I like to check in with the new puppy owners to see how their puppy is doing. Here’s what they had to say:
Renee Hughes is an expert Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) Breeder, Trainer, Handler and Judge and puts her vast knowledge and experience into every litter right from the beginning by carefully selecting the dam and sire. Renee stays lovingly committed to her “Agile Family” and is always available to offer support and feedback.
If you are lucky enough to become the owner of an Agile Sheltie, your puppy will be well-prepared for the world by having received controlled amounts of “early stimulation” and exposure to people and places, and an extreme fondness for peanut butter bone-ys!
Ken Marshall, Abbotsford BC.
1. Are you happy with your dog?
Absolutely. I have two dogs from Agile: Ryu’s Sweet Georgie Brown (Georgie) from the 2007 litter and Agile Amelia Earhart (Amelia) from the 2010 litter. They are the best dogs I’ve had (plus my first Sheltie Shelby).
2. Why did you purchase a ‘Agile’ pup?
My first Sheltie, Shelby, developed a heart murmur at six months and degenerative joint disease at age eight. The latter caused her four paws to turn crooked and she was crippled with four months of the disease developing. Shelby was from a pet store and I’ll never regret getting her as I considered her a ‘rescue’ and I knew full well that I didn’t know her health background. However, when I started looking for a second dog, I wanted to go to a breeder as I wanted a dog with its background and health background known as it would have been very difficult for me at the time to handle two dogs with serious health issues. Shelby was nine and I wanted a healthy pup to keep her active and help prolong her lifespan.
3. How as the support/suggestions been from this breeder?
Absolutely. As an example, Georgie is a reactive dog and sometimes overreacts when he sees other dogs (through excitement and he also feels he has to protect me!). Renee gave me suggestions on how to keep Georgie’s attention on me rather than the other dog. I use it all the time, especially during agility when there are several other dogs around us.
4. How was the transition of new pup into your home?
Beautiful. With Georgie, since it was the first time I would have two dogs, Renee gave me some suggestions how to introduce Georgie into the household with Shelby. I followed her instructions and it worked beautifully. I had the suggestions in the back of my mind when I introduced Amelia into the household.
5. What do you think of the application and the puppy match with you and your dog?”
Thought it was great since Renee needs to know my background, my attitude towards dogs (i.e. that I won’t be a neglectful/abusive owner), my training abilities, and whether my home is a suitable atmosphere for her dogs. Then, she can assess whether to offer me a pup and which one would be the most suitable for me. Both Georgie and Amelia were perfect matches. Renee has very good judgment in matching her dogs with potential owners. If anything, the application could be longer with more questions as you could never be too careful in assessing potential matches.
6. Why do you think Agile pups are only $200 more than other pups.
Many who breed solely for the money will keep tabs on the amount good breeders charge for their pups and will then charge a similar rate with only a hundred or two lower. The intent is to make as much money as they can while charging a bit less in an attempt to encourage potential buyers to purchase their pups. This often works with potential buyers who do not research breeders before purchasing. It’s very sneaky and takes advantage of uninformed purchasers.
Natalie Proctor, Ont., Canada
In 2008 my agility instructor was helping me look for a new puppy. She put feelers out to some of her agility contacts. One of those contacts had passed along the Agile name and web site. At the time they did not have any puppies on the ground, or any planned litters. I had reviewed her web site and video clips on her puppy foundation from birth until they went to their forever homes. I was very impressed and kept her name and contact information for future reference.
A little over a year ago (2010) I lost a dog to cancer. A few months later a fellow class mate had mentioned a friend of hers in Canada that had a litter of Sheltie pups. She said there was one left and that she’d send a picture. I asked who the breeder was and I was told it was Agile Shelties. Hmmm…..my mind got ticking and when I got home I looked in my old emails and sure enough it was the same person! How could I not, at least, take a look?
When I read the snippet on the pup I thought, “this is everything I’m looking for”. So I contacted this breeder and she sent her application. I thought the application was very thorough and complete. In fact I used the computer to fill it out as my answers were no one liners, they were more like paragraphs. It wasn’t something you would just sit down and fill out, it really made you think. After all, she is looking for the best fit for her owners and puppies so I felt she deserved complete answers about me and my household. Of course I had a very valid question for her, “Why is she the last one”? This breeder was very honest and up front with her answer. She felt this pup was too much for a first time Sheltie owner. I have had Shelties for 24 years and have been doing some sort of performance events for about 20 of those years. As it turns out, this little girl is a hand full so I see her assessment was spot on.
