There are 6 different types of coat a dog can have - each requiring their own style of grooming.
1) Smooth Coat
Dogs with smooth coats include breeds such as Whippets, Great Danes, Dalmatians and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They have one coat of short hair that lies close to the body that is shed quite regularly, although it is easy to groom. As they only have a short coat they may feel the effect of the elements, especially in winter. These coats can be bathed regularly when required.
2) Double Coat
Breeds with double coats include Border Collies, St Bernard's and German Shepherd's. Within this coat type there can be differences of coat length depending on the breed but, in general, double coated dogs need a lot of grooming. When a dog within this category starts to shed its coat you will need to remove all loose hairs on a regular basis as they are prong to matting.
Dogs with a double coat, like most breeds, can be bathed between once a week and once every three months. However, they should be bathed more regularly when they are shedding their coat to ensure it remains in top condition. Brushing the a double coated dog is a much more methodical task than brushing most breeds as you need to be sure you are taking care of the undercoat as well as the top coat.
3) Wire Coat
Dogs with wire coats include breeds such as the Schnauzer, Border Terrier and West Highland White Terrier. The wire part of the coat is formed by the guard hairs that grow through the softer undercoat. Full grooming should be done by professional groomers, but regular bathing and brushing can be done at home. Wire haired breeds require frequent attention as they can quickly become matted, especially as they shed their coat.
Wire haired dog breeds do require some specific grooming that other hair types may not. For example, terriers can easily get dirt stuck between their pads which causes discomfort so you should check these regularly.
4) Combination Coat
Breeds with a combination coat often need a lot of regular grooming as one layer of the hair is long enough to matt and tangle. Breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter and the Golden Retriever have both a short coat and a longer coat. The longer hair often needs high maintenance as it can tangle if not groomed properly. Like most breeds, they can be bathed between once a week and once every 3 months, depending on the time you have and what condition your dog’s fur is in.
Before bathing a dog with a combination coat it is essential to give it a through brushing to remove any knots. If these aren’t removed they will become tighter when they get wet, making it much more difficult to remove them. Combination coats require a large amount of grooming, most of which can be done with a slicker such as the Ball Pin Slicker.
5) Long Coat
Dogs with long coats are very high-maintenance, with their coats needing to be brushed around three times a week or more. Breeds such as Old English Sheepdogs, Shih Tzus and Afghan Hounds will quickly develop a matted coat if they are not groomed often. In worse case scenarios, the coat may have to be shaved off if it can’t be dematted.
Dogs with long coats should be bathed between once a week and once a month, depending on how dirty it gets and how much time you have to spare. It is essential that they are brushed thoroughly before bathing as any matts will become unmanageable if they get wet. When grooming a long haired dog, an anti-static spray will come in handy as it makes the coat easier to brush. You can use a pin brush such as the Maxi Pin Brush for grooming long haired coats, but make sure you cover the whole coat thoroughly.
6) Hairless Coat
Dogs that come under the hairless breed category are quite rare but usually require different treatment than those with hair. Most breeds within this coat type, such as the Chinese Crested and the Mexican Hairless, have a small amount of hair, usually found on the head, ears, feet and tail. Due to the large amount of exposed skin it will need regular attention, as well as protection from the elements.
As well as the standard dog grooming equipment, you will also need to purchase some baby oil or a similar product to keep the skin healthy and in good condition. As the skin needs to be cared for, it is recommended that you bathe a hairless dog once a week, or at least once a month. When drying the dog, the skin can be towel dried and any hair can be dealt with using a hand dryer on medium heat.
A good grooming session includes:
- Going over the dog thoroughly with a brush or comb that reaches the skin. A dog with a short coat may require the gentle touch of a rubber comb, while a dog with a thick undercoat will need a slicker brush. It is important that the brush or comb reach the skin to bring loose hair and dirt to the surface.
- Repeating the brushing with a finishing tool. This may be a natural-bristle brush, a cloth or your hand. The goal is to remove the loose hair and dirt that the first brush brought to the surface and to distribute the natural oils in the skin.
- Checking the dog's ears. If you notice dirt or buildup in the ears, dampen a cotton ball with an ear cleaning product recommended by your veterinarian, then wipe the ears gently. Don't stick your finger or a cotton swab into the ear canal. If you are concerned about debris farther back in the ear, ask your veterinarian to clean the dog's ears. Healthy ears should be pale in colour, cool to the touch and free of odour.
- Keeping teeth clean. Daily brushing is ideal, but even a twice-weekly schedule will help maintain oral health. Brush the teeth with a regular toothbrush, one specifically designed for dogs. Use one of the many toothpastes available for dogs. Many come in flavours dogs love, such as chicken or beef, so it is unlikely that your pup will spit the toothpaste out. Remember not to use toothpaste for people because, if swallowed, it can lead to stomach upset in dogs.
- Trimming the nails regularly.
If you are looking for a good reliable dog groomer then we can highly recommend Terena Aust.
Based from her home in Normandy she is reliable, caring and affordable.
She can be contacted on 07500875541