How to Trim a Dog's Undercoat

Easy
15 - 20 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

If you are lucky enough to own a dog with an undercoat or second coat, you probably know all about cleaning up mounds of hair all over your house. Especially in the spring and fall when he sheds. While shedding is a natural occurrence, it can leave a huge mess in your home.

Having this type of coat can make grooming very challenging, but if you don't keep up on it, your pup will end up looking a mess. Taking the time to groom your pup on a regular basis also gives you time to check him over for fleas, ticks, cuts, scrapes, and many other health problems. 

Dog's Perspective

Your pup sheds his coat twice a year, but even though he does this, it still falls on you to take care of the rest of his outer and undercoat. This will help keep the number of mats and tangles down to a minimum. It also helps you to spot possible medical issues or parasite infestations. This is all part of keeping your pup as happy and healthy as possible. 

The Many Brushes Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Dematter
Clipper
Towel
Step
1
To the bath...
The first step in trimming your pup's undercoat is to give him a nice bath. Be sure you use products that are made specifically for use on dogs. Those made for use on humans may contain ingredients that are toxic to your pup. Be sure you are very careful not to get any soap in his eyes or ears and rinse him thoroughly to reduce the risk of irritation.
Step
2
A place for everything
Find one place in your home that you can use to groom your pup. Sticking to the same place will help reduce the stress of grooming. Then make sure you have all of the tools you plan to use laid out where they are easy to grab when you need them. Call your dog and have him assume the grooming position and give him a treat to settle him down.
Step
3
The brush out
Take a pin roller or de-matting brush and go over his entire body to remove any tangles, mats, or debris. Brush all the way out from his skin to a point approximately 2 inches from the tips of his hair. If you find any mats, use clippers or shears to remove them.
Step
4
The heavy-duty brushing
Now grab the shedding brush and work it all the way from head to tail, paying attention to his underbelly. This will help to remove loose hair, just be sure to clean out the brush regularly or it will not work.
Step
5
The final trim down
For the final steps, you need a good boar bristle hairbrush (also known as a slicker brush) and go over your pup's coat again. Trim any high spots and correct any lines using shears or clippers, then give him one brushing to finish up.
Recommend grooming method?

The Bottom Up Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Scissors
Pin Brush
Deshedder
Dematter
Towel
Step
1
Cut the mats
Grab your de-matting brush and start the base of the roots, work slowly through every inch of your pup's undercoat. The brush is designed to brush out tangles and gently cut out any moderate mats. Serious mats will need to be cut out using shears.
Step
2
Tackle the loose stuff
Next up is the shedding tool, this one is designed to remove all of the loose and almost loose hair from your pup's undercoat in much the same way as his natural shedding. Using 6-inch brush strokes and working from head to tail, go over his entire coat, cleaning the brush out frequently, until you stop finding hair in the brush.
Step
3
Time for a bath
Now that his coat and undercoat are nicely brushed out, it's time to give him a bath. If you a shower head on a long hose, it will make this job easier. Make sure the water is nice and warm. Too hot and you might scald your dog, too cold and your dog will fight being in the bath. Get everything wet, including his belly.
Step
4
Shampoo, sir?
Be sure you are using a shampoo that is vet-certified as safe for dogs. Thoroughly shampoo every inch of his body, paying specific attention to his belly and his genitals. When you are done, be sure to rinse him very thoroughly. Leaving shampoo residue on his skin can cause serious skin irritation and dryness.
Step
5
Final movements
The last thing to do is use a good quality boar's hair brush to go over his entire body and brush out any tangles left from bathing him. After his coat is completely dry, give one more brushing to bring out the natural oils, spread them throughout his coat, and give his coat a beautiful shine.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Always use clippers with sharp blades; dull blades will snag hair and rip it out of your pup's skin.
  • Always use shears with sharp blades and safety tips to protect your pup's skin.
  • Never use products made for humans as most contain ingredients that can cause skin irritation or worse for your pup.
  • Be patient and take your time, this should be enjoyable for both of you.
  • Many dogs with undercoats should not be bathed frequently, talk to your vet to see how often you should be bathing your pup.
  • You should never, ever, shave a dog with a double coat down to his bare skin unless directed to do so by your vet. It could lead to sunburn, dry skin, and numerous other medical conditions. 

Conclusion

While trying to groom a dog with a heavy undercoat can be difficult, it is a vital part of your dog's overall health. It gives you a chance to check his fur and skin for parasites, cuts, scrapes, and other injuries. Make this time together special, you can use it as part of your overall bonding, especially if you keep a ready supply of treats on hand. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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