Tip of the Month

10/31/2012 Caring For The Coats In The Herding Group

The dogs in the Herding Group such as the Rough Collie, Belgian Sheepdog, German Shepherds, or any of the Shepherd breeds that have long furnishings in their chest and behind their hind legs (called feathers) should never be clipped or shaved. These breeds should be brushed twice a week to cut down on shedding, as well as a bath at least every three months. Dogs that are kept in doors should be brushed and bathed more often because the in door temperature throws off seasonal shedding.

The grooming tools on hand should include a large slicker brush, a deshedding tool with longer teeth, large metal comb, large pliers style nail clippers, and a garbage bag.

While your dog is lying down or secured to a harness / collar and tether, begin deshedding lower on the dog’s body. With one hand, hold up the hair while gently brushing downward. Slide your hand upward to release more hair as you brush downward. As the brush packs with hair, use your metal comb to remove the hair from the brush, and repeat the above steps until you have covered the entire body. Be careful to not scratch the skin. If you are gentle, your dog will grow to love the attention and the time spent with you during this routine.

If the coat is especially thick, you can use the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner with the attachment that has teeth. Some dogs do not mind the noise and love the cooling feel of the vacuum. Dogs with vacuum fears can wear a Happy Hoodie or other covering over their ears. Use the metal comb to comb the longer portions of fur on the legs and tail.

The items that you should keep on hand for bathing a dog include: shampoo & conditioner, ear cleaner, cotton balls, styptic powder, washcloth, hand dryer on a stand, small high-velocity dryer and absorbent shammies. Other helpful equipment for bathing a large dog at home include: a grooming loop on a suction cup, shower with a movable showerhead, or a large grooming tub such as the Booster Bath.

First, clean your dog’s ears with cotton balls and ear cleaner. Next, clip the nails, being careful to just snip off the white part on white nails and slice just the tip of each black nail to see where the vein is.

Secure the dog in the shower or booster bath, then, with warm water, use the nozzle right up close to the skin to wet down the entire coat. Shield the eyes and ears as you use a lower strength stream while wetting the face. Apply diluted shampoo in an applicator bottle to the face, head, and ears. Massage the shampoo well, especially the outer ears and neck area.

Let the head soak while you apply the shampoo to the entire body. Pay special attention to the rear, belly area, and feet. Once shampoo is applied to the body, move back to the face to remove the shampoo using a low spray, while you protect the ears and eyes. Once the head is free of shampoo, move back to rinse the entire body. When all signs of the shampoo are gone, repeat the above steps using the conditioner. To avoid the doggie smell returning 3 days later, it is important to use conditioner to counteract the skin’s attempt to reprocess the oils that were removed in washing.

Once all signs of conditioner are removed, use the shammies to absorb as much water as possible. Squeeze out the shammy often. When you are unable to remove any more water, place a squeezed out shammy under the feet and use the high velocity dryer beginning on the back fur. Use the hand dryer on the stand aimed at the face and feet as you work on the body and finish up your pooch’s grooming time!

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