|Shetland Sheepdog - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Shetland sheepdogs, although bred to be small, are great herding dogs and many of them do have a strong herding instinct. They tend to chase and herd animals like squirrels and ducks. Also, never leave your pet alone with the kids. Kids can be rough when playing with the dog and besides, even kids are not exempted from being herded by a sheltie. Be wary that a kid running across the yard may trigger your pet's herding instinct. The best way to deal with this is to educate kids on how they are going to react when this happens. When the sheltie starts to nip, running away and making noise is discouraged for it will only encourage the dog to do more. But staying calm and saying "no" in a firm voice can help get the dog to stop what he's doing.
Being small dogs, they are at risk of acquiring human-induced behavior called Small Dog syndrome. Dogs with Small Dog syndrome believes that he is the leader of the pack and must keep his humans in line. However, this problem subsides when the human surrounding the dog shows proper leadership in addition to exercise and daily walks that keep him physically and mentally busy.
Grooming this breed seems difficult given their double coat, with the outer coat that is usually long and rough and inner coat that is thick yet soft. Regular brushing (at least once every week) will suffice however frequency is encouraged to increase the beauty and make the coat tidier. They are known to shed twice every year, usually during spring and winter. Females will also shed right before or after giving birth.
While the above-mentioned information can be helpful to you in raising your first Shetland sheepdog, you can still increase your knowledge concerning proper dog ownership. Your trusted friends (sheltie owners), veterinarian and breed club members can be great mentors as well.