How to Groom a Dog with Long Hair

Hard
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

Is your dream dog a Lassie Collie, bounding across the field to save Timmy from the well? How did she keep her long flowing hair looking so great while performing heroic feats weekly?! 

Your long-haired dog might be a Bearded Collie or an Afghan Hound, a Havanese, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, or a Lhasa Apso. No matter what the breed or combination thereof, long-haired dogs are beautiful to look at, as long as they are groomed properly, of course. If not groomed regularly, however, they can become matted, dirty, scraggly messes! Long-haired breeds need regular grooming and care in order to have those long flowing locks managed and to prevent mats that can interfere with movement and result in skin infections and sores. 

If you are planning on getting a long haired dog, plan on spending some time daily or every other day grooming them, so they can look their best and stay healthy.

Dog's Perspective

Your long-haired dog may or may not be a diva. Some dogs love being brushed and seem quite proud of their flowing locks. Others could not care less. Still others would rather just be left alone. Depending on what kind of dog you have, daily grooming may be something your dog looks forward to, or, not so much. Making it a positive experience for your dog will be important, as long haired dogs need grooming frequently. Start grooming your dog early to get him used to grooming and create a positive experience by being gentle, not pulling on mats, and grooming frequently so knots and tangles are regularly removed before they become a problem. This will get your dog used to being brushed and groomed. Keep grooming sessions short so your dog does not become frustrated, and to minimize discomfort during grooming.

The Routine Brushing Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Step
1
Lay dog on back
Once a day, or every other day, you will need to brush your dog out with a pin brush. Remove your dog's collar and start with him lying on his back. Small dogs can be put on your lap, larger dogs may lie on a towel or blanket.
Step
2
Brush underside
Using a pin brush or rotating comb, brush out your dog's underside, under legs, belly, underside of the neck, and feathering on the legs. Remove tangles with a brush or by working them out with your fingers or a comb.
Step
3
Part, spray, comb
Part hair, and brush or comb from root to tip. You can apply a mist or spray conditioner or detangler on each layer to help the process. Move all over the dog’s underside, parting and brushing hair the entire length of the hair shaft.
Step
4
Brush back and sides
Once the underside of your dog is done, let him flip over onto his belly, and start parting and brushing, working over your dog’s sides and back, parting hair and brushing from root to tip.
Step
5
Smooth
Gently use a soft brush on tail and face to smooth out hair. If knots are present, remove with fingers and soft brush.
Recommend grooming method?

The Bath and Trim Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
De-mat
Comb out all mats and tangles before bathing Baby powder, oil or detangler can be used to aid this process. Bad knots or mats may be cut out if you are not planning on showing your dog and do not need to leave hair intact.
Step
2
Bathe
Bathe from your dog’s top to bottom, to prevent tangling long hair. Use fingers to work shampoo through hair and remove any tangles. Rinse, and use a good, dog-appropriate, conditioner. Rinse, or use leave-in conditioner for dogs with particularly long coats.
Step
3
Dry
Wrap your dog in a large towel and pat dry--avoid rubbing, which will tangle long hair. Allow the dog to air dry near an air vent, or blow dry on low heat while combing the hair. After air drying, you may want to use a blow dryer and slicker brush to fluff up your dog.
Step
4
Trim feet
Trim nails, trim hair from the underside of paws and from around top and edge of paws.
Step
5
Trim face and backside
Trim long hair around eyes, ears and anus or use a clipper or personal trimmer.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Daily, regular brushing will keep knots, and mats from forming and becoming a problem. Mats and knots can create dermatological issues or have to be cut out with scissors, which will not look as good and can expose skin in cold or hot weather to damage from frostbite or sunburn.

  • Keep sessions regular and short so your long-haired dog does not develop a tangled coat, which leads to a long and uncomfortable grooming session, which can result in a frustrated dog that does not want to cooperate with grooming.

  • Be careful trimming excess hair. Keep scissors parallel to the dog, do not point scissors at the dog.

  • Be gentle removing tangles so as not to hurt your dog. Use detanglers, oils, or baby powder and appropriate grooming tools to help make the process more comfortable.

Conclusion

Your long-haired beauty is ready to meet the world with some regular grooming. Daily brushing, and weekly or monthly bathing and fluffing will keep your dog a diva whether she (or he) is one by nature or not. Everyone wants to look their best. Remember that grooming your long-haired dog is not just about looks, matted hair creates skin problems which are uncomfortable for your dog and can be difficult to treat once they have developed. Stay on top of grooming your long-haired pooch and your dog will look tip-top!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions