We raise AKC Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties). We keep a waiting list, so our two or three litters a year are usually sold before they arrive. These wonderful animals are a delight to have around and get along well with the llamas when we had them. We started with our first female in 1974 when Norm bought me a puppy for Christmas. We have had them ever since.
The Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) is indigenous to the Shetland Islands, which lie in the wild seas between Scotland and Norway. Incessant storms eroded the vegetation and made it difficult for the ponies, cattle and sheep to survive on natural forage. The stock jumped the stone walls that surrounded the few crops that the islanders cultivated, in order to eat the tender plants that grew within. By the middle of the 19th century, the people had begun to breed these small, agile dogs to keep the ponies and sheep out of their walled gardens. Shelties excel as herding dogs to this day.
It is suggested that Shelties may have arrived in America via sailors, who in the late 1800's brought these little island dogs home as gifts. The American Kennel Club recognized them in 1909 and registered the first dogs in 1910. Sheltie numbers have increased steadily in the United States and have appeared on the AKC's list of the ten most popular dogs twelve of the past fifteen years.
Some Shelties are sedate and enjoy the quiet life, others delight in games of keep away and frisbee (plastic coffee can lids work great!). They are characteristically affectionate and extremely intelligent. Like llamas, it seems to take only a few lessons for them to come around to your way of thinking. Ours are raised around our grandkids and are great family dogs. Possessed of a powerful instinct to please, they are sensitive and respond best to gentle, but consistent handling and training. Shelties have a reputation for being barkers. We don't have that problem because we encourage them to be quiet unless there is something going on we need to know about.
I believe this is an undeserved reputation because the dogs can learn to comprehend the difference. They can seem quite reserved around folks they don't know.
Shelties come in a range of sizes. Between 13 and 16 inches is the breed standard, but they can reach 20 inches or more and weigh up to 40 pounds. A Sheltie is a Sheltie, regardless of size. They also come in a variety of colors. The sables are brown or tan, with coats ranging in shades thereof. They usually have white markings and remind people of a miniature Lassie. Tri-colors are black with white and tan markings; or bi-blacks with white markings only. We had a beautiful blue merle female as seen here in the picture! She is genetically black and her coat color has been modified by the merling gene. This makes her appear dappled silver and grey, with black patches. She has one brown eye and one merle eye which is brown and blue. We bred her to a tri and she produced an awesome litter of blue merles and tris with her outstanding personality. She no longer lives here at Hillview but we have another merle, a sable merle this time, who is wonderful. She is a sable merle by Apple Acres Mardi Gras. This sable merle has produced an awesome pair of kids by an Apple Acres Lucky Number son. We kept the blue girl who has also produced a gorgeous sable female for us. We are looking forward to what she can produce.
UPDATE! Pumpkin has recently given us three puppies; a blue merle boy who started his career in the first puppy classes he qualified for (he won!) and a blue merle female and a sable female by Apple Acres Carte Blanche. His call name is "Spendy" and he won HIS puppy class at Nationals!! The sable female and the blue girl have gone to a wonderful forever home. We called the blue girl Frankie (Frank Sinatra) because she has two of the most beautiful blue eyes ever. Her new junior owner has renamed her "Faith" and they are doing great in the showring!!
If you are interested in a small dog that adapts to the house or the barn or even your motor home if you are a snowbird, one that will patrol the farm for you and be your best buddy, send us an email; it is the best way to reach this busy household.
Louise, Well three weeks and she has figured out she is queen. Walking on the harness has been going great, about two miles morning and night. She has now started talking to me as we walk telling me all the things she sees. She also has figured out I am ok to play the jumping game with. As we are walking if I skip she will spring into the air and do a circle before landing. Also the crouch down and she who can last the longest before someone flinches and jumps. Vocal commands are going very well, heel, come, sit, stay. The funny one as we learned to cross streets is she sits when I say car, and then look this way she turns her head to the left, then look that way she turns her head to the right. Also now when we get back to the car she sits and waits before I get there for her to get in. Night time cookies are a riot to watch her savor every piece of carrot. She is also a huge cuddler in bed. I am now getting to use almost 10-12 inches of the bed. She does love brushing her coat so we have been doing a couple times a week. I think we are now up to almost 30 brush fulls of Ally hair. She is definetly a sheltie!! Thanks a lot for the girl. Andy
Ally came to visit because her human discovered that Ally is an aunt and he thought she would love to have "family" to play with. She hasn't changed a bit and in about 10 minutes, she seemed to know exactly where she was and who everyone was. She just moved amongst my dogs like she had never left. And she loves Quinton! Can you see the family resemblance?
Many thanks to the folks who have
adopted our previous pups......
I love getting updates and pictures as they are growing up! Here are a couple we sold years ago. Aren't they gorgeous?
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Normand & Louise Kerr
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