The small, active Shetland Sheepdog (nicknamed the Sheltie) was once a Scottish farmer's best friend: sounding the alarm when anyone approached the property, barking at birds and other animals to shoo them from the garden, and later, with crosses to Scottish herding dogs, keeping the sheep flocks in line.
Shelties are loving companions for all members of the family, including the kids, but they can be reserved or even shy around strangers. Because of their protective nature, they're quick to bark if they sense that anything's amiss in their territory.
Shetland sheepdogs are known for their gentle, sweet, pleasing personality. They are also playful and affectionate, all traits that have made them a popular family pet. ... While not usually aggressive, some Shelties may nip at people they do not know, whether the strangers are adults or children.
Shetland Sheepdogs love learning new tricks and tasks. Shelties (and their owners) enjoy the challenge of coming up with new things to learn, from “helping” around the house to canine gymnastics. They're considered extremely intelligent and respond well if you're patient and also make training time fun.
Exceptionally attentive and responsive, Shetland Sheepdogs are easy to train if you have a calm voice and a light hand on the leash. Sensitivity is one of the hallmarks of this breed. ... To build a confident temperament, the Shetland Sheepdog needs more extensive socialization than many other breeds.
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