Grooming is not just about making your puppy look good. Regular care helps eliminate dead hair, ensure healthy skin and coat, and check your puppy’s overall health. It is also an essential moment that you share with your pet and that allows you to develop your relationship, establish a bond of trust and learn to understand you. It has also been scientifically proven that grooming sessions reduce the stress and blood pressure of the master, but also the puppy!
The first thing to know is that a puppy’s coat is quite different from that of an adult. It can be softer, fluffier and shorter. That said, it is important for your puppy to become familiar with grooming even though he does not really need it. If your puppy gets used to these treatments and learns to appreciate them, the grooming will become much easier afterwards.
Sit your puppy on your lap, stroke it and start brushing it gently.
Praise him, in a calm and reassuring voice, for his good behavior.
After two minutes, stop brushing and give him a small reward.
Repeat this session several times a day, gradually extending the brushing time.
If your puppy is trying to bite or play with the brush, push it back but do not let go. Puppies understand quickly that by disobeying, they will distract your attention.
After five days, once your puppy is familiar with the sensation, start grooming her belly, tail, ears and other sensitive areas. Be very gentle and make sure the first sessions are short and enjoyable.
Touch the paws and examine the nails and toes.
Examine the inside of the ears and gently open the mouth.
After a few weeks, as soon as the puppy has become accustomed to these sessions, groom on a table with a non-slip surface or on the floor, in a specific place, making sure there is enough space so that he can settle there once bigger.
Through this program, your dog will get used to being handled. Always end your sessions with a small reward or game.
As soon as your puppy gets used to grooming, the types of care will depend on your pet’s coat.
Smooth peels – Smooth-peeled breeds only require limited grooming. A small session a week is enough. You will need to use a rubber brush or a grooming glove to loosen dead hair and dirt, then a silk brush to remove them.
Short Pelages – Short-haired breeds require regular brushing to avoid the formation of knot piles. Start with a hairpin brush to remove clumps of hair and knots, then use a silk brush to remove dead hair and dirt. Never cut the pile with scissors.
Long Pelages – Long coats require daily attention to avoid knot formation. First use a pin brush or comb to unravel the pile. Never cut the pile with scissors. Comb the hair with a wide-toothed comb, paying particular attention to the posterior, tail, and paws. Cut off all the stubborn hairs.
Silky Pelages – Silky coats require a lot of attention. Start by unraveling the knots with a pin brush or comb, then use a silk brush to bring out the natural glow of the coat. To add a touch of style to your dog, make a stripe on the back by brushing the hair down on each side. Cut the stubborn hairs.
Brushing the coat
Special grooming techniques must be applied for certain breeds.
In the burrows, we must proceed to a flattening which consists in tearing the dead hairs of the coat.
Some breeds, like the poodle, require a scissors cut.
Your breeder or professional groomer can always advise you on the specific needs of your dog.
The more hairs and knots are numerous and the more they damage the hairs around them. If your dog has a coat that is difficult to maintain, consider going to a professional groomer regularly. This one will make your dog take a relaxing bath, will gently dry the hair and proceed to a thorough brushing.
Most dogs rarely need more than two or three baths a year – contest breeders do not even recommend baths for rough-skinned breeds that look like strings. But you may have to shampoo your puppy more often.
If your puppy is still small, the sink will prove to be a perfect place for bathing.
Otherwise, you can use a plastic basin. When your pet starts to grow, use the shower or tub (an old baby bath will do) and use a non-slip mat.
Use a shower head to wet the coat while making sure the water is hot, but not boiling.
Wet the coat well by preventing your puppy from getting water in the eyes. Separate the hair well to the skin to be sure that they are perfectly wet.
If your puppy shows signs of nervousness, especially during his first bath, tell him it is a good dog and reassure him for the duration of the care. Try to distract your puppy with a reward. You can also place the pool in a less confined space so that it feels less oppressed.
Use a puppy shampoo specifically designed for their type of coat and always read the instructions on the label – some shampoos should indeed be diluted.
Once you have thoroughly lathered the coat, rinse thoroughly. If there is soap in the hair, your puppy may feel itchy afterwards.
If you are using an animal conditioner, make sure to dispose of it correctly when rinsing.
Now wipe your puppy with a towel before it has time to shake!
Be sure to keep the puppy in a room where it is warm enough until the coat is completely dry.
If the coat is very long, you may need to dry it with a hair dryer while brushing it. Your breeder or groomer will tell you in their grooming tips. Keep the hair dryer away from the skin and avoid setting it to “very hot” as the skin can easily burn. The hair dryer may scare your puppy; therefore, reassure him for the duration of the drying and reward him for his good behavior.
The coat must be completely dry before the puppy can go outside.