A well-groomed sheltie is gorgeous, but his long, flowing topcoat and the dense layer of hair beneath do present some grooming challenges. When bath time rolls around, your task is to get through all of that hair, so that the bath does your pal some good.
Spray canine coat conditioner on your sheltie, working it well into his coat.
Brush him out completely with a pin brush and a comb to remove all tangles and mats. Pay particular attention to the ruff around his neck, the “britches” on his back legs and his tail.
Place cotton balls gently in your pal’s ears to keep the water out.
Adjust the water temperature so that it’s comfortable for your sheltie. Stand him in the tub.
Soak him down completely. He’s likely to look a bit like a drowned rat, but it’s important to get his coat wet all the way through before you add shampoo.
Pour some shampoo on your sheltie’s shoulder area and work it in well. Use enough so that you actually see some lather. Shampoo his coat one section at a time until the entire dog is covered in suds. Leave his head until last, since he’ll have less to object to if you don’t mess with his face right away. Don’t get any shampoo in his eyes.
Rinse every bit of shampoo off your dog. The sheltie’s double coat can make this tough, since there always seems to be just a bit more foamy stuff hiding in his armpits or down by his tail. Rub your hands in his coat as you rinse to encourage the shampoo to come out. Keep doing this until you can’t find a speck of suds anywhere.
Remove the cotton balls and wipe out your sheltie’s ears with clean cotton balls and a bit of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Don’t poke anything down into his ears, since you could injure him if he decided to jerk his head at just the wrong moment.
Wrap your soggy pup in a towel and blot him dry. Use a blow dryer rather than the towel for most of the job of drying, to minimize mats and prevent excessive shedding.
Brush out your sheltie again as he dries. Use spray detangler made for dogs if you find any mats, and use canine coat conditioner to moisten his coat slightly if you run into any spots that are completely dry.
- How to Groom a Shetland Sheepdog Perfectly: A Step by Step Illustrated Guide; Tammy Sprinkle
- Sugar Hill Shelties: So You Want to Own a Sheltie?
- Michigan Sheltie Rescue: So, You Want to Adopt a Rescue Sheltie
- Brush your dog a section at a time, working your way from his head down to his tail, to make sure you don’t miss anything. Use a pin brush and a comb to go through each area, and make sure you get all the way down to the skin. Sheltie coats are famous for hiding dead hair that can lead to hot spots or other skin irritation, so a good system is essential for getting it all.