Shetland Sheepdogs are a popular dog breed known for their intelligence and affectionate personalities. These dogs are loyal family dogs that often bring cheerful energy into the home. While they make wonderful companion dogs, it’s important to note that Shetland Sheepdogs are high-shedding dogs that shed even more during shedding season. They’re ultimately not the best breed for allergy sufferers.
If you’re considering bringing home a Shetland Sheepdog, it’s important to consider the dog’s grooming needs and other breed-specific care needs. Here’s what you need to know about a Shetland Sheepdog’s coat and what you can expect if you were to live with one.
Shetland Sheepdog’s Coat
Shetland Sheepdogs have a double coat. The top layer has long, straight hair, and the bottom layer is denser and furrier. The double coat helps dogs regulate their body temperature in both hot and cold weather. The topcoat also helps repel moisture and prevents dirt from getting stuck in between the hairs.
Shetland Sheepdogs shed year-round, and they’ll shed more heavily during their two shedding seasons in the spring and fall. Dogs will shed their coats in the spring so that they’re lighter for warmer weather. Then, they’ll shed again in the fall and prepare their winter coats for colder weather.
Shetland Sheepdog Grooming Needs
While they have a thick coat, Shetland Sheepdogs have relatively low grooming needs. They’ll benefit from getting brushed once or twice a week to prevent tangling and to pick up loose and dead hairs from their coats.
Brushing is usually more intensive during shedding season, and you may have to brush them daily to prevent your furniture, carpets, and clothes from being covered in hair. You can also purchase grooming tools specifically designed for shedding. Some deshedding tools, rakes, and blades are specifically designed to reach down to a Shetland Sheepdog’s undercoat and pick up loose hair.
It’s also important to check a Shetland Sheepdog’s skin and coat health periodically. Dry, irritated skin and brittle and weak hair can cause more shedding. Sometimes, a fish oil supplement can help nourish the skin and coat. You can also try using shampoo and conditioner specifically made with a moisturizing and calming formula.
If you notice concerns with a Shetland Sheepdog’s skin and coat, it’s best to consult a veterinarian to determine the cause. Dry and irritated skin can be caused by a variety of issues, like food allergies, alopecia, and nutrient deficiencies. So, it’s best to get a Shetland Sheepdog to a veterinarian for a physical exam, proper diagnosis, and treatment for his skin and coat issues.
Are Shetland Sheepdogs High-Maintenance Dogs?
Shetland Sheepdogs are often affectionate dogs that quickly become beloved members of their families. They’re intelligent and relatively easy to train, making them a popular breed for dog sports like obedience competitions, agility, and herding trials.
The two main challenges that most Shetland Sheepdog owners will face are the breed’s grooming needs and exercise needs. Along with shedding a lot, Shetland Sheepdogs are energetic dogs that love to run around. These dogs won’t be satisfied with a brisk walk around the neighborhood. They’ll love having a large yard to run around in and will also enjoy going on outdoor excursions and hikes.
With these things in mind, Shetland Sheepdogs are best for people with active lifestyles and who have enough time to exercise their dogs daily. Shetland Sheepdogs also love human companionship and don’t do well being left home alone for long hours. So, while they’re easy to train and very affectionate, they require a lot of time and attention.
Shetland Sheepdogs shed a lot, especially during shedding season. However, once you get a good grooming routine established, the shedding can be more manageable. Just keep in mind that even if you use grooming tools and shampoos specifically made for shedding, you can expect to spend some extra time cleaning up dog hair in your home. It’s simply a natural part of living with Shetland Sheepdogs, but most people don’t even notice it because they’re some of the best companion dogs that anyone could ever ask for.
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