I adopted Sashi in December 2001 from Shetland Sheepdog Placement Services of New Jersey (Aneita Frey). She had been turned over to an all-breed shelter because her original family couldn't deal with her "excessive herding instinct". Thankfully, SSPSNJ took Sashi from the shelter and kept her safe while interviewing applicants for her "forever home".
Shelties were bred in the Shetland Islands [north of Scotland] to herd sheep. They make a wonderful companion dog ~ funny, loving, full of zest ~ and extremely intelligent! They love to please their owners and are easily trained in obedience, herding, agility and nose work. Because of their breeding, they are very vocal (barky) and are hard-wired to chase anything that moves (running children, joggers, bikes, of course sheep and, unfortunately, cars). Obedience training can help them control these urges when directed at less desirable objects.
In Sashi's case, her first 2-1/2 years of life weren't happy. She had never been socialized as a puppy or exposed to much of anything that could be considered positive. She came home with me as a terrified bundle of fur ~ wouldn't let me near her for petting or cuddling. I soon realized that she didn't know how to play or go up/down stairs, was terrified of trashcans and other objects on the sidewalk, even decorative flags flapping in the wind would cause her to bark and cringe. Anything she considered new or strange would send her running to the safety of whatever she could hide behind.
Time, patience, training, and most of all love helped her conquer a number of these problems. We did a numerous classes at Wonderdogs in Marlton NJ and Allen's Kennels in Moorestown NJ. Our heartfelt thanks to Barbara Kahn and Terry Smith!
Sashi came a long way in her first 12 months ... learning to trust, gaining the confidence to try new things. It can take 2+ yrs to rehabilitate a rescue dog, depending on the degree of physical and/or emotional trauma they've gone through.
Please ~ Do research on a breed before buying that cute little ball of fluff. Know what to expect in terms of temperament, energy level, size, amount of coat care for any breed you select. Sashi's first family didn't like her "excessive herding instinct". That's like getting upset with your golden retriever for retrieving ... or your blood hound for following a scent !!