How to Train a Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdogs, also called Shelties are energetic, intelligent, smart and lovable dogs. This eagerness and willingness to learn new things accompanied by their intelligence can make them easily trainable creatures. Nevertheless, it is also seen that Shelties can be too smart for their own benefit and headstrong at the same time too. Hence, you as an owner, may have to work a bit harder to keep your Sheltie focused and motivated during the entire session of training.

Train a Shetland Sheepdog

All you need is little bit of dedication and lots of patience to train your Sheltie. Once you impart proper training to your Sheltie, you can help it grow into a loyal and well-behaved family member. To know more on training your Shetland Sheepdog, read on.

Shetland Sheepdog – About the breed

The Shetland Sheepdog is an active, small-sized and agile herding dog that grows up to 13-16 inches at the shoulder. They usually have a long coat that is straight and harsh. Underneath this coat lies another dense undercoat and they come in blue merle, black and sable with white marks. The coat, along with their wedge-shaped head, three-quarter erect ears and level backed torso, give the Shelties the look of a miniature Collie.

Eager and bright Shelties are easy to train and they are world-class competitors in agility, obedience and herding trials. They tend to be extremely affectionate and sensitive family dogs that are always in tune with the mood of their family. They prefer barking and have a reserved attitude towards strangers, both qualifications being of a great watchdog.

Temperament: Energetic, Playful, Bright

Height: 13-16 inches

Weight: 15-25 pounds

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 25 out of 195

Group: Herding Group

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Training a Sheltie – A relatively easy process

It is relatively easy to train a sheltie as they’re easy-to-please and intelligent dogs. However, problems may arise if you tend to miscommunicate how you wish your Sheltie to behave. Here’s an expert approach to dog psychology and to basic obedience training.


Before you start potty training, leash walking and obedience training your pup, the first step that you require taking is building a loving bond with him. This will not just let you comprehend his instincts and needs, but also develop the trust between him and you. As soon as you bring your puppy home, begin to develop a loving and caring relationship with him only by playing and spending time with him.

When puppies get this secured feeling and they know that they are a part and parcel of the family, they respond in a better manner to all sorts of training commands. The trust that you build will come from showing love, affection and defining mutual boundaries. Breach of boundaries has to be dealt with fairness and firmness.


The bowels and bladders of the puppies are usually weak and small. They can’t hold the poop and pee for too many hours and hence you have to devise a frequent toilet break routine. Housebreaking a puppy is one of the biggest challenges of owning a dog, especially for the first-time owners. Conventional housebreaking begins by training your puppy to poop and pee indoors on training pads.

Within a couple of weeks, these training pads can be moved out as a signal before totally removing it altogether. If you remove it totally, this will increase the chances of messy accidents but at the same time, instils confidence in the puppy to explore the house during the initial months of development.


Clicker training is a gentle method of training that utilizes only positive reinforcement to teach new behaviors to your Sheltie pup. You’ll need a good clicker to understand what makes the dog training method work well, particularly with intelligent dogs like Shelties. A little clicking noise might not mean anything to you or your dog at present but with simple training, the click will become the sound for your Sheltie to listen and react to all your commands.

Simplicity of these dogs is the key and once you entertain that, the click will prompt the dog to listen up to you. It is via psychological conditioning, a natural way for your dog to learn, that you can instil new commands and behaviors within the dog.


The aim and objective of most dog owners is to breed a confident and self-assured Sheltie but at the same time, there’s no denying the fact that there are few shy dogs too. That results from poor socialization lessons when they’re young and also from genetic components. This is when few Shelties can grow up to be shy and fearful of strangers causing them to run away or alarm bark.

It doesn’t take too much of an effort to socialize Shelties when they’re young as it honestly boosts their confidence for their remaining lives. While it is also true that you can’t undo their genetics but there is lot that you can do to assist your dog overcome this shyness and become confident of himself in this wide world.


Do you find your Sheltie chewing anything and everything that he sees? There are some dogs that find it extremely satiating to chew things when they’re young and gradually grow out of the habit as they get older. It gets tougher when your puppy gets involved in destructive chewing.

There’s no doubt that your Sheltie has developed sharp point teeth and hence anything that she chews will get damaged within a minute. If she has been chewing your favorite stuffed toy or your TV remote or your sunglasses or shoes, it’s high time you do something about this destructive gnawing of all your personal possessions. Give him harsh commands or stop his playtime if he does this so that he realizes that he is doing something wrong.

So, if you’ve brought home a Shetland Sheepdog, you can take into account all the details given above. Unless you train your puppy properly, you can never help him grow into a confident and self-sufficient dog.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment