The iconic huge coat of the Shetland Sheepdog is one of the most stunning coats in the entire canine kingdom (when it’s looked after properly). There’s no magic bullet that’s going to reduce the amount of grooming that’s required for a breed like this, but picking the best shampoo for Shetland Sheepdogs on the market is certainly going to help.


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With that in mind, today we’re going to be providing you with a huge amount of information on the grooming and bathing requirements of the Shetland Sheepdog. We’re going to talk about some hints and tips that have helped other owners in the past, and we’re going to provide answers to questions that our readers have sent us about the breed.

There’s going to be a super detailed Shetland Sheepdog shampoo review section towards the end of this article. It’s based upon countless hours of research, and we’re going to recommend 6 products that we have come across that we think represent the very best shampoos on the market right now that meet the needs of the Shetland Sheepdog.

Let’s get started.

Let’s start this article off by talking about the kinds of shampoo you should be looking out for (without going into specific products). These are the properties that any good product should have if it wants to be worthy of your consideration.

Sensitive Skin Shampoos

The Shetland Sheepdog is a reasonably hardy breed that can take almost anything that life throws at it. However, despite the strong and durable reputation the breed has, it suffers from skin issues at a higher rate than normal.

The Shetland Sheepdog isn’t alone in this, and there are countless other kinds of dog that can experience redness, soreness, dryness, or irritation on a semi-regular basis. Due to this, there’s a huge range of products out there that specifically cater to dogs that need a little extra attention when it comes to skin care.

Look out for natural products that use compounds like aloe vera in the formula. These are much gentler than artificial chemical based products, and they do an exceptional job. The amount of difference that they make is immediately noticeable (for both you and your pooch).

There are a range of chemical-based skin care shampoos on the market that are also worthy of your consideration. However, we like to recommend that these products are only used when your pooch has a reasonably severe issue that needs a dedicated medicated shampoo. They’re generally lacking in other areas of cleaning, and they are also much harsher – which means that they can’t be used as regularly as natural products.

Remember to keep an eye out for less than reputable brands that are trying to pull the wool over your eyes. By adding a small amount of aloe vera in the formula these cheaper, lower quality brands can make huge claims about protecting and caring for your dog’s skin – despite providing almost no benefit whatsoever.

Note: We’ve found some great skin care shampoos in our review section. They all meet (or exceed) the claims that they make on the bottle, and with any of the products we’re going to mention later – you’re in good hands.

Soothing Shampoos

Shetland Sheepdogs hate being bathed. It never ceases to amaze us how breeds that love getting wet and muddy while playing suddenly hate water when it comes to bath time.

There’s not much you can do to make your pooch enjoy bathing sessions, however, you can “take the edge off” slightly by using soothing shampoos. These products work by using scented infusions that have aromatherapy style properties that aim to calm your pooch down when they are being bathed. Look out for products that have lavender, mint, or chamomile in them – as these are the most popular and effective soothing compounds.

Again you need to be careful with the brand you pick when it comes to soothing shampoos. There are many products on the market that like to claim they help your pooch stay calm more than they actually do. To be honest, the efficacy of even the best shampoos on the market is a matter for debate in the industry. There have been no studies that verify these soothing products actually work (as far as we know), but anecdotally reviews seem to suggest they do at least have some effect.

They’re not going to make your pooch suddenly wag their tail with joy at the thought of bath time, but they should make a noticeable difference.

Deshedding Shampoos

It should come as no surprise to you to learn that a breed with a coat that’s as long and iconic as the Shetland Sheepdog is a heavy shedder. All year round these dogs are going to leave a huge amount of hair around your home, and to be honest, there’s no way of stopping it. You can mitigate the issue with a proper grooming routine (as we’re going to talk about later), but you’re still going to find hair everywhere.

Aside from grooming, the only other thing you can do to minimize the amount of shedding that takes place is to use a dedicated deshedding shampoo. These products have conditioners included in their formula that are designed to nourish and repair weakened or damaged hair that would otherwise fall out. They also work to encourage the growth of healthy skin and follicles ensuring that more hair stays attached to your pooch than otherwise would.

Deshedding shampoos will provide you with a noticeable difference, and while they are not a magic bullet that will remove all your shedding issues, you’re going to really appreciate the effect they have.

However, Shetland Sheepdogs are known to have one (or sometimes two) shedding seasons throughout the year. When your dog is in super-shedding mode, no shampoo in the world is going to help stem the blizzard of dog hair that’s coming your way.

That being said, for the rest of the year – they’re brilliant.

sheltie shampoo

4 Tips On Maintaining The Perfect Shetland Sheepdog Coat

So now we know about the kinds of shampoo you should be looking out for. In this section, we are going to be giving you a few grooming tips that will make the enormous task of keeping your dog’s coat in perfect condition a little bit easier.

