The Shetland Sheepdog is an intelligent breed. Their intelligence stems from breeding history and has developed itself over-time. In this day in age, Shetland Sheepdogs are common household pets that many people love- especially when it comes to training.
When it comes to training, Shetland Sheepdogs are remarkably easy to deal with (as opposed to other dog breeds). The secret to success will depend on your approach. If you attempt to train your pooch forcefully, side-effects can become detrimental in the future.
Teaching your pooch the right way first-time around, implementing a calm approach, and refraining from any aggression during training- is the key to success. Understanding your dog’s behavior is also a significant factor when training. If you’re interested in learning more about Shetland Sheepdog training, continue reading!
At What Age Can I Start Training My New Puppy?
Although you can begin training your pup from as early as seven weeks old, their limited attention span won’t bring you results any-time soon. As a basis, it’s helpful to wait until your puppy has reached 12 – 15 weeks of age until you can begin training.
But even once your pooch has reached the 12 – 15-week mark, don’t expect rapid results. Formal dog-training is usually done at the age of 26 weeks, meaning results are more prominent due to their development. However, it doesn’t mean you need to wait that long.
There’s no problem with training your pooch early; in fact, I recommend it.
Just don’t expect him to understand everything you’re teaching him before 26 weeks. Implementing basic commands can be the perfect starting point for training your pooch at an early age!
Teach Your Shetland Sheepdog To Respect You
If you can appropriately teach your Sheltie to respect you, training will always be successful. A vital tip to remember, however, is much like humans- respect is earned, not given. Think the same way when training your pooch.
You can not force your dog to respect you, and even if you tried (through physical violence)- resentment would almost always be prominent.
A dog who truly respects their owner will listen to his demands attentively, comprehend easily, and will do things willingly- without the need for physical intervention.
Teaching your Shetland Sheepdog to respect you will require having him trust you. He must trust you to consider following your demands. Gaining respect will also include being firm but calm in the way you speak to him, allowing his own space, listening to him, and positively interacting with him.
Solving Behavior Problems
Numerous reasons can cause behavior problems in dogs, ranging from upbringing, boredom, genetics, or even illness. Behavioral-training is the perfect solution to combat behavior problems in your dog.
You must understand why your dog acts the way he does, and to figure out a solution based upon that reason.
Depending on how long your dog has developed certain behaviors, it can also factor how long it’ll take for you to deter and implement good practices.
As a starting point, observe your dog’s triggers (before he acts out) and discover any external influences. For example, the presence of others, tone of voice, failing to receive, etc.
Teach The Right Words In The Right Ways
If you aim to be successful when dog training, it’s imperative to train your dog the right commands through ethical forms of teaching. Because the way you communicate with your pooch throughout your experience of dog-training will significantly dictate your success.
When communication, you must be firm in your voice and the words you speak. Your dog can pick up uncertainty and will find what you’re teaching to be unreliable.
Much like having a firm voice, you’ll need to be calm when teaching him new commands. If you’re anxious, stressed, or aggressive, the likelihood of success will be little to none. Keep calm even when you feel discouraged, as you’ll assure your dog that he can continue to trust you also while you’re dealing with upsetting emotions.
No matter what commands you choose to teach your dog, always keep it consistent. Just like learning a new language for humans requires repetition, your dog is the same way. Use your chosen commands regularly- and even incorporate actions (if possible).
Socializing Your Puppy or Adult Dog
Socialization training is beneficial for both dogs and dog-owners. Socializing your dog as a puppy can also be much better than waiting until he’s matured, as it will teach him the skills needed for your dog to appreciate listening, playing, and interacting with others. (Which he’ll use as an adult.)
Here are tips for socialization-training being made easy:
1. Dog Parks – Utilize the dog-park as often as possible, ensuring you keep a close watch at how your dog behaves around other breeds- as well as reasonable fears/behaviors you can work on indoors.
2. Doggy-Daycare/Classes – Another great way to socialize your pooch is through regular classes or daycare. Having an area for your dog to interact with others in a secure environment can be beneficial.
3. Watch Your Dog’s Cues – Pay attention to your dog’s cues and allow him space if he’s becoming agitated or stressed from prolonged interaction.
4. Unfamiliar Faces, OFTEN – Having your puppy exposed to as many people, animals, vehicles, and environments are all great ways to familiarize and help him adapt to the presence of others.
5. Treats – Don’t be afraid to use a few treats here and there, as long as you keep it minimal and use it sporadically.
Environment is Important
The environment you teach and train your dog in is vital. When teaching your dog, you should be in a quiet, warm, and peaceful environment with little distractions. This way, your dogs’ attention is limited to what you’re saying to him.
When exercising his training, the environment should be dependent on your goals.
For example, if you’re aiming to socialize- limiting surrounding distractions is extremely helpful.
Establish a Training/Exercise Schedule
Generally, dogs should have an established training/exercise schedule- which they can adapt and adjust to, making things for the pair of you.
Creating a consistent routine for your Shetland Sheepdog and following it accordingly will allow your dog to mentally and physically prepare himself for what is expected of him.
An established schedule also reminds your dog of the previous day’s training, allowing him to memorize commands quicker (overtime).
Struggles of Training Shetland Sheepdog
The training you provide for your pooch won’t always be a walk in the park, and although most Shetland Sheepdogs’ are easy to train- a small few may have picked up “stubborn-like” habits which can cause owners a bit of a struggle.
Here is a list of struggles you may encounter when training a Shetland Sheepdog:
- Combating stubbornness
- Detering old/lousy behavior or habits
- Remaining calm at all times
- Keeping a slow pace, despite the urge to quickly rush through commands
- Dealing with instinctual nature
- Keep a consistent routine
- Differentiating training and “play-time.”
Common Mistakes Made While Training
Don’t feel disheartened if your week-long dog-training hasn’t been working in your favor. It takes patience, accuracy, consistency, and a sense of “knowing” to master such a challenge. To prevent further delay, read below the common mistakes people make while training their Sheltie.
Failing to Start Immediately: Many people fail to implement training at an early age- causing probable behavior problems or delayed success.
Using Physical Discipline: Physically disciplining your dog during training has increased proven adverse effects, then it does negative.
Not Having a Routine: Failing to adapt your dog into an established routine can create chaos and a pooch that won’t follow instructions.
No Socialization Experience: It’s imperative to provide socialization for your pooch, to promote a healthy upbringing.
Prolonged Daily Training: If you fail to allow your dog the space he needs during training, he can become agitated or bored quickly- causing a delay in training success.
Over-feeding with Treats: Too many treats, too often- can create an expectation from your dog that he’ll receive a reward every time he does something right.
Punishing Long-after a Mistake: Much like babies or young children, puppies have a poor sense of time- therefore, punishing your dog long after he has made a mistake can create fear and agitation over-time.
Commands That All Shetland Sheepdog Should Be Taught
Using the right commands, in conjunction with using the right words, can be beneficial when training your Shetland Sheepdog.
Here is a list of common commands that all Shetland Sheepdogs should be taught:
How Long Does it Take to Train a Shetland Sheepdog?
It depends. If you’ve trained your Sheltie consistently from puppy/adolescence age, it may take a few months. Waiting to train your dog as an adolescent or adult-age, however, may take you numerous months or a year.
How Long Do You Need Every Day?
As a basis, 1 hour every day is sufficient. However, don’t forget to section training into 10 – 15-minute intervals, so your dog receives plenty of breaks.