How to Groom a Moderate Maintenance Dog

Easy
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

When your dog's coat starts to get a little on the shaggy side, you have to decide whether you are going to take on the challenge of grooming them yourself or if you are going to take her to a professional groomer. While it might take you a while to master the skills, as long as the two of you are working together it can be fun for both of you. The good news, it won't take you long. The bad news, well... there really isn't any. Just remember to be consistent and patient. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of treats. 

Dog's Perspective

You pup does the best she can using her tongue, claws, and teeth to keep herself clean. In her mind, she's doing a great job. But, we all know that this isn't all there is to cleaning her and keeping her coat, teeth, and nails properly groomed. 

The Weekly Brush Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Clipper
Dremel
Nail File
Step
1
The tools of the trade
Start by gathering up the tools you will need. These include a slicker brush, a pair of shears, clippers, nail cutters, and a nail file or Dremel.
Step
2
Choose your room
Choose a room in your home that can always be used for grooming. Lay out the tools and bring your dog into the room. Give them a few minutes to get used to the tools before you begin.
Step
3
A gentle start
Pick up the brush and let your pup see it in your hand and sniff at it. Give them a minute to get used to it and then gently start by brushing the head, face, ears, and neck.
Step
4
Midships
Continue brushing, following the direction in which the hair grows. Brush the back, then starting from the bottom work your way up her sides. This is a great time to trim her coat, if needed.
Step
5
Astern
Now that your dog is used to the feel of the brush, you can work around their rump. Remember the rectum is very tender, try not to pull on any hair here if you can. This is a great time to trim back the hair in this area to help your pup keep it clean.
Step
6
And over we go
Last step: have your dog roll over on their back so you can groom the belly, legs, and paws. Be sure to trim the fur back from the toes and between the paw pads. Finish up by trimming nails with the appropriate cutters and then use a grinder or file to shape and smooth them out.
Recommend grooming method?

The Monthly Dip Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Nail Clipper
Clipper
Dremel
Nail File
Towel
Toothbrush
Step
1
Time to bathe the hound
Run a nice lukewarm bath for your dog. They like their bath water to be about the same as you would run for a baby. Too hot and the water will burn their skin. Too cold and they won't want to get in, just like you wouldn't. Plop your pup in the tub and using a vet-approved shampoo, give a good all over scrub down. Then rinse the coat very thoroughly, removing all traces of the shampoo as well as fleas, ticks, burrs, and anything else hiding in there.
Step
2
The rub
Rub the coat dry with a nice soft towel. Give your pup a treat and let them air dry the rest of the way.
Step
3
Prep your work space
Set up your work space complete with a pin brush, clippers, shears, a toothbrush, dog toothpaste, and nail cutters.
Step
4
From the top
Starting with the head and face, work the pin brush gently through the coat. You can use the brush on tangles, but shears make a better choice for mats. Work your way down the neck and back. Brush from the bottom of her sides to the top using short downward strokes. This is a good time to trim her hair if it's getting too long.
Step
5
Around and under
Work your way around the rump, trim back any long hair around the "privates" to provide for better hygiene. Have your dog lie down and roll over so you can groom and trim the belly, legs, and paws.
Step
6
About those paws
This is the perfect time to trim the hair between the toes and pads. Using the appropriate size nail cutter, trim the nails back and file them smooth.
Step
7
Teeth
Using a doggy toothbrush and toothpaste in your pup's favorite flavor, brush the teeth and gums, making sure you get those molars way in the back. Now you have one very well-groomed pup ready to strut their stuff.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • You should never use any products such as shampoos, soaps, or toothpaste intended for human use on your dog. They may have chemicals in them that are known to be toxic to dogs.
  • Be sure to give your dog plenty of time to get used to all of the tools before you start, this will make things go much easier.
  • Be sure the shears and clippers have sharp blades. Dull blades will snag rip out hair, which can be very painful.
  • Keep the clipper blades well-oiled. This will help keep them from getting hot and burning the skin. 
  • You can use treats all throughout the process to reward your pup for being a good boy or girl.
  • Take your time and make the whole process fun for both of you, think of it as a great time for bonding.
  • Never try to brush out a serious mat, use shears to cut it out. If you try to pull it out with a brush, your dog is sure to let you know how much it hurts. 

Conclusion

In reality, grooming a moderate maintenance dog is not that much different or any harder than most other types of dog. As long as you give her a weekly dry grooming and a regular bath, the process should go smoothly. Be sure to check with your vet to see how often your dog's breed should be bathed and adjust your schedule to suit. Also, remember to brush your dog's teeth on a daily basis for optimum dental health. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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