Ever wonder when you supply someone with references if they ever contact them? Well, once I sent back the application, Agile Shelties contacted all of my references. As well, she should. What better way to find out about someone. Once that was complete and she was satisfied with my references, she decided that I would be a good fit and a good home for this little girl.
Was this the most I have paid for a puppy? Yes. Knowing what I know now, would I do it again? YES, especially if it was an AGILE puppy. I wouldn’t think twice!
This little girl is the light of my life. She makes a bad day sunny. When Shine came home it was in the evening hours. She walked in like she owned the joint! When I take her out to new places, everything is an adventure. She is pretty much fearless, but if something frightens her she bounces back quickly. And then she goes forward with gusto. Every day is a new day. She bounds out of her crate at 4:30 every morning with a “what’s new today” attitude.
Shine has been an absolute joy to train. She is very smart, a quick learner, and loves to learn. She is always looking for more. I am anxious to continue with her agility training and get her out there. If I were ever to have an “it” dog, I think Shine will be that dog.
When I’ve had questions for Shines breeder, she gets back to me pretty quick. Through the Agile Group page on FB, she has been very supportive of all kinds of activities that her puppies (dogs) are involved in. She is very enthusiastic and loves to see them grow and succeed.
Would I purchase another puppy from AGILE SHELTIES? YES! 100% YES!
– Karyn Dawes Jr., CA, USA
Are you happy with your dog? yes
Is your dog fulfilling your goals as a pet and companion? More than that. I wanted a high drive agility drive dog that would be a good competitor and pet – Bella is both.
Why did you choose an Agile Sheltie? I had seen Renee with her dogs for several years at various competitions, so I was well aware of the type and temperament of her dogs. Confident sound mind and body dogs.
Was any support or suggestions from this breeder helpful? Yes, as a matter of fact 2 years later and she is very enthusiast offering any support she can
How was the transition of your new puppy into your home? Awesome
Did you find foundation training done in the first 8 weeks helpful? Absolutely
What did you think of the application and the match with you and your dog? I’m not sure how much the application helped. Agile sheltie is a local kennel for me, and Renee and I had many conversations, and she allowed me into her home I think almost twice a week while the puppies were growing up so we had tons of conversations about my wants for a particular type of puppy.
Why do you think Agile Shelties are only $200 more than other pups? I don’t know what other breeders do – so I can’t answer that fairly, what I can say is that during my research puppies were between $800.00 – $1200 (non-breeding) I have absolutely no qualms about paying on the higher end for Bella as she is absolutely worth every penny.
Kim Reed, Aldergrove B.C. Canada
I am the owner of Ryu’s Black Pearl CGN CD RE AADC AGDC (Call Name: Orlando). He is the full litter mate to Poppet and Shiver. Quite frankly, this is the best dog I have ever had. Renee has put in the work when this dog was in the puppy stage and built a foundation of base skills that I have been adding to. Without this skill base, this dog would have been much harder to train. Since he has these skills, Orlando picks things up quite quickly and is a pleasure to work with. He is healthy, well-structured, and well-mannered. People stop me and comment on what a well-behaved, beautiful dog he is. Renee takes the time to match, as much as possible, the right owner to the right dog. This is not a run of the mill dog. Renee sells quality dogs and she has a passion for the breed. I feel honored to have been chosen to own this dog and am excited as I just got a second Agile dog in 2014.
Peter Mitrunen, Mission BC, Canada
Are you happy with your dog? Very much!
Is your dog fulfilling your goals as a pet and companion? He is wonderful to live with and gets along great with everyone human and animal.
Why did you choose an Agile Sheltie? A friend referred Agile Shelties to me when she found out I was searching for a good breeder.
Was any support or suggestions from this breeder helpful? She was very helpful with ears.
How was the transition of your new puppy into your home? I have never had a puppy come into my home so easily.
Did you find foundation training done in the first 8 weeks helpful? The foundation training was amazing and the training since has been very easy. Without the initial training I don’t believe it would have been this way.
What did you think of the application and the match with you and your dog? Perfect
Why do you think Agile Shelties are only $200 more than other pups? It is nice to have such a good, ethical breeder have her main concern on the placement and well being of the puppy more than just the money.
Shelly Hand, formally of Lecombe Alb. Canada
I am extremely happy with my Agile Sheltie, Ryu’s Shiver Me Timbers, CGN, RN, ADC. Shiver is a sister to Poppet and Orlando. I worked with Renee to get the right pup for me, which was in the planning for 3 years. I must say that my patience paid off tenfold. Shiver is everything I ever wanted. We play Agility, went to the BC Yukon Regionals this year! We also work Obedience and our goal is to have our CD by the time we do our next Team Obedience trial. Also, Rally Obedience, in Rally we have our RN and are currently working on our RA. We have tried Sheep Herding which Shiver loves, and best of all….Shiver rides with us on our Harley Motorcycles, we just got home from taking her to Sturgis!!!!!
