At Heartfelt Shelties we think of our dogs/puppies as members of our family. They are inside dogs, not kennel dogs. They live in our house year round and think of themselves as one of us. The only time they are in their kennels is when we are not home and at night.
I have two of my children living at home with me, so the dogs/puppies are very seldom left alone, and always have someone to play with. It's like having the best of both worlds!
We have a large five bedroom home with a completely refinished attic and refinished basement that serves as our sheltie grooming area, night time kenneling, and winter training room.
The puppies are birthed in our bedroom and stay there with us night and day to make sure that their needs are being met. We are in contact with our wonderful vet 24/7 for any concerns, questions, and assessments. We weigh them daily to ensure proper weight gain and keep extensive records on each individual puppy's progress, as well as continuous health checks on the new mom. Once they are two weeks old they are moved downstairs to our living area. This is in the midst of our daily family life, which helps in the adjustment to their every day lives. Socialization is paramount!
We have over 500 square feet of fenced outdoor area for the dogs to ensure that they get plenty of outdoor exercise. The dogs are exercised every day and love to play on their 20 foot long agility ramp; which every one of the dogs absolutely adore.
Right from the beginning of their lives, our puppies begin their socialization. Our sheltie puppies are loved and cuddled by the whole family. They are introduced to so many of the things that they will encounter during their lifetime. We bathe them, clip their nails, play outside on a number of different surfaces (grass, sidewalk, gravel, etc) so that they become gently accustomed to the real world. They have their ears cleaned, and even have their teeth brushed before going to their new home. Car rides are fun and adventurous for everyone, as well as learning to play alone and with littermates. They also play with the adult dogs and are accustomed to family life.
We don't just let anyone take our puppies. You'll probably think we're going above and beyond the normal call of duty in finding our pups the right home. But for us, it's not just selling a dog, it's an adoption. This is a lifetime commitment, one that you and we both agree upon. We're here for you, today, tomorrow and in the future. If you have a question or a concern, we're always here to help. If we don't know the answer, we will get it for you.
There are a multitude of quality, honest, caring breeders that you can find, but then there are some that are not in this for the right reasons, so we encourage each potential owner of a sheltie to thoroughly check into the dog breeder where they choose to get their dog. Even if it is not us, please do some research about the breed and the breeder. Some breeders will only have"kennel" dogs and those dogs are only allowed in the house to whelp their puppies, which is usually in an area that is secluded from the household or other undesirable place to spend their first weeks of life. There is little or no socialization, which is a terrible start for any puppy. After the puppies are born, the mothers will spend the rest of their lives living in a small kennel or run. There might be some dogs allowed in the house, but make sure that the mother of YOUR new addition is a member of the family and not just a breeding dog. No matter how it is tried to be prettied up on a website be sure and visit the kennel, get to know the breeders....ask yourself if you like the environment that your future furry family member is living in; are the conditions clean, are the dogs clean and healthy? What about a guarantee, will the breeder be there for you in the future?
The whole point of doing what we do, as any reputable breeder, is to better the breed. There are many, many breeders that feel the way we do, and that is a quality that is done by AKC standards, ethics, morals and honesty.
So, if we have to stand alone, or together with other quality breeders to better this wonderful breed, we will. We love the feeling that we can always look in the mirror and be proud of who is looking back at us. A reputable breeder will never be afraid of your visits, phone calls, emails, or any questions. So, if we seem different, I'm glad! I like to think that our love for Shelties sets us apart from the rest.
I've added some family pictures below.