Groom Regularly

As an absolute minimum, you need to groom a Shetland Sheepdog at least twice a week. If you leave it longer than this you’re giving tangled sections a huge amount of time to become bigger (and more difficult to remove). This requires more time and effort to resolve the next time you get the grooming gear out, and it’s less comfortable for your dog too.

Ideally, you should incorporate grooming into a part of your daily routine. When you keep on top of your grooming duties on a daily basis the task becomes something that’ll take you 10 minutes at most (instead of 30 minutes every 3 days). Despite first appearances, grooming in shorter daily intervals actually saves you time instead of taking more of it.

However, with a daily grooming schedule, you’re also going to be saving yourself time when it comes to doing your household chores. You remove a huge amount of hair with each grooming session, and if you waited a day or two before grooming your pooch – much of it would be on the floor.

Note: When your dog starts their shedding season, you really need to groom them once a day – it’s no longer optional. The amount of hair they will shed everywhere without daily grooming is mind-boggling. If possible, when they’re shedding try and up your grooming to twice a day to further mitigate the issue.

Pay Special Attention Behind The Ears

When you’re grooming your pooch, remember to pay special attention to the area that’s just behind the bottom of their ears. It’s a place that’s often forgotten during grooming, but it’s also one of the places on a Shetland Sheepdog that’s most prone to matting and tangling.

You don’t need to do anything special here in terms of physical grooming, it’s the same process as anywhere else on their body. The main thing is to simply remember to make a point of checking the area each time you break out the brushes.

Groom From A Young Age

With the huge amount of grooming that the Shetland Sheepdog requires, it’s obviously beneficial to have a dog that enjoys, or at least tolerates the process. When you bring your dog home for the first time you should start introducing them to grooming immediately. You need them to understand that grooming is a fact of life for them and that there is no alternative apart from cooperation.

It’s not too hard to make your pooch accept grooming, and many Shetland Sheepdogs enjoy the experience. Use rewards heavily during the first grooming sessions and give them treats when they stay still and allow you to get on with the job – additional rewards should be given when they let you touch sensitive areas (like their feet).

The physical grooming brush can be a distraction for young puppies. If this is the case groom them with your hand at first, and then gradually introduce the brush over time.

Invest In Good Equipment

You’re going to be using your grooming gear on a daily basis if you follow our advice in the tips above. As such, you’re going to really feel the benefit if you decide to spend a little more than you usually would on your grooming kit.

Premium grooming products aren’t that much more expensive compared to mid-range gear (around $20 or $30 more at most), but they are worth every single additional cent. They get the job done quicker, they’re more comfortable for you and your pooch, and they make cleaning up afterward easier too.

It’s an investment that you’re not going to regret, trust us.

Overall Best Shampoo for Shetland Sheepdogs

It’s now time for us to get into the product review section of the article where you can put all the knowledge you’ve learned above to good use.

Note: All the recommendations we are about to make are completely impartial. We are not biased towards any brand in particular – these are what we genuinely believe to be the best Shetland Sheepdog shampoos on the market in 2019.

We have done a huge amount of research for this article to find products that we think will satisfy the needs of the breed. We found several excellent shampoos that we’re going to talk about in a moment, but in our opinion, the best Shetland Sheepdog shampoo on the market right now is the Refreshing Rosemary & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner by Buddy Wash.

Buddy Wash Refreshing Rosemary & Mint Dog Shampoo & Conditioner

Buddy Wash make quite a wide range of dog shampoos, and they’re well known and respected by those of us in the industry (and by dog owners too). This product is an excellent example of how they’ve earned their reputation for providing high-quality products that won’t break the bank.

This is a completely natural shampoo and conditioner that’s free from harmful soap or alcohol (that could cause skin issues). Instead, it’s a coconut-based formula that uses a variety of powerful yet gentle natural compounds to sanitize and deodorize your pooch. Shetland Sheepdogs are super clean dogs as it is, so when you bathe your pooch with this stuff they’re going to stay smelling fresh and clean for several months after bathing.

The conditioner in this product is excellent, and it uses some incredible natural cosmetic grade ingredients like sage, chamomile, and rosemary to nourish your dog’s coat. It’ll leave your pooch with a picture perfect glossy sheen, it’ll reduce the amount of shedding that takes place, and it’ll help minimize the amount of tangling and matting you have to deal with too.

There’s a nice amount of aloe vera and green tea extract in the formula that works exceptionally well to protect and nourish your dog’s skin. It’s going to prevent issues from occurring, and it’s going to nourish and encourage the recovery of any skin problems that have already arisen.

