The Shetland Sheepdog is classified in the AKC Herding Group, which means that it is an intelligent, athletic dog. Though smaller in size, measure just 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder, the Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, has as much energy as many dogs two or three times its size. Shelties need lots of exercise and physical activity, which can be a big bonus if you lead an active lifestyle. They are a very affectionate and social breed and will have the most fun exercising or playing with people or other dogs.
The easiest option to play with your Sheltie is to have a fenced-in back or front yard where you can play fetch or tag with your pup. Shelties are impeccably good at catch, as well, and can be trained to play a mean game of frisbee. Some Sheltie owners have little scavenger hunts with their dogs where they will hide treats around the yard and allow their pet to run around and find them. This is not recommended for city dwellers, however, as trash can easily find it’s way into your yard and you do not want your dog thinking that it’s okay to eat whatever he finds! While your sheepdog will enjoy his or her time running around off the leash, it is important to not leave them unattended in the yard. The breed is quite good at clearing hurdles or digging and could escape.
If you are not fortunate enough to have a yard to play with the Shetland Sheepdog in, there are plenty of other options to get them the activity needed to keep them happy and healthy. Taking your Sheltie along for the morning jog or training him or her to run next to your bicycle is a fantastic way to get the much-needed exercise for your dog and for yourself. If jogging or biking is not an every day activity for you, a long, brisk walk can suffice, but they will need more indoor playtime as well.
If you are really enthusiastic about exercising your Sheltie, you can look into some dog sporting events. All herding breeds excel at agility competitions because of their dexterity, speed and intellect. While the trials alone aren’t enough exercise, the training process is rather intensive and can be a great source of exercise for the both of you, as well as a wonderful bonding experience. Finding a Shetland Sheepdog or agility club in your area is a good start to begin agility training, though if you do not plan on competing you can easily build or purchase a course of hurdles, tunnels, and A-frames in your back yard.
The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent and playful breed, and is best suited to owners with an athletic or active lifestyle. Your Sheltie will be happy to accompany you on errands or runs, and can even help encourage you to stick with that exercise routine! Getting fit with your new best friend is an experience every dog owner can enjoy. Shetland Sheepdogs love to please and will be a perfect fit for anyones home.
* The power of cheese! Our shetland sheepdogs “Maggie” and “Buddy” can’t resist the power! They Love CHEESE!!!
Sheltie’s Love CHEESE!!!
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