Canine Coat Care – Long-Haired 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 long-haired coat.
Qualities of a Long-Haired Coat
Long-haired coats usually feature straight hair that is fine and soft. The coat has a similar texture to silky coats; however this type of coat does not shed, and will continue to grow indefinitely. Popular breeds with long coats include Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos. This type of coat is usually kept long, although some owners prefer a teddy bear or puppy cut (a short, evenly clipped coat), especially during hotter months. A centre parting is typical, but not obligatory with long coated dogs, and some owners do not clip the hair around the face, choosing to tie it into a top knot instead.
Long-haired coats need a fair amount of care to help keep them at their best. They need regular brushing, daily in some cases. Brushing will remove any dead hair, and stops the coat from becoming matted and tangled, which is very uncomfortable for the dog. A little regular trimming of the face and feet is also necessary. It is a good idea to plan a grooming schedule to keep on top of the needs of this coat type, as grooming long-haired breeds can be a challenge. A full groom (by you or by a professional groomer) is necessary every four to eight weeks.
Tools You Will Need for Grooming a Long-Haired Coat
- Soft slicker brush. This is the ideal brush for a long-haired coat. This type of brush is gentle on both skin and coat, and works well for removing matts and separating the hair. You should groom the coat at least a few times a week with this brush, perhaps daily depending on your dog’s needs.
- Bristle brush. After you have brushed your dog with a slicker brush, you should follow by grooming with a bristle brush to help smooth the coat and distribute its natural oils. Use a brush with natural bristles for best results.
- Detangling spray. Long-haired coats are prone to matts, especially around areas such as the armpits. Use a combination comb, along with some Groomers Groom and Detangle to loosen any knots.
- Shampoo and conditioner. Long-haired coats need regular bathing, as dust and dirt can get caught more easily in this type of hair, making the coat dull and smelly. Long-haired coats should be bathed every three to eight weeks, depending on your dog’s needs. Try using a nourishing shampoo such as Groomers Crown Coat with Royal Jelly, which features natural proteins to add condition and shine, or Groomers Detangle Shampoo for coats that get particularly knotted. It is also important to follow with a conditioner after every wash, to help keep the coat shiny and tangle free.
- Clipper set. Long-haired coats need regular clipping, but there is no set timetable for this – it is mostly down to individual preference and your dog’s needs. Clipping can be completed by a professional groomer or by yourself at home. Try the Wahl Multi-cut Clipper Set, which includes all the essential clipper accessories including attachment combs.
- Bullnose scissors. Invest in some bullnose scissors to help you neaten the coat and remove matts and tangles. Trim around the face and eyes very carefully, and also pay attention to the dog’s belly, groin and armpits. Bullnose scissors are ideal for home use as they help guard against accidental injury.
- Coat shine spray. This will give long-haired coats a final boost of shine and accentuate coat colour. Try Groomers Crystal Gleam for this.