Dog lovers trade professional dog grooming techniques the way bankers trade gold. It all comes down to learning how to groom your dog the way the professionals do, but without the expense. After years of grooming dogs, I have gathered my own plethora of professional dog grooming techniques. I share them here and hope they make grooming your dog a rewarding experience.
#1. Grooming Your Dog for Summer
As the temperature changes, you change your garments, and so should your dog. Professional dog groomers will trim the winter coat in summer, focusing on key areas only so as to leave the dog with a beautiful fur coat for all to see. Sitting down, hold your dog in your lap, laying with his stomach up, and use dog clippers to shave his stomach all the way up to his collar. This dog grooming technique allows your dog to lie down on the grass or cold floor and cool himself, yet keeps him looking beautiful.
#2. Grooming Your Dog for Winter
In winter, your dog will only grow a warm winter coat depending on the amount of time he spends out of doors. If your dog is mostly in a heated environment, be sure to groom your dog for wearing a winter coat when outside, as well as dog booties if his paws are sensitive. Using scissors, groom your dog’s armpits to remove any tangles. If her fur is curly or wavy, wearing a sweater or coat will cause tangles on her back; therefore, comb her coat with your fingers, locate tangles and remove them with scissors. The most professional dog grooming technique for removing tangles uses dull-edged scissors. Slip the scissors under the tangle with the blunt edge of the blade facing your dog’s skin. Cut as the scissors are lying on their side, very carefully cutting away the tangle. For really nasty tangles, use sharp scissors first to cut into the tangle and split it into smaller sections that you can groom away. (Here’s how to choose the best winter gear for dogs.)
#3. Grooming Your Dog for Health Reasons
Unlike humans that get to change their underwear and wash daily, our dogs depend on us to keep them clean. There are professional dog grooming techniques devoted to keeping dogs healthy, especially by grooming around the anus. I’ve heard of dog owners who took their dog to the vet to complain that their dog can’t relieve himself, only to discover that the dog’s anus was so caked in fur and feces that the anus was plugged. Disgusting and sad! To groom your dog’s anus, hug him to you as you’re half reclining back. Keep your dog on his back with his head resting on your chest, and bend your knees to elevate your dog’s backside. Use dog grooming clippers to delicately shave the fur around your dog’s anus. Be sure also to groom the tail in straight lines that will cut away long fur that may cling to the anus. For long-haired dogs, it’s a good idea to groom the back of the thighs as well.
#4. Grooming Your Dog for Facial Appeal
The eyes and ears of your dog are also more vulnerable than the rest of him and require special dog grooming. Keep your dog looking beauty and clean by wiping his eyes daily. You can use a wet paper towel, or stain removing eye cleaners sold in pet stores. For white furred dogs, gently and carefully groom away excess fur around the eyes using dull edged scissors. Then clean the eyes with stain removing eye cleaners. For the ears, be sure to trim any long fur beneath and in the ear, to prevent debris from being culled into the ear cavity. You and also gently groom dog ears by wiping them with a moist paper towel.
#5. Grooming Your Dog for Beauty
Brushing your dog’s fur regularly is the easiest dog grooming tip to follow and the one with most rewarding results. When fur is brushed regularly, oils form the follicles are smeared across the fur turning it silky and glossy. A slicker brush is ideal to remove superficial tangles (deeper ones should be trimmed away with scissors as described above). A bristle brush will promote even distribution of oils. And a rubber brush will remove dead skin. Professional dog groomers use all 3 brushes alternatively.
#6. Grooming Your Dog for Comfort
Professional dog groomers know how to get the best of both worlds, beauty and comfort combined. Nowhere is this more important than in your dog’s paws. Be sure to trim dog nails at least once a month, to help ease difficulty in treading on hard surfaces (here’s how to clip dog nails safely). In addition, dog grooming the fur in the paw is equally important. In winter, leave the fur to grow under the paw, but if your dog has long fur, trim the top of the paw and lower leg by stroking it with pet clippers from above to below. This will shorten the fur without shaving it off, and will prevent grass, wet leaves, twigs and debris from collecting in your dog’s paw, as well as keep snow from forming into clinging balls all along the paw. In summer, trim the fur under the paw a little as well, to prevent tree sap from sticking things between the paw fingers.
#7. Grooming Your Dog Because You Love Him
Though professional dog grooming techniques typically focus on the how and what of dog grooming, there is another aspect, too often taken for granted. Grooming your dog yourself will give you quality time together. Your dog will learn to love being groomed and cared for by you. He will learn to trust you even when you wield scary scissors or buzzing clippers. To that end, be affectionate with your dog as you groom him. Tell him he is beautiful. Caress as well as brush and groom. You’ll find that dog grooming may become one of your favorite activities.