Adoption Tips Guidelines

Congratulations on adopting your new Sheltie. By following these simple instructions, your experience with your new dog will be a smoother transition and help provide a joyous life together. Please understand your new dog may need two-three weeks to adjust to his or her new home. The following tips are for our adoptive homes, but we are happy to share them with other Sheltie families as well. However, we are a rescue group and not trainers or doctors; we do not dispense information or give advice to people who call or e-mail with training and medical questions. Those should be addressed only to professional dog trainers and veterinary doctors. We have a few links on our General Pets Site.

  1. Introduce your new dog very slowly to resident dogs and cats. Put the other pets in another room while you gently guide the new dog into the home. Spend some time quietly, offer a treat and cuddles; show the dog the backyard and let him eliminate if he needs to. Gradually introduce the new and resident dogs, letting them explore. If you have cats, do the same. Don’t be alarmed if there is a bit of scurrying and testing of the boundaries in the first few days, but do not leave the pets unsupervised for the first two weeks. Though many dogs and cats welcome the adopted Sheltie, keep in mind that there may be a period of adjustment for the first few days up to 2 – 3 weeks depending on the rescued Sheltie’s history and personality. During this time, the adopted dog may appear shy or submissive. Shelties, especially, may be particularly wary in a new situation. Your new Sheltie may also have been hit or kicked, which you’ll know immediately from his behavior around you and your family. Take it slow and easy; let the dog learn to regain trust; give him hugs and kisses as he can tolerate them; he may be surprised at first, but will eventually relish the attention and return it. As he becomes more confident, he may change his behavior towards resident pets, beginning to play and explore the pecking order. Always feed your pets and your adopted dog separately; consider feeding the adopted Sheltie in a crate if you notice any food aggression between dogs. Be careful when dispensing treats or other high-value items like rawhides or favorite toys. Sometimes what is thought to be food aggression is actually just a territorial imperative that will take care of itself as the pecking order is established and the dogs relax. Keeping this in mind, always supervise the interactions of your adopted dog with other pets. When leaving the adopted dog home alone (even if you have other pets at home), the use of a crate or gate is recommended at least the first few days up to two weeks.
  2. Even the best-trained dogs may have accidents in a new home for the first few days. Make sure your new Sheltie knows where the door to go outside is. Always use the same door to go outside. Watch your new Sheltie for signs of needing to “go.” He may not know how to tell you. Many dogs just stand at the door, while others do nothing. Continue to work on housetraining him for the first 10 days. Only gradually allow him more and more freedom as you become convinced he will behave in the house. If your Sheltie has an accident, do not ever rub his nose in it: this is degrading to him and never recommended by responsible trainers.
  3. Always use the same word when going potty. This way the dog will learn what you are saying. Use phrases like, “Do you have to go potty?” By learning this phrase you will teach your dog to potty on demand. Never play with the dog when it is time to potty. They need to learn first and foremost that outside is for business. If you are having some resistance to training, then crate the dog, letting him or her out only for potty time (the same place each time), then back to the crate. After two weeks of crate/housetraining the problem should be solved, but don’t expect a puppy under 6 months or even a little older to fully ‘get’ it that young. See more tips below.
  4. Understand the signs of a nervous dog, and please be understanding. Signs of stress are Diarrhea – Excessive thirst – Panting – Hyperactivity – Shaking – Drooling – Pacing – Not eating – Not eliminating. These should clear up in a day or so, but if not get your dog to your vet and call us.
  5. Make sure you put fresh water out for your new Sheltie right away. It will relax her to know where the water is. If your Sheltie avoids drinking water the first few days, mix some water, broth, or tuna ‘juice’ in with the kibble to avoid dehydration until she is drinking her water. Try changing the water dish; perhaps there is something about the one you’re using that bothers her; if it’s a plastic dish, switch to ceramic or stainless steel, as there may be something in the plastic that is off-putting. If she still avoids water, take her to your vet for a check-up to see if she might not be feeling well.
  6. The fastest way to get your new Sheltie to bond with you is hand feeding (bits of cheese or hot dog are perfect) and couch cuddling (petting and talking to) It is not unusual for new rescues to ‘go off their feed’ the first couple of days; do not worry, but sometimes mixing Mighty Dog in with their dry food will help re-establish appetite.
  7. NEVER allow your new Sheltie to be loose outside in an unfenced yard. It takes a long, long time for that special bond to form between owner and pet, so our advice is NEVER to allow your Sheltie to be loose outside in an unfenced area. Shelties can be shy and impossible to catch when they start running. Even when the bond has finally formed, something could startle him/her, i.e. a siren, a scrambling squirrel; it doesn’t take much to distract. It only takes ONE time to learn this awfully hard lesson. Believe us when we tell you (we speak from experience) we’ve heard it many times: “But he never did that before.” Please always keep your dog on a leash or confined when outside. Read the Sheltie Pacesetter article called, “Trust.”
  8. NEVER walk your new Sheltie using a regular collar. Regular collars are for ID tags only. A dog can easily back out of a regular collar if frightened. Please use a slip collar or mountain collar when your dog is on a leash. This type of collar gets tighter as it is pulled on, so it cannot be slipped off. See more info about this below.
  9. NEVER leave young children alone with a new dog. Although Houston Sheltie Sanctuary does its best to screen all dogs, children can hurt dogs, and dogs are less tolerant of children than adults. Please NEVER leave them unsupervised until you have seen how they interact and are comfortable with it. If your child hurts the dog, even the nicest dogs will bite if they feel threatened. Also never let puppies and dogs mouth, chase, or tackle children in rough play. Please supervise all interactions.