This is also one of the best scented shampoos on the market. As we mentioned earlier the scented infusions of lavender and mint calm and soothe your pooch through the powers of aromatherapy. Anecdotally reviewers speak very highly of the relaxing effects of this product, and we’d be surprised if you didn’t notice the difference it makes.

Remember: We don’t want to oversell the soothing powers of this stuff to you. It’s almost certainly going to make a noticeable difference – but it’s not going to make your pooch jump into the tub with a new-found love for bathing.

All this performance sounds like it’d be expensive – but it’s not. A 16oz bottle of this product will cost you around $8 which is excellent value for money. There’s not much more you could want in a good shampoo for Shetland Sheepdogs, and it’s a very deserving winner of our overall recommendation today.

4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo

Runner Up: We came across a second product during our research that we were very impressed with, and it ranks as a very close second place runner up in our review today. The 4-Legger Organic, Hypo-Allergenic, Lemongrass & Aloe Dog Shampoo is one of the best products on the market in terms of pure performance, and if it were cheaper – it would easily have made it to the top spot above.

This is one of the most natural shampoos on the market right now, there’s not a single chemical in the entire bottle. It’s a completely organic, natural, cruelty-free, soap-free, alcohol-free formula that has been graded by the USDA as a product that is “Organic to exceptional standards”.

The cleaning power that the lemongrass in this product provides is second to none. It’s an antifungal, antibacterial compound that will also do a little bit to protect your pooch against fleas and ticks too. It has no scented aromatherapy style infusions, but we think the zesty fresh smell it leaves behind is one of the best in the entire industry.

The conditioner in this product is as good as the shampoo, and the expertly crafted combination of essential oils, vitamins, and other good stuff work in perfect harmony with one another. It’s just as good as the product above (or perhaps even better) and it’ll enhance your dog’s natural shine while protecting against tangling, matting, and shedding too. Again, there’s a healthy amount of aloe vera in the formula that will protect and nourish your dog’s skin and promote recovery of any issues that do manage to cause your pooch problems.

This is a super concentrated formula, which means you need to use less shampoo per bathing session. With a dog the size of the Shetland Sheepdog (and the huge amount of hair it has), this is a huge benefit.

The only thing we don’t like about this product is how expensive it is. It’s a premium product with a premium price tag (at $15 for a 16oz bottle), but we still think it’s good value for money.

You get what you pay for in the world of dog shampoos, and if you can afford the $15 this stuff costs – we’re confident you’re not going to regret purchasing it.

Nature’s Miracle’s Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner

Best Shetland Sheepdog Puppy Shampoo: If you’re the lucky owner of a puppy Shetland Sheepdog, then you should check out Nature’s Miracle’s Supreme Odor Control Natural Puppy Shampoo & Conditioner.

It does everything a good puppy shampoo should do, and it gently cleanses and conditions your dog’s coat. It’s not as powerful as adult products, but it’s a 100% tearless formula. This will prevent your pup from creating negative memories of bath time (that would otherwise taint their attitude towards bathing for the rest of their life).

3 More Top Rated Dog Shampoos For Shetland Sheepdogs

Here are 3 other great products that we found during our research that deserve a quick shout out.

Earthbath Shed Control Green Tea & Awapuhi Dog & Cat Shampoo

This is one of the best dedicated anti shedding shampoos on the market that’s made from all-natural ingredients. It’s not the cheapest product in the world, but if your pooch seems to shed more hair than they keep on their body – it’s worth every single cent. It’ll clean, condition, and cleanse as good as any other product, and it’ll protect and nourish your dog’s skin at the same time too.

FURminator DeShedding Ultra Premium Shampoo For Dogs

This is one of the cheapest deshedding shampoos on the market that will actually help reduce the amount of hair you find around your home (instead of just making a false promise to boost sales). It’s not as effective as the product above, but considering the price point this stuff is sold at – it’s great value for money. You’ll immediately notice the difference it makes, and it’s more than worthy of your consideration.

Paws & Pals Oatmeal, Shea Butter & Aloe Vera Shampoo

This is a great shampoo and conditioner that’s an all-rounder like the two products we picked as our overall recommendation and runner up. We love the oatmeal infusion that provides excellent deodorization, and the generous amount of aloe vera in the formula will help protect and nourish your Shetland Sheepdog’s delicate skin.

6 Tips On Bathing Your Shetland Sheepdog

In this section, we are going to give you a few handy hints and tips that you can use with the product you pick from the list above to make your bathing sessions much more enjoyable for you and your pooch.

Groom Them Before Bathing

With a dog with this kind of coat, it’s a very good idea to groom your pooch before putting them in the bath. This sounds like a waste of time, but it’s not.

