When you groom your pet, these are some tips for how to do it. You can remove a little of the undercoat, which will make their coat less dense and easier to groom. I like to be quick when I’m grooming but still make sure that I’m thorough.
Sheepdog coats can be different. Ellie’s coat was light and he only groomed for 1/2 hour a week. Toby, on the other hand has a dense coat that takes 1 hour or more to groom per week.
Weekly Grooming Your Sheepdog
You should brush your dog with a de-matting comb. It is sharp and can cut the skin if you are not careful. When you brush, always start from the outside of the hair and work to the skin in short strokes. Never pull on the hair or pull on it too hard. Hold onto it at its base and brush towards it so that you do not hurt your dog’s skin.
Use a rake to take out the small mats that the bigger de-matting comb missed.
To get out mats, I use this comb. It gets the mats that won’t come out with a de-matting comb and a rake. It also gets a nice finish on both sides of the ears. Sometimes there is a hard to reach place and this little comb does the trick!
** If I am in a hurry, I sometimes just brush the knots out with the de-matting comb. If it is not too bad, I can touch up the face with a small comb.
Monthly Grooming For Sheep Dogs
Every month, we give our dogs a bath and blow dry them. We have a bathtub in the basement for this. We use shampoo and conditioner, rinse them thoroughly, and then towel off any excess water that is left. Then we blow dry them with our hands on their skin to protect it from the heat of the blow dryer. It takes two people about 3 hours to do this process.
I like to keep my beard trimmed. I use straight scissors for the top of the beard and thinning shears to blend it in. Sometimes I leave the hair around my eyes long, but other times I tie it up in a ‘topknot’. The best elastics are ones from horses. They come in different colors and sizes.
I trim the hair that is between a dog’s paws to about 1/4 inch. In the winter, if you don’t do this, then snow will get stuck and it can be painful for your dog to walk on. In the summer, if you don’t do this then mud and water get in their fur.
Toenails should not be too short or too long. It is best to cut them at this point in the picture. Always use dog nail clippers.
We keep hair around the butt trimmed to about an inch. We do this for hygiene reasons.
If you do not pluck the hair from inside your ears, it will make wax. When this happens, it can make the ear smell bad. Clean the wax with an ear cleanser after plucking hair.
Clipping / Shaving
Every spring, I shave my sheepdogs. They are smaller when they are shaved. This helps me find 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 in April and then again in July. I am not going to do weekly grooming sessions until October because of this. I use an Oster Golden A5 clipper with a number 10 blade. I used to have a “pet” clipper and it took much longer than the Golden A5. The Golden A5 cuts through my sheepdog’s coat like a hot knife through butter and I am usually finished in less than 1 hour after starting.