Your Sheltie will be fine on Iams, Science, ProPlan, or other quality dog food; feed according to the instructions, perhaps half a cup twice a day at first and adjust for your Sheltie’s needs. We also recommend foods like Innova, California Natural, and Nutro Natural Choice because they are all natural and don’t have unnecessary preservatives and chemicals. Many food allergies can be avoided by using the natural foods.

Shelties love fruits and vegetables and especially enjoy green beans, carrots, potato skins, pumpkin, apples, strawberries, and bananas; they also enjoy low fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and raw lean meats occasionally. Many of us cut the kibble by 1/3 with canned pumpkin or with Veg-All, canned mixed vegetables, which our dogs love and is great for helping overweight dogs lose and for maintaining optimum weight and health. For Sheltie skin, coats, and general health, we also recommend daily Vit. E (200-400mg) and C (250 mg) in a piece of lean hot dog or low fat cream cheese. We have also had wonderful success by sprinkling a teaspoon of Missing Link on the dogs’ food. It is available at PetSmart or PetCo and great for helping skin allergies and growing luxurious coats. Do not give your dog bones, which could splinter and lodge in the throat; pressed rawhide chews or rawhide bones are preferred for chewing time. Shelties tend to have body types of ‘gazelles’ or ‘tanks’ as one of our veterinarians says. Be careful about treats, and be sure to exercise your Sheltie daily.

Flea, Tick, Heartworm Control

Our contract requires the use of one of these products of flea and heartworm control. You may use either of these combinations. In the past it was believed Shelties should not use Heartgard, but the formula has been changed, and veterinarians are now allowing it. Still, we prefer Sentinel or the Intercepter / Frontline combination or Advantage/Intercepter. You will need to use these products every month. Here are the differences in the products:

  • Intercepter /Frontline Combination
  • Kills fleas and ticks
  • Controls worms and heartworm
  • Sentinel
  • Sterilizes any flea that bites your dog
  • Controls worms and heartworms
  • Revolution also kills ear and mange mites (does not kill ticks)
  • Intercepter /Advantage Combination
  • Kills fleas
  • Controls worms and heartworm

Please note carefully: most heartworm preventative manufacturers will not cover the treatment if the pills are purchased on line and fail, as they have no way of knowing for sure those were actually their products.

Heartworm Disease

Warning: Because of reports of adverse reactions, the FDA has pulled the ProHeart6 Injectable Heartworm Preventative from the Market: see the advisory at U.S. Drug and Food Administration.

