Grooming Your Dog

Catherine Forman

Grooming your dog can actually be a great bonding experience, if you decide to do it yourself rather than taking your pup to a professional. And unless you've got a show dog on your hands, you don't really need to use a groomer; grooming your dog at home is easy!

There are lots of brushes out there. Which brush you choose depends mostly on what type of dog you have. Dogs with shorter coats may like a rubber-tipped brush, since their skin is a lot closer to the surface. Dogs with longer coats may like a slicker brush, which has a series of pin-like bristles. Double-coated dogs may need a shedding blade to help get that tufty undercoat out during shedding season. A long-toothed metal comb can be helpful for untangling hair in sensitive places like the belly, legs, and tail. It's just as important to pick a brush that your dog likes. If grooming is an unpleasant experience physically, he's not very likely to sit around for it.

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Pick a time when both of you are relaxed, maybe after dinner when his belly is full and satisfied. Find a comfy place to sit together and bring out the brush! My dogs always like to sniff it before I start brushing, and I figure that helps them get to know the brush for next time. Brush in the direction the fur grows (usually front to back) and don't press too hard! You can always test the brush on your own head, to see how it feels. If it doesn't hurt you, it won't hurt your pup.

Talk to your dog and praise his good behavior. Tell him how handsome he is! And keep treats handy to reward his patience. If your dog isn't into the whole brushing thing, it is probably better to go with shorter brushing sessions. As he gets used to the process, he may just relax and enjoy it more. On the other hand, you may have a brush-hog like I do. My German Shepherd mix just loves being brushed and will push his sister out of the way so that only he gets brushed. He knows as soon as I get the brush out that it's time for pampering and loving.

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April 26, 20060 found this helpful

we were using a shedding blade but now we bought a new brush called the furminater its expensive so we bought ours from ebay for approx half the price, it's great and our lab loves it. It's cut down a lot on the hair around the house and is also easier to dispose of the hair as it doesn't make it float around like the shedding blade did. It's blade can be replaced too although its built to last a lifetime unlike the shedding blade which would break every few months.

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February 28, 20130 found this helpful

I had wanted a Furminator for my dachshund from the first time I saw a video running at the vet's office. But, $49.99 was way to expensive for a de-shedding comb. I thought to myself, I'll wait till the price goes down. which never happened [even the pet stores' prices were the same as the vet]. This past Christmas, PetSmart ran a 1 day sale on them for $21.99. I had a lot of errands to run, so it was late when I finally made it to the store, and I knew they would be sold out. But, they weren't - - I grabbed the Furminator designed for small short-haired dogs and couldn't be happier. My little girl got a wonderful Christmas gift, and I got the best present -saving almost $30. The most important part - Is the Furminator the best grooming tool on the market? It most certainly is! I guess waiting it out was the answer after all!

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