The 3 Best Dog Brushes for Shelties
Here are the three types of brushes you need to keep your Sheltie's thick double coat tidy and healthy.
Not all dog brushes are effective on Sheltie fur, which demands specialized tools to remove the loose undercoat and untangle those dreaded mats.
Today I'm running through the three best dog brushes for Shelties and how to use them correctly to groom your pooch right every time.
#1 A Detangling Comb
A detangling comb is great for stripping out the woolly undercoat as well as handling moderate knots. It's a solid all-round tool for Shelties while also being budget friendly.
I recommend the 2-in-1 Detangling Comb by Poodle Pet. It doesn't look like much but it's extremely effective at loosening the undercoat with minimum fuss.
Start off by combing through the outer layers and see what you're dealing with. The long teeth will get into the undercoat too, so light-colored fluff will start to emerge.
If your Sheltie is shedding heavily or it's been more than two weeks since you last brushed him, expect to accumulate a lot of fur.
Focus on getting the woolly fluff out. When you come to an area with lots of fluff, part the fur down to the skin and comb from there. This is called line brushing.
Ease the comb through a few times until there's no resistance, then move along an inch or so and part the fur again. It's a systematic process of reaching right down to the skin and teasing out the loose fur.
Work through all the thickest parts of the coat in sections until you've line brushed the whole body.
If your Sheltie is squirming, you're pulling too hard. It helps to grip the fur at the base when you brush out the knots as this reduces the pull on the skin.
The only places you don't want to use your detangler on sensitive areas like the arm pits and behind the ears. There's a better tool for that...
#2 A Fine Toothed Comb
Take a fine toothed comb - also known as a flea comb - and gently tease out any mats from behind the ears, under the arm pits, and anywhere else that the soft, wispier fur has got tangled up.
There are plenty to choose from; I suggest this Fine Toothed Comb by Safari. Use it where you want precision. The smaller teeth make it much easier to get in to tight nooks and target only the knotted fur.
Fine toothed combs are good for line brushing around the troublesome neck area too, where the fur can mat under the collar.
And while you probably don't want to think about it, this is also a good tool to have handy when you need to manually remove fleas, flea eggs, and dry skin.
#3 A Slicker Brush
Once you've removed all the mats and the loose undercoat, switch to a slicker brush to finish the outer coat. This is quick and painless for your Sheltie, as all the knots are gone!
Slicker brushes stimulate blood flow under the skin while removing debris and light tangles from the top coat. They also help distribute the coat's natural oils.
I recommend Hertzko's Self Cleaning Slicker Brush. It has retractable bristles for cleaning and storage, so the pins aren't liable to break or become bent. (Damaged bristles can scratch and harm your Sheltie's skin.)
The purpose of finishing with a slicker brush is to massage your dog's skin, increase blood circulation, and distribute the coat's natural oils. This leaves the coat soft and shiny, and your dog's skin healthier.
And that's it - you're done! Aim to groom your Sheltie every week with all three brushes in the sequence described above, or more frequently if your furball is shedding heavily and your carpets can't take it.
Bathing Your Sheltie
About once a month, you'll want to clip your Sheltie's nails and give him a bath to clean his skin and deodorize his fur.
You can actually put off bathing for a couple of months if you prefer; Shelties generally aren't the kind of dogs to roll around in poop and other nasty smells. Plus, they keep themselves clean by licking their fur.
But if he develops blocked pores (hard lumps under the skin) or itchy and flaky skin, you know you need to bathe him more often.
Don't use human shampoo on your dog. As a different species, their skin has different acidity levels and is vulnerable to different parasites.
TropiClean's PerfectFur Dog Shampoo is designed for dogs with double coats, exfoliating the skin and loosening the undercoat to reduce excess shedding.
Thoroughly soak your Sheltie in the tub, line parting as you go to get the water right into the undercoat. The phrase "water off a duck's back" springs to mind. I drench half the body with the shower head up close then apply shampoo quick before it all dries out!
Rinse thoroughly. This will take much longer than washing human hair because there's just so much of it. It's worth it though - your Sheltie's skin and fur will be spotless and he'll smell delicious.