Dogs get Heartworm from an infected mosquito. If a mosquito ever bites your dog, it is at risk for heartworm. Heartworms are worms that live in the heart. Left untreated, they will kill your dog. Treating the dog is both dangerous and very expensive (hundreds of dollars). That is why we require you to keep your dog on heartworm prevention pills every month. Houston Sheltie Sanctuary has treated dozens of infected dogs, and we can assure you that you never want to go through this with your own dog. One heartworm prevention pill/topical per month will prevent heartworm. Heartworm prevention pills/topical only kill baby heartworms; they do NOT kill the adults. So, if you miss a few months of the prevention pills, you must retest the dog before continuing. You should NEVER give an infected dog the prevention pills. If your Sheltie was treated for heartworms, she may still test positive for antigens up to six months later, and may have a residual cough for a few weeks due to fluid buildup. We assure you she was adopted to you with heartworm disease cleared, this ‘positive’ test is well known among veterinarians, and the cough if present will subside.

Caveat: Please be aware that while your new dog tested HW- while in the program, it takes 4-6 months for heartworm infection to yield a positive reading. For the health of your dog as well as your own peace of mind, we strongly encourage you to get your new dog retested six months from the time of his original exam. While he has been on preventative while in the program, and we trust you will continue a regular program of preventative, these medications do not kill any adult heartworms which may have been present, but undetected, in the bloodstream. Your annual exam would of course detect the infestation, but the earlier heartworms are detected and treated, the less damage they do to the dog’s heart. For more information about Heartworm Disease, we have provided a page at Heartworm Site.


Your Sheltie will need a thorough brushing once a week. You will need the following supplies: blunt nose scissors, small hair trimmer, nail clippers, soft bristle brush, a pin brush/slicker brush and undercoat rake. The pin brush may be used weekly; backbrushing small sections, then brushing forward, which gives the fuller look of the coat. The undercoat rake may be used once a month to get the dead undercoat out. The scissors and hair trimmer are used to trim the hair short on the bottom of your Sheltie’s feet. The hair will grow long between his toes, and will need to be trimmed. It will look better, and give your Sheltie better stability. Trim all around the foot. You will also need to trim the hair behind his ears. It will get long and stringy, and stick out over his ears. Cut it short to match the length of the rest of his hair. This will also cut down on the matting. Shelties tend to get mats behind their ears, so please keep this area brushed out well. Applying baby powder behind his ears and working it into the hair will help keep the hair from getting matted. Be sure and wash this area well when bathing. A bath is only necessary about once a month. Place cotton balls in the dog’s ears to protect them; use cool water (warm water can cause the coat to loosen and shed); lather up well, rinse and repeat; oatmeal shampoos are particularly soothing. Take extra care when rinsing. Soap that gets left behind can irritate the skin. Extra baths may be needed if your Sheltie gets extra dirty, but normally once a month should be enough.Your Sheltie’s coat should never smell bad. If it has an unpleasant odor, take him/her to the vet as it could be a sign of a skin or parasite condition. Of course, keep your Sheltie’s nails trimmed. If any of this is a bit daunting, then take your Sheltie to a groomer once a month.

Dental Care

Most Sheltie people brush their dogs’ teeth. Daily is preferable; however, anything is better than not at all. Dogs do collect tarter on their teeth, and it does need to come off. You can scrape it off with a toothbrush weekly, monthly or daily, or your vet can sedate your dog to do a dental cleaning. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly is much easier. If your dog has bad breath, that is usually the sign of an infected tooth. An infection in the teeth is usually caused by tarter build up. Keep your dog’s teeth clean and watch for bad breath. Report any foul smell to your vet immediately. We recommend teeth cleaning by your veterinarian about every 3-4 years.

The Sheltie Temperament

Shelties are a shy breed. Most Shelties are slow to make new friends, but will warm up if given some time. Please understand and respect this; never force a confrontation. This is also why letting a Sheltie off-lead is so dangerous. Once a Sheltie is loose, most will not come to a stranger and are hard to catch.

If you have a very shy Sheltie who is possibly uneasy around children or other people, please try some of these tips. The best thing to do for a shy dog is to remain cheerful around him, build his confidence, not to play into the shyness or show particular worry or concern about it, which can ‘reward’ the dog for being shy.

