    3. When I go back to uni for teacher training (whilst I live at home) and then qualify as a teacher I will be gone during the day, but my mum works 3 hour mornings so she will be there in the afternoons.
    4. Although I will be home a reasonable amount as my days will be 6 hours, I will have to be doing lots of work when I am home. Therefore a dog that needs not too much exercise is more ideal. I'm more than happy to go for an hours walk a day, play games in the garden and house. More than that and I'd be worried I wouldn't have time for everything. I will have weekends though and almost 3 months a holiday a year as a teacher.
    5. I will be moving out after a few years to a considerably smaller house when I can afford it with my boyfriend, with a much smaller garden no doubt. Therefore it does need to be a small dog. When this happens I will be looking at pet walkers to break up the day for the dog.
    6. We have 2 cats so any dog would need to be able to get along with them :)

    Why I am attracted to Shelties:
    1. As you all know they are stunning little dogs with fantastic characters!
    2. They are a smallish dog which suits the mvoe to a smaller house.
    3. I hear that if bought up with cats they can get along with them absolutely fine.
    4. I have always enjoyed training in the past with previous dogs. I know that Sheltie's are intelligent and at weekends I would have time to be able to do things such as agility :)

    I guess my main concerns are:
    How long the dog will be left during the day.
    How the dog will get along with cats.
    How easy are they to house train, as I've read various things saying complete opposites...
    Are they any serious health problems in the breed? I can't seme to find anything too bad, and found that most reputable breeders will test for eye problems. Apart from that I can't find anything too bad?

    Please be honest with me, as I don't want to geta dog which my life is not suitable for, as this would be neither fair on the dog, or myself :)
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  2. ClantyreSheltie

    ClantyreSheltie Forums Sage

    Feb 24, 2010
    I think a Sheltie will meet your requirements. What I always tell people is that they are cool dogs, but they bark and shed. If you can deal with that, it's all good.

    Here in the US, we test for vWD and MDR1, and screen for Hip Dysplasia and Eye defects.
  3. SheltieChe

    SheltieChe Forums Sage

    Jan 6, 2010
    with a dog savvy cat they can get alone very well from the beginning, otherwise give them couple months and they will figure out their priorities. If you are looking for puppy, it would need a lot of attention for the first few years. I think after they hit 3 years old they settle:yes: we are not there yet:biggrin2:
    Shelties are happiest when they have a job to do and want to be with their owner as much as they can. As everything else some of them are very active and some are laid back, if you tell breeder what is your preference good breeder will be able to get you pup with right energy.
    Health wise breed is ok, not too many problems cropping up though one has to be careful with choosing a good breeder that does testing and knows his/her lines.
  4. Chris

    Chris Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    While each Sheltie is different, you can get a pretty good idea of personality by meeting the dam and sire. My breeder was totally honest with me when I asked what Layla's mother was like. "Bossy." Layla was a bossy puppy, but now is as sweet and gentle as her mother is.

    You'll get your puppy on a great start having that three months -- but remember to give him some time alone and at home with your Mother. That way, your change in schedule won't come as a great shock. Shelties are pretty flexible, and three hours in his "cave" (crate) will be perfect for that indispensable morning nap.

    As long as you can spare some tie each day to play with your Sheltie, that will work. I work long hours, and while my DH is home, the furkids tend to snooze until I come home for a frolic.
  5. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    When we got our first dog, we were working from 8-5 every day. My husband (boyfriend at the time) went home and let him out at lunch time. It wasn't ideal, but it worked. We were just sure to spend a lot of time with the dog (working, exercising) in the evening.

    Both my dogs absolutely love the cat. They play together all the time! (Here's a thread with pics of them playing http://www.sheltieforums.com/showthread.php?t=8970&highlight=lexi)

    And our puppy was super easy to house train. With shelties, any mistake they make in the house is your fault. Stick to a routine, crate train, and you will be good to go!
  6. Sumac3890

    Sumac3890 Forums Sage

    Sep 12, 2008
    Fort Myers, Fl
    A very dear friend wrote this for Sheltie Pacesetter years ago. She has had many shelties come into her life and has lost them due to age and illnesses. Right now she has 2 and also has an old Yorkie, Pom that she has rescued. She just this week brought home a new puppy - she has not has a puppy for 15 years. This new girl carries on the blood lines of tow of her dear departed ones. Any way she knows this breed very well and they are close to her heart.

    Are Shelties For Everyone?

    based on an article by Trini Gilmore


    In truth the Shetland Sheepdog is NOT a breed that fits into all households. Naturally, Shelties have a wide range of personality traits that cannot be “lumped” under one description. However, there are certain traits that are fairly universal to the breed:
    1. Shelties are very verbal.

