Ever wonder or wish you could do something useful with all that hair you get from your Sheltie at grooming time?  In the spring, I’ve been known to stuff a few clumps of it into a suit feeder & put it out for the birds.  They love to incorporate it into their nests.

In case you missed it, there are businesses out there that will take your dog’s hair, spin it into yarn and/or make items of clothing for you.  This cloth is often referred to as “Chiengora” (pronounced she-an-gora).

A bit of history

Would you believe spinning dog hair into yarn is not a new art?  Traces of dog hair have been found in yarns of pre-historic Scandinavia and among the North American Navajo Indians.

So why do so few people know that you can make dog hair into yarn?  Probably because making yarn from dog hair must be done by hand and it’s just too problematic to spin it by machine. As more people are rediscovering the fun of hand spinning, making dog hair into yarn is again becoming popular.

What is chiengora like…
The most striking featured of chiengora is its unique fur-like appearance. This furry look, so reminiscent of angora, just seems to invite touching. Wearing anything made from chiengora in public invites comments, questions and even an occasional pat on the back – to see if it is really as soft as it looks. The softness makes spun dog hair a real pleasure to wear.

A great advantage of chiengora is that it fluffs as it’s worn. It does not pill.  This fluffing maintains the new appearance of anything made from dog hair.  Properly spun, chiengora sheds very little. It can be dyed with any commercial dye following the directions for delicate fiber.

For warmth it’s hard to beat chiengora. Putting on a pair of mittens woven from it is a real treat. And they actually feel warmer as the temperature drops. Because of this quality, dog hair is more comfortably worn in cool to cold temperatures. Because chiengora is also somewhat water-repellent, it insulates well in cold damp weather.

Interested in making a keepsake of your favorite Sheltie? Fur-Ever Creations is one such business that does this.  Another company called “VIP Fibers“, does the same thing. Or, you can do a search for “chiengora” on the web.

(Photo credit: Thats me in…oh lord, 1990?!, grooming Bentley while Winston recovers from his turn at the brush.  My dad is checking out the huge pile o’ fluff.)

  • Your Sheltie is better groomed than you are.
  • Your alarm clock walks on four feet.
  • You know your Sheltie’s names better than your kids.
  • Your Sheltie has a better place on the couch than you do to watch TV.
  • Your vacuum is a shop vac.
  • Your Sheltie eats before you do.
  • Your Sheltie has more toys than your kids.
  • You snuggle closer to the Sheltie than the person with whom you are sleeping.
  • Your mom calls and asks how the granddogs are.
  • Every gift you ever get has something to do with Shelties.
  • Your cookie jar has never seen the likes of people cookies.
  • Your children (wife, husband, etc.) complain that you always take more pictures of the Sheltie(s) than you do of them.
  • While proudly showing off your family album, your guest asks, "Isn’t there anyone else in your family besides a Sheltie?"
  • Any conversation you’re having is effortlessly directed back to the topic of Shelties.
  • Your first concern when planning a vacation is whether or not the hotel will take dogs.
  • Your Sheltie decides they don’t like someone and you tend to agree.
  • Your desk proudly displays your Sheltie family.
  • The first question you ask when on a date is: "So, do you like dogs?"
  • You buy a bigger bed that will comfortably sleep six.
  • You buy a bigger vehicle to give them all enough travel room.
  • Your carpeting matches the color of your Sheltie – on purpose.
  • You readily allow your Shelties to give you slobbery kisses, but you don’t dare wipe a toddler’s nose.
  • You’ve traced your Sheltie’s family tree further than you have your own.
  • Sheltie hair in food is just another spice.
  • The guardians of your dogs will receive a larger amount of insurance policy money than will all other members of your family – combined.
  • Lintwheels are on your shopping list every week.
  • You have baby gates permanently installed at strategic places around the house, but no babies.
  • You talk about your Sheltie the way other people talk about their kid.
  • Your mother in law keeps asking when you are going to have real children.
  • You visit Sheltie Nation each & every day.  :)
There’s no such thing as the perfect dog
People will say to you
And when it comes to Shelties –
Boy, is that ever true!
Some are too big and some too small
Some hardly have any hair at all
Some are too bold and some too shy
Some have a short tail or a big round eye
  Crooked legs and splayed out toes
Prick ears and hound ears and odd coloured nose –
The perfect Sheltie just can’t be made
But here’s one thing that’s really great:
   To be perfect in their owners’ eyes
Shelties only need one part
And every Sheltie I ever met
Had that loving Sheltie heart.

author unknown

Bet you didn’t know Shelties were part wolf, did you?  ;)

Turn it up & watch your own Shelties react!

Halloween is over people!  No more Shelties in costume.

What?  Hey, what is this?

O.M.G.   …You have got to be kidding me… a Guinea Pig breed type called the “Sheltie”?
The Sheltie is a long-haired variety of guinea pig. In the early 1970’s the breed was developed by crossing Peruvians with Self (smooth) Blacks. In the US Shelties are known as ‘Silkies’.
153337173_ef9410b5eeGo figure!   Photo credit to Dutchsm

This is too cute…A Shetland Sheep.  I don’t really see the resemblance to a Sheltie, do you?  ;)

Now, if you really loved your Sheltie, you would let them get back to their roots & let them play with a herd of Shetland Sheep.

Learn more about the Shetland Sheep.