The next best thing you can do for him is to take him through obedience training, both at home and in a class: build up his confidence by giving him opportunities to be successful at certain behaviors and praised for them. You would also have the resource of a trainer, though this person must be skilled in behavior modification; be gentle and kind, not at all forceful. Take him for short walks in the neighborhood, esp. near an elementary school or where he sees kids playing; trips to PetSmart or PetCo where there are other people around, especially children, not letting them run at him or even pet him in the first few outings, just letting him see and be around them, gradually allowing kids to pet him with time. Also, at home during the evening or on weekends, you could have your kids act very casually around him, giving him a cheerful greeting and leaving him a treat, going on about their business. If he seems afraid of, uneasy around, or slow to warm up to a particular person in the family, have that person give him the treats, spend quiet time with him, and take him for short walks. Your Sheltie will gradually see nothing ‘bad’ happened to him, and that something nice actually did happen. He may not respond or take the treat, but he’ll be noticing what is happening. You could also crate him in the room with children and let him watch them at play and quiet time, forcing him in a way to be in their presence and see that they mean him no harm. Do this for only 30 minutes at a time; then let him out, praise him quietly, and let him go on about his own business. Don’t ‘make’ them be physically together, which could increase the dog’s anxiety, but work on quiet, casual time in the same room, or passing through the room with the treat left behind. If the children run or shout around him; if a man he’s afraid of raises his voice or increases his activity suddenly, that increases the dog’s anxiety. Better for children to sit on the floor, talk quietly, play among themselves, let the dog see they are good folks he needn’t be afraid of. Praise him when he remains calm and doesn’t flee; ignore the behavior if he bolts. End the session and try again the next day, increasing the time as he begins to calm down more. As he calms, let children pet him for a minute or two; then end that session as well, increasing gradually each day until he begins to trust. Remember to praise every behavior you want from him. Never acknowledge disappointing behavior, but start over the next day instead This is the same training used with people who are afraid of dogs.

Collars and Shelties

Shelties can slip right out of an ordinary collar. It is very important that you use a choke, mountain, or greyhound (regular and choke combined) collar when walking your Sheltie. Never trust an ordinary collar which is for ID only. For Shelties that pull on the leash, keep a 6″ grip with your hand over the leash and perpendicular above the collar, and the dog next to your hip. It’s almost impossible for a dog with this firm control to pull or bolt. Again, obedience classes with a knowledgeable trainer would help a dog who pulls the leash. Houston Sheltie Sanctuary does not support the use of shock collars.

Keeping ID on your Sheltie

As required in our contract, always keep a collar with our HSS and the ID tags on your dog. We also recommend Microchipping and/or tattooing your dog as quickly as possible. In the awful event your Sheltie gets away from you, call us immediately so we can help you. Put up flyers describing the Sheltie (you can add ‘miniature collie’ because some people do not know what a Sheltie is) and offer a reward (don’t say how much), walk the neighborhood and call several times a day; call all the vets and shelters in your area. Consult our tips sheet for finding lost dogs on our web site above for more suggestions. If you lose your Sheltie, please call us immediately so we can help you in the search.

Separation Anxiety

In our experience, treating a dog with separation anxiety in a matter-of-fact, cheerful manner when humans must leave the home for work and other activities reassures the dog who is worried about being left behind. Give the dog a rawhide chew and favorite toy and say good-bye, but do not make an issue of this, or the dog’s concern may increase. Dogs with severe separation anxiety who are destructive should be crated with the chew and toy, and a professional trainer consulted for more tips. See also the web sites and books we have suggested on this page: Separation Anxiety in Dogs.

Storm Anxiety

It is important to remember that dogs have very sensitive hearing and other responses to their environment, including air pressure, that may cause trembling, barking, and racing about in some dogs who are moderately to severely affected by storm anxiety. Some trainers recommend putting on a nature CD with storm sounds while playing a favorite game with the dog to acclimate him to the sounds. Some veterinarians will prescribe a mild sedative for dogs severely affected. In our own experience, holding a dog who is anxious, or distracting her with a favorite game may help her get through the storm. If none of these approaches work, then the dog should be crated nearby while her humans talk comfortingly to her until the storm passes. Dogs who are very affected by storms and possibly destructive to the home should be crated when their human companions must be away and know a storm is predicted. Thunderstorm Phobia.

Chocolate is Deadly to Dogs

Keep chocolate away from your dog. 1 oz. of chocolate can kill your dog.

