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Breeder Recommendations

Discussion in 'Considering a Sheltie?' started by Bellasmom, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    We lost our beloved Bella and in the spring or summer, we'd like to get another Sheltie similar to our Bella. She was on the small side, maybe 14 inches tall, sable, with a defined face (I call it a chiseled face). Mostly, its the size I'm interested in since we've had larger shelties in the past and we just really like the small size. We've ruled out the "toy shelties" for numerous reasons.

    Bella was a rescue and her breeder is no longer breeding, he doesn't seem to recall where he got her mom either. I do have her pedigree so I tried going back a little and no luck. What surprised me is that she was the great great great granddaughter of Sunnybrooks Heritage Spririt and great great granddaughter of Merriwood Spirit of St. Louis, both AKC CH:)

    We are working with a breeder with a litter due in January but it seems like it might be a small one and she'll be keeping one or more so we might not get to choose a pup or there might not be a smaller one.

    Are there any breeders that specialize in breeding smaller sized shelties? How do I locate them? I'm in the Northeast so I'd prefer a breeder close by where we can easily visit without hopping on a plane or letting the breeder choose for us. Besides size, we obviously want a healthy, good temperament, and clear results from all tests. We're also interested in doing agility with our new sheltie. Thanks:)
     
  2. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    Check the ASSA site for breeders in your area, check the rescue sites in your area (there is a rescue tab at the top of the home page), go to local dog shows and talk to the folks showing Shelties. Good luck. It's hard to be without a Sheltie!!!
     
  3. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

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    I would be a bit cautious of a breeder that specializes in smaller Shelties. That would mean they are not aiming at breed standard and who knows what other corners were cut. In my limited experience a breeder that is aiming at standard gets some under size and some over without aiming for it. Thus a good breeder will have some small ones in the litter(s) if you ask vs someone aiming for it.
     
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  4. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    Not sure if anyone breeds to British standards there - but the British Shelties are smaller and the standard is about an inch less than American Shelties. Otherwise you'll need to put your name down with a few breeders and ask for the runt or for a smaller puppy and hope. Or you could keep your eyes out for an ex-show hopeful that was too small for the ring.

    I know what you mean about size for dog sports. I'd prefer another smaller sheltie for dog sports but at the Sheltie meet up the other day they were all on the larger size and mostly boys. But I was also aware that many of the dogs did not move that well, so in the end physique will have to play a bigger part than size. Can't go through another dog with dysplasia or early arthritis.
     
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  5. Ann

    Ann Moderator

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    No responsible breeder breeds for smaller sizes. That said, it's pretty common for a litter to have undersize or oversize puppies, as Sheep said. There are lots of good breeders in the Northeast. I'd contact them (you can find emails and contact info on the ASSA website) and let them know you're interested in a smaller Sheltie. I'll PM you. I know several with litters.
     
  6. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    I also prefer Shelties on the smaller size, Piper (my first) is 13 3/4" and my second Finnie is 16" tall.
    As sheep said, a good breeder will get some smaller one in some litters when they breed to standards, Piper was the only one out of 7 puppies that was on the smaller size. The breeder will usually be able to tell you how big the puppy will get (my breeder starts measuring at 6 weeks) based on the growth charts. She'd said Piper would end up being no bigger than 14 1/2", so pretty close.
     
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  7. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    Thanks for all the input and I agree with everyone. I found some growth charts that will help "predict" their size although nothing is guaranteed. I don't think we want a British sheltie, I like the look of the Am/Can sheltie much more and I most definitely want a responsible breeder. That's very important to me and I've noticed some are very detailed on their websites, which to me is another good indicator that they are committed to the breed. The breeder we spoke to seems very responsible, breeds to the standard, and is very knowledgeable so we're hoping it works out but we do want to keep our options open in case it doesn't.

    Sorry Caro that you had to go thru hip dysplasia and arthritis with your dog. We went thru tons of medical issues with our Bella. I have no regrets and would do it all over again if I had to. I'm thankful we found her and rescued her as a pup. The vet said very few would have done what we did for our Bella. Caro, did your pup test negative for hip dysplasia and still got it? Also, are runts more prone to health issues? Again, thanks everyone for your input, greatly appreciate it!
     
  8. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    In Australia the only genetic test they do for Shelties is CEA. I've only seen one breeder in Aust test for hips and her Shelties are too timid for me (and she's too far). I've seen quite a few Shelties with elbow dysplasia (incl my Mr D) and no one tests for that. It's very disappointing. Esp as so many Shelties have arthritis by the time they are 8 and most that I see don't move very well. Tully was a runt and needed a hip replacement, but we don't know for certain the cause. Runts can have issues, but that's not a certainty. I think it's got to do with being last for nutrients on the placenta and competing for food with the rest of the litter. But then Shelties have small litters and not all litters have runts, and a good breeder will ensure the smallest of the litter still gets adequate nutrients.
     
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  9. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Wow, that is concerning, elbow dysplasia! Out of all the Shelties I have owned in my life, nine to be exact, none had elbow dysplasia.

    Can’t say I have ever heard of it with the other Sheltie owners I know either. Since I have rescued so many of mine in the past I frequently read bios and that is never discussed as an issue either. Many rescues have full disclosure since they want the dogs to find forever homes. Maybe this is seen more on your side of the pond?
     
    Caro likes this.
  10. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Forums Regular

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    Our first sheltie was extremely healthy. Lived to 15 and died naturally and no health issues ever. She did have a small lump that started to grow on her tail but it wasn't cancerous. Our next two, Bella and Myah, died early. Myah, our largest one, just died one morning at 8 yrs old and we were just at Tufts 2 days prior and our regular vet 4 days prior. We and the vet were shocked and still don't know why. She was limping and having a hard time walking so we thought hip dysplasia but that wasn't it. Otherwise, she was always healthy. Bella, we rescued from a bad situation. I think she was small because of poor nutrition and care in her early months and that might have contributed to her heart disease and pleural effusion. Hard to say but then again, both were on grain free diets so we wonder if that had anything to do with their deaths. Any connection, who knows but odd that both died so young, especially our Myah.
     
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