The dog’s hair consists of two main types of hair – tougher and longer guard hairs and shorter, softer – undercoat. Hair grows out of the hair follicles in the skin. The hair sacs open up the ducts of the sebaceous glands. Their secret, fat, covers the dog’s skin and coat. The fat layer protects the coat from drying out and excessive moisture. It also has bactericidal properties. The hair grows to a certain length, dies off and is pushed out of the hair follicle by replacing it with new hair. This process is continuous throughout the body of the dog, so for most of the year the coat of a healthy dog looks uniform. Twice a year in dogs, there is a "massive" change of wool – shedding. This process is regulated by hormones and is associated with seasonal changes in ambient temperature and daylight longitude. If the dog sheds continuously – this is most likely a symptom of the disease. On this issue, it is better to consult a veterinarian.
Some breeds of dogs "do not know how" to shed, so their wool requires special care so that hair can be updated. Bedlington, Kerry Blue Terriers and Poodles are sheared, and for other terriers, they pull out wool – they trim. When you get a purebred dog, be sure to ask how to care for its wool. Even if you are not going to participate in exhibitions, the dog needs to be cut or trimmed. Haircut is necessary not only for beauty, but also for the renewal of wool.
There are six main types of dog hair. Care for different types of wool is different.
The first type is “regular” wool. This wool is of medium length and thickness. Such wool, for example, in huskies, German shepherds, Spitz, Labrador. These dogs are brushed, and the tail and feathers are combed with a comb. During the shedding, you can use a pouderho or a frequent wire brush. You can accustom the dog to a vacuum cleaner that removes excess wool well. Dogs with “normal” wool are usually bathed once or twice a year, after shedding, and cleaned as needed during the rest of the time with a dry shampoo.
The second type is long wool. Representatives of such breeds as the Afghan hound, collie, spaniels, setters and others wear it with dignity. This wool must be combed daily with a rare comb. The more often you comb the wool, the better. Some dog owners do not throw out soft combed wool, but collect it, spin and knit warm mittens and socks. Dog hair dressings help a lot with radiculitis.
In addition to combing, long hair must be cut on the paws, trimmed on the ears and around the ears, where it often gets dirty and collects spines. Each breed of long-haired dogs requires special care for the coat. Therefore, it is better to get detailed recommendations from the breeder.
The third type is smooth wool. Smooth-haired dogs (Doberman, dachshund) have a minimal undercoat, so during shedding it is better to comb it out with a bristle (like a clothes brush) or a massage brush, a puhderka is not suitable here. The shorter the coat, the easier it is to care for it. But do not think that smooth-haired dogs "do not shed": if the wool is not combed out, quite a lot will accumulate on the carpets. Above it has been said about how to care for the coat of smooth-haired dogs. Dogs whose coat is longer than that of the Dobermans, but shorter than the “usual” (hounds, English mastiff), can be washed, but not very often. It is better to regularly brush them with a mitten brush.
The fourth type is non-decaying curly wool. Such wool in poodles, bedlington and Kerry Blue Terriers. These dogs need to be cut and bathed regularly, about once every two to three months (then the dog will always look decent). If the wool is not specifically monitored, it will not be able to be updated and will stray into the tangles. A puppy is first cut at the age of 14-15 weeks. It is necessary from the very beginning to teach the dog to this procedure: if the dog does not like to get a haircut and tries to avoid this procedure, it will be very difficult for the owner to maintain it in a decent way.
The fifth type is hard wool. This is perhaps the most complex type of wool in relation to grooming. This coat is in most terriers – Erdel, Fox, as well as Schnauzer. Hard, wire-like wool should be pulled out or trimmed with a special typewriter. Plucking hair is called trimming (from the English word trim – trim, put in order). This procedure takes time, skill, patience from both the dog and the owner.
And the last, sixth type – atypical wool. Such wool is found in dogs of some exotic breeds, for example, in a bullet or in a string poodle. Caring for dogs of such breeds requires the attention of a specialist and consultation with the breeder. Even hairless breeds like the Mexican Hairless Dog require regular light cleaning.
