These are the chronicles of two Shetland Sheepdogs and their adventures in rally-o, obedience, flyball, agility, tracking and therapy dog work.
Also including information on raw feeding, canine epilepsy, positive training, and lots and lots of Sheltie hair!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grooming Those Sheltie Feet

I have a bit of a pet peeve ... rogue toe hair! I LOVE the little cat-foot look on a Sheltie, and just cringe when I see the fly-away slipper feet. Not only is it not very attractive, but I worry that the overgrown hair on the bottom of the feet will not allow the dog to have proper traction for running around on smooth flooring.

So a great big "thank you" to Brenda for showing me how to trim those cute little cat feet!

I've had other people ask me how I keep the boy's feet looking so cute, so now I finally have a place to post the details!

I like to keep things cheap and simple. No fancy high priced tools for me. Here is the equipment you will need ...1) scruffy feet
2) a cheap battery operated razor (I use a lady's personal razor, $20 at your local drug store)
3) a small slicker brush
4) a small pair of blunt nosed scissors
5) a pair of thinning shears (You can get the professional ones for upwards of $100, or a cheap pair that works just as well for $15 from a drug store)

Step 1
I trim the hair on the bottom of the feet with the battery operated razor. Don't dig in between the toes as that can cause irritation. Just trim the hair even with the pads.

Step 2
With the slicker brush, brush the hair on the top of the paw backwards so that it stands up.

Step 3
With the thinning shears, trim the standing up hair short. Go slow until you get the hang of it as you can pinch the skin.

Step 4
With the blunt nosed scissors, trim the hair around the edge of the pads and the nails. I like to trim around the outside of the pads following the same curve that the pad makes. For the outside nails, trim the hair straight down towards the ground. For the middle toes, trim the hair straight across. The hair between the middle toes can be tricky to shape, so that might take some practice. I tend to trim it just slightly shorter than the hair surrounding the nail. That way the overall shape of the paw looks round instead of elongated.

The finished product! I find that once the dog is standing, things shift a bit so you may want to trim some fly-aways once they are standing, even out the edges, etc. In the below picture, the foot on the left is trimmed while the right is untrimmed. I keep their feet done up, trimming once a week, so the difference isn't all that noticeable.

The back feet are slightly more obvious.

Hobbit foot ...

Tidy foot ...

Other entries that I have written on how I groom my Shelties:
Grooming those Sheltie feet
Trimming Sheltie leg feathers and hocks
Trimming Sheltie ears
Homemade snood to prevent messy, broken hair


Bree/Reilly said...

Oh.....thank you for sharing this, my mom also does my feet that way. We have an agility coarse in our basement and if I have long fur on my feet I tend to slip and slide. Sometimes that can be a lot of fun though!!!! Thank you too for visiting my blog, I hope you will become a regular as we have some great buddies and love to share our adventures.

Josh and Jess said...

Hello guys! Hey, that was really helpful!!! We'll pass it on to our Ma because she can't do our feet as nicely as your Mom can!
We've also added you to our list of friends if that's okay with you.
Josh and Jess from New Zealand

kay said...

I just got a sheltie two days ago, and trimmed up his paws using your guide! Now he doesn't slide every 5 steps! Thank you so much for posting this! :)

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