First, spray the Shetland Sheepdog’s coat in the area where
you will be brushing. You can use either plain water or a
good canine coat conditioner to make it easier to brush out
tangles and mats. Spray as needed throughout the grooming
process to keep your dog’s coat damp as you brush it.
Brush out your dog completely before attempting to do any
trimming. This will remove excess hair and help to prevent
matting of the undercoat. Brushing also makes it easier for
you to see how long the hair actually is. Work your way
through all parts of the coat, and don’t neglect the backs
of the legs and the area around the tail.
Trim the fur on the underside of each of the dog’s feet.
Shelties tend to get a lot of fur growing there, and it can
make it uncomfortable for them to walk. Cut the fur back so
that it doesn’t stick out past the dog’s pads.
Cut the long hair on the top side of the foot to give the
foot a rounded, compact appearance. Trim any long hair
growing on top of the foot or between the toes until
nothing sticks out beyond the ends of the toes. Feet that
are not properly trimmed tend to look long and gangly.
Comb the hair on the back legs, from the foot up to the
first joint of the legs, so that the hair stands out. Cut
the ends off with sharp scissors to make the back legs look
neat and minimize how much debris can get caught there.
Use thinning shears to reduce the amount of fur your
Sheltie has on the back legs from the hock up to the tail.
If your dog has a thin coat, you can skip this step, but
for many Shelties this is an essential part of staying neat
and clean. Cut parallel to the legs, clipping in several
places where the hair is thickest, and then brush or comb
out all the cuttings. Repeat the process until your Sheltie
is left with a nice appearance and a manageable coat.
Snip away any straggling hairs in and around the ears to
give your Shetland sheepdog a neat and alert look. You may
also want to use the thinning shears around the base of the
ears if your dog has a lot of hair there, since this area
tends to mat easily.
Tips & Warnings
Setting your Sheltie on a grooming table or other raised
surface with secure footing can make it much easier to
groom your dog. Keep the table in a location that’s
convenient for you, and you’ll find it is a pleasure, not
a chore, to groom your Shetland Sheepdog.
Use extreme caution when working with sharp scissors
around your dog. A sudden jump or twitch on your
Sheltie’s part could result in a serious injury, especially if you are
working on the ears. Keep the sharp tips of the scissors
angled away from your dog at all times.
Shaving a Shetland Sheepdog’s coat removes the dog’s
natural protection from heat and cold. This is a step
that should be taken only in extreme circumstances and
under professional supervision
Dog Grooming Tips to Keep Your Pup Healthy and Clean
Grooming a dog means keeping them clean, which we can all
appreciate, but it also means keeping them healthier. A
groomed dog has less of a chance of skin irritations or
infections, and as you groom, you can check
your pet for any possible issues. Take a look at these
helpful grooming tips.
Healthy Food, Healthy Fur
The starting point for your dog's beautiful, shiny coat is
their diet. You want to be sure to feed your dog a good,
quality food. It should have a good amount of protein and a
balance of vitamins and minerals. Find out what to look for in a dog food. You can
also give your dog Omega-3 fatty acids, or fish oil supplements, to promote a
Be careful if you're feeding your dog raw food, because it can contain
salmonella. Make sure your dog has fresh water whenever they
want it, too.
Brushing Your Dog
Once you’ve got your dog covered on the inside, you can groom
the outside. It’s a good idea to brush your dog frequently.
Some experts recommend brushing your dog three times a week
but it won’t hurt to do it every day. This is a good way
to interact with your dog -- it makes your dog feel good and
helps to remove dead hair and skin at the same time. It
is important to always brush along the lay of the fur.
There are a few different brushes you can use:
A wire pin brush is best for medium to long hair dogs. You
want to be sure not to push too hard, so you won't scratch
your dog’s skin.
A slicker brush is recommended for removing mats and tangles.
To tackle the mats and tangles, hold the brush close to the
skin, insert the end tooth of the brush into the mat, and
work it loose. If you are unable to work the mat loose, you
may want to consider cutting it out. Once the mat is free,
you can comb down to the skin.
The bristle brush can be used last, after the other brushes.
It is the only brush you want to use for your short hair dog.
This brush is also great for dogs with sensitive skin and
helps make the coat nice and shiny.
Tips for Bath Time
Once your dog is brushed, it’s time for the bath. You'll want
to bathe your dog around every two weeks to once a month. The
best place to give your dog a bath is outdoors in warm
weather. You never want to use human shampoo as it may make
your dog’s skin dry and irritated. Use a mild dog shampoo. Start by washing the
dog’s body and legs thoroughly. When you wash the dog's head,
be careful not to get soap in the eyes, ears, or nose. Leave
the soap on for three or four minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
If you choose to blow dry your dog, use a low heat setting,
though dogs tend to be afraid of loud noises and may not like
the blow dryer. If your dog is one of these, towel-dry your
dog by blotting and pressing a towel against their coat.
You'll also want to dry their paws. When you are done drying,
brush your dog one last time.
Be aware that you don’t want to bathe your dog too much, as
this will dry out your dog’s skin and it can make it itchy
Don't Forget: Teeth, Ears, and Nails
Finally, you'll want to be sure to clean your
dog’s teeth and ears
and clip their nails. For their ears, wipe out any excess ear
wax or dust gently with a clean cloth or cotton balls. The
ears should be cleaned once a week to avoid infections. A
dog’s teeth can be brushed with a small toothbrush with soft
bristles. Use toothpaste made specifically for dogs and brush
back to front, then rinse.
Trimming dog’s nails can be a bit tricky. You have to be sure
not to cut the dog’s nails quick or injure them. The quick is
easy to see in light colored nails, but can be harder to see
in dogs with black nails. Use a Trimmer/Dremel tool or
clippers, and take off only a small bit. You can ask your vet
or a groomer to show you how if you're unsure.