Here are just general guidelines for grooming. For each particular breed has its own recommendations, with which it is desirable to familiarize each owner.
Combing is the most common and simple operation. Combing and combing need almost all breeds of dogs (except for some exotic ones). Even if the dog seems to you extremely clean, do not be lazy to comb it every day, at least 10-15 minutes. You not only scrub dirt and dust from the wool, but also massage the dog’s skin, improving blood circulation in it. For each type of dog hair apply a certain type of brush.
Any dog, except for the short-haired, begins to comb a rare comb to comb lumps and tarts of felled wool. Particular attention should be paid to the long hair on the ears (from spaniels, setters), on the face (schnauzers, lapdogs) and on the hind legs ("pants"). Then take a frequent comb and once again comb the hair on the ears, muzzle, on the throat, under the tail, on the paws and behind the ears. In these places, the wool can be neatly cut with a blunt scissors, if it is not prohibited by the standard (for example, you can not trim the "bang" from the lapdogs and terriers;
After the hair has been combed, brush the dog with the brush “on the fur”, that is, in the direction of hair growth: from the head through the back and sides to the legs. Dead hair from the wool and sides can be pulled out by running your hand against the wool with your straight index finger and thumb or with the help of a brush-mitten (such brush is carried along the wool in the direction of its growth).
A “puhoderka” brush with frequent curved teeth is used to remove dead hair in dogs with “normal” wool (German Shepherd Dogs, Huskies and others). In addition, it is used by professional hairdressers to create "model" haircuts. For long-haired breeds such as collie, this brush will not work.
To remove felled wool balls, or mats, use a special comb – "koltunorezku." This is a comb, the teeth of which have sharp edges, which cut and unravel the jigger.
Haircut – is the removal of excess wool with scissors or a special machine. There are two types of haircuts: exhibition and regular. Regular haircut is a procedure that can be done by any dog owner, and the show usually relies only on a specialist. Hair can be trimmed to dogs of most long-haired breeds (if not prohibited by the standard), “model” haircuts are required for bedlington terriers, poodles, Kerry Blue Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Bichon Friezes and some other dog breeds.
Apply blunt, pointed and thinning shears, mechanical and electric machines with different nozzles to a hairstyle. Curved scissors can be used to cut out tangles or wool between the toes of the paws. It is very convenient to cut the Dog on a special table with a non-slip surface. Since childhood, a dog must be specially trained to stand quietly on the table and endure all manipulations, because a model haircut can last up to six hours!
The styles of haircuts for each breed can change in time in detail, therefore, those who decide to seriously engage in showing their dogs at shows should follow the dog fashion. In general terms, all types of haircuts are designed to emphasize the beautiful forms of this breed, and on the other hand, correct haircut will smooth out some of the shortcomings of the dog. As a result of the haircut, the dog should look harmonious.
Before cutting the dog, its hair is carefully combed with a comb and a brush in order to remove all tangled clumps. Then the dog is washed and, if necessary, treated with air conditioning. After washing the dog is dried. Depending on the breed and type of haircut, some dogs are dried (sometimes using a hair dryer), constantly combing the hair with a massage brush or comb immediately after washing, others are combed only after the hair dries.
If you have got a dog, the wool of which requires a haircut, but you don’t know how to cut it yourself, then you should at least once a year, preferably in the spring, trim the dog bald. Let the dog’s coat grow better, than it will walk overgrown and untidy. In any case, it is better to wash the dog before shearing.
