Caring for the Coats in the Herding Group
The dogs in the Herding Group, such as the Rough Collie, Belgian Sheepdog, German Shepherds and 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. That being said, there are some dog grooming basics you still need to follow. These breeds should be brushed twice a week to cut down on shedding as well as bathed at least every three months. Dogs who are kept indoors should be brushed and bathed more often because the indoor temperature throws off seasonal shedding.
How to Groom a Herding Dog
What You’ll Need
The grooming tools you should have on hand include a large slicker brush, deshedding tool with longer teeth, large metal comb, large pliers style nail clippers and garbage bag.
When it comes to bathing your herding dog, you should have the following: shampoo and 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 shower head and a large grooming tub, such as the Booster Bath.
Deshed the Lower Half
While your dog is lying down or secured to a harness and tether, begin deshedding the lower half of your dog’s body. With one hand, hold the hair up 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 not to scratch the skin. If you’re 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 don’t 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.
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Clean Ears and Clip Nails
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.
Wet the Coat
Secure your dog in the shower or booster bath, then, with warm water, use the nozzle right up close to his skin to wet down the entire coat. Shield the eyes and ears as you use a lower strength stream while wetting the face.
Apply Dog Shampoo
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 his head soak while you apply the shampoo to the entire body. Pay special attention to the rear, belly area and feet.
Rinse and Repeat
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 three days later, it’s 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’re 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 and aim it at the face and feet as you work on the body and finish up your dog’s grooming time.
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