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8 Amazing Shetland Sheepdog Sheltie Haircuts (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

group of shetland sheepdogs sitting near lake

Shetland Sheepdogs, also known as “Shelties,” are beautiful herding dogs known for their luscious, flowing coats. Keeping a Sheltie is rewarding in many ways, but they do have a lot of grooming needs to keep that coat detangled and healthy.

Looking for inspiration for your Sheltie’s grooming? Take a look at these eight amazing Shetland Sheepdog haircuts.

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The 8 Great Shetland Sheepdog Haircuts

1. Medium Outer Guard

Shetland sheepdog, collie, smile with big mouth_atiger_shutterstock
Image Credit: Atiger, Shutterstock

Outer guard hairs are the top layer of hair or the topcoat. The medium outer guard cut is a popular option that trims the main part of the body but leaves the topcoat around the head and tail longer.

2. Long Waves

shetland sheepdog sitting
Image Credit: Piqsels

The Sheltie’s topcoat is an important part of the overall coat that insulates and keeps moisture away from the downy undercoat and skin. Dogs that work outdoors in cold weather do best when the topcoat is longer, which preserves this insulation. The downside of keeping the guard long is that you have to brush the coat regularly to prevent tangles and mats.

3. Exposed Undercoat

shetland sheepdog puppy
Image Credit: Lisjatina Shutterstock

In hot climates or areas that have extreme summers, shaving the guard and exposing the undercoat is a popular option to keep the dog cool. It’s also a low-maintenance option that requires less grooming, as there’s no topcoat to tangle with the undercoat.

Shaving a double-coated dog is not recommended, however. These coats are designed to keep your dog warm in winter and cool in the summer. It can affect the way your dog sheds and even damage the follicles. Be sure to consult with your vet to determine if this is appropriate for your dog.

4. Brushed and Layered Cut

Shetland Sheepdog
Image Credit: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

Shelties can look beautiful with a layered cut that’s similar to human haircuts, but it comes with extra grooming needs. With this cut, the coat is layered with the smooth topcoat brushed to give the dog a coiffed appearance.

5. Thinned Guard

shetland sheepdog standing
Image Credit: Sarah Böhm, Pixabay

Many Shelties have a thinned guard cut, which is when the outer guard layer is thinning to create a feathered appearance. It’s an iconic Sheltie look, but it takes some extra work to remove any tangles and mats before the cut. It’s important to avoid trimming the undercoat at all, so be sure to use a professional groomer for thinning the guard.

6. Chopped-Out Guard

shetland sheepdog standing in the grass
Image Credit: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

The chopped-out guard removes some of the topcoat and long, feathery hair to give the dog a clean and polished look. Typically, the body coat is left medium length while the head and face are trimmed close. The benefit of the chopped-out guard is that it’s low maintenance.

7. Summer Cut

shetland sheepdog standing outdoor
Image Credit: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

The summer cut thins the topcoat to help the Sheltie stay cool in the summer while still providing protection from the sun, pests, and contaminants. The heat and tail hair is kept long while the body is clipped to a medium or medium-short length.

8. Hanged Down Fur

shetland sheepdog in the grass
Image By: bilberryday, Shutterstock

The hanged down coat is a natural look that allows the dog’s thick coat to protect against the sun, wind, water, and outdoor pests. With this cut, you only need to brush the coat a few times a week to remove tangles and dirt.

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Do Shelties Need Haircuts?

As mentioned, Shelties have a thick double coat that provides protection from the elements, insulation, and skin protection. If you shave a Sheltie completely, the undercoat will grow faster than the guard hair. This is because double-coated breeds are designed to blow their coats and grow them back quickly to adjust to the seasons. The undercoat coming in before the topcoat can damage your dog’s coat texture and affect its ability to insulate and protect your dog.

In addition, dealing with a different coat texture can lead to more mats that can be difficult to remove regularly, not to mention uncomfortable for your dog.

If you want to give your Sheltie a stylish cut, it’s important to do so without damaging the coat’s natural texture. Working with your vet and an experienced groomer can help you determine what’s ideal for your dog’s condition, activity level, and climate.

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Final Thoughts

One of the most notable qualities of a Sheltie is its stunning, flowing coat, which is a combination of a smooth, silky guard and a fluffy, warm undercoat. These two aspects of a Sheltie’s coat are essential to proper warmth and cooling in inclement weather, as well as protection against the elements. But if you want to give your Sheltie a stylish haircut, there are options that balance aesthetics with function.

Featured Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock

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