Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Anyone got a Shetland sheepdog?(9 Posts)
Hi all, we want to get the children a dog and they all want a sheltie. DD1 particularly wants to do agility and I've heard they can be great company too. What's your experience with this breed please?
Hope you like yapping Some can be noisey little things.
You need to love grooming they are low to the ground and will pick up every leaf , bracken, grass seeds, trees you walk near.
Some (many) are noise sensitive so that will encourage them to bark, some are chasers so you will need to work on this and also have a secure garden. The ones I have known do not like to be left alone they are clever dogs who want to do things not stay at home on their own.
They are not laid back chilled dogs.
Did I mention they bark (a lot!)
Seen (and heard!) some amazing ones at agility though
Ok, thanks @RiaRoth. I don't mind grooming or barking-we own a farm, we currently have two border collies for herding livestock but the older one is getting near the end of her working years and we need another one ready to work with the other collie who is 4 when she is too old to work. We thought we'd let the children choose the breed of our next herding dog as they spend a lot of time with them.
Ok I have collies and my friend has shelties. The difference in training and intelligence is noticeable. Shelties seem a little bit more independent than the collies but that may just be hers!
When my collies herd it feels smooth, and the sheep move calmly, her shelties tend to be a bit more frantic and split the sheep due to their fliting around. BUT that could easily be my sheep and her dogs
It sounds like yours will be kept busy which will be fantastic. Your DC will be impressive shepherds if they start with shelties and move onto collies (which of course they will when they come to their senses)
I could be wrong, but I also have a border collie and I was under the impression that when it comes to working, borders, Welshes and kelpies are still bred for herding but Shelties and rough collies have been bred for pets and as shoe dog’s and have very little, if any natural herding ability left
A vet friend says Shelties have no personality. I can’t imagine that huge long coat in the mud of a farm.
We had a sheltie when I was a kid. I loved him to pieces but as an adult I can see he was hard to keep clean, yappy, irrational, and a bit of a pain. He had a host of problems.
He was also brilliantly good fun, smart, very loving, slept in my bed most nights (at my dads, mum was less keen), and was my best mate.
Shelties are great for agility and have lovely personalities. They can be more reserved with strangers, eg the vet.
You will need to groom at LEAST daily.
I have two I have absolutely no idea why on earth anyone would claim they have no personalities! And I'm a vet so have seen a few (though admittedly not many as they aren't common at all these days - though everyone's granny seems to have had one when they were wee!). Your home set up sounds great for shelties. One of mine couldn't care less about herding, the other one is a natural herder and wouldn't have been a bad working dog. Great little dogs for agility.
2 downsides: grooming and barking. One has a more labour intensive coat that the other (and she's a wee wimp when it comes to brushing). I bought a grooming table for them as they need a full wash and blow dry every 6 weeks or so as they attract so much dirt as a PP has said due to being relatively low to the ground, and their double coat needs blown out. Winters can be a nightmare when every day is wet and muddy and a quick towel down isn't always particularly effective.
The barking... Dear lord the barking. If I had no next door neighbours I wouldn't mind at all though. It's just how the communicate though, be it happy, scared, playful, hungry, anxious etc.
Health wise I think they are pretty sturdy things, prone to certain health issues as much as every breed is but generally are well designed dogs.
Any questions, fire away!