Sheltie Nation

Category Archive for ‘Product Spotlight’

Sheltie Angel Ornament: A great way to support rescue!

Grouplogosm Is your Sheltie an Angel on Earth?  Have you ever loved a Sheltie who has gone to the Bridge?  Regardless of your reason, this is a must have for anyone who has ever loved a Sheltie! 

"Sheltie Angel" is an exquisite collectible Christmas Ornament, designed exclusively for The American Shetland Sheepdog Association and it's endorsed Rescue Groups.

The ornament is available in 6 colors, all of which are handcrafted in the USA by the artisans at Incolay.  What a wonderful gift for yourself or for the Sheltie lover in your life. 

The ornaments sell for $24.95 each, with 100% of profits directly benefiting Shelties currently in need of help. What better way to give back to the breed that gives us so much joy!

To order your "Sheltie Angel" ornament, click here


Additional information on Incolay:

Incolay is a handcrafted product that is made right here in the USA.  It is not mass produced by machinery in China.

All products are made by hand, from beginning to end by skilled artisians. This means that the Incolay 2-part stone formula is mixed by hand, poured by hand, demolded by hand, finished by hand and antiqued by hand.

There is a lot of time and work that goes into each product, which accounts for the cost and collectibility factor.

Here are a few pictures from some of the artisians at the Incolay factory.

Win a book! One Nation Under Dog

Underdog After journalist Michael Schaffer and his wife adopted Murphy, a mistreated St. Bernard puppy, in rural Pennsylvania, Schaffer found himself being drawn into the significant options and spending for pet care, so he decided to go deeper into the lives of people and their pets. The result is not only a very happy and healthy Murphy but also a fun, eye-opening, and touching examination of America’s pet obsession, ONE NATION UNDER DOG: Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food, by Michael Schaffer.

ONE NATION UNDER DOG introduces us to people who will spend their life savings on medial treatments for their pets and breeders who put potential owners through intensive screening before selling them a dog. We hear arguments for and against different training philosophies and look into a pets-only funeral home and bereavement groups for lost beloved animals. Schaffer also takes us to the darker side of the pet industry, going undercover at a puppy mill, talking to victims of the tainted pet food scandal, and looking at current legal battles over what can constitute on paper the pain and suffering brought from a pet’s mistreatment or untimely death.

Throughout ONE NATION UNDER DOG, Schaffer turns the lens not only on the industry but also on his relationship with Murphy. As he attends pet fashion shows and talks to “petrepeneurs,” Schaffer personalizes the experience with great wit and shows how the changing status of pets reflects shifts in American culture.

Send an email to to enter to win.  Name will be drawn May 22nd!

Congrats to Ann C. in CT!

Sizing up Shelties: Finding the Right Furniture

When it comes to purchasing items such as a travel crate or a dog bed, the one concern that most owners have is whether it will fit their best friend.  Picking the right size the first time is important because most pet stores, whether online or retail, won’t let your pet try out their products first and won’t accept returns if there are signs that it has already been used.

Sizing up Shelties can be especially tricky, as they can fall between small and medium depending on their size and the measurements of the product.  In this article, we’ll explain some good guidelines to consider when determining the proper size for your Sheltie friend.

Dog Houses
Doghouse04Whether buying a dog house or building one yourself, it can be a big investment, so you want to make sure that your dog can fit comfortably.  Although most Shelties would prefer to be indoor dogs, lounging on your couch or bed, sometimes a dog house is a nice addition to the back yard.

Since Shelties aren’t that tall, the door frame itself shouldn’t pose much of a problem so long as you leave at least 10 inches for the height.  But to ensure that the confines are spacious enough make sure that the width and depth of the house are at least 5 inches longer than the length of your Sheltie(excluding the tail) and that the overall height of the house is at least 25 inches (or at least 5-7 inches more than the standing height of your dog). 

Travel Crates
CrateIf you ever find the need to travel with your Sheltie, a crate is a must, especially when it comes to flying.  The two most important considerations when it comes to creates is a.) whether it is travel approved and b.) whether it will fit your Sheltie properly.  While any product description should list clearly whether the crate is approved for domestic and/or international airline traveling, finding the right size can be a bit trickier.  

The important thing to remember is that crates do not need to provide the same amount of room as a dog house, but it does need to be big enough for your dog to at least stand up and turn around.  Most importantly, it needs to be long enough for your Sheltie to lie down in it, since dogs tend to spend most of their time sleeping while travelling. 

The best rule of thumb is to measure your dog from head to tail bone and add 12 inches to this total to determine the proper length.  And also make sure to measure your dog’s height from the ground to the top of their heads and 6 inches to that total to figure the amount of standing space needed.  Generally, the proper width should be three-quarters of what the length should be.  For most brands of crates, this should put most Shelties in the medium sizing range, although some of the bulkier pooches might need a large crate instead.

Dog BedsDsc01669sml

Shelties are active and intelligent dogs, so there really is no such thing as buying a pet bedthat is too large.  They usually tend to like more space then comparably sized dogs and unlike some breeds of toy dogs, they won’t be overwhelmed or intimidated by a large dog bed.  On the other hand, a dog bed that is too small can hinder his/her ability to sleep comfortably so it is really important to go bigger if you think it might be necessary.  The bottom line is you want to pick a bed that has a measurement of at least 9-12 inches longer and wider than your Sheltie when he or she is lying down.

While these tips should hopefully help, it is important to note that the right size can vary depending on the size of your Sheltie, so make absolutely sure to measure your pet first before making a purchase. And if you find yourself caught between two sizes, always opt for the larger one.  Even if it costs a little more, it is a safer bet than opting for the smaller size and gambling that your dog will find it comfortable.

Sponsored post

Product Warning: Pimple ball with bell by Four Paws, Inc.

WARNING: A few images posted in this article may be difficult to look at for some readers.

Toy1 On June 22, 2008, my 10-year old lab mix, Chai, sustained a severe injury from a product that the company Four Paws, Inc., produces. The toy I’m referencing is the pimple ball with bell (Item #20227-001, UPC Code #0 45663202279).

While chewing on the toy, a vacuum was created and it effectively sucked his tongue into the hole in the ball. From speaking with my vet, this likely occurred because there is not a second hole in the ball preventing the vacuum effect from happening. I became aware of this when Chai approached a friend at my home whimpering with the ball in his mouth. She tried unsuccessfully to remove the ball but the tongue had swollen and could not be released.

Toy2 Chai was taken to the Animal Medical Center (an emergency care facility in New York City ) and was treated by Dr. Nicole Spurlock to have the ball removed. Because the size of the opening on the ball was so small, all circulation to his tongue was cut off. The doctors had to sedate him in order to remove it. Once the ball was removed, his tongue swelled to the point that he could no longer put it in his mouth. Chai was sent home with care instructions and to be observed overnight for any changes.

By the following morning, Chai’s tongue had swollen even more.

Toy3 This is the dogs tongue not the Toy!

He was taken to his regular vet, Dr. Timnah Lee, for treatment. He was admitted and kept sedated for a period of three days during which time they were treating his wounds and waiting to determine how much of his tongue could be saved. On June 26, 2008, Chai had his tongue amputated.

He was kept in after-care for an additional three days. On Sunday, June 29th, I brought Chai home from the vet with a barrage of home care instructions, to last for an additional 7 days. His next visit was to have his mouth re-examined and have the feeding tube in his neck removed.

On the way home from the vet we stopped at Petland Discount where I purchased their product to speak to the manager on duty. Upon meeting Chai and seeing his condition, he removed all of the balls in question from the shelves. He also ga ve me the customer service number to their corporate headquarters to request that they refuse to continue purchasing all Four Paws products.

