We have been working with shetland sheepdogs or shelties for decades. Through all of our experiences, we have discovered a lot of the various characteristics and traits of shetland sheepdogs or shelties.
Although every dog is different, shetland sheepdogs or shelties typically need their first haircut around six months of age.
We understand that grooming is an incredibly important responsibility for dog owners. We are going to get into some frequently asked questions and give you everything you need to know about shetland sheepdogs or shelties and their chewing habits!
What Do Shetland Sheepdogs’ Hair Look Like?
Shelties or shetland sheepdogs have incredibly luxurious and luscious double coats that come with the responsibility of routinely grooming them. For grooming, it is important to de-shed the undercoat, detangle the mats, and look after both the paws and claws. Shelties or shetland sheepdogs are known to be a long-hair breed for dogs. Because of this, your sheltie or shetland sheepdog will likely shed a lot as well.
Are There Differences Between Male and Female Shelties Shedding Habits?
Yes. Although all shelties or shetland sheepdogs require a lot of serious grooming, there is a distinct difference between the shedding patterns for females and males.
The male shetland sheepdogs have major moult about once a year prior to the summer season when they leave their winter coat, which takes about a few weeks.
Female shetland sheepdogs on the other hand moult prior to the summer and after each heat cycle, which is about every six to eight months if she is not spayed.
When Does My Sheltie Need Grooming?
Relative to adult shelties or shetland sheepdogs, the puppies rarely shed at all. Their fur is short during this young age, and the fluffy, thick undercoat tends to be underdeveloped. You can simply run a comb through your shetland sheepdog or sheltie’s fur about once per week and check their crevices for any mats.
At about six months, your sheltie or shetland sheepdog will begin to develop the thick classic sheltie or shetland sheepdog coat. That is when you will need to begin stepping up your grooming routine. You must be prepared because this is very likely to sneak up on you. Also, it tends to take longer once you start for the first time simply because you have yet to establish your systematic process.
What Do I Need to Groom My Shetland Sheepdog?
There are some rather basic tools that you can use to groom the various fur layers that your shetland sheepdog or sheltie has.
First, you will need a detangling comb. This is crucial for stripping out any fluffy, loose undercoat and keeping it from clogging your shetland sheepdog or sheltie’s skin. You can try using a 2-in-1 Detangling Comb that is designed by Poodle Pet for convenience.
Second, you can use a fine toothed comb to groom any wispy areas with great precision.
Third, you should use a slicker brush to remove any debris from the overcoat and to distribute the natural oils of the coat. There are slicker brushes that have retractable bristles that help with cleaning as well as storage, so the pins of the brush are not likely to become bent or break.
Fourth, you should get yourself a pair of pet scissors. They will need to be sturdy in order to trim the fur between the sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s paw pads, cut out any tough mats that they have, and to tidy up the areas that have gone haywire.
How Do I Groom My Sheltie? (Shetland Sheepdog)
One of the most efficient and effective ways to groom shelties or shetland sheepdogs is a process known as line brushing. With line brushing, you start at the back of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s neck and part the fur in a horizontal fashion to the point where you are able to see their skin and use a de-matting comb with small strokes.
Once there is no more resistance and you do not have any more fur shedding, then you can move down approximately one inch and repeat the procedure. This technique allows you to target the whole undercoat of the body, legs, and behind.
Then, you must detangle any wispy fur. You can use a fine toothed comb for this part, especially behind the ears, around the soft underbelly, and under the armpits. These are the areas where you will find the most mats, since these areas are easily and often tangled.
Near the skin, tight mats can be painful or uncomfortable for your sheltie or shetland sheepdog. The most optimal approach is pinching fur at the base so you will be able to take the tension into your fingers instead of pulling at your puppy’s skin.
Third, you will need to trim out all of the mats that you find. At times, you will encounter mats that are incredibly difficult to comb at. The simplest solution for this is to trim it using a pair of pet scissors. Some dog owners, including show, hate cutting knots or mats because it tends to leave unsightly fur patches, but for shelties or shetland sheepdogs themselves, the procedure is completely comfortable.
Whenever mats are found close to the skin, make sure to snip with great care and caution. Also avoid pulling the fur in these scenarios because it pulls delicate skin into the scissors’ path. Rather, you should hold the fur loosely and cut with gentle, small snips until there are no more mats.
Fourth, you need to brush the rough overcoat and you can do so by running your slicker brush in long strokes down the overcoat in the hair growth’s direction.
This will help remove any light tangles, dead hairs, and debris from the coarse fur. This also tends to stimulate the skin in order to improve circulation and distribute the natural oils of the coat for an overall smooth finish.
How Do I Bathe My Sheltie / Shetland Sheepdog?
It is important to use shampoo and bathe your sheltie or shetland sheepdog every one to two months. You must thoroughly clean their skin as well as their fur. By washing too often, you could actually strip away natural oils of their coats, and cause them flaking, itching, dryness, and irritation.
You should choose a dog shampoo that says that it is designed for double coated dogs. This helps with exfoliation of the skin that is hidden under all of the sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s fire, while loosening any old undercoat in order to decrease shedding.
Then, you must soak your sheltie or shetland sheepdog thoroughly in a tub with warm or lukewarm water, and make sure that you fully soak the undercoat. In order to best drench the lower half of the body to begin with, you can use the shower head right up to their skin.
Then, you can shampoo that half of your sheltie, giving them some nice words of encouragement and a scratch on the back. Then, you can rinse everything thoroughly. Make sure not to leave shampoo residue because it will irritate and itch your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s skin later.
Once this is all done, you must move to the top half of your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s body. Be very careful around your sheltie’s ear canals, which tend to be a lot larger and angled in a different fashion than human’s, so the shower water will likely squirt into it.
This can create ear infection risk since bacteria love damp, warm body parts. You can use cotton balls to plus your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s ears to prevent this from happening as well.
To shampoo a sheltie or shetland sheepdog tends to take longer than humans because they have so much more hair than us. This can be an incredibly tiring and arduous process for you as you will be bending a lot and holding your shetland sheepdog for a minimum of fifteen minutes without hesitation. However, once you see the spotless, aroma-friendly final result, you will be very happy that you went through all this!
After the entire bath, you can gently pat dry your dog using a towel. Make sure not to rub your sheltie or shetland sheepdog because you can damage the undercoat, which is more likely to break when wet, similar to human hair.
Then, you can dry off your dog naturally either outdoors or indoors. Make sure you wait until your sheltie or shetland sheepdog’s hair is fully dry before brushing.