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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

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Ashburn
Ashburn, VA

FOHA - Dogs
Aldie, VA

Pet Rescue Foundation, Inc.
Gloucester, VA

Virginia German Shepherd Rescue
Sterling, VA

With Our Regards, Inc.
Sterling, VA

Dogwood Sheltie Rescue
Sterling, VA

Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue
Herndon, VA

PAWS Rescue of Northern VA
Reston, VA

SCMR - VA
Herndon, VA

Furry Suits Rescue
Herndon, VA

NBRAN-Virginia
Reston, VA

Akita Rescue Mid-Atlantic Coast, Inc.
Silver Spring, MD

Boxer Rescue and Adoption Inc.
Reston, VA

New Rattitude - Maryland
Poolesville, MD

Friends Of Homeless Animals - Cats
Aldie, VA

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Great Falls
Great Falls, VA

Humane Society of Loudoun County
Leesburg, VA

Open Hearts Rescue
Leesburg, VA

A Forever Home Rescue Foundation
Chantilly, VA

Collie Rescue, Inc.
Chantilly, VA

Potomac Valley Pekingese Club - Chantilly
Chantilly, VA

Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society
Centreville, VA

Home At Last Sanctuary, Inc
Potomac, MD

Sweetheart Sanctuary
Vienna, VA

Healing Hearts Animal Rescue Group
Catharpin, VA

Annies Orphans
Gaithersburg, MD

Dewey Animals, Inc.
Centreville, VA

Mutt Love Rescue
Fairfax, VA

PetConnect Rescue
Potomac, MD

City of Fairfax Animal Shelter
Fairfax, VA

The Humane Society of Fairfax County
Fairfax, VA

Whitney Foundation
Fairfax, VA

Independent Animal Rescue
Germantown, MD

Rescue BC
Germantown, MD

United Maltese Rescue
Germantown, MD

Loudoun SPCA
Middleburg, VA

Middleburg Humane Foundation
Middleburg, VA

Loudoun County Animal Services
Waterford, VA

Nova Rottweiler Rescue
Germantown, MD

Westie Rescue MidAtlantic
Dunn Loring, VA

Dachshund Rescue of North America Inc.
Manassas, VA

Raleigh County Animal Rescue, Inc
Manassas, VA

Forever Homes Animal Rescue, Inc.
Rockville, MD

Gentle Creatures
Rockville, MD

Hedgesville Hounds
Rockville, MD

Montgomery County Humane Society
Rockville, MD

American Lhasa Apso Club Rescue - Northwest Region
Gaithersburg, MD

Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue
Mclean, VA

Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection, formerly Potomac Valley AMR
Virginia, Maryland, DC, MD

Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue
Clifton, VA

Pet Pros Maryland
Bethesda, MD

Lab Rescue LRCP - Purcellville VA
Purcellville, VA

Montgomery County SPCA
Gaithersburg, MD

Saint Seton's Orphaned Animals
Falls Church, VA

Friends Of Montgomery County Animals
Germantown, MD

Mid-Atlantic Chinese Shar-Pei Rescue Operation
Bethesda, MD

Tailed Treasures of MD Inc.
Rockville, MD

Empty Shelter Project
Manassas, VA

Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc.
Adamstown, MD

Bull Terrier Rescue of Virginia (BTRVA)
Manassas, VA

Jasmine's House, Inc. - MD Chapter
Clarksburg, MD

Ambassador Pit Bull Rescue
Gainesville, VA

HART (Homeless Animals Rescue Team)
Fairfax Station, VA

Promises Animal Rescue, Inc
Gainesville, VA

DC Area Weimaraner Rescue
Manassas Park, VA

Doberman Assistance Rescue & Education
Arlington, VA

Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation
Arlington, VA

on the rebound bulldog rescue foundation
manassas, VA

Best DAWG Rescue Inc.
Bethesda, MD

BB&G Pomeranian Rescue
Lovettsville, VA

Maryland Bichon Frise Rescue
Rockville, MD

Lab Rescue LRCP - Frederick MD
Buckeystown, MD

Mutts Matter Rescue
Rockville, MD

Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue Inc. District of Columbia, Virginia
Washington, DC

Lab Rescue LRCP - Falls Church VA
Falls Church, VA

American Maltese Assoc. Rescue--Virginia
Bristow, VA

Blue Ridge Doberman Rescue
Bluemont, VA

Dog World Rescue, Inc.
Alexandria, VA

Mid-Atlantic GSP Rescue
Arlington, VA

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue
Arlington, VA

SPCA of Northern Virginia
Arlington, VA

Allbreed Rescue & Referral Inc
Gaithersburg, MD

Chow Chow Rescue of Maryland
Silver Spring, MD

Grand Dogs Rescue 2
Silver Springs, MD

Roxie's Fund, Inc*
Silver Spring, MD

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
Washington, DC

Capitol Canines Animal Rescue
Washington, DC

Capital Animal Care
Arlington, VA

Caring Hearts Rescue
Springfield, VA

Dogs Deserve Better - Virginia Chapter
Arlington, VA

Dogs Deserve Better, DC Metro Area
Arlington, VA

Dogs Deserve Better-DC Metro Area
Arlington, VA

Ozark Mutts and Stuff, Inc VA
Springfield, VA

Pups 2 Luv Rescue
Springfield, VA

Purrs, Paws, and Claws - Springfield Chapter
Springfield, VA

Rescue Angels, Inc. - Virginia Chapter
Arlington, VA

To The Rescue Inc.
Springfield, VA

American Brussels Griffon Rescue Alliance, Inc. - VA
Alexandria, VA

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria
Alexandria, VA

Tara's House Animal Rescue, Inc. - Silver Spring Chapter
Silver Spring, MD

Animal Welfare League of Arlington
Arlington, VA

Bring Home the Brindle Dog Rescue
Ijamsville, MD

Washington Humane Society - GA Ave
Washington, DC

City Dogs Rescue DC
Washington, DC

Dogingham Palace Rescue/Washington DC
Washington, DC

Dogs in Harmony - Washington D.C.
Washington, DC

Alliance for Stray Animals and People
Washington, DC

DC Shiba Inu Rescue (DCSIR)
Manassas, VA

Lonely Hearts Animal Rescue
Frederick, MD

MerryLea Rescue
Frederick, MD

Operation Paws for Homes - MD Chapter
Frederick, MD

Pet Pros Washington DC
DC, DC

Prince William County Animal Shelter
Manassas, VA

Hot Water Rescue
Alexandria, VA

Presidential Pits
Washington, DC

Lizzy's Lodge
Silver Spring, MD

Pet Pros Virginia
Arlington, VA

Vindicated Pit Bull Rescue
alexandria, VA

Pooches & Purrs Cooperative - Washington, DC
Washington, DC

Washington Animal Rescue League
Washington, DC

HFH - Washington D.C.
Washington, DC

Animal Protection Alliance
Takoma Park, MD

Cockers & Friends, Incorporated
Alexandria, VA

Oldies But Goodies Cocker Rescue, Inc.
Newington, VA

.....
....., FL

Dog House Rescue
Prince William County, VA

USNMC Rescue
Jefferson, MD

United Yorkie Rescue - VA - Woodbridge - Brenda
Woodbridge, VA

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