Finding a good source of information on the Shetland Sheepdog can be a challenge. When you Google for the word “Sheltie”, you are hit with countless responses. Weeding through the “helpful” from the “time wasters” can be annoying.
Breed Retriever is a helpful site that has an uncluttered appearance and is easy to navigate…even for those not very net savy. There are several tabs at the top of each breed page that guide you to more detailed information on your chosen dog.
As far as their description of the Sheltie is concerned, the breed temperament description has focused a bit too much on some of the “bad apple” traits in the breed. I don’t agree with this statement: “Especially wary of strange children, the Sheltie is known to bark
persistently at–and not allow itself to be touched by–strangers of any
age”. Yea sure, some Shelties are like that, but lots of other insecure dogs of any breed would do that. It really isn’t that more dominant in Shelties, but they could more easily become that way with out proper socialization. (Generally Shelties can be more sensitive than other dogs.) I’d like to see more emphasis on proper puppy socialization & choosing a proper breeder.
I don’t agree with this statement either: “Meticulous about its own cleanliness, the dog should be bathed only when absolutely necessary”. Yea, Shelties can be prissy about getting wet or dirty, but that doesn’t mean that they never need a bath. I’d recommend a Sheltie be bathed at least 3-4 times a year…that is if their coat & skin condition is monitored, they are groomed weekly, never swim or get filthy.
I’m not sure where they get the Sheltie photos, but the images posted so far seem to lean toward the European Sheltie or show less than the best of the breed. (If you view a champion American Sheltie next to a European one, the differences will be apparent.) Not to say that one is better than the other, but I’d like to see a champion Sheltie like Ch. Zion’s Man About Town shown here.
I’m a bit leary of the “find a breeder” section of the site. Listing in the directory is free, but there is no known qualified screening of the breeders listed. Backyard “hobby” breeders can easily be listed next to the breeders that acutally care more about the breed than making a buck. I’d like to see the disclaimer more prominently displayed. All of their pages should emphasize adoption & provide information about puppy mills or backyard breeders & how to avoid them. I was glad to see some Sheltie rescue groups utilizing the breeder listings.
Breed Retriever is a fun site to explore & a good site to start your breed research. As always, it is best to get information from several sources before being able to make an informed decision if the Sheltie is the best breed for you & your lifestyle.
Link: Breed Retriever