How do I Groom a Double Coated Dog?
If you are grooming your own beloved double coated dog, then make sure you know what to do. A double coat needs regular grooming to keep it mat-free. I’ve seen examples where owners and groomers don’t know what they are doing, so if you do it once and find it a harrowing experience, then the simple answer is to take him to a ‘professional’ groomer who has a good reputation grooming double coated dogs.
Can I Shave a Double Coated Dog?
There are reasons these dogs have two layers of protection
NO! is the short answer. If you think it will stop the shedding, think again. Don’t think it will help in summer heat, as their skin can get burnt, and it doesn’t sweat and cool itself like humans. They only sweat through their paws if that, as the main source of cooling down is panting with their mouth open. You can ultimately (and unconsciously) impair the dogs natural ability to cool or heat itself properly and also strip them of their protective ‘Guard’ hairs. I have seen an example of this in a park where a Japanese Spitz club meets, and a new member bought along their own Spitz. The hair around his neck (or ‘ruff’) was still intact, but the body was stripped of fur, and it hadn’t grown back. This can be problematic coming into the cooler months, as he needs his double coat to keep him insulated, and his skin is exposed to the sun and biting insects in summer.
Can I use my own ‘gentle-on-hair’ shampoo on a double coated dog?
NO! again. Double coated dogs have different types of hair and skin to us, so stay clear of using shampoo and conditioner made for humans. I have seen first-hand a Spitz who had been washed using made-for-human shampoo and conditioner, and I could tell he wasn’t a happy chappy. His fur was so tightly matted that it pulled on his skin, and you could see it really irritated him. In severe instances, the hair may have to be cut off, so I strongly advise against this route. Dogs will usually let you know when they are sad by not smiling and dragging their tails instead of keeping them up. On the subject of shampoo and conditioner for dogs however, I have found through personal experience that using a doggie conditioner really helps loosen any knots or mats that have started developing by adding moisture, making it easier to comb or brush out. Using only shampoos and conditioners containing natural ingredients reduces any potential allergies that may occur. I like to ensure he is pretty dry before letting him run about as I don’t want any knots to form from wet hair.
What type of brush should I use on Double Coated Dogs?
While there are an abundance of dog grooming products in stores or online, there are those not suited for double coats, and some where the bristles just fall out, or the tips come off after the first couple of uses. So here’s a basic list of grooming tools recommended by groomers for double coated dogs.
Let’s start with a great invention – The PETINCCN Pet Grooming Glove
As the name suggests, it’s a grooming glove you slip on and pet your dog with. It has silicone prongs on the palm side which are fantastic at collecting dead hair caught in the top coat, and although not as thorough on the undercoat, is great for these dogs who love the attention. Click on the image above for more information.
The RUBOLD Dematting Tool for Dogs
This brush has long metal prongs and a double head which allow you to sift and run it well into the dense undercoat to collect dead hairs – an essential grooming tool for double coated dogs, and a good accompaniment for the Silicone Glove. Click on the image above for more information.
The Shedding Blade
Specifically designed with long, fluffy coats in mind, this metal brush is a great option for gathering up loose top and undercoat hair. However, it’s not recommended as a detangler, as it gets caught in knots, pulling and ripping on them causing pain to the dog. If using this tool, gently pull any tangles or knots apart using your fingers first. Click on the image above to get more information.
The Slicker Brush
Featuring closely-packed wire bristles, this brush is great for delving deep into the double coat, untangling and collecting dead, matted fur, especially around the back end where the fur is thicker. The retractable wire pins are a fantastic way of removing this excess hair easily from the brush. I use one on my Spitz, and it really is an essential for me. For more information, click on the image above.