8 Shetland Sheepdog Breeders in New Zealand

Sheltie Photography by Kaylee Garrick

Sheltie Photography by Kaylee Garrick

Sheltie Breeders in The North Island

Sheltie Breeder Shelton Kennels
Location Papakura, NZ
Contact sheltonshelties.com

Sheltie Breeder Eyespy Shetland Sheepdogs
Location Hibiscus Coast, NZ
Contact facebook.com/EyespyShetlandSheepdog

Sheltie Breeder Beaucourt Shelties
Location Greerton, NZ
Contact facebook.com/beaucourtshelties

Sheltie Breeder Janter Shetland Sheepdogs
Location Waitara, NZ
Contact p.j.s[at]infogen.net.nz

Sheltie Breeders in The South Island

Sheltie Breeder Romanoc Shetland Sheepdogs
Location Christchurch, NZ
Contact geocities.ws/romanocknls

Sheltie Breeder Dinda Kennels
Location Dunedin, NZ
Contact dindakennels.com

Sheltie Breeder Airam Kennels
Location South Island, NZ
Contact airamshelties.tripod.com

Sheltie Breeder Arangold Golden Retrievers and Shelties
Location Harewood, NZ
Contact arangold.com

Becoming a Professional Sheltie Breeder

Are you so in love with Shelties that you might just become a professional Sheltie breeder yourself? There are many things you need to consider before you embark on this lifestyle.

  • Breeding is a Big Commitment. Besides the massive amount of breed research you'll need to undertake, you'll also need the time, money, and facilities to accommodate many dogs in your house and/or kennels. You'll need whelping boxes, large penned exercise areas, and a suitable vehicle for taking multiple puppies to the vets. You'll also need to afford lots of dog food, pay ongoing vet bills, and have a strong tolerance for barking. Grooming Shelties will become a necessary part of your everyday routine.

  • You Need to Understand Genetics. To some extent, breeding animals means Playing God, involving artificial selection as opposed to natural selection. You'll match mating pairs that you think will produce puppies of the ideal Shetland Sheepdog appearance, temperament, and health. This requires knowledge of how parent genes interact to create physical characteristics in their offspring. Fortunately, the science of inheritance patterns in Shelties is already done; your job is to read up and talk to fellow dog breeders for advice.

  • Raising Puppies is Hard Work. Remember your first puppy? It certainly came as a shock to me just how much attention Howard needed—and he was just one puppy. Now multiply that by 4-6 per litter and imagine doing it over and over, year after year. Once the puppies are weaned off their mother's milk, you'll be doing all the work to keep them clean, fed, and happy around the clock. Like babies, puppies have tiny stomachs and tiny bladders, demanding high frequency attention.

  • Parents and Puppies Need Vet Checks. You'll need to take your mating pairs to the vets for pre-breeding genetic screenings to ensure they won't be passing on any genetic diseases. What's more, all your kennel dogs and puppies will need routine vet care, vaccinations, quality nutrition, dental care, and parasitic treatments. Vet bills make it difficult to profit from ethical dog breeding, making this a lifestyle not a business.

  • Canine Pregnancies Develop Rapidly. Female dogs, called bitches, are pregnant for just 63 days, compared to 280 days in humans. A healthy pregnancy can be confirmed by ultrasound after 30 days, with the mother needing extra food, care, and supervision in case of medical emergencies.

  • You'll Be The Midwife. Breeders oversee births at home, where the mother can be in a quiet, warm, and familiar space to whelp her puppies. After a period of contractions, puppies can be born rapidly or up to four hours apart. Afterwards, it's crucial to match the number of placentas delivered to the number of puppies born, as retained placentas can cause serious infection. You'll have many jobs, including freeing the puppies from their amniotic sacs, stimulating their breathing, and aiding suckling after the birth.

  • Breeders Give Up Most of Their Puppies. While you may form attachments with the puppies in their first two months of life, keeping them all is likely unrealistic. Breeders accumulate many dogs in their kennels, and only keep puppies as potential champions or breeding stock. Those not up to the breed standard are rehomed as pets at 8 weeks old, which could be too much to bear if you fall in love with all your puppies.

I'm sure many Sheltie fanatics have fantasized about breeding professionally. I know I have. But ultimately, this is a major lifestyle choice requiring a huge commitment, so make sure you have the time, money, and motivation to be a dedicated Sheltie breeder before you dive in.

READ: An Interview with a Sheltie Breeder

Becky Casale

Becky Casale is the creator of Sheltie Planet and Science Me. She lives in New Zealand with her partner, their two children, and their Sheltie, Piper.


Shelties: The Complete Pet Owner's Guide