Shetland sheepdogs, so sweet and fluffy, may seem like ideal gifts. And yes, in the right circumstances, they certainly can be. If you’re considering giving a dog as a gift, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Does the recipient really want a dog, and everything that goes with pet ownership? A beautiful dog like a Sheltie can seem very appealing, yet bringing a dog into a household can be almost like bringing in a child. Before giving a dog as a pet, talk to the recipient and make sure they are on-board.
The Shetland sheepdog will require walks, feeding, grooming and vet care, and can easily live to be 16 years old. This intelligent breed thrives on training, and loves to spend time with its family. Is the recipient able to provide all this?
Another question to ask is whether the recipient will have this ability in the foreseeable future. An older teen may love getting a Sheltie, and may take excellent care of her pet, but what will happen to the dog if she goes off to college? Are the teen’s parents willing to provide a home at this time?
When giving the gift of a dog, it’s also important to think of the timing of the gift. Ideally, the recipient should have extra time to spend with the Sheltie when the dog first comes home. This is especially true when talking about puppies, as they will need plenty of potty breaks until they become physically mature enough to have bladder control.
It’s also nice if the new owners have extra time to help the dog get used to the family’s routine. Time for exercise and training can also make the difference between a well-behaved and happy dog, and a neurotic, destructive one. Many people like to choose their own dogs, so if that is the case, consider providing a “gift certificate” that you make up that allows the recipient to meet the dog before making a lifelong commitment.