April 2012

Playing disc safely with your Shetland Sheepdog

Although canine disc (which you may know as the trademarked name as Frisbee) as a sport is usually dominated by Border collies and Aussies, many Shelties do enjoy this sport. It offers the advantages of being fairly low cost and physically stimulating for your dog. Regardless of you and your dog’s skills, you can have fun playing in your back yard or a nearby park. You and your dog may grow to love the sport so much that you decide to compete locally or nationally. As with any sport, you’ll want to keep your Sheltie’s safety in mind. 

Tips for trimming Shetland Sheepdog toenails


Trimming doggie toenails can be a daunting task for novice owners, with the very real fear of hurting the dog, if the “quick” of the toenail is cut. Many dogs dislike having their feet touched, and Shetland Sheepdogs tends to be a little skittish anyhow.  A few tips, however, may make toenail clipping a little more comfortable for both you and your Sheltie. 


Purchase good quality nail clippers that are the appropriate size for your dog. Cheap clippers don’t work well, and won’t last long either. Keep the clippers clean and dry for longer life. I also like to wipe the clippers down with disinfectant wipes after use. 


Desensitize your Sheltie to having his feet handled. You can start this by touching a foot, and giving your dog a treat and praising him. Gradually work your way up to touching all feet, and then gently handling each foot. Once the dog is comfortable with this, try clipping one toenail, then rewarding him. 

Running with your Shetland Sheepdog


If you are a runner, or would like to become one, you may want to partner up with your Shetland Sheepdog. Healthy dogs usually enjoy this exercise, and running together can not only help you both stay in shape, but it can also build the bond between you and you Sheltie. 


Naturally, you’ll want to be sure your dog is physically able to run. Puppies and young dogs should not run with you until their bodies are ready to withstand repetitive motion on a hard surface. Typically, this is when the growth plates in their bones have closed. Dogs with health issues may also be poor candidates for running. Consult with your vet before beginning a running program with your dog. 


Foster a Shetland Sheepdog and Save a Life

Fostering rescued Shetland Sheepdogs until they can be placed in their forever homes may be one of the most satisfying projects you’ll ever undertake. When you foster a rescue dog, you’re allowing that rescue to take in more dogs, and so the rescue can save more lives. Shelties are often sweet and adaptable, and fostering them is usually joyful, at least until you have to let them go to their new home!


Protecting your retriever from fleas and ticks

Your retriever may become bothered by little pests this spring

Spring is in the air. This means that you and your retriever may be spending more time in the great outdoors. It's a great time to be outside, but it also means that you and your retriever are getting the exercise you both desperately need. However, along with that exercise, your retriever may be picking up unwanted friends. He may be getting fleas and ticks. This is why it is essential to start protecting him now.

In most areas of the country, the winter months were warmer than usual. This may have been nice. However, this will mean that we will be bothered with more pests, including fleas and ticks. The ground didn’t become cold enough to freeze these bugs as much as usual. This is another reason why pet owners need to start thinking about fleas and ticks, earlier than usual. Vets fear that this may be a bad season for them.

What are your choices? You can bathe your pet regularly. Since most retrievers love water this is usually an easy task. Talk to your vet about the best shampoos to use. Remember if your retriever is a young pup, you should steer clear from any flea products for now, even shampoos. However, you can bathe him in normal shampoos. This will drown any fleas that are on him. You may just have to bathe him more frequently.