How to Groom a Double Coated Dog

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

No one wants their dog to look like one giant hairball, but when your furry friend is one of the many breeds that have a double coat, keeping him properly groomed can be more than challenging. Keeping him well-groomed is not only better for your pup's health but the health of your vacuum cleaner as well. 

While it might be easier to take your pup to a professional groomer to have his coat and claws tended to, the annual cost of doing so can be quite expensive and take a lot of time out of your life. Grooming him yourself will save you money and give you far more time to spend bonding with him. 

Dog's Perspective

Most dogs with a double coat shed it naturally twice a year. Once in the fall as they get rid of their summer coat in favor of a winter one and once in the spring when the reverse happens. Despite this, you still need to keep up on your pup's grooming. Not only will it make him more comfortable, but will help you find any fleas, ticks, debris, dirt, and injuries, making it much easier for your pup to stay healthy. 

The Undercoat First Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Starting at the bottom
Using a de-matting rake (a special type of comb that has a cutting blade) work the tool slowly and gently through his coat, starting at the roots where they meet the skin. This comb will glide smoothly through his coat until it meets a mat, at which point the protective cover is pushed back, allowing the blade to remove the mat.
Step
2
Loose hairs next
Next, you need a shedding brush. Use this brush to brush your pup's hair following the direction of growth. Use brush strokes no longer than six inches long, gently work the brush through your pup's coat from head to tail. Be sure to clean the brush frequently, this will help it to do its job. Once the brush comes out of his coat clean, move on to the next step.
Step
3
Time to hit the shower
Now it's time for you and your pup to hit the shower or bathtub. This works best when you have a showerhead on a hose to work with. Using lukewarm water, soak every inch of your pup's body thoroughly (don't get water in his ears or eyes). You can help keep the water out of his ears by plugging them with cotton balls (just don't forget to remove them when bath time is over).
Step
4
Shampoo and rinse
When your pup is completely wet, use a pet-approved shampoo to thoroughly wash his coat and skin. Be sure to get his paws, around his "private" areas, and his tail. Rinse thoroughly until you are sure there is no more shampoo in his coat.
Step
5
Finishing up
Using a stiff boar bristle brush, go over his entire coat to remove any last tangles and allow him to air dry. Once his coat is dry, a final brushing will help distribute natural oils throughout his coat and restore its natural shine.
Recommend grooming method?

The Multi-Brush Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Dematter
Comb
Clipper
Step
1
Nothing like a good bath
There is nothing like a good bath to get the grooming day started. Using a shower handle on a long hose and lukewarm water, soak your pup's coat thoroughly, shampoo, and rinse until there are no traces of the shampoo left. This will help wash out dirt, debris, fleas, ticks, and some of the mats and tangles.
Step
2
On your feet
Pick a specific spot in your home to groom your dog, use the same spot every time to avoid confusion. Equip the area with the tools you need and a few dog treats as rewards. Have your dog come to you and stand in place.
Step
3
Start with the undercoat
Grab an undercoat brush or pin brush. Start working on your pup's undercoat slowly and gently to remove any remaining mats in his coat. Start with the brush at skin level and gently work your way to a distance approximately 2 inches from the tips of his coat. This helps to bring the mats close enough to the top of his coat to make removing them easier. You can use either a pair of scissors or electric clippers to snip the mats.
Step
4
Remove the excess hair
Switch over to a shedding brush and work your way through his entire coat, paying particular attention to the underbelly where his hair grows the longest. This will help remove any loose hair from his coat, much in the same way as his natural shedding does, but faster. Make sure you clean the brush frequently, as a clogged brush will not do a good job.
Step
5
Final touches
Drop that shedding brush and pick up a good quality boar hair brush. Use this to go over his entire coat smoothing it out. This is a good time to trim his hair if needed or at least remove any extra-long hairs, help to make sure your pup looks his best. One final brush over using the boar hair brush and your grooming session is all finished.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never use any type of shampoo made for people, they contain chemicals that can harm your dog.
  • Be sure to thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of his fur to avoid possible skin damage or allergies.
  • Unless your vet can give you a medical reason, you should never shave your double-coated dog bare, it can lead to sunburn, allergies, dry skin, and other skin conditions.
  • There are a number of canine detanglers you can use to help make brushing your pup's coat a little easier.
  • During his twice-annual coat "blow out" you may want to brush your dog's hair daily to keep the amount of hair floating around your home to a minimum. 
  • Take your time, be gentle and your pup will actually look forward to his weekly grooming sessions.
  • You do not need to bathe your dog every week, be sure to ask your vet how often you should be bathing your dog. Overbathing can also cause a number of skin conditions. 

Conclusion

Grooming a dog with a double coat is more challenging than one with a single coat, but the results are the same: a happy, healthy, and good-looking dog. Learning how to do so is quite easy, the only hard part is getting your pup to cooperate. But if you take your time and use a few of his favorite treats along the way, it can be a great way for the two of you to bond. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions