Care is essential for all dogs, as this is where their health depends on. Though there are lots of ways on how you can do this, probably the best way is by grooming them. It's through this that you're able to not only ensure their physical health but their emotional and mental health as well. And yes, this makes them look good and smell clean.
But how can you do it? Well, that's what we're going to show to you in this article. So read on, to know more. You'll surely be a better dog owner after reading this.
Things to Prepare
1. Professional-grade Clipper
The first thing you need to prepare is a clipper, but not just any kind of clipper. It's because it needs to be capable of cutting through thick coats. Choose a professional-grade one. It's through this that you're ensured it can handle cutting through thick coat that may be matted or tangled. Also be sure that it fits your hands well. You want to be comfortable when using it to prevent any injuries to your dog.
2. #4 or #5 Clipper Blade
A clipper blade is also needed. You can buy a #4 or #5 blade as these are the perfect sizes for long-haired dogs. Choose these blade sizes as much as possible. You don't want to get other blade sizes because they're not specifically designed to cut long-haired dogs. Bear in mind that the higher the number is, the better it is in cutting through short hair.
3. Thinning Shears
Prepare a pair of thinning shears. Without these, you are unable to use clippers on sensitive areas. You need to use thinning shears to cut the hair located on your dog’s sensitive areas, such as their eyes, face, tail, and feet. If it’s your first time using one, it would be recommended that you use blunt-edged thinning shears so that you won’t hurt your dog if you accidentally puncture it on their skin.
This might seem to be a given. However, we can't stress it even further on how important it is for you to have an especially dedicated towel for your dog's grooming purposes. A towel that has a microfiber cloth is what you need to use as this doesn't accumulate fur and hair from your dog. They're also better at absorbing moisture. This way, your dog will feel more comfortable as you can wipe them with a moist towel.
Knowing the Step-by-Step Process
1. Calm them Down
The first thing you need to do when grooming your long-haired dog is not to groom them. Yes, as silly as it sounds, it's vital for you first to make preparations. One of which is by calming them down first. You don't want to groom a dog that's so active and playful as this can result in cuts and further injuries.
Calm them down and make sure they've exhausted their energy. The best time to groom them is after they're done doing a physical task. You can also calm them down by giving them treats when they sit still. This way, you're rewarding their calm behavior.
2. Brush their Coat
Make sure that your dog's coat is free of mats and tangles. Also, see to it that it doesn't have any form of dust and debris on its skin. You can do this by brushing their coat thoroughly and evenly. Gently brush their coat in one pattern. This way, you're able to cover all of their coat's surface area. Give them a cool bath afterward, and then use a blow drier to dry their coat.
3. Clip their Body
It's now time for you to clip their coat. Make sure that it isn't clipped to their skin because this will surely hurt them. Instead, see to it that it's clipped on their coat. Then turn on the clipper and run down its blade on your dog's coat. Start on their back and run down their lower portions. Move through with the hair lay.
You can go from the neck then down to their rear area. Then clip their coat under their belly and those on their front legs. Reposition your dog’s legs to make sure that its coat is clipped properly. Then gently lift it up to trim the coat under their belly.
4. Trim their Back Legs
Start trimming their back legs. Start at the top then work your way down. Also, pay attention to the rear area as this is where most scratches and cuts happen. Gently trim that area. Or if possible, just leave it later as you're also going to use shears. Use the clippers when working on its thighs and backsides. The remaining untouched parts will then be saved later on for the shears.
5. Trim their Face
The face is one of the most delicate parts of your dog, that’s why you need to be extra careful with it. Comb it first so that you can gather its hair away from its eyes. Slowly pull away their hair using the tip of your fingers. You want to have a soft but firm grip on it as you’re going to hold it the entire team while trimming the parts around their eyes. Make sure that the cut is even and straight.
Trim the area surrounding their muzzle. You might want to double check it first if there are debris or food particles left there as it’s where food usually gets stuck. Use your comb to pull the hair away from it. Be careful in doing this as you might poke their nose in doing it.
6. Remove Excess Fur
Remove and excess fur you'll find using the shears. Check their tail, their rear area, and the part under their legs. This way, you'll prevent feces from getting stuck on their fur. You can also trim close to their skin to maximize the changes that your grooming session brought in.
7. Trim their Feet
Let your dog stand straight. This way, you'll have an easier time trimming their hair under their feet. You can also use shears and a comb in trimming the lower portions. Also, include trimming the hair tufts below their feet.
With these being said, you can see that the process on how to groom a dog with long hair isn't that simple. In fact, it's a bit complicated, and you need to be sure that you're doing it properly to prevent cuts and further injuries. With the help of this article, you'll surely have an easier time grooming your long-haired dog to ensure your dog won't leave hair on furniture, carpets, your clothes or your cold weather boot, etc. Beside, they're going to be healthier and better looking.