Sheltie guinea pigs are wonderful beautiful piggies who are beloved by owners and breeders worldwide.
They were first bred in the United Kingdom and their popularity has since spread. They are often know as Silkies or Shetland’s’ depending on where you live.
So as to properly introduce you to them, here are some useful facts about them to help get to know them better.
- The sheltie is a non-self variety guninea pig
- It is a long haired version of the smooth-haired guinea pig
- It is a main classfied breed
- It has no rosettes
- It has a long tain
- Its hair sweeps back from its face
- Unlike the peruvian it doesnt have hair that sweeps over its face
- A sheltie is born with short hair
- Once the sheltie is born, the hair starts to grow very quickly
- Breeders who show sheltie’s usually wrapper the hair and give lots of care and attention to its coat.
- It is also known as a silkie due to its very silky long coat
- Its coat does not naturally part along its back, unlike that of a Peruvian guinea pig
How to care for a Sheltie guinea pig
They obviously need feeding well, and so the regular guinea pig diet of timothy hay, pellets, water, supplemented by veggies will do nicely for them.
Getting the sheltie used to hair brushing is something which needs to be started early in their lives.
Doing regular brushing when their hair is not tangled will help keep their in good shape.
Bathing can be tricky with a Sheltie as they are sensitive to being bathed. You can spot clean them though.
Owners can ‘butt-bath’ them though which is just bathing their backsides to wash away excrement. This should be done every few weeks.
Guinea pigs love to groom themselves, but unfortunately the Sheltie is unable to keep up with this because of their hair, and so will need regular assistance bathing and grooming.
The personality and temperament of a Sheltie guinea pig
Sheltie guinea pig’s are known for being very gentle and supple creatures.
They are also quite laid back in character, and when of first meet them they may come across as quite timid, but as they warm to you, you will see more of they’re true character.
Tips for trimming and cutting the hair of a sheltie guinea pig
Did you know that a Sheltie’s hair can grow at a rate of 2.5 centimeters (about an inch) per month? (Source: Peter Gurney’s “What’s My Guinea Pig?” (TFH Publications, 1997)).
Trimming a Sheltie’s coat on a regular basis is really important, it can quickly grow out of control and can affect their quality of life.
Here are some tips for trimming their coat’s.
- Regularly trim the coat around the backside and belly to stop the hair being soaked in urine
- They are sensitive about being groomed in particular from behind the shoulders
- The trick to trimming a sheltie coat is to layer cut it so that the rear end doesn’t become soiled at all.
- For male shelties, trim as much as possible around the rump. This is because when they excrete, the faecies get stuck in the hair and in the anus, which is unhealthy and uncomfortable for the poor Sheltie. Older males often have trouble excreting so is will also help aid them.
A great video on the subject is the one below, which is detailed explanation of trimming a Sheltie’s hair.