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Keeping a sheltie busy in an apartment

There we had him: our own cute, small, sable and white male sheltie puppy. After a while he was going to get bigger, though not as big as a Collie, with which a sheltie resembles in appearance. Nonetheless, we were told that, as a rule, shelties remain just at the level of a petite likeness to Collies. Soon we were going to find out what a sheltie really is, behind that apparently calm, lush fur. It was beginning to become pretty obvious that a name like Frisky – the name we had chosen for him – was just the appropriate one, describing him to in the minutest detail. However, our biggest issue concerned the manner in which we were going to accommodate our sheltie puppy with life in an apartment.

Fortunately enough, he is a male sheltie. It appears – or at least some say – that a male is preferred due to the fact that he is a bit – but only a bit – more devoted and friendly than its female counterpart. As we were going to learn it pretty soon, shelties tend to grow affectionate and loving pet companions in a fairly short while. It was probably this particular characteristic which was at the basis of the successful training of our dog. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that training should result unsuccessful on any sheltie, but you know how favorably inclined pet owners can be as regards their pets.

Shelties grow playful in practically no time. As soon as they adjust to their human companions, they begin exploring the surrounding environment. Yes, we knew it, there wasn’t too much to explore in our apartment. Moreover, these dogs need quite some space to run and give an active use to that impressive amount of vitality their small bodies manage to sustain. Subsequently, we began sharing more of our time with our sheltie dog. It was part of his training to become more and more accustomed to our presence. Nonetheless, each time a friend would pop in, our sheltie would pop off. This is, in fact, another fact common to all shelties, they do not exactly enjoy strangers or, at least, they do not like faces which are not very familiar. The apartment would simply resound with Frisky’s barks each time a friend visited us. So friends, in their turn, had to learn to share some of their attention to our sheltie.

Then we found out shelties really love companionship. There’s nothing such a dog dislikes more than being forgotten in a corner of the room while you are imparting all of your care to your husband, children or friends come to visit you. In fact, it would prove nearly impossible to ignore this dog; as soon as he finds himself neglected, he begins barking noisily and searching for ways to grab your attention again. Beware what things you leave around him when you fail to have your eye on what he is doing. Shelties will not hesitate to ruin your china or some room decorations (vases, flowers, small trinkets you acquired on a special trip in Mexico, it really doesn’t matter) you have left near him while you were doing something else. On the other hand, don’t worry too much; they will bring such “mischief” only when they haven’t been sufficiently trained or when they have really got that devilish mood where they truly need your participation to their play.

Therefore play, play, and play. It is more or less the single manner in which you can keep your sheltie appropriately exercised; of course, you will also take your dog out for walks, but he will spend most of the time in the apartment where you live. Wow, wouldn’t he enjoy a yard? Fortunately, there are ways in which you can vary the activities for this dog even in an apartment. Of course, a room will have to be more modestly furnished, in order to prevent your dog from bringing some unwanted damage to some valuable piece of furniture. You can play fetch, of course; but don’t forget that this dog is a sheepdog, so just fetch will soon bore him away. Try to vary the game. Place as many toys on the floor. There are many plastic chewable toys for dogs; and shelties do need them in an apartment. In the end, it is not such a sophisticated task to keep such a dog busy when you live in a flat. All he needs (or she, if you have a preference for female shelties) is that you allow him some of your time to play together as much as you can. There will be many ways he will reward you. Probably one of his favorite ways is to wake you up in the morning while “massaging” your face with his wet nose.

About the Author: Shelties will adapt to any living conditions, even to life in an apartment. In any case, all a sheltie needs is some extra-attention and extra-means of play. Variation is the key notion when it comes to raising such a dog in an apartment.

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