Grooming techniques for your pet will depend on the dog breed and coat type. There are five basic coat types, each having its own suggested approaches to grooming, as well as a designated schedule. The five coat types are: Long-coated, non-shedding, silky-coated, wiry and smooth.
Long-coated dogs need a lot of attention to achieve their full aesthetic potential; this means that grooming will need to occur on a daily basis. Easily identifiable dogs in this coat classification include Collies, Newfoundlands, Old English Sheepdogs and Golden Retrievers.
Non-shedding dogs normally do not have loose hair that falls out naturally, leading to a necessary clipping as often as every two months. These types of dogs are often referred to as “hypo-allergenic” since the lack of shedding may not trigger allergy symptoms in normal allergy sufferers. Dogs in this group include Poodles, Bichon Frises and Bedlington Terriers.
Silky-coated dogs require a high amount of home care, and if dead hair is not removed regularly and in a timely fashion, it will begin matting quickly. Trimming may be necessary for this type of dog; certain breeds, such as spaniels, require specific trimming around the ears and feet. Some silky-coats that can be easily spotted are Afghans, Yorkies, Setters and Pekingese.
Wirehaired dogs need to be hand-stripped twice a year or regularly clipped by a professional groomer or an individual who is experienced in practicing both methods. As an owner, at-home care can be as simple as brushing on a regular basis to avoid mats from developing. The Dachshund, most Schnauzers and Terrier breeds make up the majority of this group.
Smooth-coated dogs are the easiest coat type to maintain. A gentle brushing with a grooming mitt once or twice a week and a thorough combing once a month will be enough to remove all of the dead hair. Dogs in this group include Labradors, Boxers, Dobermans and Greyhounds.
You should start grooming while your dog is still young; things will be easier down the road if your puppy is accustomed to being handled and brushed at an early age. Grooming should be a welcomed and enjoyable experience. With all adjustments, start things gradually and keep them brief; dog treats can also be used for added encouragement. Gradually lengthen the grooming sessions until your dog is comfortable with you brushing him, holding its paws to have nails clipped and examining the ears. If your dog is an adult and isn’t so sure about all this sudden handling, don’t worry; just follow the same procedure as you would for a puppy.
Some essentials for at-home grooming include a slicker or “pin” brush (one that is appropriate for the coat length), a steel comb (also length appropriate), grooming shampoo and rinse, small scissors, nail trimmers and blood-clotting powder. Once you have these items and the appropriate information, grooming can begin.