Let’s Talk About Shelties! A Guest Blog By Heather Kalinowski Of Trupanion Pet Insurance

Heather Kalinowski is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion pet insurance. Trupanion offers 90% coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries, medications, and other treatments if a pet becomes sick or injured.


I have been a fan of the Sheltie ever since I was six years old and my mom brought a Sheltie mix home as an Easter present for my brother and me. My brother named her Rebel (he was 15 and thought that would be cool… sigh) and we soon discovered she had all the wonderful traits of the Sheltie. She was incredibly smart and quickly became quite devoted to me and my family. She was so gentle and sensitive and was the perfect companion for my young, shy self.


Shetland Sheepdogs like Dakota and Rebel have brought joy to people since they were first developed in Scotland in the early 1900s. They are herding dogs and it always makes me smile to see them taking that job to heart today, even when not in the pasture! Rebel used to herd anything she came in contact with, especially other dogs and children. It was a site to see her circling a group of happy children, who had no idea they were being ‘contained’ by the cute dog in front of them.

This breed has so much energy as well, requiring a lot of play time and exercise during the day. As a child, this was fantastic, as my dog could always keep up with me as I was zooming around the yard. But as I got older I remember thinking of it as a chore to walk her around the block. Poor pup! It must be hard to grow up with a girl who was once so active and who slowly decided reading books and watching movies was much more fun than playing tag outside.



But Rebel and I had other activities that kept us busy. We enrolled in training programs and canine good citizen classes to help keep us bonded and our minds sharp. Shelties are so smart and really need to have mental exercise as well as physical to keep them healthy. She was a star in her classes, picking things up so easily. She definitely made me look good!


Of course, like all dog breeds, Shelties are prone to certain ailments that can cause heartbreak in a family, including hypothyroidism (insufficient production of the thyroid hormone), Legg-Perthes (a degenerative disease of the hip joint), patellar luxation (the displacement of the kneecap), and allergies. Luckily, advances in veterinary care make it possible – even easy – to treat these conditions and keep these dogs happy and healthy for a lifetime. Of course, it doesn’t come without a cost. Veterinary treatment can be very expensive, especially when long-term care is required.


One way to offset the costs of treating medical conditions in our pets is with pet insurance. Pet insurance can be beneficial, especially for purebred pets like Dakota. Purebred pets are notoriously more prone to ailments because of the hereditary nature of many conditions and the long line of breeding that occurs. Pet insurance reimburses you a large part of veterinary bills so that you can rest assured that you can afford the treatment your pet needs. We all know there is nothing worse than sitting at a vet listening to a treatment plan your dog needs but you know you can’t afford.


But let’s not dwell on the less fortunate traits of the breed we love. We accept those traits and prepare for them so we can enjoy the characteristics and companionship this breed shows us every day. So what is your favorite thing about the Sheltie?

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i AM forwarding this blog to my son who lost his Sheltie, Kristi. You hit the nail on the head about their activity levlel! Dakota is sheer beauty!!

    • Hi Lee! I hope your son enjoys this post (i am sure he will) and my Mom and I are so sorry for his loss. I am a lazier Sheltie than the norm! Thank you for your kind words! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  2. Sometimes I do think they are the prettiest, sweetest, gentlest angels but also the craziest and noisiest monsters. They are so sensitive and their eyes speak! Life is never dull when you have shelties at home as they are good entertainers too : )

  3. Oh my Priscilla my Mom said she couldn’t have said it BETTER!! This is the BEST description of us! You completely summed it up! Mom particularly loved the “craziest and noisiest monsters!!” I have no idea why she would say that though.

    Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  4. This was a fun post to read, it was great to hear more about Dakota’s breed!!

    I haven’t met a Sheltie for real yet – but using Dakota as an example, I love how clever they are – plus, Dakota is really funny and is always making me laugh! He’s a great buddy!

    Have a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Hi Snoopy! Heather does lots of guest posts on my brother’s blog and this was her first one with my blog, my Mom and Cody love her and I do too!

      One day maybe you WILL meet a Sheltie “for real” I hope that it is ME that you meet!

      You are a great buddy too!

      Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  5. Awwwww thank you Heather for such enlightening information on shelties!! Dakota and Rebel are just so adorable – I love their long shaggy coats and such expressive faces!! Yay! Take care

    • Old Kitty guess what, BOTH of those Shelties are DAKOTA!! lol!!!

      That’s ok though! We love you and Charlie! xoxo

  6. Great Post! We did not know that about shelties! My hairy slobbery sister Bob is half sheltie! Thank Cod she has had no health issues.

    • Thanks Nellie! Heather always does such a good job!

      Thank Cod about Bob is right!!

      Barks and licks and much love, Dakota

  7. Dakota, you must come visit and join us on Sheltie Nation! 🙂

    • Hi Kelly! glad to see you stop by. I HAVE visited Sheltie Nation (and have sent photos and left comments) numerous times ! Thanks for the invite but I have been there well over a year BOL

      Barks and licks and love, Dakota

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