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Old 10-10-2011, 09:51 PM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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Default Shelties

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?
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:59 PM
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I go back and forth on shelties a lot as well, so I will be watching this thread too
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:50 PM
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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!
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:06 PM
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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.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:56 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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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 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
I would say that with my experience, they do make more 'talky' noises than some other breeds. I call it monkey noises lol. Growly-play noises, a quiet roo-roo-oo I think its cute lol

Naturally, I absolutly agree with Beanie, of course. Hilarious little dogs - Bailey's very dorky 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 )... 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 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?
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:39 AM
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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!
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milos_mommy View Post
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.
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.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:22 AM
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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....
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:56 AM
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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?
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
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.
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.
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