So You Think You Want A Miniature Collie?
If you think you want a miniature Collie, you don't, you want a SHELTIE. While the Sheltie is the image of a small Collie, it is an error to refer to them as a miniature. Likewise, the Collie is not a giant Sheltie. The Shetland Sheepdog and the Collie have a common ancestor in the Scottish Border Collie, but they are two completely separate breeds. If you decided you want a Sheltie, you may have made one of the most rewarding decisions in your life... but be Sure. Know the Facts! The Sheltie is one of the most beautiful breeds on Earth, possessing an exquisite expression. They have the highest intelligence possible and hearts overflowing with love. They are steadfastly loyal to "their people", young and old. They ask only to please you, and are eager to learn.
The Sheltie has the endearing quality of sensing your needs and adapting to your moods. Keep in mind, that because the Sheltie is a sensitive breed, they will not stand harsh treatment of any kind! The Sheltie was bred to live with people! The Sheltie was also bred t
o bark. Some bark very little, but most bark a lot. The Sheltie of today inherited his barking from the Sheltie of the Shetland Isles, who not only herded sheep, but warned their owners of intruders and frightened stray animals away from the garden. Barking is a natural instinct that can be controlled with one or two Shelties in residence. However, more than that can develop into a major problem.
Below is something that is included in my contract I found a long time ago online (author unknown)... It describes the character of shelties perfectly...
1. Shelties are reserved by nature and early socialization is needed to keep them from being shy. They are extremely loyal to either one person or one family. 2. Shelties are VERY verbal. They are sound sensitive and sound reactive. 3. Shelties will chase (in an attempt to herd) anything that moves, from a rabbit to the local garbage truck. A fenced yard is a must!!!. 4. Shelties are very bright and need to be given something to occupy their mind and their bodies...many will invent a job if you don’t provide them with one, and in most cases it is not exactly a job that would be of your choosing. 5. Shelties do not like to spend time away from their people. A Sheltie that is left alone too long is usually not a very happy little dog. 6. Shelties are, what I term, an emotional breed. They are very sensitive to the moods of their people and do best in a home where gentleness is the “way” of life. 7. Shelties are an active breed and need exercise everyday...more than just a 10 minute walk around the block. An adult dog is recommended to have a walk that approximately a mile in length. 8. Shelties need regular brushing and professional grooming at least twice yearly but no more than once a month. They shed extensively almost year-round.
Shelties demand to be an integral part of the family to which they belong. They stick their little noses into absolutely everyone’s business and feel compelled to make comments on their observations. They will follow their person to the corners of the earth and always to the bathroom. They consider your leaving them behind, for any reason whatsoever, as an aberration of proper behavior and will voice their disapproval...loud and long...often accompanied by frantic twirling and jumping. They are selective as to which of your friends they consider worthy of their affection, and which are to be observed from a distance, before a verdict is rendered. They will steal food right out of the mouth of mere babes, and show no shame. They will give chase, if not properly restrained, to any and all moving objects...and most especially to your jogging neighbor who hates all dogs. They will sense your every mood and be happy or sad along with you. They love attention and they love to learn. In short, they demand nothing less than to be a FULL member of your family...they do not consider themselves mere dogs, but a person on all four legs. It is also recommended that if a family vacation arrises, you consider going to a place where a dog is welcome, otherwise, plan ahead and try to find a pet-sitter (either in your own home or theirs) instead of an excellent boarding facility. So, if you you are considering bringing a Sheltie into your family, be prepared to spend a lot of time, energy and love on this new member...for that is what they need. In return, they will give you some of the most wonderful moments of your life, and memories that you will cherish forever. If you are looking for a very laid back, not particularly sensitive, doesn’t really care whether you are leaving or coming home, low maintenance, average intelligence dog...you would find a Sheltie totally exasperating, to say the least.
Photo courtesy of Sheltie Nation :)