How to Groom a Dog with a Double Coat

Hard
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

Keeping your dog well-groomed is an important part of his overall good health and appearance, especially when you have a dog with a double coat. Not only does keeping him groomed help reduce the incredible amount of dog hair constantly covering everything in your house, it can help the two of you bond more closely than you already are. 

However, when you have a dog with a second coat, grooming can seem like an insurmountable task that is best left to a professional groomer. Your pup's double coat is typically a combination of very short, short, and longer hairs. Knowing how to groom him properly will make the process easier and more enjoyable for both of you. 

Dog's Perspective

Your dog naturally sheds a large part of his coat twice each year, once in the fall and once in the spring. But since your dog no longer lives in the wild, he doesn't have the advantage of being able to aid in this process by rubbing himself in the brush and long grasses.

Living at home, the best he can hope for is rubbing himself on the carpet or furniture, which simply isn't good enough. It is your job to give your pup a good grooming at least once a week to help remove the extra hair and keep him looking his best, he is sure to appreciate it! 

The Undercoat Rake Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Start by de-matting his coat
Grab a de-matting rake, this tool is designed to work its way easily through any mats in your dog's fur, most especially those in his thick undercoat. When there is no resistance the protective blade cover stays put, covering the blades and allowing you to work your way through the fur. When you encounter a mat, the protector will be pushed back out of the way allowing the rake to cut through the mats.
Step
2
Next up, the shedding tool
Using a shedding tool, gently brush your pup's hair in the direction it grows naturally. You need to work from head to tail, using short strokes (keeping them at 6 inches or less works best). Of course, be sure to clean out the tool on a regular basis and keep working over your pup's coat until the brush finally comes out clean.
Step
3
Time for a bath
Time to head to the tub. Start by running enough warm water to cover your pup to a depth you are capable of working with and that your pup is comfortable being in. Keep it lukewarm; too cold and it will make your pup uncomfortable, too hot and you could injure your pooch. It helps if you have one of those shower heads on a long hose or one you can attach to the spigot. Be sure to keep the water out of his eyes and ears as you thoroughly soak his coat.
Step
4
Break out the shampoo
Using a shampoo designed for dogs, gently rub it into his coat making sure to reach all the way down to his skin so that you get everything clean. You can use cotton balls to help keep the water out of his ears or you can use your hands.
Step
5
Time to rinse
Using the shower head or a pitcher, rinse your pup's coat thoroughly. Be sure to rinse until there is no more shampoo coming out of his coat. You need to be thorough, as leaving shampoo in his coat could lead to skin problems or cause other health issues.
Step
6
The finishing touches
Grab a boar bristle brush and go over your pup's coat one more time. Using this type of brush will help you to remove any final tangles and give him a smooth, shiny coat. Allow your pup's coat to air dry naturally and use an undercoat brush to go over his entire body one last time to remove any remaining undercoat hair that happens to be loose and to help distribute his natural oils throughout his coat.
Recommend grooming method?

The More than One Brush Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Start with a bath
One great way to get started grooming your double-coated dog is to give him a nice bath first to remove dirt, debris, and who-knows-what that is hiding under all that hair. Bathing him first will also help to reduce the number of mats and tangles you have to deal with. It also gives you a clean pup to work with, which is always much nicer. A nice warm bath will also help to relax your pup.
Step
2
Stand and deliver
Well not quite, but have your pup come to your chosen grooming spot (try and use the same one every time) and stand in place. This will give him a sense of place, one that he can readily associate with being groomed.
Step
3
The pin brush
Using a pin brush or undercoat rake, start working on his undercoat to remove any mats you find. You need to start brushing at skin level and work your way out to a point about 2 inches from the end of his coat hairs. This will bring the mats out to where you can deal with them. You can use scissors to do this or an undercoat rake that is designed to cut the mats out as it finds them.
Step
4
Time to hit the shedding brush
Now that you have bathed your pup and removed the mats, it's time to work on all that extra hair. For this, you need a shedding brush. This brush is specifically designed to help remove any excess hair from your pup's undercoat. Use this tool going over his entire coat gently, cleaning out the brush frequently until it comes out clean. Be gentle so you don’t hurt your pup by yanking on his hair.
Step
5
Down to the last clip
Now give him a good all-over brushing using a boar hair brush to smooth his coat. Use either a pair of scissors or electric clippers trim his coat as needed, taking care not to nick your pup's skin. One last brush and your pup is now looking his best. You should brush his coat every week as this will help to keep down the number of mats you have to deal with and spread his natural oils throughout his coat.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • First and foremost, you should never shave a dog who has a thick or double undercoat as this may lead to sunburn and several other medical conditions.
  • Shaving him down to the skin may also cause his coat to grow back in patches.
  • If you are not sure which way your pup's hair grows or how often he should be groomed, be sure to talk to your vet.
  • Your pet store carries a variety of detanglers made just for dogs with long coats. Used properly, they can make grooming your dog's hair much easier.
  • If your dog is "blowing out" his coat, you may find it helps to brush him daily to keep down the mats and the amount of hair you have to clean up. It might also help extend the life of your vacuum cleaner!
  • One last thing, be sure you rinse all traces of shampoo from your pup's coat, as it can lead to a number of complications. 

Conclusion

Not only will your pup look and feel much better when you keep him properly groomed, but you can be proud of the fact you have learned to groom your double-coated pup all by yourself. Imagine how much money you will be saving over the course of your pup's life! 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions