The shetland sheepdog is not the breed to think twice responding to a global following (despite its renowned brand of reserve), and is capable of a big heart and genuine devotion in responding to that love. But as all veteran sheltie owners know, the dog has some personality issues that need prompt training into desirable behavior by the time the dog is mature. Otherwise, both owner and pet risk incurring so much misunderstanding and miscommunication later on due to the foregone opportunities to get things ironed out. Older dogs naturally can still absorb learning, but it is less complicated skirting a problem in puppyhood compared to setting aright one later in the future.
In the same degree that they love their people, some shelties are given to a stubborn streak. The patience of owners may get tested again and again for a while as the sheltie verifies if there is really no room for gray areas. The sheltie's smartness will also sometimes loom high as it is capable of recalling what it learned, what it has been able to pull off before, and how can it pull it off again.
Potential shetland sheepdog owners need to keep in mind that the breed was conceptualized as watchman of its flock. This history has apparently given the dog a courage in gross disproportion to its size, and a bark that is louder than its bite. Thus, the sheltie is used to communicating through barks, but may get excessively enthusiastic about it if the tendency isn't trained in puppyhood. So barking to give notice of a visitor's arrival is permissible. But it is clearly not so for barking for barking's sake. A sheltie's puppy days is the ideal time for teaching that distinction.
Brainy and active beyond doubt, the sheltie is therefore easily bored and may turn out destructive if if not given the outlets for activity. Shelties are also human-oriented pets. If they grow up without sheltie training, or are left behind by their pack members, they will resort to their notorious barks to protest.
One of the breed's endearing traits is its zeal nad mission to be at its master's beck and call. A sheltie turned away or treated as a wallflower grows up to be unhappy and likely very destructive.
While Shetland Sheepdogs have a host of charming qualities that make them oft-unparalleled companions, they have two traits that may warrant a careful lifestyle-review from pet-owners. They tend to shed profusely and they bark. Before getting a Sheltie, you need to carefully check if you are willing to assume the special responsibilities associated with these.
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