Hints & Tips

Brushing

Long haired dogs need to be brushed thoroughly at least twice a week. Concentrate your brushing on areas with thicker coat (e.g. the rump) or areas where the coat rubs and matts form (round the collar, ankles, ears, armpits). "Slicker" brushes are ideal on long coats to get through thick coats and matts. Finish off with a fine toothed comb, then you'll know if you have all the knots out. Long coats should always be brushed BEFORE they get wet, whether it is a wet walk or a planned bath. As the coat dries, any knots still in place will tighten and become almost impossible to remove. For my Dematting Policy see:General Information

Short haired dogs moult more than long haired dogs, that's why their coats never grow long. The moulted coat forms sharp needles that get stuck into everything. Brushing them regularly with a rubber brush will help prevent too much coat moulting over you or your sofa!

Bathing

Brush and comb your dog before putting them in the bath, this helps prevent knots and takes out much of the loose coat which will otherwise decorate your bathroom.

Using a canine shampoo put the required amount in a jug. Unless your dog is very dirty, most shampoos are best diluted at least 5 parts water to 1 part shampoo. Put your dog in the bath, using a towel or bath mat to prevent slipping, and wet your dog from collar to tail with the shower. Leaving your dog's head dry discourages shaking in the bath! Pour some diluted shampoo along your dogs back and rub in well, along the back and sides, repeat for chest, legs and ears and do the head last, avoiding shampoo in the eyes. Remember to pick up all four paws gently and clean underneath and between the pads. Also remember all hygiene areas.

Shower off all the shampoo very thoroughly, again, leave the head until last to prevent shaking (unless you have shampoo in your dog's eyes in which case do it first). Any shampoo left in the coat can cause skin irritation. Rinse until the water runs completely clear. Remember a job worth doing is worth doing well!

Using two or more towels, dry your dog as much as you can. Long haired dogs will benefit from being combed through as they dry to prevent any new knots forming.

Collars

If your dog sleeps in the house and cannot get out at night, remove it's collar at night. Sleeping in a collar is the second reason for dogs getting severely matted hair around their necks (primary reason is ineffective brushing), it may also lead to bare patches where the collar has rubbed the coat away.

Valerie Corfield 2013