Even small amounts of theobromine, a naturally occurring alkaloid found in the cocoa bean, can cause vomiting and restlessness in pets. Larger doses can be fatal.

Plants Toxic To Animals

  1. Alfalfa, Almond (Pits of), Alocasia, Amaryllis, Apple Seeds, Apricot (Pits of), Arrowgrass, Avacodo, Azalea.
  2. Baneberry, Bayonet, Bear grass, Beech, Belladonna, Bird of Paradise, Bittersweet, Black-Eyed Susan, Black Locust, Bleeding Heart, Bloodroot, Bluebonnet, Box, Boxwood, Buckeyes, Burning bush, Buttercup.
  3. Cactus Candelabra, Caladium, Castor Bean, Cherry (Pits of), Cherry (Most wild varieties), Cherry (ground), Cherry (Laurel), Chinaberry, Christmas Rose, Chrysanthemum, Clematis, Coriaria, Cornflower, Corydalis, Crocus Autumn, Crown of Thorns, Cyclamen. D. Daffodil Daphne, Daphne, Datura, Deadly Nightshade, Death Camas, Delphinium, Dicentrea, Diffenbachia, Dumb Cane.
  4. Eggplant, Elderberry, Elephant Ear, English Ivy, Euonymus, Evergreen.
  5. Ferns, Flax, Four O’ Clock, Foxglove.
  6. Golden Chain, Golden Glow, Gopher Purge.
  7. Hellebore, Poison Hemlock, Water Hemlock, Henbane, Holly, Honeysuckle (only the berries are toxic), Horsebeans, Horsebrush, Horse Chestnuts, Hyacinth, Hydrangea. I. Indian Tobacco, Iris, Iris Ivy.
  8. Jack in the Pulpit, Java Beans, Jessamine, Jerusalem Cherry, Jimson Weed, Jonquil, Jungle Trumpets.
  9. Lantana, Larkspur, Laurel, Lily, Lily Spider, Lily of the Valley, Locoweed, Lupine. M. Marigold, Marijuana, Mescal Bean, Mistletoe, Mock Orange, Monkshood, Moonseed, Morning Glory, Mountain Laurel, Mushrooms.
  10. Narcissus, Nightshade.
  11. Oleander.
  12. Peach (Pits of), Peony, Periwinkle, Philodendron, Pimpernel, Poinciana, Poison Hemlock, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Pokeweed, Poppy, Potato, Precatory Bean, Common Privet.
  13. Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Rosary Pea, Rubber Plant.
  14. Scotch Broom, Skunk Cabbage, Snowdrops, Snow on the Mountain, Staggerweed, Star of Bethlehem, Sweetpea.
  15. Tansy Mustard, Tobacco, Tomato, Tulip, Tung Tree.
  16. Virginia Creeper.
  17. Water Hemlock, Weeping Fig, Wild Call, Wisteria.
  18. Yews (Japanese Yew, English Yew, Western Yew, American Yew)

Pet Tips - Seven Ways To Prevent Chewing

Common in ages puppy through 3 years

Move valued furniture, loose pillows, house plants and books out of any area the puppy has access to. Check carefully for any dangerous objects, such as lamp cords, pins and needles, pens and pencils.

  1. Put him in his crate when you can’t watch him. He’ll go to sleep, most likely; the house will stay safe, and you won’t have to punish him.
  2. Give your puppy his own special chew toys. We recommend rawhide bones. If you see the puppy even start to move toward something he shouldn’t chew, say “No!” and give him a toy. Be consistent. He’ll catch on.
  3. A puppy likes to chew. It’s part of exploring. And she may chew when he’s bored. Exercise and plenty of attention can help control chewing.
  4. Commercial sprays from your pet store can make items such a furniture legs unattractive to your pet. Or try spraying with Listerine.
  5. Your puppy loves chewing your old sneaker or sock, because the odor reminds him so strongly of you. But she’ll love the new sneakers you’ve worn only once or twice just as devotedly. So keep him away from all sneakers (and socks), old or new.
  6. Check with your veterinarian if your puppy shows symptoms of really bad teething pain. He may paw the side of his face, rub his face on the floor, or have difficulty eating. It could be his baby teeth require extraction.
  7. Ease his pain by letting him chew ice cubes or a damp cold washcloth.