I would recommend an Agile dog to anyone wanting a performance dog, the effort and training that goes into an Agile dog before they ever leave Renee’s home is extensive! Shiver came to me at 8 weeks old, she was crate trained, house trained ( YES! She only had 3 accidents ever since coming home to my house ) and the early neurological stimulation really helps the dog to be the best they can be. And best of all Renee has been there for me to help Shiver and I along through any bumps and hurdles that we have. She is a wonderful mentor and teacher and friend.
Thanks Renee! For everything you have done to help me have the dog that I always wanted.
Vanda Gillon, Chilliwack BC, Canada
Are you happy with your dog? Yes, very happy could not have been a better fit.
Is your dog fulfilling your goals as a pet and companion? Yes, actually she is exceeding my goals I’ve had to already readjust my goals and she is only 9 months old.
Why did you choose an Agile Sheltie? I have two other Shelties and both came from breeders who only do shows with their dogs and breed for show hopefuls. As much as I have made both of those dogs into a versatile dog who can do agility with, I had promised myself that my next dog would be from a breeder who breed more than just a show quality dog I wanted the versatility as well. I have competed in agility for years so I knew Renee and have seen her dogs and I choose to go with an Agile Sheltie because all her values of what type of sheltie she breeds lined up with what I was wanting in my next Sheltie. I also love all the support and encouragement you get from not only Renee but also every other member of the “Agile Family” we all support and look forward to hearing the updates about everyone dogs.
Was any support or suggestions from this breeder helpful? Yes, all very helpful
How was the transition of your new puppy into your home? Very easy, I thought there would be an issue with my oldest sheltie but there was not. My puppy already from day one had basics like, sit, down, stand and going to pee already started thanks to all Renee’s hard work with the puppies. My little girl adjusts to any new environment or situation quickly and with no stress again thanks to all Renee’s hard work with the puppies that she does right from day one.
Did you find foundation training done in the first 8 weeks helpful? Very helpful it has made it so she adjusts quickly to any new situation I put her in.
What did you think of the application and the match with you and your dog? Love the way Renee matches you with your dog. To me it really shows that she cares about the homes she is putting her dogs in and wants every owner and dog to succeed at whatever they want to do.
Why do you think Agile Shelties are only $200 more than other pups? Renee puts a lot of time and training into each individual puppy she sells or keeps they all get the same attention and this takes time, you are also getting her skills and advise as a dog trainer when you get an Agile dog. I have to say with all the hard work Renee does training the puppies right from day one, I would pay way more then that as I firmly believe a well adjusted puppy makes it so you have a well adjusted dog later on.
Sara Miturnen, Mission BC, Canada
We knew that some Shelties can be nervous, hyper, or withdrawn, so we searched for a breeder that seemed to have the knowledge, experience and took the care to produce well-balanced and healthy dogs. We were initially attracted to Agile Shelties because of your comprehensive health and temperament testing, and low in-breeding. Your website was also comprehensive and interesting. During our talks with you we learned that we would getting more than a healthy dog with the right temperament – you took a great deal of time with your pups to give them the right start, including house breaking, kennel training, exposure to car rides, socializing, and other foundation work.
What this has meant for us is:
– Lou arrived home (at 9weeks) with all the basic behaviour training that eliminated typical issues in introducing a puppy.
– He was completely house trained – only one “accident” on the first evening (before he knew where the door was).
– He was and continues to be very comfortable in his kennel, occasionally giving us (and him) a break during the day.
– From day one, he has slept right through the night and quietly waits for us to release him in the morning.
– He is affectionate and very friendly and calm with people and dogs he meets, and loves his play times with both people and dogs.
– He is an excellent car traveler – including some trips of ten hours or more.
– He readily accepts and enjoys training sessions and challenges. He is such a quick learner (passed dog manners course easily and now knows and responds well to 20 commands).
We are not inexperienced with having a puppy, but with Lou it has been almost like not having to go through the typical puppy “phases”! And we are sure that so much is due to your early foundation work.
It has been a pleasure to have your continued interest and advice, and we are really happy that we were able to acquire Lou from such a great breeder, dog trainer, and dog lover.
Best regards, Lyle and Jean Wharton. Halfmoon Bay, BC Canada