Perhaps the hardest thing to care for a poodle’s hair. In addition to the general haircut, it is necessary to trim the hair on the dog’s face and paws once every three to four weeks. Poodle haircuts are notable for their great diversity: the poodle is the champion among dogs in terms of abundance of hairstyles. Most often, poodles make hair "Leo" and "Modern." With a classic haircut, the hair on the front of the dog is left longer, so that the head, neck and chest are merged into one, like a lion. The back and paws of the dog are shortly sheared, leaving only “pompons” on their paws and tail. Haircut "Modern" is more subordinate to the natural forms of the poodle, the fur over the entire body of the dog is left of approximately the same length. On the tail, for any haircut, leave the traditional for the poodle "pompon". In addition to these hairstyles, there are haircuts "English Lion", "Continental", "Karakul", "Royal Dutch" and others. An experienced hairdresser will select the hairstyle that best suits your dog. For young dogs there is a simplified version of the hairstyle. Puppies are cut short of the muzzle, cheekbones and 1/3 of the tail from its base. For this it is more convenient to use the machine. The first time a puppy is cut at the age of about 5 months. Older puppies align all wool with scissors to the same length.
Two breeds of terriers, the wool of which is only sheared, – erri-blue and bedlington, differ from other representatives of this breed group in their uniform structure and softness of wool. They are cut with a special machine or scissors through the comb. Kerry Blue Terrier is clipped well before the show, so that by the day of the show the hair on the back has grown to about two centimeters. The hairstyle of this terrier should emphasize as much as possible its length of the head at the expense of a characteristic bang, mustache and beard. Ears, forehead, cheekbones, throat and lower neck are cut short. For the rest, due to gradual transitions from one coat length to another, they emphasize the square format and slenderness of the dog.
Bedlington Terrier – the most unusual in the group of terriers. Soft shorn wool of light tones (blue or sand colors) gives it a great resemblance to sheep. The main features of the appearance of this breed, which are emphasized by the otryzhka, are the oval "crest" on the head, the arcuate line of the back, the laterally thickened body with the chosen stomach and the tassels on the ears. Bedlington is the epitome of lightness and grace.
Cocker Spaniel wool also gives an “exhibition” shape. The most difficult haircut in the American Cocker. Hair is cut short on the head and face with a machine (leaving a neat "tuft" on the forehead), on the neck and shoulders – trimmed to a strictly defined length, the hair on the legs, ears and abdomen is long (it forms the characteristic "skirt"). Such a haircut makes the dog very beautiful, but, unfortunately, it is completely impractical, as the long hair on the paws and ears often tangles and gets dirty. For this reason, show dogs usually walk in special overalls and hats. Cocker owners who do not participate in shows prefer to cut their dogs bald. In general, this is correct: in any case, a shorn dog looks neater than a shaggy and neglected dog.
Rare and exotic breeds of dogs also require a certain standard haircuts. Here we dwell only on the Bichon Frieze breed. "Bichon Frieze" in French means "curly lap dog." Bichon Frize somewhat resembles a poodle, but shears it very especially. As a result of a very laborious haircut, an elegant snow-white “powder coat” is obtained: the head and body are given a rounded shape.
As mentioned above, trimming is the plucking of dead wool from dogs that do not shed themselves or molt too slowly (terriers and schnauzers). You can pull out the wool with your fingers, centimeter by centimeter processing the back and sides of the dog, but it is better to use a special metal comb with beveled teeth. With this comb and finger, hair is grabbed and dragged out sharply. Terriers and schnauzers are temperamental dogs, and many of them do not like the trimming procedure. They roar, try to escape and express their displeasure in every possible way. However, contrary to the impression of a compassionate host, trimming is a procedure almost painless for a dog, since the old wool is not firmly attached and is easily removed. Where the standard wool should be long (beard, bangs, feathering on the legs, etc.), it is cut with scissors.
The speed of hair regrowth for each dog is individual, so the main trimming is carried out 1-3 months before the show, so that by the time of the demonstration the dog is in the best shape. The nuances for each breed in the final design are usually specified in the standard.
Dogs that do not participate in dog shows can be trimmed, not trimmed. But trimming, at least once a year, they still need. If the dog is only cut all the time, then the roots of dead hair remain in the skin, which in principle must be removed, otherwise they can cause severe irritation.