Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shetland Sheepdog's, Guest Blogger, Dave Stewart

Imagine my surprise when I met a client to examine his sweet gentle sheltie for his annual physical examination and the conversation led to finding out that he too is a blogger, and a dog advocate. 

As a devoted sheltie guy, he is specifically a sheltie advocate.

When I asked if I could use his blog as a guest blog we decided we would pool our resources and interests, and writings to help more people! Kismet! 

Here are some of his articles. The link to his website is listed below.

Thank-You Mr. Stewart for sharing.
Mr. Stewarts' sheltie, Murphy.

About Shetland Sheepdogs

The AKC has information all about Shetland sheepdogs. So like all breeds recognized by the AKC, there are breed standards. Breed standards cover all about Shetland sheepdogs, such as color, height, shape and expression.
Shelties are wonderful dogs but poor breeding can result in poor characteristics. But a well bred sheltie is a joy to have. Of course, they all have different personalities, just like children, but the 3 that I have had have all been loving companions.
My second sheltie, Miracle, came from a rescue and was somewhat reserved. I believe this was due to over crating him but with some love and cuddling my wife brought out the best the best in him.
My first, Mickey, and current, Murphy, had better childhoods so were always loving friends.
Shelties are considered to be one of the smartest breeds. I think they are generally considered in the top 10. All of my shelties have been very, very smart.
Shelties come in a variety of colors. My shelties have all been sable but there are several other color combinations.

Shelties have an interesting history. How the breed started, how it was named, etc.
Now don't get offended if you fall into this group, I am not making fun of you.....
I am amazed at all the name variations the Shetland Sheepdog gets given to it.
Some people ask what is the scientific name for a Shetland Sheepdog. There is no specific name for the breed. All dog breeds belong to the family Canis familiaris but there is no further break down for individual breeds.
Miniature collie, little lassie, and there are all kinds of variations in the way Sheltie is spelled. Two of the common ways are Sheltee and Shelty; these are incorrect.
As I said don't be offended. You are here to learn and share and everyone is at different level.
There are only two correct ways, barring any scientific names, to refer to this breed:
Shetland Sheepdog or Sheltie

Sheltie Health

Sheltie health is broad topic as is canine or dog health.
Most breeds seem to have their own potential issues over other breeds. No doubt. this is a result of their breeding history as well as the physical features they have acquired through breeding.
Shelties have their own potential problems to look out for too. They key here is education. Know the questions to ask!
Some of these can be avoided by screening the breeder where you buy. Rescues will generally have their adoption candidates thoroughly checked over by a vet.
But regardless whether prone to the Shetland sheepdogs or just a health concern for our loyal little friends, it good to be informed.

Let's look at these concerns by "area".
eyes -

Other general eye problems can include things like conjunctivitis, runny eyes or itchy eyes.
ears -
Shelties are not necessarily prone to ear troubles but as with all breeds, issues can occur and good ear care should practiced.
skin -
Sheltie itchy skin, like any dog's itchy skin or even your own, can be caused by a variety of problems.
Some of these causes are external like fleas and ticks and other insect bites or stings, of course mosquito bites can cause heart worms.
Others can be from internal issues such as ingesting parasites, like tape worms or being exposed to hookworms.
Then there are allergies, such as allergies to pollen and other airborne particles or food allergies.
Shelties, and other breeds, can suffer from a disorder called,hypothyroidism also known as low thyroid . A condition that can misdiagnosed as a skin allergy.
The health of the dog's skin is indicative of sheltie health. Chronic itchy skin can be a real problem too because it can lead to hot spots.
Dermatomyositis is a very serious skin disease. It can be misdiagnosed asmange in this case canine mange, since mange can occur in other animals as well.
teeth -
You need to keep an eye on your sheltie's teeth. I guess it depends on the dog, just like in people, I suppose. Some get tarter and plaque more than others. Care for Shetland Sheepdog teeth is no different than generalcare of dog teeth.
anal glands -
Anal glands are part of your dog's anatomy. They can experience problems. A typical symptom of an anal gland problem is when the dog starts to scoot.
But I know that hearing this kind of stuff can be scary for the Sheltie shopper. You just need to be aware and be on the look out for any issues. Learn the right questions to ask. Educate yourself and you are in the right place for that!

Shetland Sheepdog Care

As with other breeds, shetland sheepdog care has its own guidelines. Dog care in general is common across breeds but each breed has its own specific requirements.
Shetland sheepdogs are part of the herding group, so they are a working dog. Working dogs like challenges and shelties, in particular, have a strong desire to please.
They are also very sensitive to the emotional state of those around them. My sheltie, Murphy, always displays concern or stress when someone is upset. This is particularly true if its my wife, to whom he is the closest. This behavior might manifest itself as a depressed look and posture, bring a toy or extra attention. My wife and I rarely disagree in a loud fashion but if Murphy thinks my tone isn't what it should be he lets me know.
Its a good idea to have a nice safe area for a sheltie to run free in, like a fenced yard. Its nice for them to have challenges and entertainment such as playing with the kids or agility equipment. If you want to see some nice agility picture of Murphy's "clan" check out these agility pictures.
A nice walk a few times a week is nice too, I don't think a sheltie can ever have too many walks! Remember a well exercised and mentally stimulated dog is better behaved and less barky.

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