Danger! Hot Cars

When the temperature is in the high 70’s and 80’s outside, a parked car quickly becomes unbearably hot inside within minutes, even in the shade and even with the windows left open a few inches. If the car is parked in the sun, the inside temperature can quickly reach 160 degrees. Leaving the air conditioner on in an idling car isn’t much help as it begins to labor and can shut down the engine. The dog could also knock the car into gear as he struggles to get out. As humane societies, law enforcement agencies, and local media constantly warn pet owners, in just 5 minutes, the temperature inside a car even with the windows cracked can reach 100 degrees or more. In just 10 minutes, the temperature inside a car can reach 120 degrees or more. The dog has a fur coat designed to retain heat, and he cannot sweat when he is overheated. As the inside temperature rises, the dog’s body temperature has also risen, and he may have just minutes to live. If not rescued, he will suffer heatstroke, leading to collapse, brain damage, and an agonizing death.

Danger signals of overheating, whether from being in a parked car or excessive exercise in heat are the following: Obvious distress, staggering, heavy panting to eventually struggling to breathe, excessive drooling, vomiting, glassy eyes, dark red to blue or purple gums and tongue, collapse, seizures, and coma.

If you see a dog alone in a parked car on a hot day, go into the store and ask the manager to page the owner. If this is unsuccessful, call the SPCA or the police to free the dog; if the dog is obviously in trouble and in danger of dying before they can arrive, then get the dog out. People are generally not cited for taking that action; instead, the owner will likely be cited for animal cruelty. Once freed, if the dog is suffering, apply the following first aid: Get him into the shade, pour cool (not cold) water on him or use cool towels to gradually lower body temperature. Give him cool water or ice cubes to lick. Take him to a veterinarian immediately for a thorough examination.

Another reason not to leave dogs unattended in locked cars, even with the windows rolled down, is that they can jump out to look for the owner and be lost or worse. Also, dogs have been stolen even from locked cars.

Generally, except for taking your dog on trips where he is welcome inside, do him a favor and leave him home. Never leave a dog alone in a parked car.

The above information is based on our rescue experiences but also on talking with our clinics. For more information on dogs in hot cars and on heatstroke, see Pets in Hot Cars.

For Texas Animal Cruelty Laws, see Animal Rights: The Abolitionist Approach and Citizens for Animal Protection.

Housetraining Tips

  1. All dogs are naturally clean concerning waste elimination. In early life, they seek a spot to eliminate that is remote from where they eat and sleep. We (pet owners) are the culprits who force them to violate this hygiene by placing doors and other barriers between them and the proper toilet area. Use this instinct to house train your new dog.
  2. Feeding and Training Tips: give the dog 15 minutes to eat. Take him outside after each meal – rain, snow, or sunshine to the same spot in the yard. Puppies always go “potty” after eating; most adults also need to eliminate after morning and evening meals. Determine how soon after eating the bowel action occurs. Usually this will be about the same time every time. Some pups may take up to one hour for this to occur. Now you have learned how long to wait after feeding, before going outside. Take him to his spot; give the command you use to go potty; reward and praise lavishly after he does. If he doesn’t go, bring him back in; try again in an hour. Don’t let him out of your sight during training. While training, keep treats in your pocket or a fanny pack. Our experience is that the best way to house train a puppy or new adult is crating. Keep your eye on the dog when you are home and get him or her outside regularly; but when you are away, slip your dog into the crate with a comfy towel or sheet, a rawhide chew, favorite toy, and a pleasant ‘see you later’ and praise. The crate is not punishment but his den while you are away. Some Shelties will prefer to sleep in the crate even when you are home because it is a safe haven. Another trick is to keep the Sheltie on leash in the house: loop on your ankle when you’re relaxing, to your belt loop when you’re working in the house or yard. Keep him close so you can watch him; take him to his spot every couple of hours. Some trainers also use a clicker: take the dog to the spot, click, and reward when he eliminates. Eventually, the connection is made, and you can remove the reward and clicker, using only your command. The most important aspects of the training are (1) the puppy/adult dog must be crated when you are away and must not be out of your sight when you are home; (2) the puppy/dog must be consistently rewarded and praised when he does his business. See the web sites below for more tips.
  3. Quality and type of food is the biggest problem we face. Cheap, bargain food will cause all sorts of digestive problems and make housetraining much harder. Please feed a good, high quality food, which is better for the dog’s health and, with fewer by-products, produces less ‘output’ from the dog.
  4. For cleaning accidents, use an odor neutralizer recommended by your veterinarian. Most household cleaners contain ammonia, which is also found in urine — and therefore only confuses the puppy. Vinegar diluted 1 Tbl per cup, can remove the scent of urine; there are also many fine products available in pet stores. You can try Simple Solution from your Pet Store or OdoBan from Sam’s. Another good product is Joe Campanelli’s “Miracle Stain Remover,” which is excellent. We have found it available at vacuum repair shops. There is also a web site: Joe Campanelli.

