It is hard to believe that seven years ago today, our precious Dakota was “gotted!!” He was a birthday gift for me, (my birthday is tomorrow!), from my husband, fulfilling a life-long dream that I had, to have a Sheltie of my own!
Dakota is a clown, thief, a brilliantly fast-learner, an affectionate, playful and sometimes-annoying brother to our cat, a “perfect gentleman at the vet and at grooming” (a direct quote from our Veterinarian and groomer, Dakota will sit, “smiling”, calmly awaiting his turn), and one of the most incredibly loving dogs I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He is cat-like in his discrimination of just WHOM he will show his love and devotion to. Many who don’t know him well, consider him to be “skittish”, “quirky”, “reticent” with strangers. Guess what? I’ll take that ANY DAY, that just shows that he is highly intelligent and carefully scrutinizes people and situations FIRST. That is a common trait in most Shetland Sheepdogs who are true to their lineage. This is a dog who will NOT jump on people who come into our home, (unless he loves them and has accepted them into his “pack, and even then, he isn’t the type of dog who jumps on everyone in sight.)
To those who find the above traits to be undesirable in a dog, my advice to you is, then don’t come around. This is Dakota’s home where he is intensely loved, cherished and accepted, NOT YOURS. My husband and I wouldn’t have him be any other way!!!
The small, active Shetland Sheepdog (nicknamed the Sheltie) was once a Scottish farmer’s best friend: sounding the alarm when anyone approached the property, barking at birds and other animals to shoo them from the garden, and later, with crosses to Scottish herding dogs, keeping the sheep flocks in line. While at first glance they look like a smaller version of the Rough Collie, the two are distinctly different breeds.
Shelties are loving companions for all members of the family, including the kids, but they can be reserved or even shy around strangers. Because of their protective nature, they’re quick to bark if they sense that anything’s amiss in their territory. On the upside, they make excellent watchdogs. You just have to teach them some discrimination.
Ask any Sheltie owner, and they’ll probably tell you how smart their dog is. According to Dr. Stanley Coren, an animal intelligence expert, that’s more than pride of ownership talking. In his studies of the intelligence of 132 different dog breeds, Shelties ranked sixth in intelligence by being able to understand a new command after being told it fewer than five times on average, and obeying commands the first time they were given at least 95 percent of the time.
In fact, Shelties have a reputation for being a little too smart for their own good.
Happy 7th Gotcha Day
to my most handsome boy
Dad, Cody and I
love you to “the moon and back!!!”