Sheltie grooming is one of the mandatory requirements of owning this breed because their long coats require regular maintenance in order to stay clean, shiny and free of mats. A shetland sheepdog that has an unhealthy coat full of dead hairs, dirt and knots will be affected by the poor condition of their fur. This cannot only make them unhappy but it can also lead to physical problems, such as skin infections. Thus, hair brushing, trimming and washing are all necessary to ensure their health and happiness.
The following is what you need to know regarding sheltie grooming involving their coat:
• Brush/comb on a daily basis if possible. This will reduce the number of tangles you will have to deal with and make brushing an easier and quicker process. If you cannot do this every day, aim for at least three times per week.
• You will require different sheltie grooming hair tools to get the job done including: metal comb, slicker brush, pin brush, natural bristle brush and rake. These can be used interchangeably depending on the sate of the topcoat and undercoat. For instance, the mental-comb is the best choice for removing knots.
• Use a dog detangling spray for stubborn mats to cut down on hair breakage. Note: if mats are bad enough, they should be cut out to save you and your pooch a lot of grief.
• Prior to brushing, remember to mist the shelti’s coat with a detangling spray, water or dry shampoo to prevent breakage as their hair is very dry and is easily damaged.
• Line brushing is an important sheltie grooming technique. It is usually done using a rake or pin brush. Begin by parting the hair along the body length slightly beneath the spine. Brush towards your pet’s tail. Proceed to move ½ inch down and repeat. Continue this process until he has been brushed all over. This line method is ideal for removing loose dead hairs from the under-coat.
• Pay special attention to the shetland’s ears, the feathering on their legs, elbows, armpits and the area around their rear. Each of these parts is a breeding ground for mats so take your time.
• You can trim areas with blunt ended scissors or thinning shears. Common places that may need to be clipped on occasion include the skirt (rear) and paw pads. You may wish to give a trimming all over but remember to never cut it too short or shave your companion. His fur protects him from the elements and infections.
• Make bathing a part of sheltie grooming every two months. Use shampoo formulated for dogs. If your pal has sensitive skin, ask your vet to recommend a quality, gentle cleaning product.