Additionally, I shared my story with friends who have a French Bulldog named Petunia. Upon hearing my story, their eyes widened. They explained that the same thing happened twice in one night with a smaller version of the same ball to their dog. Fortunately, they were able to pull it off before the tongue swelled, but not without tremendous effort and pain to the dog. They recalled how horrific it was to hear their dog screaming while they had to pry the ball from her tongue.

To date, my veterinary bills total over $5,000 and I will have regular follow up appointments for some time. Additionally, Chai now requires a much more expensive form of food beca use of this injury, averaging approximately $200 per month.

Additionally, I now have to re-teach my dog to eat, drink and adjust to life without his tongue. Feeding him takes me about 90 minutes twice a day and for at least this first week he is not to be unattended for more than 20 minutes at a time.

I sent this information along with the reference to the French Bulldog to Four Paws, Inc., and it is their position that there just aren’t enough instances to do anything about this. I told their insurance company’s case manager that was not a good enough excuse. It was inferred that my dogs value wasn’t much and that his pain and suffering don’t count as he is just a piece of property.

Please visit Chai’s blog page to find out more & for updates.
Since Chai’s story has circulated the internet & gained quite a bit of exposure, the company has announced a recall. But there are probably many, many of these toys still sitting in doggie toy boxes!

Cesar Millan: Win a DVD training set!

Say the name "Cesar Millan" in dog-lover company and you are bound to get a variety of responses.  Love him or hate him, Cesar's methods have been wildly successful. 

Have you always wanted to give his training methods a closer inspection?  Have a Sheltie that could use a bit of help?  You're in luck – Cesar Millan's team has graciously offered 2 DVD sets to raffle off to Sheltie Nation members!

This fresh, new three-DVD set shows dog owners a variety of Cesar’s key concepts, including how to become a “pack leader”, the importance of calm-assertive energy, and how to establish proper rules, boundaries and limitations for your dog. You can learn more about this new DVD Set at: 

Volume 1: People Training for Dogs DVD
Cesar's methods have been successful at rehabilitating even seemingly impossible-to-correct dog behaviors. He shares his wisdom and wit from a lifetime of working with dogs, including:
* The basics of dog behavior
* Understanding the nature of the pack
* Energy and body language
* Giving rules, setting boundaries and limitations
* Why the walk is important
* Cesar's fulfillment formula
* Bonus Features, including feeding time with Cesar's pack

GFK_product_dvd2Volume 2: Becoming a Pack Leader
Following the methods learned in Volume 1, Cesar works directly with dogs and their owners to demonstrate how it's done. Topics include:
* The role of the pack leader
* How to use energy and body language to influence your dog
* How to create rules, boundaries, and limitations
* Getting control during walks
* Bonus features include outtakes, and Cesar's questions for the viewer

GFK_product_dvd3Volume 3: Your New Dog: The First Day and Beyond
Loaded with invaluable ideas and essential tips to start off on the right paw in the third volume of Cesar's Mastering Leadership series. Topics include:
* How to select the perfect dog for you and your family
* Introducing your puppy to your household for the first time
* Indispensable advice on adopting dogs from shelters, rescue groups, and breeders
* Selecting a dog that matches your energy
* Bonus Features, including puppy tips, and teaching with treats

R2C Group has kindly given two copies of "Mastering Leadership" to raffle to Sheltie Nation members.  Each winner will also receive a bonus Sheltie Nation decal! 

To enter to win: Just email me at and put "Cesar" as the topic & put your mailing address in the body. (Contest ends Friday, October 31st, 2008 at noon EST.)

Even though we only have two to give away, don't be sad, because Cesar's folks have offered Sheltie Nation readers something extra!   A special “blog only” coupon code that can be redeemed for $25 off the purchase of the DVD set. The coupon code is “25off” to use on the website.  The coupon code is valid through November 2nd so take advantage of the special offer soon!

Congrats to Doug Johnson & Judy Sviatko on winning the DVD sets!