How To Groom A Sheltie

Sheltie is short for the Shetland Sheepdog which is named after the rugged Shetland Islands which is located off the coast of Scotland near the Arctic Circle. The Shetland Islands is where the Shelties have their roots. There, Shelties have historically been used as herding dogs. A few distinct features of a Sheltie include a long, wedge-shaped head; small, three-quarter erect ears; and deep-chested, level-backed torso.

The coating of a Sheltie can be found in black, blue merle, and sable colors with white markings. If you are not sure about how to groom a Sheltie, this post will help you with that.

Learn How To Groom A Sheltie With This Process

1. Brush Your Sheltie’s Hair

(Photo courtesy of unknown Russian user via Wikimedia)

Shelties are known to be heavy shedders of their hair throughout the year with even heavier shedding during the fall and spring seasons. So, you will want to bring the shedding under control by brushing your Sheltie’s coating in order to get rid of the dead hair.

Otherwise, all of that shedded hair will end up on your floor or furniture and it can get messy. Also, given that your Sheltie has a thick double coating, matting is another thing that you will be dealing with.

Matting can be painful for your Sheltie if it isn’t taken care of. So, that is another reason for you to be brushing your Sheltie’s coating.

The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is a popular brush that is effective at getting rid of the dead hair and mats from your Sheltie’s thick double coating without scratching his/her skin.

The brush also comes with a self-cleaning feature in which you can easily clean out the dead hair and mats from the brush by simply pressing the button located on the brush. Once you have the brush, you are ready to start brushing your Sheltie’s coating.

As you brush your Sheltie’s coating, be sure to pay attention to behind the ears, under the elbow on each front leg, and in the pants under the tail because mats are known to show up in these areas of your Sheltie’s body.

Also, you will want to brush your Sheltie’s coating in the direction of hair growth. It also may help for you to focus on brushing small sections of your Sheltie’s coating at a time.

You will want to be brushing your Sheltie’s coating once per week at the very least. During the shedding seasons, you will need to greatly increase the frequency of your brushing in order to bring the shedding under control.

2. Brush Your Sheltie’s Teeth

You will want to brush your Sheltie’s teeth in order to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for tartar buildup. Tartar buildup, if left unchecked, can cause tooth decay which isn’t good for your Sheltie.

So, make sure that your Sheltie’s teeth is brushed regularly – ideally on a daily basis. You will want to go with the Virbac toothpaste because that is the one that veterinarians often recommend to dog owners for their dogs’ teeth.

You can use a toothbrush to brush your Sheltie’s teeth.

3. Bathe Your Sheltie

(Photo courtesy of Alicepearsons via Wikimedia)

Your Sheltie can be bathed once every one to two months. But, you don’t want to be bathing your Sheltie too often because that will cause him/her to lost his/her natural oils and that is what nourishes his/her skin and coating.

Whenever you are ready to bathe your Sheltie, here is how you can go about doing that. Start out by taking your Sheltie to your bathtub. Once there, fill a cup with warm water and then pour it onto your Sheltie’s coating in order to get it all wet.

Now, thoroughly apply the shampoo onto your Sheltie’s coating, taking care not to get it into his/her eyes. As for which shampoo you should use with your Sheltie, I would go with the Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo and Conditioner as that is one of the best shampoos that I can find.

As soon as you are done shampooing your Sheltie’s coating, be sure to rinse the coating until every trace of the shampoo has been rinsed out. With the bath over, proceed to dry out your Sheltie’s coating with a bathing towel and then re-brush it.

4. Clean Your Sheltie’s Ears

Like all dogs, your Sheltie needs to have his/her ears cleaned out. That is in order to prevent wax buildup from taking form inside your Sheltie’s ears. If wax buildup is left unchecked, it can lead to ear infection.

So, be sure to check on your Sheltie’s ears periodically so that you can be prepared to clean his/her ears as soon as they start to look dirty. You will want to use the Virbac ear cleaner as that is the one that veterinarians often recommend for cleaning a dog’s ears.

You can apply the ear cleaner onto cotton balls and then use them to clean out your Sheltie’s ears.

5. Clip Your Sheltie’s Nails

Your Sheltie also needs to have his/her nails clipped in order to keep them short. You don’t want your Sheltie’s nails to be too long as that can be painful for him/her, leading to discomfort when walking around.

So, be sure to keep an eye on your Sheltie’s nails or listen for any clicking sounds when he/she is walking around. That way, you will know for sure when you need to clip your Sheltie’s nails.

You can use a nail clipper like Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip to clip your Sheltie’s nails. Be careful not to clip the quick part of your Sheltie’s nails as that can easily result in bleeding.

Concluding How To Groom A Sheltie

There you have it for how to groom a Sheltie. You may be tempted to give your Sheltie a hair trim, but, given that Shelties shed heavily throughout the year with even heavier shedding occurring during the fall and spring seasons, trimming his/her hair isn’t a good idea at all.

Trimming your Sheltie’s hair can lead to a situation where he/she will have a hard time growing hair back properly and that will strip him/her the ability to keep warm and cool during the winter and summer respectively.

Even so, you will want to use a pair of scissors to gently trim the overgrown hair around your Sheltie’s paws as that will improve his/her traction when walking around. Also, if you are struggling to get your Sheltie to cooperate with you while you are grooming him/her, this post will help you with that.

What are your thoughts? Have you groomed a Sheltie before? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Groom A Sheltie”

  1. Despite its small size, the Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie for short) rarely goes unnoticed. His gorgeous hair, shiny eyes and sympathetic expression make him an increasingly popular pet. He is characterized by good health, high intelligence and exceptional liveliness. Today, the Sheltie is mostly kept as a pet and companion dog, thanks to its mild nature, dynamism and great devotion to the owner.

    • I am glad that the Shelties are starting to get more love from pet owners. Having read your comment regarding the Shelties, it is easy to see why interest in them as pet dog is increasing.

  2. Shetland sheepdogs, or Shelties, are one of the most beautiful dog breeds to me. I love their long hair, but yes, it does mean that one needs to be grooming them on a very regular basis to keep their coats looking good. Brushing a Sheltie’s hair on a regular basis will help prevent matting as well. 

    Washing any long haired dog like a Sheltie, can be a challenge if they are not used to it. We have always bathed our dogs outdoors in a big tub to prevent all the hair from blocking the drain of the bath tub. Great tip not to cut a Sheltie’s coat as it might have difficulty growing back. 

    • Shelties are beautiful dogs indeed, but you make a good point about them needing regular grooming in order to keep their beautiful coatings in good condition.

      I have a post that will help those of you who are struggling to get a dog, including a Sheltie, to cooperate with you while you are grooming him/her – including giving him/her a bath. With that being said, I understand your concern about your dog’s hair blocking your bathtub’s drain. So, if bathing your dog outdoors in some big tub makes more sense to you, then that’s fine.


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