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Welcome to Deb's Old English Sheepdogs!
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BJ's Page
Murphy's Page
Sheepdog Pictures
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History of the OES
Overview of the Sheepdog
OES Breed Standard Comparison
Grooming Tips for the Pet Sheepdog
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Links to Sheepdog Related Sites
Dog treat Recipes
Words of 'Dog Wisdom'
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Murphy's Merchandise























 

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sheepie
Grooming Tips
sheepie
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The following are tips for pet grooming. The instructions below will remove a portion of the undercoat, resulting in a less dense coat that will not mat as easily and will be easier to groom.  My goal with grooming is to be quick, yet thorough as it just isn't one of my favorite chores. 
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Old English Sheepdog coats can vary widely. BJ had quite a light coat and only took 1/2 an hour per week to groom. Murphy, on the other hand has quite a dense coat and takes 1 hour or more per week to groom.
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Weekly Grooming
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dematting comb Step 1
This is a de-matting comb. This is the #1 tool as far as I am concerned. I go over the dogs once a week with this tool. You must be careful because it is sharp and can cut little areas where the skin folds. This loosens up the undercoat and pulls out all the tiny mats. You work each mat starting from the outside and working to the skin in short strokes. Never pull the hair. I've always found it easier to hold the hair at the base and brush in towards it. This way, you never pull the skin.
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rake Step 2
This is a rake. This will take the tiny mats out that the larger de-matting comb left behind.
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comb Step 3
I usually use this comb to get at mats that just won't easily come out with the de-matting comb and the rake and also to comb around the delicate areas like the eyes and nose. I also go over both sides of the ear with this comb just to get a nice finished look. Sometimes a mat is in a hard to reach place and this little comb does the trick.

 

** If I am in a rush, I sometimes just brush with the de-matting comb and touch up the face with the small comb.
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Monthly Grooming

bathtubBaths Title
Once a month, our dogs are given a bath and in the winter are blow dried. We have a bathtub set up in our basement in the laundry room just for this purpose. We have a garden hose attached to the laundry taps and an adjustable garden sprayer on the end. We apply shampoo and conditioner, rinse thoroughly and then towel the excess water off before getting them out of the bath. We always blow dry with our hand touching the dog in front of the blow dryer to ensure that the skin is not burnt. Including the grooming, bath days take two of us approx 3 hours to complete.
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Face
I like to keep mouths trimmed shorter so that you don't get a soggy beard plopped in your lap. I use straight scissors for this and then thinning shears to blend the cuts in. Some winters I leave the hair short around the eyes and blend it down into the coat and other winters I leave the hair long and tie it up in a ponytail or 'topknot'. I have found the best elastics to be horse mane elastics. They are very inexpensive, are a perfect size and come in a variety of colours.
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Feet title
I trim all the hair in-between the pads down to about 1/4 inch. I find that in the winter, if the hair is not trimmed then snow accumulates and creates ice balls which can be quite painful for the dogs to walk on. In the summer excess mud and water sits in this hair and creates a mess in the house.
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nail clip
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Toenails Title
You must be careful not to cut the toenails too short, but it is very important not to let the toenails grow too long either. The picture here illustrates where the toenail should be trimmed. Always use dog nail clippers.
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Rump
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We keep the hair around the rump trimmed to about 1 inch for hygienic purposes.
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Ears Title
Hairmostat Forceps Hairpuller
The hair should be plucked from inside the ears with your fingers or with a hemostat, also known as a hairmostat, forceps or hair puller. If the ears are not cleared of hair, the wax builds up and starts smelling. Swab the ear with an ear cleanser after plucking hair.
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Clipping / Shaving
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Oster Golden A5
Every spring I shave my sheepdogs down to about 1/4 inch. This helps greatly in spotting ticks at an early stage. The dogs always act refreshed after and seem to enjoy the change, and let's face it, I don't like grooming year round! I shave them once in April and then again in early July. This means I do not have to start weekly grooming sessions until October. I use an Oster Golden A5 clipper with a number 10 blade. I used to have a "pet" clipper and I found that it took much longer. The Golden A5 cuts through the dense sheepdog coat like a hot knife through butter and I am usually finished in just over 1 hour.
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