Shetland sheepdogs, also called miniature Shelties, are a high-energy and intelligent breed so it is important to start training your Sheltie early, and give it plenty of exercise every day. They are sensitive dogs so gentle methods work best.
Due to their small size, adult Shelties require feeding at least twice a day. Puppies may need feeding three or four times a day at first. They should have access to fresh, clean water throughout the day.
Shelties have long hair, so they need brushing regularly to prevent painful mats and tangles. This also helps reduce shedding. Owners should brush their dogs at least once a week, making sure to untangle the fur around the ears, which is especially fine and prone to matting. Shelties also need their toenails trimmed and teeth brushed on a regular basis.
Shelties need regular veterinary care, including vaccinations. Puppies need a series of vaccinations to develop full immunity, while most adults simply need yearly check-ups and occasional booster shots. Flea, tick and heartworm preventatives are also good to prevent more serious diseases.
Shelties are prone to shyness, so puppy owners should take particular care with socialization. This means exposing the dog to as many new situations as possible while it is still very young. This creates a confident dog that is not afraid of strangers, other dogs, or unfamiliar sights and sounds.