|By Becky Turner||Visit The Sheltie Forums|
Congratulations on deciding to adopt a lovely Shetland Sheepdog! The first place to look is at your local Sheltie Rescue. There are thousands of homeless Shelties and Sheltie crosses looking for loving homes right now...
If you choose to buy a Sheltie puppy from a breeder, please choose wisely. Do your research and make sure you are not supporting a backyard breeder or puppy mill. Professional breeders care deeply about the health and wellbeing of their Shelties and are not in it for the money. Visit our Sheltie Breeder Directory to find a local breeder but please remember we can't guarantee their authenticity.
Finally, DO NOT even think about going to a pet store to buy a puppy. Most, if not all, the puppies sold in pet stores come from money-driven backyard breeders. Here are Eight Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a Sheltie Puppy From a Pet Store.
This is our online directory of Shetland Sheepdog Rescue shelters. Sheltie rescue organizations take in abandoned, lost and unwanted Shelties - and take care of them while they find new loving homes. They also take the time to determine their personality, so they can be placed with the right family in the long term.
If you choose to buy a puppy, you can find a local breeder in our extensive directory of Shetland Sheepdog breeders. While many breeders aim to produce the finest quality pedigree dogs, there are usually puppies in each little who do not meet show standards - but nonetheless make excellent pets. Contact a breeder in your area and put your name down today for their next litter of Sheltie puppies.
Bringing home a new Shetland Sheepdog puppy is an exciting time - but are you prepared for it? Discover the basics of Sheltie pups: the types of Shelties you can find, from purebreds to crosses; deciding whether to get a breeder or rescue dog; and how to care for your puppy from day one, including what gear you will need.
Here is a selection of Sheltie names to help inspire you when you're naming your beautiful new Sheltie puppy! Names are important, as you'll be hollering this at the dog park for years to come - and a funny-sounding name could score you a few looks! It's also important to pick a name that your Sheltie can easily recognize... Here are my top picks of Sheltie names.
#1. Poor Health - When you buy a Shetland Sheepdog puppy from a pet store, there's little chance that its parents were screened for genetic diseases. These are the hereditary ailments specific to individual dog breeds, and are passed on to the offspring. Professional breeders use expensive tests to detect these genes and make sure they don't breed a dog that is affected. This ensures the survival of healthy blood lines and the continuation of the Sheltie breed. However, pet store litters are the result of unplanned breeding or, worse, puppy mills, and they can eventually develop diseases that cause expensive vet bills and an early death.
Sheltie puppies for sale in pet shops are often taken from mom early
#2. No Guarantee - Many pet stores boast a guarantee when they offer Sheltie puppies for sale. But this guarantee is worth very little. It's not uncommon for a family to get attached to their gorgeous new Sheltie puppy, only for it to develop a disease when it's still young, costing them hundreds of dollars. Yet when they take the puppy back to the pet store for reimbursement, the store merely offers to trade puppies. This sickening truth means euthanizing your beloved dog and giving you a replacement that may not even be any healthier. Another common tactic is they say your puppy will grow out of it - until their guarantee has expired and they have no responsibility to help you pay the vet bills.
#3. No Parents - When you go to a professional breeder, you will have the opportunity to meet the puppy's parents. This gives you an idea of how your Sheltie puppy will look fully grown, and whether they meet the breed standard. But when you find Sheltie puppies for sale in a pet store, you have no such opportunity. You will not be able to tell if the dog is purebred (don't be fooled by AKC papers; these are easily falsified) or whether it has inherited any genetic diseases.
#4. No Knowledge - Breeders usually specialize in one or two dog breeds, and they have extensive knowledge of all the inherent traits and characteristics of these dogs. They will help you decide whether a Sheltie dog is right for you, based on your needs and your lifestyle. They can even warn you about specific health problems and offer an expected life span. In contrast, pet store owners may know very little about the breed, selling you a few generic dog books and sending you on your way. They don't care whether the breed is right for you, or if the puppy is going to a good home.
#5. No Housebreaking - Sheltie puppies for sale in a pet store have spent most of their life in a cage. They have been forced to eliminate in the same area that they eat and play - which completely goes against a dog's nature. Still, this new behavior is quickly ingrained as a puppy and they will grow up with this tendency, making housebreaking much more difficult. Professional Sheltie breeders often start the housebreaking process for you; teaching puppies to eliminate outside, walk properly on a leash, and stand still to be groomed. But pet store puppies have no experience of this and the older they get, the more work it takes to undo their bad behaviors.
A pet store puppy is forced to eliminate where it eats
#6. No Socialization - Shetland Sheepdog puppies sold in pet stores may well have been separated from their mom too early, causing them to be nervous and shy. If you see a pet store puppy that is younger than 7 weeks, then this is certainly the case. What's more, they are unlikely to have been well-socialized with people, making them all the more fearful of strangers. It's also typical that Sheltie puppies for sale in pet stores have never been inside a house, so by the time you take them home, everything will be scary to them. These early "life lessons" teach the puppy to be a nervous dog, which is particularly sad in Shelties who can be shy by nature.
#7. Puppy Mills - Every time someone buys a pet store puppy, they are supporting the horrific practices that go on at puppy mills. Nearly all dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills, where the prime motive is to make money. There are currently more than 4,000 puppy mills in the US, producing half a million puppies per yer. The breeding dogs are often kept in poor conditions, and may be malnourished and poorly exercised, not to mention their sorry psychological state. Female Shelties are bred every heat cycle until they are worn out and then put to death. No responsible breeder would ever put their Sheltie dogs for sale in a pet store - it goes against everything they stand for (like finding the ideal caring home, keeping track of their puppies as they grow, and learning about any health problems later in life). So if you buy a pet store puppy, remember that you are supporting the crimes of backyard breeders, who put their own greed for profit above animal welfare.
#8. No Savings - The pet store is out to make a profit and will jack up the price of the puppy - no matter how much they paid the puppy mill or rogue breeder. So you will likely pay the same amount (if not more) for a pet store puppy as you would a carefully bred pedigree. You will not even save money with a pet store.
So, while you are looking for Sheltie puppies for sale, please pass up any opportunity to buy pet store puppies. Not only are there many reputable Sheltie breeders, there are also Sheltie rescue organizations looking to place dogs into loving homes. When you adopt a rescue Sheltie, you are more than saving that dog's life. You are also sparing a female dog in a puppy mill from producing yet another litter for a pet store.
Becky Turner is the creator of Sheltie Planet. She lives in New Zealand with her partner, Peter, and their son, Fox. Becky is 100% owned by Howard and Piper Woofington Moon, the Shelties who inspired this site. Visit them on Facebook or The Sheltie Planet Forums.