Do I really need to groom my dog?

Regular dog grooming is as essential to your dog's health and well-being as the food you provide. And here's 4 good reasons why........
  1. Grooming establishes a bond, and underpins the growing relationship with your dog. From day 1 your dog needs to understand that you wear the trousers in your household. The grooming ritual, establishes this in a kind, and thoughtful way--providing you ensure that it's a pleasant experience. This is the bedrock of early dog training.
  2. Grooming also: Enables you to check for Dog Fleas, skin problems, cuts and abrasions unusual lumps, or bumps, and to detect any inflamation or suspicious odour coming from within the ears. An essential part of dog care.
  3. You'll be keeping well on top of the "shedding" and "moulting" battle, by regularly removing dead hair. This prevents matting, a smelly pet, and causes your dog's coat to glow radiantly with health. Strange as it may seem to some people, dogs like to be clean. So there is a psychological dimension to regular dog grooming--They really do like to look, and feel smart! Try telling your dogs how great they look, and just watch the positive reaction.
  4. And finally, there's the pleasure you'll derive from owning a dog that's a knockout to look at, and be with. Your psychological bonus.

    Coat Types and Care.

    Short/Smooth Coated breeds: Such as Boxers, Dobermanns, and Greyhounds. This type of coat needs less attention than most, but are usually heavy moulters. Brushing the coat every few days with a stiffish brush will help smarten your pet up, and keep the dog hairs under control.

    Long Coated breeds: Such as Setters, Spaniels, and Afghans. These types require a daily brushing which gets rid of the dead hair, and enables you to recognise and deal with any knots and tangles that are prevalent in this coat type. Some types, such as Old English Sheepdogs require a good deal of work, and usually professional help.

    Rough/ Wire Coated: Such as Airedales, various Terriers. Some of these coat types "cast" their coat every 6 months or thereabouts. This involves hair shedding on a much grander scale than just moulting. If not brushed regularly this type of coat matts badly. Consequently, a stiff brush. and robust comb are necessary tools. You need to get right in to the coat, not just skim over the top.

    Curly/Wooly coated: Such as the Bedlington terrier, Poodle, and Bichon Frise. This coat variety sheds dead hair within it's coat, rather than moults. Again a daily brushing is needed to stay on top of this. Often, professional help is required with this type of coat.

    You too could be as smiley as Kyra-- Just become a dog groomer!

    Kyra grooms Suki

    Where and how to groom your dog.

    Right from the start your puppy should come to recognise that when you get out the grooming equipment, he/she is in for a pleasant experience, that will always end with a treat. Get it right, and grooming is hassle free. Get it wrong and even finding your pet to groom will be a problem.

    OK, so you've visited the best pet shop in town, had a chat with the owner and made a new friend, and finally left with a soft brush, a small, but robust comb, a pair of small blunt ended scissors, and a gentle puppy shampoo. That's all you need to start with. You can add to this later, once you get to know more about your pups coat.

    The best way to find out is to beg, steal, buy, or borrow a good book, solely about your type of dog--from a recognised authority on that Breed. If your dog is a cross, then check out it's coat type from the list above, and get a book about a breed with a similar coat...........OK--Let battle commence!

    The battleground needs to remain constant at first. Somewhere where you and your pup are going to be comfortable. If it's a table put a towel or slip-mat on it--your pup needs to feel secure. The first session should be short. Your just getting your dog accustomed to the tools of the trade. Talk lovingly to your puppy as you gently brush and then comb through the coat.

    Do a little bit of snipping with the scissors--nothing dramatic. Remember, to spray a little conditioner over the coat prior to grooming, this will prevent the ends of the hair from breaking.

    As your puppy learns--so will you. Which areas to be more gentle with. Where a more vigorous brushing is welcomed. You'll learn how to be kind, considerate, and, yes,when neccessary, firm.

    Remember, your pet will not be thoroughly groomed if all you have brushed is his back and upper body. Roll him on to his side, and gently brush the belly, chest, under the tail, and inside of the legs. This is important as these areas are where the matts and tangles will begin to form later.

    You won't have too many problems with matts and tangles if your dog is short or smooth coated. If the tangle is too far gone to brush out the simplest way to get rid of them is to cut them out using blunt-ended scissors. You can spray a little water on it first to make it more malleable. Then, gently pull it away from your pet's body, and simply snip the hair from between the skin and the tangle.

    Get you puppy accustomed to having his mouth opened to examine the teeth. Also, the ears, and nails should be inspected, so that in the future when they need attending to, these early dress rehearsals will make the real job an easy task.

    If your new to these tasks get a doggie friend, or the Vet to help show you how to use a pair of nail clippers. Although walking your dog over pavements, and rough ground usually wears these down. Dew claws however need attention, as they do not wear down naturally.

    The commands, Stand, Sit and Stay, should be introduced in to these sessions, as they are integral to the dog grooming process.

    Finally.......Praise her, stroke her, give her a treat.

    Repeat daily, gradually lengthening the sessions as required by the nature of your dogs coat. Do this, and you and your pet will enjoy your dog grooming/bonding/training sessions from day one.

    Your going to need to bathe your dog. And for those of you, who own dogs with difficult coats,your probably going to need professional help. So click below to learn all you need to know about how to choose the right dog groomer. And............

    How to Bath your Dog.

    Why not enjoy a Bath with Your Dog!
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