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Hello!

I am looking for any insight from people who have either had a rough collie or sheltie, as I am torn between which may be the best fit for me. My previous dog was a German Shepherd, and my favorite characteristics about her was that she was highly intelligent, athletic, trainable, and very much a velcro dog (specifically with me as I was the one that took care of her, fed her, trained her, etc.) She passed away a few years ago now and I have decided to make the move forward and get another dog. I am trying to decide between a rough collie or sheltie due to the fact that they share a lot of the same characteristics as shepherds that I love, but are not as prone to aggression and reactivity with strangers.

So... I say this because on one hand I love the size of collies (as a single female who hikes and runs alone often - bigger dogs tend to at least give the illusion of more protection), but I know they don't tend to be "one person" dogs and form bonds equally with all housemates. Not a big deal, but as I rent out the rooms in my home to tenants I would selfishly love for my dog to prefer me the way my last dog did!

On the other hand, shelties, I've researched, are more inclined to be a "one person dog," but their size obviously makes them less beneficial for at least the illusion of protection ha.

What has your experiences been with your collies and shelties, would you say this has been pretty spot on with your experiences? Would love to confirm that my research is correct (at least to the extent that it can be seeing that all dogs are different) so I can make the best decision possible.

Thank you!
 

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I don't have much personal experience with either, but I know enough about shelties to ask: how do you feel about barking? Their reputation for being exceptionally barky dogs is well-earned, and while you can do training to minimize it, it's a very strong natural behavior in the breed.
 

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It sounds to me like you want a dog that is a temperamentally well balanced German Shepherd but looks like a Collie... and that may be possible (talk to breeders of well bred Collies who do health testing of eyes, hips and elbows and any other genetic issues in the breed). I know several people with Shelties and they do tend to bark a lot.

Considering the grooming needed with both breeds I would choose neither although I find both Rough Collies and Shelties to have nice temperaments.
 

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Have you considered a smooth collie: they have a little more drive than the roughs with less coat care. I have rough collie (I love the look and the temperament). I have many friends with shelties they are a great breed just a little too high strung for my taste.
 

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Have you considered a smooth collie: they have a little more drive than the roughs with less coat care. I have rough collie (I love the look and the temperament). I have many friends with shelties they are a great breed just a little too high strung for my taste.
Hi thanks for your message, I did consider them but I actually prefer a dog with less drive. While I do run daily and usually am out in the mountains on the weekends, I would prefer not to have another dog that needs a minimum of 3, 1 hour long walks a day! From the information I've been given from breeders and other collie owners a rough collie would be a better match for that. I don't run terribly long or fast, usually 3-5 miles so would not need a dog that could keep up for long distances. Just a companion who would enjoy coming along with me :)
 

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How much barking are you willing to put up with? Shelties are notorious barkers.
 

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It sounds to me like you want a dog that is a temperamentally well balanced German Shepherd but looks like a Collie... and that may be possible (talk to breeders of well bred Collies who do health testing of eyes, hips and elbows and any other genetic issues in the breed). I know several people with Shelties and they do tend to bark a lot.

Considering the grooming needed with both breeds I would choose neither although I find both Rough Collies and Shelties to have nice temperaments.
Thanks for your message, I've definitely considered the grooming needs and have decided since rough collies are more laid back than smooth collies they would be a better temperament fit. I plan on spending several days a week brushing them out and don't mind as I actually find it fairly therapeutic.

Yeah I've heard shelties can definitely be chatty! Although that's not a deal breaker - I grew up with a very barky miniature schnauzer so it's not something I haven't been through before ha. I'm more interested in how strongly they bond with their caretaker. That's my favorite thing about German Shepherds, I just don't want another dog with so much drive that their exercise needs consume over 3 hours of your day.
 

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I love the breed! Look for breeder who do puppy culture. There are not many but it makes a big difference in the temperament of the dog. I have owned 5 in my lifetime. 3 were/are trained in agility. 1 is my rally dog. They have energy but are happy to be couch potatoes. (Have an off switch.)
 

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I love the breed! Look for breeder who do puppy culture. There are not many but it makes a big difference in the temperament of the dog. I have owned 5 in my lifetime. 3 were/are trained in agility. 1 is my rally dog. They have energy but are happy to be couch potatoes. (Have an off switch.)
That's great! I've heard nothing but great things about collies which really has attracted me to them. What kind of socialization did you do with your dogs when they were puppies?
 

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That's great! I've heard nothing but great things about collies which really has attracted me to them. What kind of socialization did you do with your dogs when they were puppies?
My breeder was a friend so I visited the whole litter when they were less than 24 hrs. old. My breeder Stacy did the puppy culture program with her litter. (5) Puppy Culture Discussion Group | Facebook I had the opportunity to go over and visit the litter at lease twice sometimes three times a week. Stacy and I took the puppies when they were old enough to visit their grandsire, sire, and grand-dam. We also took them to Dairy
sarge with kids pond.jpg
queen. Stacy had many people visit the litter so that they were exposed to children, men and women. She has a little chihuahua, bunnies and kitties. They walked on different textures, play with different toys, exposed to different sounds etc.
home depot.jpg Here she is visiting Home Depot with me as a pup. We rode an elevator, visited a fire dept (she even got to sit in one of the Fire Trucks), visited an outdoor cafe. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so very blessed with a dog is unequivocally my partner. The bond with this dog is stronger than any of my other dogs thanks to my wonderful breeder.
 

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I have had 2 Rough Collies both rescues. The second one was adopted by me at only 18 months. He had been purchased as a puppy by a couple with a 2 year old child and even though I adopted from a Collie rescue I tracked his past back to the humane society where he was originally given up. The reason....too big for the house. I kinda smiled at that since most everyone knows the size of a Collie. Did not take me long to find out why. Collies are very independent which probably goes to their heritage as herders in Scotland where they had to think a lot on their own. He was mouthy and they are barkers. That being said after several training classes he became a great therapy dog. My experience is that Collies are very friendly with other dogs people etc.. Don't expect a German Shepherd type protector. A Collie will hold the flashlight for the burglar. I think they are great dogs and make super pets if you understand their personality. They do have a problem gene which can be dangerous with the chemical ivermectin found in some Heartworm medications. I had mine gene tested and had no issues. Generally pretty healthy breed, usually travel well and no problem with crates or staying home alone for long periods. I used to bike mine but their independence would show up if I wanted to go from fast walk to running. A Lab will run all day. A Collie seems to be thinking that if there is no good reason to run I won't. Thought that was strange with both Collies I owned. You will usually always hear 2 comments when walking a Collie. 1. What a beautiful dog, I would love to have one like that. and 2.Do they shed a lot? The second is probably why you don't see a lot although I did not find their grooming that big of a problem. I only had to groom about once a week except when blowing coat and trip to the groomer about every 3 months. Good luck.
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