Canine Coat Care – Woolly Coats
Many dog owners, especially new dog owners, feel slightly lost in the world of grooming. With so many coat types and breeds, along with the huge number of grooming tools available, it can be difficult to know which tools and techniques are suitable for your dog. Grooming is a very important element of dog ownership, however. It is important for skin and coat health, and also helps you bond with your pet. We at Groomers have therefore compiled a guide to typical grooming tools and techniques needed for popular breeds by coat type. Today we will look at the needs of a woolly coat.
Qualities of a Woolly Coat
Woolly coats are typically soft with tight curls. Most woolly coats have both a top coat and a thick undercoat. Popular breeds with woolly coats include Poodles, Bichons, Beddlington Terriers and Curly Coated Retrievers. Woolly coats need daily brushing. They also shed very little, and often need to be clipped. Grooming woolly coats can be time consuming, but unless you plan on showing your dog, these coats can be cared for at home. It is a good idea to plan a grooming schedule to keep on top of the needs of this coat type.
Tools You Will Need for Grooming a Woolly Coat
- Slicker brush. This is the ideal brush for a woolly coat. You should groom the coat daily with this brush.
- Combination comb. After you have brushed your dog with a slicker, you should follow by grooming with a combination comb to gentle remove any matts and tangles. Use the wider teeth first.
- Detangling spray. Woolly coats are prone to matts, especially around areas such as the armpits. Use a detangling tool such as a matt breaker, along with some Groomers Groom and Detangle to loosen any knots.
- Shampoo. Woolly coats generally need more bathing than other coat types, as dust and dirt gets caught more easily in this type of hair. Woolly coats should be bathed every six weeks or so, but they can need bathing as much as once every fortnight. Try using a nourishing shampoo such as Groomers Crown Coat with Royal Jelly, and follow with Groomers EPO Silk Conditioner.
- Clipper set. Even if you take your woolly coated dog to the professional groomers regularly, it is still important to have a set of clippers at home to tidy the coat between a full clip. Try the Wahl Multi-cut Clipper Set, which includes all the essential clipper accessories.
- Bullnose scissors. Invest in some bullnose scissors to help you neaten the hair around the feet, face and tail. Bullnose scissors are ideal for home use as they help guard against accidental injury.
How to Clip a Woolly Coat
In general, woolly coats need routine clipping. This lessens the chance of matts and tangles, infestations, and undetected skin conditions. Most people clip their woolly coated dog about once a month, although more regular clipping can be necessary depending on your dog’s needs. Research the breed standard, or talk to a breeder or professional groomer if you are unsure of how to approach clipping your dog.
Before you attempt a clip you must first prep your dog’s coat. This starts with brushing and detangling. Brush the entire coat, first with a slicker brush and then with a comb. This will remove all the dead, moulted hair. It is important to remove all matts and dead hair before a clip, otherwise the clippers can catch on them, which can be painful for the dog. After brushing you should shampoo and condition the coat, and then fully dry your dog with a cool hair dryer. The coat should now be ready for a clip.
Firstly, choose an appropriate blade and/or attachment comb to achieve your desired length (consult your professional groomer if you are unsure). Start with the dog’s shoulders, and progress down to the tail. Clip with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose. When you have clipped the main body, use scissors to tidy the areas around the paws, face and tail, and then give the coat one final brush through with a slicker.