    2. Shelties are reserved by nature and early socialization is needed to keep them from being shy.

    3. Shelties are extremely loyal either to one person or one family.

    4. Shelties are sound-sensitive and sound-reactive.

    5. Shelties will chase (in an attempt to herd) anything that moves.

    6. Shelties are very bright and need to be given something to occupy their minds and bodies. Many will invent a “job” if they are not given one.

    7. Shelties do not like to spend time away from their people. A Sheltie that is left alone all day is usually not a very happy little dog.

    8. Shelties are an emotional breed. They are very sensitive to the moods of their people. They do best in a home where gentleness is the way of life.

    9. Shelties are an active breed and need exercise every day. They need more than a 10-minute walk around the block.

    10. Shelties need regular biweekly (minimum) grooming and they shed extensively.

    If someone is looking for a very laid-back dog that is not particularly sensitive, who doesn’t really care if you are coming or going, who is low maintenance and of average intelligence...that person would find the Sheltie exasperating, to say the least.

    Shelties demand to be an integral part of the family to which they belong. They stick their noses into everyone’s business and feel compelled to make comments on their observations.

    They will follow their person to the corners of the earth and ALWAYS into the bathroom.

    They consider you leaving them behind as an aberration of proper behavior and will voice their disapproval...loud and long...often accompanied by frantic twirling and jumping.

    They are selective as to which of your friends is worthy of their affection, and which are to be observed from a distance, before a verdict is rendered.

    They will steal FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD, right out of the mouths of babes, and show no shame.

    They will give chase, if not properly restrained, to any and all moving objects.

    They will sense your every mood and will be happy and sad along with you.

    They love attention and they love to learn.

    In short, they demand nothing less than being a FULL member of your family...they do not consider themselves mere dogs (banish the thought!).

    So if you are considering bringing a Sheltie, or Shelties, into your family, be prepared to spend a lot of time, energy and love on this new member...for that is what they need. In return they will give you some of the most wonderful moments of your life, and memories you will cherish forever.
  7. Bellesmom

    Bellesmom Forums Enthusiast

    Dec 22, 2010
    Surrey British Columbia
    you said to be honest, so my thoughts are that you are going to be much too busy to devote the time needed for a Sheltie.. its my experience that they do best with a lot of attention, and it sounds like you have and are going to have a very busy life..
  8. Lightplum

    Lightplum Forums Sage

    Jan 4, 2009
    Rhode Island
    I tend to disagree with that, Sounds like a great environment to raise a sheltie in, your not gone 8 hours a day 6 really isnt that long as long as your exercise them before and afterwards. I typically work 6 hour days (right now its 6 days a week until they hire someone else..please god let it be soon!:lol:) I worked 10 hours today, my mom had them out for me all afternoon since it was finally nice enough, and they are all in a coma right now sleeping away!! Thanks MOM!!! :yes:
    Look at it this way the majority of breeders either work or are very active and do not have the ability to hang around the house all day with their dogs...although id love to its just not realistic!
  9. Justicemom

    Justicemom Premium Member

    Oct 2, 2009
    I work from 9-5ish 5 days a week. I used to work from 9-7,8,9 or OMG kill me now 10pm. I raised 3 of my shelties on that schedule. I had to make sure that they were exercised before I went to work and after I came home. They were my focus when I came home and I went to training classes atleast 3 nights a week at one point and any day off they were with me or I had their activities. I am the only one at my house. Sure many times I would have liked to sit down and put my feet up but that was not what I commited to. When they were puppies I would go home at noon. They certain didn't suffer although I am sure they would have prefered me home every day all day long. Ember does like to tell me off when I put her in her room but she is just checking that I really mean it.:wink2:

    As far as activity,depends on the dog. I have one ultra high energy one(Diva), 3 high energy one(Justice, Bock and Porter), and 1 moderate energry(Jamie) and 1 low energry type(Ember). Only Ember would be happy to lay around all day and do nothing. A good breeder could help you match your life style to energy level. I do think though that shelties are not known for being dogs that can just hang out and be happy.

    My shelties were very easy to housetrain as long as on a schedule and love cats. Never had an issue with any cats be it mine, my parents, or my friends.

    Health concerns- not too sure what the big health concerns are across the pond. Vet point of view- when shelties get sick- eye issues, hip dsyplasia(unfortunately on the rise), renal disease in our seniors, hypothyiodism(treatable), VWD(rare) , bladder cancer(rare but seen more in sheltie than other breeds) gall bladder mucuocele(rare) seizures(rare), immune mediate arthiritis(uncommon). Compared to other breeds though they general are quite healthy.
  10. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL
    I have to agree with Lightplum and Justicemom. I work 8 hour days - 5 days a week. My pups sleep until I get home and then we do stuff. and we do stuff on the weekends too :smile2:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011

Share This Page