How to Groom a Shetland Sheepdog

A sheltie's face should be sleek and refined.
Sheltie Portrait image by jodi mcgee from

Groom and trim a Shetland sheepdog regularly to keep her coat healthy, lustrous and full. Take care when grooming, because not only does a sheltie possess a thick double coat, but the hairs can break easily if the coat is brushed too roughly. Whether or not you plan to enter the show ring with your sheltie, routine thorough grooming will benefit her skin and coat and give her a healthy appearance.


Step 1

Wet and shampoo your Shetland sheepdog, avoiding sensitive areas like the eyes and ears. Rinse all of the shampoo out of her coat.

Step 2

Apply conditioner to your sheltie's coat if it appears dry or damaged. Conditioner also is good for your dog's skin.

Step 3

Dry your sheltie with a clean towel. Allow your sheltie to air dry, or use a hair dryer on a low setting.


Step 1

Brush your sheltie with a pin brush. The pin brush delicately untangles the fur and brushes the top coat and undercoat at the same time. A pin brush also lifts the coat, and gives your sheltie a full and fluffy look. Always brush your sheltie when her coat is slightly damp to avoid breakage. Use a spray water bottle to mist over her coat while brushing.

Step 2

Brush your sheltie's coat with a bristle brush, if desired. A bristle brush will give your sheltie a shiny gloss without removing much undercoat. It is an ideal choice to add polish after a thorough pin brushing.

Step 3

Sweep a slicker brush behind your sheltie's ears, hocks and in other areas where she has soft, fine fur. The slicker brush is also essential for removing mats and difficult tangles in her coat.


Step 1

Trim your sheltie's head to remove excess fur and to give her a clean, refined look. Use a pair of thinning shears to trim the front of the ear. Hold the shears with the tips pointing toward the center of the dog's head. Clip once or twice, then stand back and examine your work to determine if you need to trim more hair. Trim any excess ridges or tufts of hair from your dog's jaw or muzzle with the thinning shears. Hold the shears parallel to your dog's face to avoid injury.

Step 2

Trim your sheltie's legs to avoid matting and snarls. Use scissors to cut the ragged, uneven ends of the feathers on her legs. This will give the appearance of a smooth leg.

Step 3

Take your sheltie to a professional to have her nails trimmed. Clipping a dog's nails is a delicate procedure that can easily result in injury if not done correctly.


  • Avoid bathing your dog too often, as it can cause unnecessary drying and damage to the skin and coat.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog conditioner
  • Plastic bag (optional)
  • Hair dryer (optional)
  • Towel
  • Pin brush
  • Spray water bottle
  • Bristle brush (optional)
  • Slicker brush
  • Thinning shears
  • Scissors


  • The Illustrated Guide to Sheltie Grooming; Barb Ross

About the Author

Kimberly DeCosta is an accomplished equestrian and entrepreneur. She has written for numerous equestrian publications and authored marketing packages for large companies and sports teams.

Photo Credits

  • Sheltie Portrait image by jodi mcgee from