Shetland Sheepdog Puppies — Willing Work Dog
This endearing herding dog has taken his place both in the competition ring and in the home as an eager to please companion.
Developed to herd the minature sized livestock such as sheep and goats, the Shetland Sheepdog puppy carries an endearing personality that is easy to love by most humans. Due to his smaller size, beautiful physique and high intelligence he has become a popular and loyal companion dog. Living easily in any environment from farm to city apartment, he quickly adapts to his surroundings and is always looking for a job to do. As a pet, socialization and training can bring out the best in him.
He needs a leader
Your Shetland Sheepdog, also known as a Sheltie, is a sensitive breed. He will react to your tone of voice as well as your body language. He needs an assertive but calm human leader to train him and teach him boundaries. If basic obedience is not given to your puppy, he will ignore your commands and attempt to run your household as he sees fit. Doing this will cause him to develop behavioral problems such as destructive behavior, excessive barking, separation anxiety, and even becoming nippy.
Begin basic obedience as a young puppy and provide adequate socialization during his fear periods at 4 to 12 weeks old and again at about 8 months old. Because your Sheltie puppy is extremely intelligent, he easily excels at competition obedience. His athletic build allows him to run an Agility course in no time and his drive to please you sets him apart from other companion dogs. Give him any job to do and he will impress!
Aside from Agility, herding, and obedience your Sheltie puppy can become successful at trick training! They love to perform for their leader, even if it's a chain of tricks or herding livestock in the fields. Be creative, confident and calm when training your puppy and the two of you will be able to perform a show of tricks for your friends, family and neighbors in no time!
Like with any breed, the Shetland Sheepdog puppy has a chance of inheriting some debilitating conditions and diseases. Prone to malformation and diseases of the eye, you should first ask your chosen breeder if they conduct health testing on the eyes for their breeding dogs. Doing so allows the breeder to make education decisions on whether or not they should breed their dogs and which other dog they should be mated with. This helps to eliminate or at least lessen the likelihood of passing on these conditions to future puppies.
The eyes are not the only things that can be prone to disease. The patellas, or knees, of the dog can become displaces much like hip dysplasia. This condition is believed to be genetic, and health testing should be done on breeding dogs for the patella just as it is done for the eyes. Any reputable breeder will be happy to show you the results of the annual testing for their parent dogs before you make the commitment to purchase a puppy.
Your Sheltie puppy will be happy to live indoors, even in an apartment setting, but should be given daily vigorous exercise for both physical and mental health. This can include a brisk walk with your dog heeling on leash or a few runs through a backyard Agility course for fun. Make variety a priority in exercising your puppy, and throughout his lifetime. Doing so keeps him interested and eager to get involved in what's coming next!
A loyal companion
As a herding breed, the Shetland Sheepdog puppy is naturally loyal to his human pack. He should be socialized as a young puppy to other animals and people so that he doesn't become too reserved towards others. He will form a strong and unbelievable bond with the leader, and will happily follow their guidance anywhere.