We work tremendously with shetland sheepdogs or shelties and have been doing so for many years. Through all our experiences, we have discovered plenty of traits and characteristics of shetland sheepdogs or shelties.
Although every dog is different, many shelties or shetland sheepdogs are actually a bit more reserved rather than hyper. However, if your sheltie or shetland sheepdog was raised in social settings, then they may tend to be more hyper compared to other shelties. Typically, for many hyper shetland sheepdogs, if they are a bit more hyper, they tend to outgrow this by the time they reach the age of about 10 to 11 months.
Temperament and behavior of shelties or shetland sheepdogs are affected by so many different factors. We are going to get into some frequently asked questions and give you everything you need to know about shetland sheepdogs or shelties and their hyper versus non-hyper personality traits and characteristics!
Are Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Shy?
For many shelties or shetland sheepdogs, they have more naturally reserved personalities or personality traits. With various individual shelties that are more reserved, they can actually shift towards a debilitating shy quality. This makes it incredibly difficult for members of the family to interact with and connect with these shelties or shetland sheepdogs since they may not even come near members for pats on their heads or rubs on their bellies.
Generally, shelties’ shy qualities come in response to almost all strangers, but some of the shetland sheepdogs are actually shy of people’s hands as well. In these cases, where somebody is coming close to pet the sheltie, some dogs tend to flinch and/or duck even when the person that is reaching out to pet them is somebody that they know.
Do Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Bark?
Many shetland sheepdogs or shelties are being bred in order to protect as well as work with the overall herd. These shetland sheepdogs naturally desire to let others know when even the smallest of things is amiss. Also, since shelties are in a naturally suspicious state when it comes to strangers, even though your sheltie may be small, they tend to set off alarms or start barking incredibly often.
Even if there is just somebody, like your neighbor, taking a stroll or walking down the sidewalk, your sheltie may begin barking uncontrollably. Also, once your shetland sheepdog starts barking, it is a little difficult to get them to stop. You will need to work with them to train them and help them learn when is the right and the wrong time to start barking.
Do Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Bite or Nip?
The quick and easy answer is yes. Shetland sheepdogs or shelties do bite. Since shelties are herding dogs, their characteristics can be a problem whenever they do not have a group or thing to herd. If shelties had sheep to herd for example and to tend to, then your sheltie would be driving flocks of sheep and keeping them in order by nipping, or biting, at their heels. Therefore, you may find your shetland sheepdog chasing as well as nipping at things that move, and that could be anything, including children, cats, and even cleaning appliances like vacuums or brooms.
Should I Prevent My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog from Biting?
Since biting is a completely natural process, it is a good thing to allow your shetland sheepdog or sheltie to bite a bit so they can feel free to explore and learn more about their surroundings. However, if your sheltie or shetland sheepdog is tearing up your living room or home, then you can think about intervening and imposing some limitations for them.
Are Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Hyperactive?
Shelties or shetland sheepdogs are incredibly intelligent, hard working dogs. For this, they need to be busy and kept busy in order to keep them from boredom or becoming bored. Bored shelties or shetland sheepdogs can and actually tend to become hyperactive. Once they become hyperactive, mainly due to boredom, they begin to display behaviors like constantly or continually running back and forth or up and down the length of your backyard or fences, spinning and jumping and barking. These actions are so common that they are also known as “sheltie spin.”
With this, it is important to know that shelties or shetland sheepdogs can easily be hyper or hyperactive. However, more commonly, these dogs are more timid and shy. Because they are typically more shy or timid, it may be a lot easier to consider adopting a shetland sheepdog. If your sheltie is a bit more on the hyper side however, you can simply train them to help bring their traits to a more chill feeling.
How Do I Help Fix My Sheltie’s / Shetland Sheepdog’s Behavioral Problems?
There are plenty of solutions to help fix your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’ behavioral problems like barking and biting and various other traits and characteristics that can be associated with being hyper or hyperactive. Regarding behavioral problems, the really good news is that they can actually be modified, or even eliminated, if you are willing and able to put the time needed in to work with your specific sheltie or shetland sheepdog.
If you are able to take your tiny shetland sheepdog to obedience training classes, or even one obedience training class, it can serve as a single act that will help with so many behavioral problems for your sheltie. With the socializing or socialization aspect that takes place in obedience training classes, your sheltie can actually overcome their shyness while learning to control both their barking and nipping or biting. They will also learn various commands that keep your sheltie intellectually stimulated.
When your sheltie or shetland sheepdog has passed their obedience class successfully, you must consider continuing their education. You can do so by signing up your sheltie or shetland sheepdog for an advanced class for your dog in agility or even learning to track in order to feed your dog’s need for intellectual or intelligent input. This will help your dog become more tame and learn how to better work not only with other dogs but also with other people. This can serve positively for not only yourself and your family but also for all of your neighbors at the same time.
How Do Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs Feel About Becoming a Member of the Family?
Shelties or shetland sheepdogs demand, relatively, to be a key or integral part or member of the family to which they do belong. They tend to stick their tiny noses in just about everybody’s business and feel compelled to make statements or comments on their observations. They continue to follow their person or family member to the corners of various rooms, and almost always to the bathroom.
Shetland sheepdogs or shelties consider you leaving them behind, regardless of what the reason is, as a deviation of behavior that they deem or feel is appropriate. These types of dogs are incredibly selective when it comes to which of your friends or family members they consider are worthy of their affection as well as which they want to observe from a large or small distance.
These dogs will actually steal food right out of babies’ mouths without showing any remnant of shame. That is how close to the family your sheltie or shetland sheepdog will feel and desire to feel. Shetland sheepdogs will begin chasing any and just about all moving objects if they are not being restrained properly. For some reason, it seems that shelties love barking the most at jogging neighbors who hate any and all dogs.
Normally, shetland sheepdogs and shelties feel like key members of the family and they sense members’ every kind of mood and tend to be sad or happy right there, along with you. They do love attention and they also really love to learn. To keep it short, shelties or shetland sheepdogs demand to be full members of your family. They do not see themselves as accessory figures of the family; they feel and are integral.
How Do I Know if Shelties / Shetland Sheepdogs are Right for My Family?
Understanding that shelties or shetland sheepdogs may be either hyper or more timid, if you are even considering bringing a shetland sheepdog into your family, then you must be prepared for a number of factors. First, you must be prepared to spend a lot of energy and time with them. Then, you will get some of the most incredible moments of your life in return from them. You will create memories that last a lifetime. If this sounds like something that you are looking for, shelties or shetland sheepdogs are a great breed to consider.