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Caring for a Shetland Sheepdog’s Coat – 10 Dos and Donts

It’s no wonder Shetland Sheepdogs are ranked 20th in breed popularity. Shelties are loyal, affectionate, super intelligent, and also known for their luxurious coats which can require a lot of attention. I had to understand how much maintenance a Shetland Sheepdog’s coat requires and the best methods to keep it beautiful.

Shelties are considered average maintenance dogs. The volume of the Sheltie’s coat benefits from regular brushing at least twice a week. Shelties may also require trimming and de-matting 1-2 times per month, especially if they are frequently outdoors.

A common concern about owning a Sheltie is how much time it will take to maintain its thick coat. Here are 10 Dos and Donts to help simplify Sheltie grooming.

Sheltie Grooming

The Dos 

  • Do brush your Shelties Regularly: You must brush your Shelties at least twice a week or more as your schedule permits. You should brush them frequently during the two times a year they blow their coats, in the spring and fall. Brushing your Sheltie reduces dead hair, releases the skin’s natural oils, and ensures a healthy coat and skin. Regular brushing invigorates the skin and limits dry skin and dead hairs.
  • Do consider your Sheltie’s double coat: Shetland sheepdogs have double coats. The inner coat is popularly known as the undercoat; it is soft and feathery. The second coat is called the topcoat and is more rigid and guards your shelties against the harshness of the sun, insects, and plants. The double coats work together to act as an air conditioning unit to keep the Shetland sheepdog warm during the winter and cool when the weather is hot.
  • Do trim off mats and other areas as needed: Shetland sheepdogs do not require much trimming, but it may be necessary to trim them frequently if they spend a lot of time outdoors. Before you begin, you should spray your Shetland sheepdog with water or a coat conditioner to help brush out the mats and other tangled places.
  • Do groom more often during peak shedding times: Grooming your Shetland sheepdog should be a routine due to its double coat. It is best to brush them twice a week and trim them as needed. However, when it comes to the shedding season (usually twice a year during spring and fall) it helps to try to brush their coats daily to remove the excess fur.
  • Do take them to a groomer: There are a lot of how-tos on the internet these days, including how to groom your Shetland sheepdog, but for professional results, you may choose to take your sheepdog to a groomer if DIY grooming is not preferred.

The Don’ts 

  • Don’t shave your shelties: It is not recommended to shave a Shetland Sheepdog. Nature provided Shelties with a double thick coat for a reason – to regulate body temperature and protect them from the elements. Shaving your Shetland sheepdog does not stop shedding or make them cooler in warm weather. Shaving can also damage the coat and cause it to grow back patchy.
  • Don’t trim their fur too short: When trimming their coat, it is important not to trim your sheltie’s fur too short. After brushing out the mat and tangles, ensure you cut as little as possible. It’s best to trim the long hair around the haunches, paws, ears, and snout.
  • Don’t allow their fur to mat: Mats escalate when left unattended, and they rigorously pull the Sheltie’s skin which can cause discomfort and reduce blood circulation around the mat. Regular brushing (as discussed in the Dos section) would help you reduce the frequency of mats
  • Don’t bathe them too often: Although it is necessary to bathe your shelties when they get into a mud puddle or other nasty substance. However, bathing them too often is not good for their coat. Frequent bathing reduces natural oils and can lead to irritated, dry skin. It is more advisable to give them a cooling bath every few months or as needed.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a groomer as needed: If DIY pet grooming is not your thing, professional grooming may be an option. Check out the local groomers by ranking or by breed specialization. Even better if you find a groomer who specializes in dogs with double coats. If your Sheltie is afraid, sometimes you can ask the groomer if you can stay with them during the session to help them remain calm.  

Top 5 Best Sheltie Grooming Tools

Below are the five best sheltie grooming tools;

  1. Sminiker Professional Low Noise Pet Hair Clippers: This low-noise grooming set is available on the Amazon store and possesses everything you need for trimming. A comb guide is also available. 
  2. Wahl Ion Pro Cordless Pet Grooming Kit: This affordable, heavy duty and highly-ranked grooming kit has 2-hours of charge, which should be more than enough time to groom your Sheltie.
  3. ConairPRO Clippers and Trimmers kit: This kit has everything you need to groom a Sheltie properly, from a dual clipper trimmer, 7 comb attachments, 2 blades and blade guards, and a handy storage pouch.
  4. Pet Union Professional Dog Grooming kit: This grooming kit is well suited for medium coats like Shelties. The box contains scissors, nail clippers, and clipper combs.
  5. Oneisall Dog Clippers and Dog Paw Trimmer: This clipper does not have cords and possesses four-guard combs used for different-sized coats. The best feature is the long-lasting, rechargeable battery.

Final Thoughts

Shetland sheepdogs are loyal and hardworking dogs with luxurious coats. Regular DIY grooming can help keep your Sheltie’s coat looking good. When it makes sense, a professional groomer can help get their coats back to a manageable state for you to maintain.

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