How to Groom a Dog with a Thick Undercoat

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Hard
1 - 1 Hour
1 Month

Introduction

If ever there was a challenge when it comes to grooming a dog, it has to be those with a thick undercoat or, as they are often called, a double coated dog. There are those who wonder why you don't simply shave these types of dogs and be done with it.

However, most vets do not recommend shaving these dogs unless it is absolutely necessary. This being said, there is no reason you shouldn’t groom your dog's coat on a regular basis. Unless you want to spend a fortune at your local groomer's, why not learn how to groom your pup yourself?

Dog's Perspective

Your pup's double coat is designed to protect him in the winter and in the summer. Many dogs with a thick undercoat shed or "blow" their coats twice each year. But even so, especially in the summer months, your pup is sure to appreciate having his hair groomed and trimmed when the weather gets hot. 

The Undercoat Rake Method

Most Recommended
1 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Dematter
Towel
Step
1
De-mat first
Start out using a de-matting rake to brush through your pup's coat. This type of "rake" is designed to cut easily through matted clumps of hair, especially those in the undercoat. The only time the blades are active is when the rake meets with resistance. It will not cut fur that does not have mats in it. Go over your pup's entire body with the rake.
Step
2
Shedding blade is next up
Brush your pup's hair in the direction it grows, using either an undercoat rake or a shedding blade. Work from head to tail using strokes that are no more than six inches long. From time to time, clean out the brush and keep working with it until the brush comes out clean. At this point, all lose hair will have been removed.
Step
3
Bath time
Run a tub or sink full of lukewarm water (place and depth should be based on the size of your pup and where you are most comfortable bathing him). If necessary, you can keep the water out of his ears using cotton balls to plug them. Using a flexible shower hose or pitcher, soak your pup's coat, getting it thoroughly wet throughout.
Step
4
Shampoo and rinse
Shampoo his hair and then rinse it thoroughly, making sure that you get all of the shampoo completely out of his hair. Remove the cotton balls from his ears if you used them and then towel dry his coat.
Step
5
Finishing up
Using a boar bristle brush, thoroughly brush your pup's coat one last time. This type of brush will help to smooth out his coat and remove the last of the tangles if there are any. Let your pup's fur finish drying naturally and then go over his coat one last time, using the undercoat brush to remove any remaining loose undercoat hair and the boar bristle brush to distribute the natural oils in his fur and make his coat shine.
Recommend grooming method?

The Multiple Brush Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
Bath first
Start by giving your pup a good bath, towel him dry, and wait for his coat to be completely dry before moving on to the next step. It is important for your dog to be clean before you start grooming his undercoat. This may help to remove some of the mats and will remove dirt, debris, and, of course, any fleas that might be present.
Step
2
On his side
Have your pup lay on his side and using a V-brush or pin brush, begin to work on his undercoat, starting at skin level and stopping about 2 inches from the ends of his coat. Using this type of brush will bring the mats out to where they are easier to work with. You can then use a pin brush to help gently remove the mats.
Step
3
Using a shedding blade
Some tougher mats may not come out with the pin brush. At this point, you need to break out the shedding blade. This device is designed to keep the blades retracted as long as they don't meet any resistance such as a mat. When they do hit a mat in his fur, the blades will cut the mat out for you. Whatever you do, take your time and be gentle. The last thing you want to do is hurt your pup by yanking chunks of hair out.
Step
4
Brush him all over
Once you are done with the shedding blade, it's time to give him a thorough brushing all over. Using electric clippers or scissors, trim any long hair over the rest of his body, especially in summer months to help him stay cooler.
Step
5
Rinse and repeat
If you want your pup to stay looking good and not leave you with endless mats that have to be dealt with, you need to brush him at least once a week. Not only will this help to reduce the number of mats you and your pup have to deal with, it helps to spread his natural oils through his fur, which helps keep it clean and shiny.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never shave a dog with a thick undercoat or double coat, as this can lead to sunburn and many other medical conditions.
  • Shaving your pup could leave him with a very patchy coat if and when it grows back.
  • If for any reason you are not sure how often your pup needs to be groomed, ask your vet or local professional groomer.
  • There are a number of spray detanglers for dogs available at your local pet store. These can make a big difference when trying to brush through your pup's coat if you didn't need to bath him first.
  • If you decide to use electric clippers to help with the grooming, invest in a more expensive clipper as they run more quietly and are less likely to frighten your pup.
  • During the times when your pup is blowing out his coat, you may find it better to brush him on a daily basis to help remove the massive amounts of loose hair, keeping it from getting everywhere in your house (well, at least some of it).
  • If you bathe your dog, be sure to rinse all traces of shampoo from his fur and skin. If you don't, it could cause itchy skin or lead to an allergic reaction. 

Conclusion

Not only will you be much happier when you can be proud of the way your pup looks fully groomed, he will feel much better as well. On top of this, you can be proud of the money you are saving by learning how to groom your dog and helping him to look his best at all times.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions