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Sheltie Adoption

Breed Photo

What do you need to know before you adopt a Sheltie? We asked the experts!
 

Northern Virginia Sheltie Rescue says:

The Shetland Sheepdog – Sheltie for short – comes from the harsh environment of the Shetland Islands, where they were bred as shepherds’ helpers.  They are herders, which means they prefer for everyone to be in the same place at the same time.  Smart, alert, beautiful (need lots of grooming), loyal, and athletic are some adjectives that describe Shelties.  Because they are “always on duty,” they can be barkers.  They attach closely to their humans and usually to the other dogs in the household, although some prefer to be the only dogs in the home.  Some Shelties love young children; others, not so much, so careful placement is very important.  Because they are smart and agile, they excel at dog activities like agility, disk dog, rally, and they love to learn tricks. They need lots of exercise and challenges for their physical and mental abilities.  In rescue, we look for adopters who can understand all this about Shelties and are not drawn to them just because they’re beautiful.

Minnesota Sheltie Rescue says:

Shelties are wonderful, smart, funny and comedic little dogs, but if there was one thing we would want a new Sheltie owner to know it would be how to keep them safe. This breed is a high flight risk when startled or scared. Knowing how to keep them safe so they don't become lost is key. Among the things we would recommend are:

  • Use a martingale collar vs. a regular buckle collar (Shelties have larger necks than heads which means they can pull out of a regular collar very easily when frightened.)
  • Always keep your Sheltie on a leash when out and about.
  • Guard home entrances and exits. Consider putting up a baby gate to prevent a Sheltie from escaping, especially when guests are coming and going.
  • Make sure all gates and fence lines are free of holes or gaps.
  • Take lots of pictures of your Sheltie so if they do become lost you have plenty of pictures to use for fliers.

Long Island Shetland Sheepdog Rescue, Inc. says:

The Sheltie is a beautiful, intelligent, friendly, loyal, affectionate, and gentle dog breed. They are family-oriented dogs, making them very loyal to their human pack.  Typically standing at 13 to 16 inches tall and weighing 15 to 23 pounds, Shelties are a small to medium dog breed with a moderate need for exercise. Unlike some herding dogs, they do not need to run around all day. They are perfectly happy living in a city apartment or a country residence - as long as you are there to give them attention.

The Shetland Sheepdog is extremely bright, sensitive and willing to please. This combination makes for a dog that is very obedient, quick to learn and utterly devoted to his family. He is not only gentle, playful, good-natured and companionable, but also excellent with children, although he can nip at heels in play while “herding,” an instinctive behavior.  He barks a lot.  Shelties need "mental exercise" as well.  These intelligent dogs cannot just sit in the backyard and do nothing. To be happy and well behaved, they require mental stimulation, too, such as obedience training, agility, herding, or challenging games you play with them, even if it's just fetching balls and finding hidden toys.

A Sheltie may be the right dog for you if you want a pet who:

·       Is conveniently-sized, light on his feet, and graceful

·       Has a lovely feathered coat in a variety of striking colors

·       Is athletic and animated, a speedy light-footed runner and jumper

·       Has a "soft" personality … sweet, gentle, sensitive

·       Is peaceful with strangers and other animals

·       Is bright and attentive and learns very quickly

Shelties have a beautiful striking appearance and great athleticism to match. Once you have had a Sheltie in your life, it is unlikely that you will ever want to own a different breed.

More about the Sheltie

Thinking about adopting a Sheltie puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Sheltie puppy (or, gasp! find a Sheltie puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Sheltie puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Sheltie (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Sheltie puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Sheltie rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Sheltie

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Sheltie adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.  So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Shelties for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Shelties and Sheltie puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Sheltie puppy.  Sheltie puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Sheltie, even a Sheltie puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Sheltie puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Sheltie if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Sheltie would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Sheltie rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Sheltie you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Sheltie to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue
Seattle, WA

Lady's Hope Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

New Rattitude - Washington
Seattle, WA

Royal Hounds Greyhound Adoption
Seattle, WA

Spots of Seattle Dalmatian Rescue
Seattle, WA

Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League
Seattle, WA

Washington German Shepherd Rescue
Seattle, WA

Green Lake Animal Hospital
Seattle, WA

Pit Bull Project
Seattle, WA

6dogrees Rescue
Seattle, WA

Angel Paws Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Northwest Airedale Terrier Rescue
Seattle, WA

Saving Great Animals
Seattle, WA

Seattle Animal Shelter
Seattle, WA

Healthy Paws Foundation
Belluvue, WA

Tough Love Pit Bull Rescue - Seattle Chapter
Seattle, WA

Emerald City Pet Rescue~ Seattle
Seattle, WA

Washington Rescue Dogs
Seattle, WA

AnimalDefense Rescue
Bellevue, WA

Seattle Humane Society
Bellevue, WA

ATR, a no-kill rescue
Seattle, WA

Fox Terrier Fanciers of Puget Sound Rescue
Seattle, WA

Little Blessings Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

NBRAN Washington
Seattle, WA

Pet Pros Seattle WA
Seattle, WA

Shilshole Bay Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Red Waggin' Rescue - Kirkland Chapter
Kirkland, WA

Animal Aid & Rescue Foundation
Seahurst, WA

Red Waggin' Rescue - Connell Chapter
Seattle, WA

CARES
BURIEN, WA

Tiny Tails Toy Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Animal Aware Northwest
Redmond, WA

Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue
Seattle, WA

Charlie's Guardian Angels
Seattle, WA

Finally Home Humane Society
Shoreline, WA

Ginger's Death Row Dog Pet Rescue
Seattle, WA

Mikey's Chance - West-Side
Seattle, WA

People United for Pets (PUP)
Issaquah, WA

Ribsey's Refugees
Issaquah, WA

Saint Bernard Rescue
Seattle, WA

All Paws On Deck
kenmore, WA

Ferry Dog Mothers
Bainbridge Island, WA

The Furrytale Farm
Bainbridge Island, WA

Pacific Crest Keeshond Club Rescue
Seattle, WA

Lil' Waif Puppy Rescue
Bothell, WA

Northwest German Shepherd Rescue
Bothell, WA

King County Animal Control
Kent, WA

Vashon Island Pet Protectors
Vashon, WA

Forever Home Dog Rescue
Mountlake Terrace, WA

S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia) Dog Rescue
Mountlake Terrace, WA

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
Redmond, WA

Basset Rescue of Puget Sound
Woodinville, WA

Greyhound Pets, Inc.
Woodinville, WA

Homeward Pet Adoption Center
Woodinville, WA

Academy of Canine Behavior Adoption Dogs
Bothell, WA

BMDCGS Rescue Program
Kent, WA

Collar of Hope
Kitsap County, WA

Animal Rescue Families
Bremerton, WA

Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue - Puget Sound, WA
Bremerton, WA

Puget Sound Italian Greyhound Rescue IGCA
NE Bremerton, WA

Irish Setter Club of Seattle Rescue
Port Orchard, WA

Northwest International Pet Rescue
Lynnwood, WA

National English Shepherd Rescue
Olalla, WA

Rockey's Rescue
Covington, WA

Second Chance Ranch
Maple Valley, WA

Rescue Pup
Mill Creek, WA

CJ's Dog Rescue
Snohomish, WA

Vizsla Rescue & Referral - Washington
All Cities, WA

Animals In Need
Kingston, WA

Project Buddy Rescue
Kingston, WA

Rescue Every Dog
Seattle c/o Kingston 98346/ Washington State, WA

Boxer Rescue
All of Western Washington, WA

Tiny Dog Rescue
Poulsob, WA

Heart To Heart small dog rescue - Auburn Chapter
Auburn, WA

K9 Rescue & Rehab
Auburn, WA

Ratbone Rescues (WA Chapter)
Seattle, WA

Top Dogs Rescue
Burley, WA

Chihuahua Rescue and Referral
Seattle, WA

Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE)
Silverdale, WA

Kitsap Humane Society
Silverdale, WA

Love A Mutt Pet Rescue
Lynnwood, WA

P.A.W.S. Progressive Animal Welfare Society
Lynnwood, WA

The Big Dog Project
Silverdale, WA

Rescuing Animals In Need (RAIN)
Federal Way, WA

Wolf Pack Animal Rescue
Tacoma, WA

PVCA Seattle Washington
Gig Harbor, WA

Prison Pet Partnership
Gig Harbor, WA

Bulldog Haven NW
Everett, WA

Animal Angels Network
Auburn, WA

Puget Sound Rescue
Auburn, WA

Canine Connections
Snoqualmie, WA

Seattle Beagle Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Three Rivers Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Compassioned Animal Rescue and Education
Milton, WA

Coonhound Opportunites Organization Northwest
Bremerton, WA

Petsavers
Bremerton, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Reg. 10
Gig Harbor, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Region 9
Gig Harbor, WA

Pawprints Rescue - Washington
Tacoma, WA

S.A.F.E. (saving animals from euthanasia)
Everett, WA

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