Home Grooming Advice

 

Groomers are capable of some pretty fantastic transformations, from messy to magnificent, we can appear to work

magic. It's partly why grooming is such a wonderful job. I adore seeing the look on an owner's face when they collect

their dog. Alas, we cannot do this alone; we need your help!

Here are some of my and fellow groomers' top tips on how to look after your dog's coat at home and how to help

your dog enjoy the grooming experience:
 

  1. Make grooming fun. By regularly grooming at home and rewarding good behaviour dogs start to look forward to grooming. And it's lovely one to one time for owner and dog.

  2. Start young! Even if it's just getting them used to being touched all over, make it a pleasant experience.

  3. Ask us; we're always happy to help choose the right brushes to use on your dog's coat and show you how to use them. We'll love you for asking, I promise!

  4. Little and often; don't expect your dog to want to sit for 3 hours straight while you brush them, but do a little bit every day and build them up to it.

  5. If you can get a basic comb through the coat without knots then you're a fantastic owner!

  6. If your dog isn't keen on nail clipping try playing with their feet and giving treats for good behaviour (putting the back of a metal spoon against the nail to get them used to the feel of metal against them will help).

  7. If you can, put the dog up on a table on a non-slip mat to groom. This can help with naughtiness!

  8. Be shown by your groomer where to hold your dog during brushing at home to help them understand 'it's normal' when we hold them there (under back leg and not trying to 'step' over our hands, holding beard area without tugging away, etc).

  9. Please try not to take scissors to your dog and cut its fringe because it can't see, either put a clip or an elastic band in to stop it going into the eyes if need be as it can make it hard for us to give your dog a pretty looking face if you've trimmed it too short (I'd be happy to quickly trim a fringe for free between grooms).

  10. Having problems brushing your dog? If it's usually on the floor or the sofa, that's their normal play or cuddle time. Dogs need to know when it's grooming time. Place a rubber bath mat on a waist height table or clear an area of a worktop, brush for a few minutes then put your dog down on the floor. By repeating this every day your dog soon gets used to brush time and knows why it's up there.

  11. Look up what grooming style you would like for your dog that is practical for your lifestyle. Bringing a photo/photos of what you would like will help the groomer know what trim to do.

  12. A comb is the most important tool for grooming your dog; if you can't get it though your dog's fur your groomer won't be able to either.

  13. Every dog needs to be brushed, some weekly or bi-weekly, while others with long coats will need daily brushing. Even short-haired dogs need brushing in order to remove shed hair and dirt.

  14. Brushing prevents matts and tangles, which can damage the coat and leave skin sore and inflamed. Some matts can cause sores to develop on the skin, which in turn can become infected and lead to acute pain for the animal.
  15. Some matts occur in the undercoat and cannot be seen from the outside. If your dog has a double coat, always ensure that you section the hair and brush from top to bottom
  16. Areas such as the arm pits, chests, rear and around the ears are very likely to matt and need the most attention when brushing.
  17. Always brush before you bathe the pet as bathing can cause knots and matts to become worse.
  18. Pay extra attention when your dog is shedding and ensure that you brush more regularly then, as this is a time when matts can develop easily.
  19. If your dog is matted, you can try to cut or brush the matt out, but if in doubt always go to your groomer. Some coats will need to be fully clipped off as this is much better for the dogs wellbeing, and this gives you a new canvas to practise your brushing on.

 

So give these a go and let me know if there's anything you already do that has helped. Remember, it's never too young to introduce grooming, even just in tiny steps. Oh, and it's a myth about old dogs and new tricks; it's better late than never!

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Fully City & Guilds

Level 3 qualified