Congratulations on your new puppy! Please page all the way down to see some great videos on grooming!
Chances are, in the future you will be looking for a professional groomer to help you care for your new pup's coat. For locals, I recommend Jill Dunham at Klassy K9. She does an excellent job providing your pup with a safe and happy grooming experience. She also specializes in photography! For more information go to myklassyk9.com or facebook.com/klassyk9
Grooming will be an important part of taking good care of your new pet whether you choose to groom your puppy yourself or take him/her to a professional groomer. There are some things you can do to prepare your young pup for success.
When you're playing with your pup be sure to touch them all over. Places commonly missed are the tail, muzzle, paws and even the nails.
Training and socializing is important not only for your home but also will help him/her know how to respond with your vet and groomer.
Teach your puppy to accept grooming tools like brushes, combs and even clippers. You can use an inexpensive vibrating tooth brush to help them get desensitized to the sound and vibration of a clippers.
Above all, keep your grooming and brushing sessions short, fun, and positive.
Thanks to Klassy K9 for the above tips!
1.) Before the bath, get all your supplies ready and laid out. (shampoo, conditioners,dematters, scissors, blow dryers, towel, cup and treats) Comb and brush through your dog as much as possible to get the majority of the matts out AFTER the bath. Bathing first, will get a lot of the dirt and grime out of the matt, causing it to break up some and loosen. Make sure to brush behind the ears, as matts tend to hide there. There are great tools available: strippers, furminators, undercoat rakes, slicker brushes. Build your supply over time.
2.) If it is your puppy's first time, read his/her body language and at any sign of anxiety, offer a treat and a calm voice and REASSURE your puppy that it is going to be OK! Keep the entire process happy, happy, happy! Stop when your dog has had enough, even if you haven't finished all four paws. Get the other two paws the next time.
3.) For a small puppy, a sink works perfectly. Start with nice warm water and quality shampoo. I recommend shampooing twice. Start at the top of the head and the under side of the muzzle. Especially if you are using a flea and tick shampoo. Starting on the back will cause any fleas to scurry to the top of the head. Be careful not to get soap around the eyes or water on the nose. Soap in the eyes can cause ulcers. To avoid this, buy a tearless shampoo. Remember to lift the muzzle up towards the ceiling as you pour and rinse the shampoo in a downward fashion. Cover the ear with your hand to ensure the water doesn't get in. Extra moisture in the ear is never good.
4.) Work your way down to the 4 armpits and get in those crevices on the underside. Scrub paws well, on top, underneath and between toes. Work your way back to the hindquarters and lift the tail and comb through any fecal matts, apply more soap or conditioner, and clean the genital area as well. Scrub up the tail and down the back legs. Rinse with faucet or a large cup, repeat with conditioner. Thoroughly rinse out so as not to leave any soap that could irritate the skin and cause unnecessary scratching.
5.) Your towel should already be laid out and you should set puppy on the towel and wrap it up. Soak up as much water as you can with the towel. Let the puppy stand on the wet towel as you blow dry, it helps keep the puppy from slipping around. I have also laid a washcloth in the bottom of the sink to help the puppy keep its footing as I shampoo.
5.) Comb through all matts, and work them out with a dematter tool. Be sensitive to delicate skin near the pits. Being too rough can damage the fur/hair on some breeds. Applying a heat dryer will also help to straighten fur and detangle by brushing as you dry. There are wonderful youtube videos that demonstrate this.
6.) Blow dry and brush. Combing from the tips of the fur, down next to the skin, then straight out and up. Back brushing can also make your puppy a little fluffier. Be sensitive to not blow dry too long in one spot. Puppies often don't like blow drying around the ears and face. This is normal. It helps to hold the blow dryer from behind them where they can't see it. Let your puppy snuggle into you if it is a little fearful. Stop, reassure the puppy, offer a treat and keep going if you can until completely dry.
7.) Be sure to keep any combs and scissors away from the eyes . Safety first, always protect. Puppy over project!
8.) Shave if you need to and I recommend watching as many videos on youtube regarding your particular breed.
9.) If your puppy's patience hasn't run out, slowly pluck any hairs out of the ears. Clip toenails, being extra careful not to cut the quick. If you haven't trimmed nails before have a professional show you how. In winter, cut hair carefully in between the paw pads on the bottom of the paws. Extra hair can matt, collect ice chunks and dirt and really hurt your dog feeling like a "pebble in a shoe." If paw pads are left untreated, the dog can start to limp and bleed from neglect.
10.) Always consult a professional or watch videos to learn the most proper grooming needs for your breed if you choose to attempt grooming on your own. These steps are very, very basic. There is a wealth of information available on the web. Learn all you can and your dog will be much happier. It will look forward to this bonding time with you. Your pup will also get better and better at standing during this process if you start young and do it regularly. For a small fee you can subscribe to www.learn2groomdogs.com