We have been working a lot with shetland sheepdogs or shelties for many years. Through all of our experiences, we discovered a lot of the various traits and characteristics of shetland sheepdogs or shelties.
How Often Do Shelties Go Into Heat?
Although every dog is different, shetland sheepdogs or shelties typically go into heat every six to eight months.
We are going to get into some frequently asked questions and give you everything you need to know about shetland sheepdogs or shelties and the details around their spaying!
What Does It Mean for Your Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog to Go into Heat?
Basically, going into heat translates to a female dog’s fertile time. During this time, the female dog’s vulva swells and she may actually lick herself more than she usually does.
When a female dog goes into heat, she produces a bloody discharge during the first week, and that discharge lightens during the second week and then it darkens during the third week of heat.
What Happens When Your Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog Goes into Heat?
In addition to the biological process of bleeding for a female sheltie in heat, there are also external factors to be aware of when a sheltie or shetland sheepdog goes into heat.
During a female’s heat cycle, more male dogs will be sniffing her as she starts to release a large amount of powerful airborne pheromones. The pheromones can actually travel large distances to then attract unneutered males for about three to fourteen days.
For your female sheltie or shetland sheepdog, it is important for you to secure her indoors during their heat cycle in order to prevent pregnancy. This is incredibly important because your female sheltie’s heat cycle can potentially lead to many unwanted pregnancies.
Additionally, with dogs, unlike humans, for each pregnancy, they tend to have a litter of about four to six puppies rather than just one. This is so significant that you must understand it as an owner.
Can I Prevent My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog from Going into Heat?
Yes. You can prevent your sheltie or shetland sheepdog from going into heat or having heat cycles by spaying your sheltie. There are plenty of positives or benefits that come from spaying your shetland sheepdog.
One of the main results from spaying your shetland sheepdog is that you rid the dog of its heat cycles.
What Does It Mean for You to Spay Your Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Spaying means that you remove your dog’s reproductive organs surgically, such as the uterine horns, ovaries, and the uterus body. This procedure is used to completely rid the female heat cycles, reduce the development of reproductive organ diseases and its risks, and prevent pregnancy.
Many different reasons exist to spay your sheltie or shetland sheepdog. The aforementioned are a few of the main ones.
Why Should A Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog Be Spayed?
By spaying your shetland sheepdog or sheltie, you are giving them more opportunities and health in the long term. Spaying actually refers to the surgical removal of female reproductive organs specifically for dogs.
This procedure gets rid of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s pregnancy ability and it also greatly reduces the risk for developing any reproductive organ diseases. Because of this surgery, your sheltie or shetland sheepdog will have healthier and longer lives compared to if they were not to be spayed.
Should I Actually Spay My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Although this is fully your decision to make as a dog owner, it is important to note that the Humane Society states that around 3 million unwanted dogs are actually put down each and every single year in US shelters.
That number is equal to approximately one dog for every ten seconds. Usually, these specific dogs are the unplanned children of family pets. For you to help do your part in keeping this tragedy from happening, you can spay your shetland sheepdog or sheltie.
Also, it is important to recognize that spaying is a very normal as well as routine procedure or process for many dogs. It is an incredibly responsible decision and option that pet owners can make for the overall livelihood of their dog.
To highlight the importance, many rescue shelters pay to spay all of the dogs before they are given to another home. With this, the shelters are helping prevent other dogs that were going to be unplanned from the need to be put down.
In addition to this, it is very important to note the health benefits that exist with spaying your shetland sheepdog or sheltie. Among the health benefits includes lengthening the span of your shetland sheepdog or sheltie’s life.
What Does It Mean for My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog to Be Intact and How Does That Affect Their Heat Cycles?
An intact sheltie or shetland sheepdog is, in the most simple terms, a sheltie or shetland sheepdog that has not been spayed. This again increases the chance of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog reproducing in an unplanned fashion with males.
It means that your sheltie or shetland sheepdog will continue to have heat cycles and go into heat. It also increases the chances of your shetland sheepdog or sheltie developing diseases, which can consequently decrease their lifespan.
Is It Okay if I Don’t Spay My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
Technically, it’s okay not to spay your sheltie or shetland sheepdog since it’s your decision to make as the dog owner. However, the most responsible decision that you can make for your sheltie or shetland sheepdog is to spay them in order to prevent future dogs from needing to be put down due to the lack of homes for dogs in addition to decreasing the risk of disease for your dog.
Intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties, meaning shetland sheepdogs or shelties that have not been spayed, usually develop more aggressive personalities when they are adults when compared to those that were spayed.
This is due to the higher hormone levels in their bodies. With intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties, they are also more inclined to get in fights with other dogs.
Generally, intact shetland sheepdogs or shelties are more motivated to roam and escape, searching for males since they are biologically inclined to reproduce. During these searches and escapes, your shetland sheepdog or sheltie also runs risks of getting lost and even getting hit by moving vehicles.
Regardless of you trying to keep your sheltie or shetland sheepdog safe or indoors in general, your dog will still be aware of males that are within several miles of them. You can thank their pheromones for that. You also need to be hyper-aware of your dog’s location in most all cases if they are not spayed.
What Are the Pros of Spaying My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog in Addition to Preventing Them from Going into Heat?
There are a lot of pros or benefits to spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog. Apart from preventing or lessening the horrible euthanasia of millions of unwanted dogs each and every year, spaying has plenty of health benefits for your shetland sheepdog or sheltie as an individual.
First, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are preventing them from ever getting ovarian cancer. With dogs that are not spayed, ovarian, uterine, and mammary cancers are actually relatively common, especially as your shelties age and get older. Treatments for these cancers involve chemotherapy at times if the cancer has spread.
Second, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are preventing menstruation, a natural process that is actually very inconvenient and messy as a dog owner. During menstruation, many male dogs come to female dogs in preparation for copulation, but by spaying your dog, you prevent this from happening.
Third, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are actually reducing aggression levels long term. Since your sheltie will have less hormones in their system, they will have less aggressive personalities long term. This translates to them getting into less fights with other dogs, which includes bigger dogs, meaning that you are reducing the risk of serious injury for your dog.
Fourth, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are reducing their risk of pyometra. Pyometra is a hormonal abnormality as well as bacterial infection. It often occurs after a heat cycle, or menstruation, where there is no fertilization and this causes the uterus horns to swell from their normal 3 ounce weight to 10-15 pounds.
If this is left not treated, the uterus can actually rupture and spill the bacterial fluids into the abdomen, which causes fatal uremic poisoning. The treatment for pyometra is usually very expensive and involves both hormonal as well as IV fluid therapy or complete ovariohysterectomy that costs up to $1,000. This risk is absolutely eliminated when you spay your sheltie.
Fifth, by spaying your sheltie or shetland sheepdog, you are granting them a better coat. Although this may not be a deal breaker, since shetland sheepdog or sheltie hair grows in phases, this often inhibits hair growth during whelping and heat cycles.
Then, the coat looks thin and it even exposes the sheltie’s skin in various areas. To return to normal, it can take from two to four months, and some of the shelties never actually develop normal coats because of their hormones that are constantly cycling. When you spay your sheltie or shetland sheepdog however, they will have a very consistent coat, especially when compared to those shelties that were not spayed.