Researching the Shetland Sheep dog before buying one at a few weeks old had me horrified. Part of me was excited to have an essentially miniscule collie, and another part was anxious that it would live up to its wild reputation. Shelties are ranked #6 on Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence study with a very high trainability. Still, that offered little in the way of reassurance.
Bringing home the then guinea pig sized baby, I was amazed at how calm he was. Within days Dallas, as we called him, showed his true colors. This tiny little pistol spun in circles, running laps around our entire apartment. Normally, I would have been mortified. Seemingly, there was no way that dog could ever pause to sit down.
Thankfully for us, we trained Dallas using Cesar Millan’s “How to Raise the Perfect Dog” since day one. Persistence in the training, a calm and assertive attitude, and constantly praising small but desirable acts were worth it. Now nine months old, Dallas boasts an impressive repertoire of basic commands and some charming tricks. He sits. He eagerly goes “home”. He even picks out specific toys on command. No part of the dog’s personality is hindered either, especially the erratic apartment sprinting.
All of this was possible from utilizing a great tool from someone well known in the dog world. Whether or not one agrees or disagrees all of his methods, I can say what he wrote in his book truly helped train us to train a dog. It’s a fantastic book for fantastic dog results.