Long-haired breeds such as shelties get dirty fast, especially when allowed to run and play in the mud. The Shetland Sheepdog, commonly known as the sheltie, is an active working breed originally used in sheepherding. Whether your sheltie works on a farm, participates in dog sports or plays in the yard, you probably want a dog that looks and smells good. While you should first rule out any health issues, if your sheltie stinks, it's probably time for a good grooming.
Brush the Coat
Brush your sheltie at least once a week, if not more often. Mist the coat with a light spray of water before you start, then brush against the grain of the fur. It may be easier to start on one side and gradually work your way down the body, then start again on the opposite side. For the tail, start at the root and work down to the tip, brushing against the grain in sections. Brushing will remove loose fur and can help loosen mud and other debris that might make your dog smell less than fresh. Around the groin and armpits, add baby powder and then brush it out to help prevent knots and mats.
Pet shelties should only be bathed three or four times a year, while show dogs will need more frequent baths. Give your sheltie a bath, using warm water and a gentle shampoo formulated specifically for pets to get your dog nice and clean. Make sure to dry your pet's coat afterwards, either with a towel or hairdryer. If you're not sure about your skills, you can always take your dog to the groomer's instead.
If your dog's breath is what stinks, consider brushing his teeth. Offer a variety of dental cleaning treats, bones and chew toys to help keep your dog's teeth clean and his breath smelling fresh. Call or visit your veterinarian if none of these help or if the foul breath is a new issue.
Try changing your dog's diet and feeding from an elevated feeder if your sheltie suffers from gas. You can also offer your dog several meals a day rather than one large one. Some dogs may be allergic to certain ingredients in their food, so try switching to a new protein source. If you've always fed your sheltie chicken-based foods, switch over to lamb and see if that helps. High quality foods with meat-based ingredients and no artificial colors or flavors may help clear up your dog's digestive issues as well.
Sprays and Wipes
There are a number of commercial sprays and wipes available to help combat dog odor. If all else fails, you can turn to these to keep your sheltie smelling pretty.
Chelsea Anderson is a professional writer who has attended university at the Delaware College of Art and Design and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has self-published a comic and a 'zine, both of which are included in the Joan Flasch Artist's Book Collection.