Important Dog Grooming Tips For Sheltie Owners: Line Brushing

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One of the biggest dog grooming tips I can give is to line brush your Shetland Sheepdog frequently.  I'll show you how on this page.

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There are plenty of other pages on this website about the different aspects of grooming, so don't miss them when you are done here!

Or, if this seems like too much for you, let me do it for you!

Yes, it takes time. Once they have a full double coat, there is no rushing it. Get yourself set up and comfortable because it will take quite a while.

What You Need:

(Click the links if you need to purchase any of the items on this page,)

(I used to think the hype for the wood bristles was hogwash, but I’ve found that it is one of the nicer grooming tools to have. It does makes it easier to get through the initial brushing where tons of loose, dead undercoat gets pulled out.

OK, on to these dog grooming tips on line brushing.

Get your clean Sheltie lying down. If you leave him standing, every time you apply pressure on him as you work, he will sway.

You can begin at the belly and work up 

to the spine, visa versa or from the tail to the head (or visa versa).

I prefer to brush opposite from the way the hair lays, so I usually start at the spine and work my way to the belly, then I do the pants in back and then the ruff up front. 

The order isn’t important as long as you get it all.

I first quickly brush along the length of the Sheltie with the wooden bristle brush and pull out any large chunks of undercoat that was loosened during the bath. 

Then I use the pin brush to begin line brushing. 

It's called line brushing because you create lines in the fur so it’s a manageable amount of area to work with at one time.

First take the tip of your brush and drag it along the length of the body in the direction the fur grows to create the line.

Then begin brushing using the long side of the pin brush perpendicular to the line you just made.

When you first create a line it looks like a mish mash of hair.

This is a photo of the very technical term of "mish-mash".

As you continue, you can see a very defined line and can see down to the skin.

I like to brush up in the opposite direction from the way the coat grows.

You keep brushing that one area until there is little coat being brushed out and little resistance to the brush.

Ahh, now we can see down to the skin. Any interesting sights? Flea dirt? Rashes? Ticks? Cuts?

Spritz each line with your spray bottle to keep the coat damp not wet.

Then make another line with the tip of the brush just below this first line. It will be about an inch of new territory. Begin brushing perpendicular to the line again. 

Work your way down the whole side. 

Then, I like to take the little coat rake and drag it through that area to make sure it’s all good.

It's surprising how much it can find.

Because it is unforgiving in that the pins are not flexible at all, I leave this for after I've done a good ob with the pin brush.

If you find some undercoat that is caught in the rake, just use short plucking action to slowly move the undercoat out.

I forgot to get a shot of doing this with Ditto, so here's Henry obliging.... (hence the change in coat color!)

Ditto is finished and glad to be done playing model for dog grooming tips...

And here he is.... 

And here....

And here too....

My pups are wimps. It takes a while for them to accept the brushing. So along with other dog grooming tips, I'd have to say, have patience and be gentle.

There is no rushing this job. Eventually, they drift off to sleep while I work. 

From start to finish; bathing, drying, brushing, trimming and clipping nails can take about 4 hours unless I’m working on a Sheltie with little coat, then maybe only 2 hours.

They look and feel fabulous after their spa day and they are overwhelmingly joyful at having lived through the experience yet again.

(I told you they were wimps.)

I hope these tips have been helpful.

You can check out the other pages related to maintaining your Sheltie's coat such as trimming your dogs ears

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