Many sheltie lovers are curious to know if shelties get along with other dogs. Since many people are concerned about this matter, I decided to do some research on it. So, here is what I found.
Do shelties get along with other dogs? Shelties can get along with other dogs. It can be done with early socialization under observant supervision, proper training, positive reinforcement techniques, building up their personality, and meeting their basic physical, mental, nutrition requirements.
What are the common challenges faced by owners in doing so? How well do they behave with others? And which dog breeds are suitable? Let’s find out.
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Shelties and their behavior with other dogs.
Shetland sheepdogs, also known as shelties, are well known as working dogs. They were helpful to ancient men for herding sheep and poultry.
However, with globalization and urbanization, they have been evolving with time to become sweet family canine companions.
Shelties by nature are known to have a calm temperament. They don’t get aggressive towards other dogs very easily. They are peaceful dogs who love a harmonious home. They are shy and fear outsiders at first.
Shelties by nature are known to have a calm temperament. They don’t get aggressive towards other dogs very easily. They are peaceful dogs who love a harmonious home. They are shy and fear outsiders at first.Ms. Chamindrie (Veterinary undergraduate)
But through socialization, we can build up their confidence and help them to overcome these negative points. In fact, These negative traits can adversely affect your sheltie’s behavior when interacting with other dogs.
If you are an extreme dog lover and you’d love to adopt more than one pet, shelties are one of the best picks you can choose.
They are always ready to play. Due to their natural instincts, they love to be chased and chase another. But wrestlers, body-checking and rough dogs are not a good match for them.
Sometimes when they are being chased, they become submissive, and instead of running, they just turn on their side. So the playtime basically depends on the mood.
And also, how well they get along with other dog breeds is determined by the early socialization they received. They move along just fine with other breeds well if the following factors are compatible with them.
- Dogs’ size, age, and energy
- Housing space
1. Dogs’ size, age, and energy
Shelties have a herding instinct; therefore, they are a type with a considerate amount of energy. But mostly, they like to be laid back. So I say it’s better to match him with someone with low-medium level energy.
Size and age matter too. Because with the herding instincts, they tend to chase whatever is on the move. It’s wise to be considerate of this fact when upbringing a pup with an adult sheltie in the house. And I think it’s better if we can choose a sheltie as the second canine partner if you are into multi-pet companionship.
Shelties, when introduced from puppyhood, mingle well with their fellow pets with time by developing a sweet bond with others.
The female-male combination works well in this regard. When female dogs are around, there’s a high possibility of the situation getting out of control because of personality conflicts.
3. Housing space
It’s advisable to raise a sheltie with another dog breed in a spacious environment. A multi-pet household does not work best for apartment life anyway. So let them play around and have an excellent time in a big backyard.
How to introduce new dogs to your Sheltie?
I believe that this is the most important step, as always FIRST IMPRESSION MATTERS. I will guide you along a few steps to help you through it. These might sound a bit troublesome but worth it.
- Place of introduction
- Slowly introducing them to each other
- How to come back home?
- After returning home…
- Feeding habits
All these must be preceded during his happy hours, maybe after a nice meal.
1. Place of introduction
The introduction should be done on neutral grounds because dogs are territorial about their surroundings. As a veterinarian student judging from this behavior, I think it’s best to introduce each other at a park or maybe at a friend’s house.
But don’t try to meet them at your own house as your sheltie might get aggressive towards the new dog. So, ask one of your friends to hold the new puppy, and you take charge of your sheltie.
2. Slowly introducing them to each other
It’s advisable to put them both on-leash when they first meet. Keep them both at an appropriate safe distance, allowing them to see each other. Positive reinforcement techniques can be used at times like these.
Keep on praising them both while they are getting to know by sniffing. From dog to dog, the time they might take to get along may vary. Have patience with them.
3. How to come back home?
After you let your sheltie and the new dog enjoy their company and get used to each other’s presence:
- Don’t try and take them both home in the same vehicle.
- Remember, your sheltie is territorial, so you have to act accordingly.
- Ask your friend to bring home your new dog in a separate vehicle.
4. After returning home…
Finally, when they’ve arrived home together, again introduce each other. Now that they have met before, they will not struggle much this time. Let them run around but on-leash and under your close, careful supervision.
In this way, your new pup will also get adapted to the new environment, and your sheltie will also start to like this new companionship. As I’ve said earlier, shelties are always in the mood to play and run.
5. Feeding habits
This is another aspect where dogs show territorial behavior. Provide them with separate bowls full of food and keep them a bit apart from each other. Your sheltie is used to being the only dog in the house, and he definitely doesn’t like to share his bowl with another.
What makes shelters refuse to get along with other dogs?
