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Old 08-12-2009, 03:38 PM
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Default Shelties vs. Aussies

I thought I had made up my mind when I decided that a Sheltie would be my next dog, until I saw one about a month ago. They are rather short and I want a dog that is able to go on runs with me. I was wondering if a Sheltie could keep up. I'm sure they have the energy, but they seem so small.

Then I was thinking that I might want a larger dog. I really like Aussies, but how much exercise do they need? (And what counts as exercise?) They sounded similar to Shelties in that they are smart, reserved around strangers, vocal, etc. I assume those are just traits of herding breeds in general. How do Aussies differ from Shelties?
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:50 PM
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Shelties tend to come in a variety of sizes. The standard says 13"-16" at the shoulder is acceptable in the conformation ring, but in every litter there are puppies who are either over or under that size. I think a sheltie would make a good running partner.

My advice is to do a little more reading and go out and meet a couple of dogs of both breeds and see what you like best. Picking a dog is very much a personal choice.

Also, consider adopting an adult. You wouldn't be able to take a puppy running until his/her growth plates close around the age of 12-24 months.
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:59 PM
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Yes shelties can be good running partners. We used to run my past shelties while we rode our bikes. They've got more energy and are more athletic than they look. You will have zero problem finding an oversized sheltie either in rescue or from a good breeder. Oversized dogs happen very often in the breed.

I like both breeds a lot and would definitely recommend meeting some of both. They're similar in some ways, Aussies imo have a more energy and much higher exercise needs. I think shelties are more adaptable to different lifestyles and activity levels. You'll find super friendly dogs in both breeds that just love everyone and then you'll also find dogs that want nothing to do with strangers. I've known really mouthy dogs of both breeds. They're both pretty quirky and can be higher maintenance grooming wise. Both breeds are barky but shelties can REALLY be loud at times. Both are just fabulous watchdogs and can be highly protective. I've had several shelties in the past and would love to have another one day (as well as an Aussie)
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
We used to run my past shelties while we rode our bikes.
Oh wow, so I guess shelties could keep up! That's good to hear. I also had a sheltie when I was growing up, but she was oversized... about 40lbs. (She may have even been a mix; I do know she was poorly bred.)

Besides that, I haven't had much interaction with either breed. How can I meet these dogs?
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:41 PM
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You might see if there are some breed rescues in your area to start with. If there are any herding trial /training groups you'll likely get to meet some Aussies there, too.

I had an Aussie -- a blind one I rescued at the shelter when he was about three months old. Fabulous dog. Plenty of energy but a nice off switch, too, and a great watch dog. Extremely affectionate -- he would leave his food to be petted, even if there were other dogs around. Very low maintenance coat. He could go out and get super muddy and once it dried, the mud miraculously disappeared and he was literally sparkling white (well, except for those gorgeous blue merle patches, lol). Brushing two or three times a week was all he ever needed. And SMART . . . .that was one brilliant dog.
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:48 PM
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I dont see why a sheltie wouldnt keep up.. I have a 7 lb yorkie who runs with me and loves bike rides. She can keep up perfectly.. And she could go for hours if i let her.

However, These are two very active breeds.. Especially an aussie.. I would really research both alot And when you make a choice I would try fostering the breed first. Because unfortunatly they arent a match for everybody.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:45 PM
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Renee - oo! Good idea! I'll look for some agility events in my area. I really want to get into agility, and there will probably be some aussies and shelties there, huh? Aww, and your aussie boy sounds like a sweetheart! Do all Aussies have off switches or did you get lucky?

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Originally Posted by babymomma View Post
I dont see why a sheltie wouldnt keep up.. I have a 7 lb yorkie who runs with me and loves bike rides. She can keep up perfectly.. And she could go for hours if i let her.

However, These are two very active breeds.. Especially an aussie.. I would really research both alot And when you make a choice I would try fostering the breed first. Because unfortunatly they arent a match for everybody.
Heh, I have 3 yorkies that I take for walks twice a day. The walks are about 30 minutes long, and by the end my dogs are pooped. (But to be honest, two of them are either sniffing or running full speed.) Maybe they are just really out of shape, but I could never get them to go on a full 30-45 minute run with me. I think it's mainly because they have to take about 10 steps for each of mine, and my running stride is even longer. That's what I was worried about with Shelties.

But I actually did consider fostering! That's a really good idea. Of course I don't want a dog right now while I'm still living at home. (Three yorkies are enough!) I have plenty of time to make a decision.
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:07 AM
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Ruckus is 19 or 20 inches. He would not be able to keep up with you. That is just because he is a laid back, what's the rush, life in the slow lane kind of dog.

Lynn is 15 inches and is a live wire. You could run with her just as much as you possibly could and she would keep up the whole time!

I personally do not have much experience with Aussies.

IMO shelties have many quirks and can be pretty timid. Ruckus is scared of multiple things and is actually on anxiety meds (this is not common btw)
Lynn gets spooked easy too. Both these dogs were highly socialized as pups.

However, I think that Aussies are very similar as far as being timid goes. I know that most of the ones that come in for a grooming seem high strung and timid. But there are a few that have a lab like personality.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:07 AM
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I wouldn't call shelties high energy personally just based on the breeds I've had. The ones I've had have been the calmest dogs and have been less active than the papillons by quite a bit. They're certainly not in the same league as an Aussie as far as activity level goes. I'd call them mid activity maybe leaning towards high. What shelties (and Aussies) need more than a run is mental stimulation.

I've seen similar behavioral and temperament problems in both breeds. I think it's just a herder thing, shyness isn't uncommon. The proper temperament is for them to be aloof towards strangers. My shelties have been all over the place. My first was alright with people, but not lab-like happy. My second was an attention wh*re who would run up to anyone for pets. My third was extremely shy and timid around people to the point that he would hide if someone showed up at our house. He got better over the years as he learned that I wouldn't let them hurt him but it really was a lot of work. The Aussies I know from agility and rescue are all over the place too. Many are very outgoing and bouncily friendly and there are some with very aloof types of personalities. Many take a while to warm up. If you want a lab-like happy to meet everyone and bouncing up and down with excitement type of dog then I'd say these breeds might not be for you.

A good place I think to see some dogs would be an agility trial. You're sure to see both breeds there.

Quote:
Because unfortunatly they arent a match for everybody.
I do agree and I think too many people get shelties without understanding them. It's part of the reason you see quite a few nutzo shelties around, lol. They're fantastic dogs though.
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Old 08-15-2009, 03:44 PM
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my shelties are nutzo mainly because I am :P

nervous owner with ocd + sheltie = nervous neurotic shelties
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