Dog Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
who here owns/has owned a sheltie?
I'm interested in getting a sheltie or a mix preferably my last year of college or after I graduate college depending on if I can dedicate the appropriate amount of time. here are some questions

-do they do well in apartments? how much exercise do they need?

I'd walk them plenty, along with trips to the dog park and hopefully occasional walks on a trail or hiking as well as mentally exercising them with training. I'm just worried about separation anxiety (which I would work on training and stuff if they do have seperation anxiety.) or finding someone to let them out while I'm gone unless I'm living with someone (if my schedule doesn't allow, but I'm sure there are plenty of people with dog walking businesses, surely)

-what is grooming like for them? how often?

obviously they're a long haired breed, but I've owned RRs and bully breeds most of my life so I've only dealt with short hair. (if you don't count all the flying clumps of long cat hair I have to chase down at the vet clinic I volunteer at. it's never ending.)

what are your personal experiences on their activity level, personality, etc?

I've read countless care sheets and other kind of info for them. I would just rather hear firsthand.

thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Having never lived with one I don't consider myself a sheltie expert by even the most loose of senses and I am sure some others who have lived with them will jump in!

I would just say that I'd be far more worried about their barking when living in an apartment than the exercise requirement. Shelties really really like the sound of their own voices.

They seem to be super smart, engaging little dogs but the barking turns a lot of people off from the breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,885 Posts
Paging @sheltielad and @Rileysaur.

Shelties are really active, versatile little guys which is great if you are considering trying out a dog sport like agility or rally-o or even just involving him in an active lifestyle. The big three drawbacks to them are:

1) The coat really does require maintenance. Maybe the occasional trim at the groomer's, but more importantly, brushing. Done by you, on a fairly regular basis.
2) Noise. This is one breed that really likes to hear the sound of its own voice.
3) Exercise. They are a moderately active dog needing about 1 hour of brisk exercise per day. If you slack in that department... See #2!

I think they are great little dogs. Real whiz kids. The only thing bearing super serious consideration in my mind is the barking. In an apartment, that may be a problem, especially if they bark whenever they hear a noise. The contingency plan for this would either involve some dedicated training, or perhaps boarding at a daycare during your working hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,901 Posts
I've had a couple of Shelties. My heart dog was a Sheltie and he was just so, so amazing that I don't think I could bring myself to own another.

They are quite vocal. This is both barking and a really amusing grumbly "talking" noise that is hard to describe but incredibly adorable. :) I think my Sam probably could have handled living in an apartment as he didn't just bark at anything that flew by, so he probably would have been fine when I was gone, but when I was there he sure loved to "talk" to me - not sure if the neighbors would have liked that :)

However, he was able to learn "quiet" pretty well.

They are very smart dogs, and very active as well. Hiking or trail walking is great exercise because it works the mind as well as the body. This is definitely a breed that is fun to train and play brain games with - and you may want to take a class or two.

Grooming: I'd brush and comb daily. Under the legs and behind the ears were always the problem areas for me, just be sure to use a comb so you're able to get tangles out (the brush tends to skim over them).

The thing I would pay attention to is temperament. My Sam was an absolute dream but my other Sheltie, Abby, had fear issues that aren't uncommon with the breed. They're sensitive dogs but they're not supposed to be fearful or anti-social, and with bad breeding that sensitivity can turn into real fear. Abby was rather reactive as well; not nearly as bad as my current reactive dog but it was definitely an issue to watch for.

I know many of the Shelties that come through a nearby rescue are fearful as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
I don't own one, but I know several, and all of the ones I know have one thing in common: They. Are. BARKERS. They loooooove to bark! They're also really smart, and quick little dogs - a lot of Shelties are agility superstars.

The one my trainer owns, is seriously afraid of people. It's almost to the point I can pet him, but not quite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
oh man, I can do the grooming and exercise but barking incessantly is a peeve of mine ): especially for an apartment

what about fostering or adopting an older dog? are they less likely to bark? obviously it's a case by case issue but can age play into that? I was considering this as an option since there are a lot of older purebred shelties that were surrendered when their owners passed away. I feel like it'd be a good way to learn about them, minus all the puppy woes.

my cousin has a chihuahua and she has little dog syndrome--it drives me absolutely bonkers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,901 Posts
Older dogs bark too, but fostering would be a good way to test out the fit of a dog without too much commitment - and you could always adopt the dog too.

I wouldn't personally describe it as incessant barking or little dog syndrome. My terrier mix now is kind of like that - she'll bark at little noises. My Shelties always barked at/with me - it was more like an interaction between us than random barking if that makes sense.

But if it's a deal breaker (and I can see where it would be in an apartment) fostering may be the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
well my mom has a RR/black mouth cur mix and she loooves to talk when she's excited. she makes a sort of rooing sound. is it like that? if so, I can handle it no problem it's just the barking and yapping that id have trouble dealing with

also I'd like to mention that I've been watching quite a bit of kikopup videos and she addresses how to get your dog to stop barking, but from what I understand it's barking that's triggered by something rather than the dog hearing it's own voice. either way I'd be willing to work with the dog on not barking
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,901 Posts
They definitely bark, and sometimes to hear themselves talk, but most of the time for me it was barking AT me or for me, if that makes sense.

Sam would always bark when I got home, then I'd happily greet him and ask him all kinds of questions about how his day went and he'd just respond to them all.

It was probably something that I could have worked more on quieting, but we lived on a farm so no neighbors to complain and I loved to hear him bark.

