Grooming Your Sheltie Gorgeous

BY | September 20 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Grooming Your Sheltie Gorgeous

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JW Gripsoft Undercoat Rake

Grooming Tools, Brushes & Combs
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Shetland Sheepdogs have a thick double coat that can be a challenge to maintain. Without proper grooming, your Sheltie's coat will mat, becoming painful. Learn how to groom your dog here.

Shetland Sheepdogs are sturdy herding dogs that resemble miniature Collies but are actually a separate breed. They have a thick double coat consisting of a soft, fluffy undercoat and a longer, harsh topcoat. These dogs need very little trimming, even for shows, but there are some things you can do to both make them look neater and to help them to be more comfortable. You may want to bathe your Shetland Sheepdog prior to trimming, but you can get excellent results without a bath, as long as your dog isnโ€™t very dirty.

Step 1

First, spray the Shetland Sheepdogโ€™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 dogโ€™s coat damp as you brush it.

Step 2

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 donโ€™t neglect the backs of the legs and the area around the tail.

Step 3

Trim the fur on the underside of each of the dogโ€™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 doesnโ€™t stick out past the dogโ€™s pads.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.

Step 7

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 thatโ€™s convenient for you, and youโ€™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 Sheltieโ€™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 Sheepdogโ€™s coat removes the dogโ€™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 shiny coat.

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 youโ€™ve got your dog covered on the inside, you can groom the outside. Itโ€™s a good idea to brush your dog frequently. Some experts recommend brushing your dog three times a week but it wonโ€™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 dogโ€™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, itโ€™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 dogโ€™s skin dry and irritated. Use a mild dog shampoo. Start by washing the dogโ€™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 donโ€™t want to bathe your dog too much, as this will dry out your dogโ€™s skin and it can make it itchy and irritated.

Don't Forget: Teeth, Ears, and Nails

Finally, you'll want to be sure to clean your dogโ€™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 dogโ€™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 dogโ€™s nails can be a bit tricky. You have to be sure not to cut the dogโ€™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.

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Shetland Sheepdog Double Coat Thick Hair

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