Grooming your dog is not an easy task. Depending on the breed of dog you have; one must consider the type of hair the dog has, the style that you wish, and how your pet acts when being groomed. I adopted a small breed, a Maltese, three years ago and I have groomed him myself and had him professionally groomed. He has gone from having long hair, like a show dog, to now having a "puppy cut".
Becoming prepared before you begin dog grooming is essential. Also, consider the time allowed. If you are a beginner, this will be something you need a couple of hours to do. Below are a few things I have found helpful to get ready before hand, and what to do during the grooming process.
Having Proper Dog Grooming Tools
- Good quality clippers – This is the most important of all tools you will need . Do not go out and buy the cheapest ones you can get, here you really get what you pay for. Also, make sure they come with different length or changeable blades. Plastic guards, as what you get with human hair clippers, simply do not work (this is especially true with dog's that do not have an under coat).
- Pin Brush – These are great for long-haired dogs and helpful when brushing out tangles and mats. Be sure they have a rubber base on the pins for flexibility, as it is easier for you and more comfortable for your dog.
- Slicker Brush – Great for finishing your dog grooming session, giving your dog a great look.
- Comb – For use on the face of your dog, this tool is a must. It's easier to get around the eyes, nose, and mouth without injuring the dog like a wire pin brush could do.
- Hair dryer – Good for drying long-haired dogs, but be sure to use a low warm setting as not to burn your dog. Also, always dry your dog's hair before cutting and brushing.
- Finishing Spray / Detangler – Depending on the breed of dog, you may end up with hair that is not laying down properly due to static electricity and a good finishing spray will give it the perfect ending touch.
Preparing The Dog for the Grooming Session.
- Fully brush your dog before giving them a bath. This will make bathing easier and when using proper shampoos and conditioners your pet's hair and skin will feel and look great.
- Consider the shampoo you use. Many dogs are sensitive to the harsh chemicals in pet shampoos. Using all natural, oatmeal based, or hypoallergenic shampoos are the best.
- Use conditioner. I have found that this is so helpful when brushing your dog during the drying process. The hair dries faster and is easier to brush.
A person to assist
- Grooming the underside of the dog, inside of legs and arms, and grooming the sanitary areas is extremely difficult. If you get an assistant they can hold the dog in the air so this task so it can be done with ease.
- Your assistant can talk to the dog, keeping it calm and distracting it while you are grooming.
- Last and most importantly, take your time. Understand this is a stressful situation not only for you but for your pet as well. It's important to not go fast and cut or injure your dog, and you will inevitably need to do a lot of clipping and touch up work to get the look you are trying to achieve.
It takes me about 2 1/2 hours even with all the proper tools and the aid of an assistant to groom out Maltese. As stated earlier, our dog gets a "puppy cut" and I will continue clipping and touching up areas even one to two days later if I see something I missed.