Shetland sheepdogs are often referred to as miniature collies. While they are similar in appearance, they are two separate breeds. Shelties have a thick double coat that grows to long lengths. The double coat requires frequent grooming to prevent tangles and snarls, so it is important to learn proper grooming techniques. Grooming a sheltie at home will also help save money at the groomer.
Tools for Grooming a Shetland Sheepdog
The following tools are necessary for grooming a sheltie:
- Small slicker brush
- Large, wide tooth metal comb
- Undercoat rake
- Thinning shears
- Spray bottle with room temperature water
- Blunt nosed scissors
- Nail trimmers or a nail file
All of these tools can be purchased at your local pet store fairly cheaply. Razors and thinning shears may run a bit more on the price scale. However, all of these tools will help save money in the long run by reducing or even eliminating the need for a professional groomer.
How to Groom a Sheltie
Shelties should be brushed at least twice weekly to prevent major mats from occurring. Regular grooming sessions should be done at a minimum of once a month, more if possible.
First, spray the sheltie down lightly using the water bottle. This will help loosen any mats. If necessary, pet stores carry a detangle spray which can also be used. Using the wide toothed metal comb, do a once-over on the sheltie to find and remove any matting. Thinning shears may also be used to help remove extremely difficult mats, without removing a large chunk of fur.
Next, run the entire undercoat rake over the entire body of the shetland sheepdog. This will help remove any loose hairs in the undercoat, which will help prevent future mats from occurring.
Grooming Sheltie Feet
The feet of a Shetland sheepdog must also be groomed on a monthly basis. When the nails are clicking or scraping floors, it is time for a nail trim. Also, if the sheltie is sliding around on smooth surfaces, it’s time to groom the feet.
First, using the razor, shave the fur on the bottom of the foot to be even with the pads. Scissors can be used to do this, but run the risk of accidently snipping the skin or pads.
Next, using the nail trimmers, trim the sheltie’s nails down. Be careful not to trim too far, which can cut the quick of the nail and cause bleeding and significant pain to the dog. It is also possible to use a nail file, rather than nail trimmers. This takes longer, but is ideal for those afraid of accidentally hurting their dog.
Using the blunt nosed scissors, trim any stray hairs around the edge of the paws, along the pad.
Lastly, using the slicker brush, brush the top of the sheltie’s paw upward, toward the leg. Then, using the thinning shears, trim any fur that stands straight up.
Grooming a Shetland Sheepdog on a regular basis will help keep the dog healthy, and a healthy dog is a happy dog. Regular grooming will also reduce the number of visits to a groomer, which will also save several thousand dollars over the course of the dog’s life.