So yes, they are very vocal (barking included!) but it was just more engaging and entertaining than when my terrier starts yapping because she thought she maybe might have possibly heard something on the porch.

They also tend to make this other, super cute, vocalizing sound.... It's hard to describe but it's not a rooooo (which is probably more of a hound thing) but more of like a gnrawr sound. Very playful.

FWIW, I think my Abby would have struggled in an apartment due to her fear issues (surprisingly, she was actually less vocal) but my Sam would have most likely been just fine as long as he had an outlet for his energy and voice.

I think fostering is good because if the dog works, great, if not he can find a more appropriate home.

Hopefully some of the other Sheltie people will chime in :). I still get teary eyed when I run into Shelties so I won't own another, but they really can be amazing dogs. I don't think I'll ever have a dog as awesome as my Sam, though I hope to!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
thank you so much for the help! also hoping some more sheltie people chime in.

I just really hope that a sheltie can be a good fit for me since I've fallen in love with them so far. I'll definitely try fostering I think
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,689 Posts
Shelties are awesome! What I love most about shelties, is their sensitivity and how in tune they are to people. I think it makes them super easy to train, and are very forgiving with mistakes. I don't think they're more prone to separation anxiety than any other dog.

I know shelties are notorious for barking, but there is a silver lining. They're not all like that! My sheltie isn't much of a barker. He will alert bark, when someone's at the door or if he sees a squirrel in the yard but other than that he's pretty quiet. There's actually a running joke in our agility class because the sheltie is the quiet one. He's does do the talking/grumbling thing when he's frustrated but I encourage that since I think it's cute :p To be honest, I can't stand constant barking so as a puppy I never encouraged it, since I knew of the breeds reputation. However, I can't tell you how much was nature vs nurture.

My sheltie doesn't have a huge undercoat so I don't groom him very often. He's also not great for grooming. I normally just do maintenance work every 2-3 weeks where I brush out his pants/legs with a quick body brush here and there. Otherwise he only gets a full groom a few times a year either when he starts blowing his coat or gets too dirty. The fur between his pads does grow out, so I clip and trim nails weekly or bi-weekly.

In terms of activity level, I'd say at 3, he's moderate now. As a puppy into is early adulthood? Endless energy. Now he's the type of dog who can go-go-go all day, or just chill and stay inside the next. I think his limit of chill days is about 2 in a row before you start to see the screws coming loose lol.

Personality-wise, I think Riley is a bit on the aloof side (for a sheltie). It's kinda hard to describe, because it's not like if I called him over he wouldn't come tail-wagging. It's more like "okay, I'm here what's next?" or "where's my reward?". He's not a cuddler nor does he really enjoy being pet/fawned over for very long. He loves to please though. He thrives on training, playing games, going out and doing things. He's very versatile in that way. He loves to play with other dogs and is great with cats.

As a puppy, one thing I struggled with was his intense fear stages. I had to learn the hard way that it's quality over quantity when it comes to socialization. After two bad experiences with strangers as a puppy, he is now wary of them (unless they have a dog, then they're cool). He's not reactive or anything, just prefers to ignore them and will shy away if approached head on.

I definitely think you can find a sheltie that will fit into your lifestyle. I'm sure a good breeder could match you with a pup or even maybe an older dog, that will do well in an apartment. Otherwise, fostering is a great way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
after quite a bit of thought, consideration, and some more research, I've decided I'm going to hold back on the sheltie idea for now.

I want a breed that will fit into my lifestyle and that can ease me into other kinds of dogs. I've had ridgebacks for most of my life and I feel I wouldn't give a sheltie the appropriate home just yet. too much fluff for me and I've had 0 experience with a herding breed. also I kinda want a dog more fitting for me to start off with since it'll be MY first dog.

This in mind, I began looking at dog breeds again, time and time the greyhound has been suggested to me, except they were too big. Then I came to realization that whippets were a thing! shrunken greyhounds in a sense.

they're the perfect size for what I've been looking for, and everywhere I've seen says they're great apartment dogs, rarely have the tendency to bark, and for exercise-- I already take care of a bunch of sighthounds so I know what I'm in for especially when it comes to excercise and things like prey drive. I have a scar on my arm from being drug down the sidewalk to chase a squirrel when I was 10 to prove it! (albeit I was walking two with their leashes wrapped around my arms like an idiot) plus my prospective apartment has a dog park in close proximity that I could visit several times a week!

I am still totally open to getting a sheltie though. I want one! I just don't want to subject either of us to an uncomfortable situation. not until I'm out of an apartment. I am completely open to the idea of fostering an older sheltie.

Hope what I said makes sense! lol I just woke up upon writing this and I'm on mobile. I'm thinking about making a seperate thread asking about whippets and peoples firsthand experience? idk. anyways thank you guys so much for the advice, all of you, and I'm DEFINITELY still open for more!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,482 Posts
Shelties are great, I've had 3. I'd say most of them are pretty moderate energy wise. Mine were all adaptable. Yes they bark a lot typically! My male barked constantly when he was excited. They make a lot of noises that other dogs don't seem to make (well a lot of other dogs). Honks, grunts, groans, howls, etc. Lots of 'talking'.

I actually don't think they were bad grooming wise. My short haired dog sheds much more.

Mine were sensitive and somewhat aloof compared to the papillons/Hank. Very body aware dogs. Kind of quirky and can be a bit obsessive over things. Fearfulness and overly soft temperaments are not uncommon. But overall great dogs and adaptable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,652 Posts
fuzzy balls of energy. :D
the ones I met barked a lot. If you'll live in an apartment this is something to think about.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top