Hear Our Shelties Talk
"Sheltie talk" is just about any noise a Sheltie makes that isn't a bark or a whine. It is, without question, completely adorable.
Shetland Sheepdogs have a reputation for barking to alert their owners to potential intruders. This innate habit is why they make excellent watchdogs. But they can also be trained to be obedient, quieter dogs or just give a few short warning barks instead.
However, besides alarm barking, Shelties also engage in a lot of hilarious dog talk. They can make strange and beautiful noises that to us sound like they are singing. In fact, most other dog breeds seem just too quiet in comparison.
Piper's Sheltie Talk
Piper is a real Sheltie talker. Here's montage of the moments I caught on camera today. He loves to give a deep, guttural bellow which turns into a yelp when he yawns. And I saved the best clip until last, when he breaks into a Sheltie song.
Growly Dog Talk
Another totally adorable type of Sheltie talk happens late at night when our boys are playing a lazy game together.
The game involves lying on the bed and trying to gnaw each other, while making ridiculously cute noises which they think sound fearsome and beastly, but has us howling with laughter.
I've tried to catch this on camera in stealth mode many times but they always catch onto me and stop the growly noises. I guess this is one Sheltie talk reserved for live performances only.
Why do Shelties Talk?
There is a good reason why these sweet little dogs decide to break into song for us. They do it to convey emotions.
Like humans, dogs have their own communication system, although scientists don't really recognize it as actual speech. It is a basic language that can be instinctively recognized, which many mammals display.
For instance, dog talk includes several types of growls. Take the fierce, menacing growl meaning "back off!" Or the softer, playful growl which means "come on then!" in a mock fight.
From our experience, the Sheltie talk is an attention seeking trick. If I've spent too long at my computer without giving the dogs any attention, Piper will come and tell me so with one of his singing yawns. Equally, if it's 5pm and I haven't given the dogs their dinner, Howard will come and whine and pat me on the knee to remind me of his stomach.
In any case, the Sheltie talk is a really endearing trait and can be a useful way for your Shetland Sheepdog to communicate their needs.