Like most herding breeds, Shetland Sheepdogs can be quirky dogs, and one thing they might be quirky about is floors. Yes, a different type of floor may totally freak even your well-traveled and well-socialized little Sheltie, so here are a few things you might try to prevent or manage this rather embarrassing condition.
If you get your Shetland Sheepdog as a puppy, try to desensitize her to as many different floor types as possible. Consult with your vet regarding when it is safe to expose her to different environments, such as pet-friendly stores and dog training centers. Go armed with high value treats, and as your puppy explores different types of floors, be prepared to reward her. Try to get your dog on wood, carpet, mats and concrete at a minimum.
Desensitizing while your dog is young can go a long way in preventing fears of different types of flooring. This method is not, however, completely reliable. I’ve started taking one of my Shelties to a nearby training center that has painted concrete floors. The floor is fairly smooth, yet it is not slippery. My Sheltie, who has been to numerous pet stores, training centers, and even to museums and convention centers as a demo dog, is completely terrified by this floor.
She will cower, “pancake” and will not move. I’ve attempted to desensitize her, yet I realized I’m going to have to up the ante. The typical training treats aren’t cutting it. Next week, I’ll be fixing chicken, which is this dog’s absolute favorite food. So take steps to desensitize your Sheltie, yet be prepared that your dog still may have a strange and quirky fear of floors.