How to Groom a Sheltie { or Long Haired Dog } – Part 2

This is the second installment of “How to Groom a Sheltie.” If you missed Part 1 you can read it here for a rundown on everything you’ll need.

Here’s an outline of everything I do when grooming my Sheltie, Lola. I am not a professional dog groomer and I’ve never worked with show dogs, so consider this my disclaimer. LOL! This is just what’s been working well for us, so I thought I’d share. If you make a mistake, don’t stress over it. It’s just hair and it will grow back! When in doubt, cut a little bit at a time.

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<< Back to Part 1

{ video coming soon… }

Step 1:

Brush or Furminate your dog’s coat before washing to remove any loose hair that’s ready to shed. This will eliminate some of the hair that will inevitably be lost in the bathtub, and hopefully save you from needing some Draino. If you’re bathing your dog outside (like a caveman) you can skip this step. I prefer to use the tub because the ability to control the water temperature makes the process more comfortable.

Step 2:

Brush your dog’s teeth. Apply some ear cleaning drops to her ears and gently massage them to work the drops around the ear canal. I like to do these two things before we start the bath process because we’ll be able to easily remove any excess that might drip on her coat.

Step 3:

Remove your dog’s collar if you haven’t already and put her in the bathtub. The temperature of the water should be comfortably warm, but not hot. Thoroughly wet your dog from head to tail. You will probably have to use your hands to work the water into her coat. If you don’t have a handheld shower head it might be easier to wet your sheltie if you fill the bathtub up just past her chest.

Start shampooing your dog from the head first, and around the ears to keep any fleas from trying to hide in the ears. Shampoo her all over – legs, feet, undercarriage and bottom. Make sure you thoroughly wash her stomach and between both sets of legs because fleas like to hide there. It might take an obscene amount of shampoo to wash your sheltie, which is normal. The shampoo does not easily spread like it would with a short haired dog.

Thoroughly rinse out all of the shampoo and towel dry her coat. I normally try to get a towel over her before she has a chance to shake.

Step 4:

Spread out your second towel on the floor and have her lay down on it. Start combing her fur in one spot and work your way out. If you’ve been working on one area for awhile it might be good to switch to another spot to give that area a break. Once you’ve finished combing one side of her body you can trim the hair on that side of her body before flipping her over to the second side.


Step 5:

Holding your dog’s foot in one hand, trim around the base of the foot and the hair sticking out in-between each pad. You don’t have to trim super close, but definitely trim anything that sticks out and looks scraggly. If you want to do her nails at the same time it can be helpful to do this prior to trimming the hair because there will be less of her nails to get in the way. Next, you can even up the hair on her legs if desired. Flip your dog over and repeat steps 4 & 5 on the other side.


Step 6:

To trim “the bikini area,” have your dog lay on her back with her feet in the air in-between your legs. Use the scissors to part the hair and carefully cut close to the skin. I usually do this to remove about half of the hair that grows on the back of her legs / butt. Then you can comb the remaining hair and trim it in a nice rounded shape.

Step 7:

If you want to trim the tail at all I would suggest having your dog stand up and either attach her leash to a stand (if you have one) or have another person help hold her still. Lift her tail and cut the area closest to your dog’s ba-donka-donk by holding the scissors parallel to the direction the hair grows so you won’t have an obvious straight cut line. If you’d like to trim your dog’s mane I suggest doing it the same way, standing and cut parallel to the direction of hair growth.


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