Web Sites on House Training

Obedience Training

We strongly recommend obedience training and have provided the names of Houston area trainers on our web site. We recommend reward-based and clicker training. Basic obedience is still another way to train your new Sheltie to be the delightful, well-behaved companion she is meant to be, increase bonding, and provide needed exercise and mental stimulation. Shelties are working dogs who thrive on activities associated with training. You may find that you have quite a talented dog and will want to continue into intermediate or advanced training, agility, and fly ball, all of which are great fun for you and your Sheltie.

Web Sites on Obedience, Agility, Therapy Training, and Fly Ball


Web Sites on Heath Issues

Sheltie Web Sites

Odds 'N' Ends For Your Dog

A dog’s normal temp is around 101-102. Always use only a rectal thermometer to check for a fever.

Benadryl may be given for allergies. Ask your vet for dosage.

An injured dog is always a risk for a bite. Wrap an injured dog in a blanket or thick towel and transport to vet.

Excessive panting or lethargy with inability to cool down after a walk or run and bright red gums may indicate heat stroke; get the dog in a cold bath immediately; then directly to the vet. Walk Shelties in coolest part of the day in the Houston area.

During illness, pale or white gums, lethargy, and fever may indicate anemia or shock; get the dog to the clinic.

If your dog has surgery, check the sutures every day for inflammation; smell the incision for odor of infection; if either are noted, take the dog to the doctor.

Keep dogs from playing with panty hose and plastic toys. These are the biggest problem toys.

Never give a dog Tylenol. Only plain aspirin/baby aspirin/ascription for pain.

Keep your Vet’s phone number next to the phone.

Recommended Reading

[All of these books are available on Amazon.]

Specifically Shelties

Betty Jo McKinney and Barbara Hagen Rieseberg. Sheltie Talk (the ‘bible’ of the Sheltie World; sometimes must be purchased from the publisher). 1976. Rev. 1985. Alpine Publications: P. O. Box 7027 Loveland, CO 80537 (303) 667-2017.

Anna Katherine Nicholas. The Book of the Shetland Sheepdog. 1984. TFH Publications. 211 West Sylvania Ave. Neptune City, NJ 07753.


Bruce Fogel, DVM. The Complete Guide to Dog Care and Behavior.
Garvey, et al. Veterinarians’ Guide to Your Dogs’ Symptoms.
Lane and Ewart. A-Z of Dog Diseases and Health Problems.

Training and More

Patricia McConnell, The Other End of the Leash
Susan Clothier. Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening our Relationships with Dogs.
Jean Donaldson. The Culture Clash.
Ian Dunbar. After You Get Your Puppy.
—. How to Teach a New Dog Old Triccks.
Betty Fisher and Suzanne Delzio. So Your Dog’s Not Lassie.
Brian Kilcommons. Good Owners; Great Dogs.
Patricia McConnell. I’ll Be Home Soon (for separation anxiety).
—. The Other End of the Leash.
Pat Miller and Jean Donaldson. The Power of Positive Dog Training.
Paul Owens, et al. The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Non-Violent Approach to Dog Training.
Karen Pryor. Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training.
Clarice Rutherford and David H. Neil. How to Raise a Puppy You can Live With.
Peggy Tilman. Clicking with Your Dog: Step-by-Step in Pictures.