When tangled and matted hair gets wet it becomes much harder to sort out afterward. By grooming your pooch before bathing you’re saving yourself a lot of time (and you’re saving your pooch from a lot of discomfort). It’s the most important tip in this whole article, and we strongly recommend you add it to your bathing routine (if you don’t already do it).

Run The Water Before Bathing

The anxiety your dog feels while waiting for the bath to run is often worse than the bathing session itself. The sound of the running water and the scent of the shampoo will cast their mind back to memories of previous bathing sessions – which will cause a huge amount of stress for your dog.

By running the bath before calling your dog into the bathroom you can remove this stress instantly. When you call them in it might be a nasty surprise for them, but it’s much more desirable than making them sit and wait in anticipation of the soapy nightmare that awaits them.

Get Everything You Need Within Arm’s Reach

Your pooch probably isn’t going to stay in the bathtub by choice if you’re not around. Due to the size of the Shetland Sheepdog, they can easily escape if you’ve left something in another room and have had to leave them on their own. The negative consequences of having a huge hairy Shetland Sheepdog running around your home shaking water everywhere are too obvious to mention – it’s a mistake you’ll only make once.

Check, check, and check again before getting your pooch in the tub.

Put Steel Wool In The Plug Hole

The huge amount of hair that the Shetland Sheepdog is blessed with creates a whole heap of issues when it gathers in your plumbing system. They can easily create huge hairballs that cause stinky, annoying blockages you’d rather not have in your life.

It’s super easy to remove these issues, all you need to do is “invest” in some steel wool. Put it in the plug hole before bathing begins and almost all the hair that would have otherwise entered your pipes will be caught in the wool.

It’s amazing how much hair this stuff will catch, and we’re willing to bet that after you witness it first-hand you’re never going to bathe your pooch without using it again.

Put A Towel Down

The paws of your Shetland Sheepdog are designed to run around in fields and play in forests – they’re not well suited to smooth artificial surfaces. The slippery ceramic or plastic of your tub is super difficult for your pooch to stand on when it’s covered in soapy water. You might not realize it, but it requires quite a bit of concentration for them to maintain their balance – which causes stress.

To resolve this issue, simply place a towel down in the bottom of the bathtub before you start bathing your pooch. The towel provides much more grip, and the stress that’s caused by them trying to maintain their balance disappears instantly.

Rinse Them Well

The sensitive skin of the Shetland Sheepdog is already prone to suffering from issues, so it’s super important that you don’t do anything that can make matters worse for them. Leaving any trace of shampoo on your dog after the bathing session is over is a sure-fire way to cause redness and irritation. The compounds in dog shampoos are designed to be removed after application – and any product that remains will cause your pooch problems.

The best way to ensure you don’t “miss a spot” when you’re rinsing your pooch is to use a deliberate rinsing process instead of just winging it. Start from the head and work your way to the tail, brush down with your hand and rinse top to bottom the whole way along. When you’ve finished this first rinse, give them a quicker second rinse in the same fashion. This will catch any little bits of soap that you missed the first time around.

FAQ Regarding Bathing a Shetland Sheepdog

For the final section of this article, we’re going to answer 2 questions that we get frequently asked by our readers about bathing a Shetland Sheepdog.

How Can I Stop My Shetland Sheepdog From Shaking Water All Over Me?

All dogs have an instinctive desire to shake themselves dry after getting wet. It’s a survival instinct that is the result of millions of years of evolution – and it’s literally a part of their DNA. There’s nothing you can do to stop it (although you can delay it by holding their nose) and your best course of action is to prepare for it instead.

Use two towels when drying your pooch. Have the first one in your hand the moment you turn the water off and throw it over their back immediately. Don’t try and keep it in place, it’s harder than it looks – instead take cover and wait for them to do their thing.

When the shaking has finished, get a second completely dry towel and begin your normal drying process.

How Often Do I Need To Bathe A Shetland Sheepdog?

Shetland Sheepdogs need very infrequent bathing. They’re a reasonably clean dog that isn’t known to get stinky quickly. Most people bathe their pooch once every 8 to 12 weeks depending on how smelly they get.

At most, you can bathe your pooch once a week, but this would be very unusual for the breed – if your pooch is getting smelly this quickly you need to investigate their lifestyle and surroundings for things that could be causing them to stink up the place so easily.

Conclusion

So there you have it, that’s all you need to know about bathing and grooming a Shetland Sheepdog. By using some (or preferably all) of the tips and tricks that we’ve shared with you today you and your pooch are going to have better bathing sessions together.

All of the products that we have mentioned above are winners in our eyes. They had some fierce competition to make it into our list of recommendations today, and they are all more than worthy of your consideration.

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