If the methods as mentioned earlier are working for him, there might be few reasons behind that. Those would be,
- Health issue
Let’s go in deep to find the root causes.
This is the inability of your sheltie to read out other dogs’ body language. This happens mainly due to a lack of socialization training.
Shelties are an intelligent breed, so they can be easily trained to develop a nice personality. As the owner, you should make arrangements for socialization from puppyhood.
2. Health issue
Shelties by nature are very quick to respond, and they even bark at every little noise. If your sheltie seems unresponsive and shows lethargic behavior, it is some sort of a sign of a health issue. You may consult your trusted veterinarian in such a scenario.
This factor is one of the foremost reasons why your sheltie refuses to get along with new dogs. This is also again due to a lack of early socialization.
They become aggressive out of fear. This can again happen if they are anxious. Excessive barking is a sign. If he is raised amidst a lot of love, care, and affection, this situation can also be neglected.
The above reasons show the same root cause, and it is obvious now that you should be a very active, sensitive, and attentive owner towards his physical and mental needs.
Apart from that, you can always introduce him to new surroundings, meet him with new people and other dogs from puppyhood. This would help him to build up a nice confident personality.
Their reserved nature might as well fade away and will become a little more socialized under different circumstances. It’s all about training and extensive socialization from day one.
Do shelties get along with small dogs?
My answer for this would be yes and no, BOTH.
As I’ve explained before, they love to chase anyone who is moving with their natural herding instincts. This is problematic when it comes to multi-pet households.
Small pups always run here and there, and you can’t be much observant all the time. Shelties understand this as some sort of play invitation and might cause some serious injuries to either of them if shelties are left alone for long hours.
In my opinion, this can be neglected by proper obedient training.
Just like us, dogs also have emotions and feelings. Joy, stress, sadness, and jealousy are the key emotions. Shelties are a very sensitive type.
If you continuously keep on hugging your new dog in front of your sheltie, he might get jealous and sad, and it will hurt his feelings badly.
So if you are planning to have many pets around, you should be considerate about these fine details as well. Give them both enough equal attention always.
At times he might show some aggressive behavior towards the new dog. Then you must take charge and make them aware of the rules and limit what they are not allowed and allowed to do. Get them both trained to obey your basic commands.
Overall they have a calm temperament and can be trained to get along with small dogs as well as big dogs.
Are shelties better in pairs?
Shelties are loyal and display continuous noisy barking at the smallest stimuli. Therefore they are good for watchdogs. So if you plan to have two of the same type, it’s a big yes from me. You’d never have to be worried about theft and crime. But be a bit considerate about the close neighborhood.
And there are few things to consider as well.
As much as exciting it may sound, it’s a bit of a challenge to bring up two dogs of the same age together. Shelties need a lot of companionships. They need a lot of attention and are not the type to be left alone for long hours.
So if you plan to have two shelties together, first have one and then adopt a second after a few years. That way, it’s easy to train the second one using your first sheltie as a little coach. And again, if you want to adopt two dogs of different breeds, choose a sheltie as your second canine buddy.
They are playful and lively breeds. I think it’s good to let him have a friend around to enjoy active play and exercise, and it would make good memories for you at the same time.
Which dogs are better with shelties?
Shelties are a peaceful breed by nature. Also, shelties have a much lower score than the average on being aggressive towards other dogs.
There’s a high tendency for them to get along with the same breed. So as a veterinarian, I advise you to adopt another pup sheltie rather than adopting a different breed.
In fact, listed below are some of the other breeds that I found which are compatible with Shelties after my research.
- Labrador retriever
- Golden retriever
However, be it the same breed or a different breed, always the female-male combination works perfectly. Studies show that it is going to be troublesome when two female breeds are adopted in multi-pet households.
This problem can be neglected to some extent by introducing them during puppyhood and through early socialization.
Things to be aware of
Shelties show natural herding instincts. This might be dangerous when small pups are around. So you have to be more cautious and supervise them during playtime.
Make sure to keep them separated at least during the first month after the introduction when you are going out. They might seem to get along well, but reasons might create “fight it out” situations. Sheltie might display aggressive and dominant behavior towards the new dog.
So, If you happen to encounter a fight between them both, try to separate them. And if that does not seem to work, try obedience commanding or maybe some loud noise to frighten them.
They might fight over the simplest things like toys, food, to get attention, in the presence of strangers, and be overly excited after seeing you. Overwhelming leads to aggression and triggers a fight.
In my opinion, I think that shelties eventually get along with other dogs. Be it with the same breed or a different matching breed. There might be few clashes occasionally, but overall with their peaceful, lively, trainable nature, their intelligence and delightful temperament, and also with the help from their owners, they will just do fine.