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Should we consider a Sheltie?

Discussion in 'Considering a Sheltie?' started by bekalm, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. bekalm

    bekalm Forums Novice

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    Jun 15, 2014
    Idaho
    Hi, I've been lurking here for a while now, and this, combined with extensive research has me wondering if we should consider a sheltie. Let's be honest, I'm already considering a sheltie, but I'm wondering if I should consider a particular sheltie.

    We have a small, 2 year old, Rough Collie. She is often mistaken for a large Sheltie. She is a wonderful dog, and lives up to what we expect from a Collie--she's loving, intelligent, happy, active, and the sweetest dog ever. She gets along with every dog and person we've ever met. She travels well. She adores our 3 kids (girls ages 11 and 9, boy age 3). My 11 year old has her in 4-H and they do very well together. The dog's biggest flaws are she doesn't like to sit-stay and she has a slow recall. But really, that's a training flaw, not a dog flaw. :) She might be a little barky, but we make sure we don't let her carry on. Its part of the breed.

    So, knowing how wonderful our collie is, we want a dog that is similar to her--with a few exceptions. We think we want a male sheltie. We don't want a female dominance issue. That and male dogs in general are more likely to bond with the female leader of the household (Our collie absolutely adores my husband. She's sweet and obedient for me, but when he walks in from work, her day is made). We want a sheltie because they are somewhat similar to a collie. We understand the grooming needs, and there are a lot of similarities in temperaments. We also want a dog that is smaller than our little collie, hence the natural gravitation to the sheltie.

    We know we want a younger dog or a puppy.

    So, I've found a 7 month old male sheltie that is being rehomed due to the owner's medical issues. I hesitate to contact the owner because I don't want to bring in a dog that isn't going to fit well with my family.

    Am I off in what I think will be a good fit for us? Is a sheltie the best option for our family's second dog.
     
  2. Jess041

    Jess041 Premium Member

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    Can you try a test run with the Sheltie? Bring him home for a weekend and see how he gets along with the Collie?

    I've never heard anything about male dogs gravitating toward women, so I don't know if that's necessarily true. But I do think your family would enjoy a Sheltie. I had a Sheltie growing up and she was great with kids. I've noticed that compared to the Collies I've met, Shelties are a bit more energetic. But maybe I've just met some really laid back collies!
     
  3. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

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    It sounds like you need most to make a dog-dog match rather than a consideration of the breed or your environment.

    What I would recommend is to have your dog and that dog meet on neutral territory. Not your house or his. Meet away from home, have both leashed, and take a walk together. Don't make a big deal of meeting, just arrive, and walk. Perhaps the owner can sit at a bench while your family handle both dogs and walk around a park or such if health is an issue. Understand the possibilitiy that dog may not be trained (trained much) and walking may be a bit crazy, or not. But generally, walk. When you are done, then allow the dogs to sit or lay near each other while you converse. See how it goes. Perhaps do that 2-3 times and see if the dogs seem to hate, like, or generally be fine with each other before going to either home.

    The very very best introduction I made between my adult Aussie and another adult Aussie I brought in was made that way. I didn't do it purposely, I just met in a park to pick up the dog and I had driven 4 hours and my boy needed walking. Of course, Cesar Milan (for all his ups and downs) talks about something happening when dogs walk together. I happen to have seen that and it was really cool but this was years and years ago. My boys just walked and seemed to bond while on a journey around this park. Then we went home and all went well. I recommend it highly as a way of introduction and team building and a way to see if they seem to like each other without being on one anothe's turf or uncontrolled face to face meeting.

    It sounds like your question is not A sheltie it is THAT sheltie so set yourself up for a good meeting and see how it goes. Observe both dogs well. Best wishes.
     
  4. bekalm

    bekalm Forums Novice

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    Jun 15, 2014
    Idaho
    I can ask for a trial. The other dog is located about 4 1/2 hours away, so it might be a bit difficult.

    The cross-gender dog/owner theory is just that--a theory. In my experience, its something that has been anecdotally proven and disproven. :) I do know that my previous male dog was more closely bonded to me than my husband. Its not a training thing, since we share training and our dogs have always been trained to respond to either of us (and our collie responds to our children's commands too), its just a bonding thing. Which person does the dog greets first, type of thing. There are lots of female dogs that adore their female owners above all else. There are lots of male dogs who think the sun sets on their male owners. In my experience, I've gotten better responses from my male dog and the ones I've worked with, over the females.

    The shelties I've met are more laid back than our collie! :) So I'm guessing that they are probably pretty similar.
     
  5. bekalm

    bekalm Forums Novice

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    Jun 15, 2014
    Idaho
    My overall questions are both--are shelties a good companion breed for collies? and would this particular sheltie be a good choice for my family?

    I don't quite understand what you mean by "...a consideration of the breed or your environment."
     
  6. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    Shelties and Collies are both Herding breeds and generally do very well together. Lots of Sheltie breeders also breed Collies, so you should be fine there.

    Shelties are great family dogs and most love kids, although it's good to start them early. I would ask the owner who has the dog you're interested in how well he's been socialized with people and children. You don't want to end up with a dog who's afraid of kids because he's never been around them. Usually, at 7 months, a puppy is not at that point but it's good to know whether he's been exposed to outside environments and he hasn't just been in a kennel.

    As for the gender, I have four females and one male and we have no dominance issues. They all get along well together. It may take them some time to get used to each other (and you will want to make sure your male Sheltie is neutered) but your Collie should be fine with either a male or a female Sheltie.
     
  7. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

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    I mean it really isn't that much about a consideration of breed. You have a collie. Shelties are similar. It's not like choosing a sheltie when you have great dane or a sheltie when you have a beagle.

    It isn't really a consideration of your environment. Collies and shelties have similar coat, exercise requirements, relate to families similarly, prefer indoors, etc.

    Collies and shelties do fine together -- we have more than one member having (or had) collies and shelties.

    As to male female -- having a male female combo is great, so is male male, often so is female female if you choose and raise right. I have 1 female & 2 males (one being a puppy). My male is so tightly bonded to my husband it is not even funny. The female thinks the sun rises and sets in me. The little one loves us both but last night when the husband got home the pup about killed me to get to him. The cross gender human dog thing is not true.

    Again, it goes down to THAT dog and THOSE TWO dogs. You need to find out if that dog's personality and experiene will fit with what you need and with your other dog's personality. As I was 4 or so hours when my 2 Aussie boys met, we walked and met and then they had much time crated side-by-side before we reached home. They worked it out. Your two probably would too.

    Overall, I think the issue is the upbrining of the sheltie. How about people? Other dogs? Fearful? Confident? Middle-of-the-road? It's really not so much about the breed it is about that individual.
     
  8. bekalm

    bekalm Forums Novice

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    Idaho
    Thanks. I was hoping that 7 months old wouldn't present too much of a challenge to integrate into our family. I will be sure to ask if the puppy has been around kids and what the personality traits of this individual dog are. We've been looking for a little while so I have a list of points that are important to me no matter what we consider.

    Is there an upward age limit--assuming that a sheltie has been socialized at least somewhat to kids-- that makes it harder for them to acclimate? While we are looking for a puppy or younger dog, its primarily because older dogs in rescue are almost always listed as "no kids". If the owner decides we aren't the best family for her puppy, we will still continue to look. So if there is an upward age limit where a sheltie really shouldn't be considered for a family like mine, I'd like to know.

    Its funny, some devoted sheltie people have told me that shelties are not at all like collies, whatsoever. Some devoted collie owners have agreed vehemently. :) I was afraid of stepping on toes by pointing out the similarities in the two. ;)
     
  9. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    Our friends have 8 rescue Collies, sized from smallish to very tall. Our 3 Shelties are fine with the Collies and the Collies are fine with them.

    I would definitely find out what kind of a life this Sheltie boy has had up till now. Was the owner incapacitated and unable to socialize the pup? Shelties can be so skittish and shy if not exposed to the big world early and often.

    I hope it works out though, sounds like that poor pup needs a good home with dedicated, understanding owners. Good luck and let us know what happens.
     
  10. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    This is just in my experience, with little anecdotal evidence to support it, but I find that from 12 to 18 months is a tougher time for a puppy to adjust to a new, different situation from the one it's been raised in. So for instance, if a puppy has been raised in a kennel environment, or an adult-only home, it can take longer to adapt to a drastic change such as one with young children.

    That's not to say it won't happen, but it can take time and patience. If you're looking for a puppy, I'd look for one less than 12 months old.
     

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