Lorain Shetland Sheepdogs orignated in the Washington, D. C. area in 1987 and now calls the Orlando, Florida area home. My love affair with the breed began in March 1987 with a thirteen week old sable and white ball of fluff, I named Brandy. Like so many others, I purchased my first sheltie, primarily as a companion. Having owned several pet beagles, I chose the sheltie after extensive research, seeking to replace the lovable Beagle with something more biddable, yet still small and sociable. I remember well two comments made by Brandy's breeder: (1) once you have a sheltie, you will never want another breed and (2) like lays potato chips, one is never enough.
Now, twenty plus years later, these statements still ring true. From those very first days home it was evident that shelties had a lot to offer. Beauty, intelligence, loyalty and a willingness to do anything to please. Brandy turned out to be one of those extraordinarily gifted shelties that excelled in everything she was asked to do. We started in obedience, ventured into conformation when it was determined she would stay in size, and last, but not certainly least, discovered herding when an instinct test uncovered amazing raw talent that would rival the best in border collies. This once in a lifetime sheltie established goals still followed today, to showcase the breed's versatility. The short term goal here is every dog a "VC", a title awarded by the American Shetland Sheepdog Association, for those dogs with titles in three areas, conformation, performance, and herding. The lifetime goal is to breed, train and handle a dog to championships in Conformation, Herding and Performance.
In order to attain the goals set, the number of dogs at any given time is strictly limited. Generally, there is on average only 8 adults at any one time at home, with one or two puppies growing out as well. Quality, not quanity is the determining factor in "the keepers" and those who exhibit a taste for leg of lamb are especially valued. Soundness of mind as well as body is a necessity, not a nicety, to maximize each individual dog's potential no matter what the field of endeavor. All the dogs are raised in a home environment, and spend lots of time romping in the 3/4 acre back yard or lounging on the sofa or my bed.
Despite the small numbers, Lorain Shelties can and do hold their own in local and national breed specialties, all breed shows, and performance events as well. To date there are 12 American Conformation Champions, 11 of which are homebred. Of the 12 Champions, one is also a Best of Breed Speciality Winner. Two of the Champions are also Grand Champions. One non-Champion and four of the Champions have also been awarded the American Shetland Sheepdog Association's Verstatility Certificate (VC) Award. Yet another (number five) of the Champions has attained the Versatility Excellent (VCX) goal. The Ch/VCX dog was also a Reserve High In Trial, Sheep winner, winning her first major in the same week as that performance award, exhibiting true versatility at work. Lorain also has produced its first MACH -Lorain's Mouth of the South.
All breeding stock are tested for eyes, hips and thyroid, with other tests on an as needed basis. Pet puppies all have their eyes checked as well as a general health exam, and age appropriate shots, prior to sale. All pet/companion dogs are sold on limited registration and/or spay/neuter contracts. Both general good health and genetic guarantees are also provided. Occasionally, show prospects are available, to proven show homes, with solid references.