Dog Grooming – How to Groom a Dog?
All dogs need grooming, but some dog breeds need a lot more grooming and dog grooming supplies than others. You may want a dog with a luxurious coat, but you may not be able to cope with the effort involved in keeping it clean and well groomed. If you don’t want to spend a significant amount of time dog grooming, then you should choose a dog breed with minimal grooming requirements. Dog grooming supplies and equipment are discussed below.
Non Shedding Dogs
A dog’s coat has two kinds of hair. The outer coat usually consists of coarser hairs while the inner coat is made up of softer, shorter hairs. The hairs on a dog’s coat grow to a pre-determined length, at which time they stop growing and are eventually pushed out or shed by new hairs growing in. Some breeds shed twice per year, some breeds like the Dalmatian shed moderately throughout the year and some breeds like the Poodle do not shed their coats at all.
These non shedding or low shedding dog breeds are said to be hypoallergenic if properly groomed and may be better for people with allergies. However an individual’s allergic reactions will vary between dog breeds.
- Airedale Terrier
- Australian Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Boston Terrier
- Bouvier des Flandres
- Cairn Terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Norfolk Terrier
- Norwich Terrier
- Poodle (all types)
- Shih Tzu
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Tibetan Terrier
- Welsh Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
Heavy Shedding Dog Breeds
These include the thick and heavy double-coated dog breeds. It should be noted that heavy shedders don’t necessarily require more grooming than light shedding breeds such as the Airedale or the Poodle.
- Alaskan Malamute
- Australian Shepherd
- Belgian Sheepdog
- English Toy Spaniel
- German Shepherd
- Great Pyrenees
- Saint Bernard
- Siberian Husky
- Shetland Sheepdog
Start grooming or pretending to groom puppies soon after you bring them home. Dog grooming is more than keeping the coat and skin clean and healthy, it also involves looking after the dog’s nails, teeth, eyes and ears. Brush your puppy daily in the early weeks to get him used to being groomed. The more you handle them as a pup, the more your dog will enjoy the grooming experience. See the free report on “Puppy Training” for information on training your puppy for grooming. Various dog breed coat types require different grooming practices.
- Longer, thicker coats such as Akitas and Newfoundlands need regular brushing with a firm bristle brush. More frequent daily brushing and combing is recommended when they are shedding their coats. Don’t bathe these breeds too often as it removes the protective oils from their coats. Probably one bath in the Spring and one in the Fall will do unless they have gotten really dirty.
- Non-shedding curly coats such as Poodles and Bedlington Terriers need clipping and bathing about every two months. Excess ear hair should be pulled out, not cut, at that time.
- Longer silky coats such as the Afghan Hound, Maltese, Lhasa Apso, Spaniels and Setters should be brushed with a pin brush after a weekly bath. These breed’s coats should be trimmed every couple of months. Spaniels’ ears and paws will need excess hair trimmed. The dead hair on these breeds should be removed or “stripped”.
- The wiry coats of some Dachshunds, Schnauzers and most terriers, like the West Highland White Terrier, need brushing and combing at least three times a week. Strip and hand pluck the dead hair in the coat and bathe these breeds every three months. Hand stripping a large dog can take several hours. Clipping is an option if the dog isn’t being shown. Cut excess hair around the eyes and ears.
- The smooth coats, such as the Boxer, Whippet and Labrador are easy to groom using a hound glove. Other short hair smooth-coated breeds just need a weekly combing and brushing. These breeds shouldn’t be bathed more than two or three times per year because it removes the protective oils from their coats. Note that there are dry bathing products available as an alternative to soap and water. Breeders keep short haired dogs looking good by running a stripping knife over their coats on a daily basis.
Dogs Ears, Feet and Teeth
Grooming should include a regular check of the ears for infections. Dogs with droopy ears must be checked very regularly. Dogs should have their toenails cut every two months or so. Teach your dog, as a puppy, to stand still while you cut the nails. It is easier to see the ‘quick’ on dogs with light-colored nails. If your dog has dark colored nails, you will have to cut them a little bit at a time over several days. If you nip the ‘quick’, then apply a ‘stop bleeding’ dog product or use corn starch. Dog’s teeth should be descaled by your veterinarian once per year. This is very important for toy dog breeds which can have early dental problems.
Dog Grooming Supplies and Equipment
There is a wide variety of dog grooming supplies and tools, available in pet supply stores and over the Internet, for assisting you in grooming your dog.
1. Grooming supplies include: dog shampoos, rinses, conditioners and supplements to clean and soften coats; Q-tips and cotton wool and oil to clean ears; toothbrush and tooth paste for cleaning teeth; and eye wipes for eyes.
- Dog shampoos are available for: specific coat colors, resisting fleas, adding protein, whitening, sparkling, etc.
- Dog conditioners aren’t necessary for all coat types but they will reduce tangles and mats for many coats.
2. Grooming tools will depend on your dog’s coat type. All coats will require a brush and a comb. Depending on the dog breed you may require:
- a pin brush, bristle brush, soft brush and/or rubber brush
- fine and/or wide toothed metal combs
- a hound glove
- blunt end scissors, nail clippers, and/or thinning shears
- stripping comb and/or stripping knife.
3. Grooming equipment such as: dog grooming table, electric dryer and a dog bath will make the dog groomer’s job much easier.
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