Shelties have a reputation as vocal dogs, but that might be undeserved. Ill-bred dogs often display a terrier-like personality–hyper and yappy, always on the go–but can just as easily be overly timid and may become a fear-biter.
The intelligent Sheltie can be trained to be an excellent watch dog, and not yappy, giving two or three barks to alert its owner to a person at the door. You can train your Sheltie early to stop barking once you have determined that there is nothing to be concerned about. If you are unsure how to do this, ask your breeder or veterinarian for the name of a reputable trainer.
To some extent, “yappiness” varies with the individual, but as a breed, Shelties are known for being vocal. Unlike some smaller breeds which are barky but have “baby” voices, Shelties possess a penetrating bark. Your neighbors may not appreciate the fact that your dog’s ancestors always lived within three miles of the ocean, and had to be heard over the sound of crashing surf, the call of sea animals, the bleating of lambs, and the howl of high winds. Someone interested in a Sheltie must understand that barking is in fact, part of what Shelties were bred to do.
Be forewarned, two or more Shelties can be next to impossible to keep quiet. If noise is a concern for your lifestyle, the Sheltie might not be the breed for you.
Thx to flyinfootwork for the perfect Sheltie bark photo!