Our dog grooming classes and training
aimed at pet owners who wanted to learn how to groom their own dog.
This page contains most of the content of
the dog grooming class handout for our Basic Dog
Grooming Workshop. Please note that we no longer run classes.
The Anatomy of the Dog
What is grooming?
Grooming includes everything we do externally that helps
to make our dogs look and feel good.
Cleaning and plucking ears
Regular flea prevention
Cleaning teeth when required
Cleaning anal glands when required
Why do we groom our dogs?
There are a whole lot of reasons, we are all different
and our dogs are different too.
We like them to look and
We don’t want them to smell
our dog gives us pleasure and relaxes us
It helps get rid of
They look nice when they are
They are a breed that needs to be groomed a certain way to look right
If they have long hair clipping them off short keeps them cool.
Clipping them makes them easier to wash and look after.
It helps to keep their skin
t’s a way to show we care
about them, and to bond with our dog
Australian dog grooming equipment links
Brush- Lawrence Tender Care Soft Slicker Brush - Small Dogs w/Fine Hair
Rake- AuCatStore(TM) Flea Pin Dog Puppy Pet Comb Brush Shedding Hair
Cleaning and plucking ears
7. Regular flea prevention
Clipping your dogs coat
Cleaning teeth when required
anal glands when required
What order do you do them in
The first four items are
listed in the order in which they should be done. If your dog has a long coat
then they must definitely be done in this order. Never bath your dog before
grooming unless you are clipping your dog off short afterwards.
Never wash first, matts can turn into felt
Washing a badly tangled
coat will turn it into solid felt, if it is woolly. Once this has happened it
will be impossible to brush your dogs’ coat out. You will have no alternative
but to clip your dogs’ coat off or cut out big lumps of it to remove the
If you clip your dog off
because it is badly matted or felted, you will need to use a number 10 blade to
get under the matting. This will take the coat back to the skin. It will take
nearly twelve months for your dog to regrow its full coat when it has been
clipped off this short.
It will take 12 months to
regrow a full coat.
The minimum you should aim to do in a grooming session
We may not do all the
things on the grooming list at every grooming session, we certainly don’t
need to clip our dog, or treat it for
fleas each week. But once a week we should at least brush and comb
our dog if it has any long hair on its body.
Preferably you will brush,
comb, bath and dry your dog each week, and also clean his
ears – in that order. If he has a problem with his anal glands you
will also express these.
In order to carry out all
of the tasks in the What is Grooming list you will need to have a minimum
of three or four pieces of grooming
So think about setting up
your own grooming kit with quality tools that are going to do the job required
in an easy and efficient manner.
Keep them in a Grooming
box or basket so they don’t get lost or damp or dirty, and they
will last longer and stay in better condition.
De-matting, brushing and combing
There are only three pieces
of equipment that you have to have to remove matt’s and brush out any long
hair on your dog/s.
Long bladed scissors – without sharp ends
The scissors are
used to split up matts and trim your dog where you need to tidy the coat up, or
scissor the legs ears or tail furnishings. They must be sharp. Cheap ($3-$5)
scissors can be excellent and can be replaced whenever they start to get blunt.
come in a variety of sizes as well as having wire teeth of different lengths and
stiffness’s. For a thick coat you will need a firm long toothed slicker while
for a thin, light coat you will only need a soft, short one.
They are used to detangle the coat.
It is much easier to use a small to medium slicker brush properly.
Do not get a very large one.
A revolving comb has
teeth that rotate as they are pulled through the coat, this means less tangling
and pulling and less annoyance and painful tugging for your dog.
The revolving comb was demonstrated in class.
Your dog’s coat must be
combed through thoroughly after it has been detangled if it is to be properly
groomed. Combing will get down to the skin and ensure that all the hair is knot
free right down to the roots.
If your dog has a long
double coat then you will also need an undercoat rake
The undercoat rake
removes undercoat quickly and easily as demonstrated in the workshop.
NOTE: the equipment we use in class is a Lawrence, Made in
England, tender care slicker brush small size and a detangler comb. These items,
and the nail clippers and an undercoat rake, are available for sale in classes
or from our website - www,puppycareeducation.com.au
Our website also has a link to a place to buy the Wahl KMSS
dog clippers at a very good price. Currently this is Sydney Salon Supplies.
Drying your Dog
may be a cute picture but this is definitely NOT the way to bath your dog.
For bathing your dog
you will get better results by using some kind of hand held spray, and fresh
running water, preferably warm. This is particularly important for the final
way to wash your dog - a hand held sprayer of any type is essential.
As discussed in the Basic
Dog Grooming workshop, any product, such as shampoo or conditioner,
that isn’t rinsed out properly and stays on your dogs skin can cause
irritation and skin problems.Whether it is a dog or human shampoo find the one
that suits your dogs coat and lifestyle best, and if you need, or want to use a
conditioner, again use a suitable one and ensure you rinse it out properly. The
quality dog shampoos and conditioners available at your vet should suit all
Never leave a coated dog
damp to dry off naturally unless you can be sure that their coat will dry
completely, right down to the skin, within a couple of hours.
A very thick coat can
sometimes take days to dry properly right down to the skin.
Damp hair against your dogs skin can cause fungal infections, and other
rashes. Unless your dog has a fairly short or very thin coat it is best to
finish off drying them with some sort of dryer or blow heater, as demonstrated
in the workshop, even on a hot day. And brushing the coat while drying it, will
make it dry much quicker.
Not washing and drying
your dog properly can be worse for your dog’s health than not washing your dog
Other useful Grooming equipment for your personal Grooming kit.
The general items you may
also want to include in your grooming kit are:-
Nail Clippers to trim nails
Hair Dryer to finish drying your dog after bathing.
Ear cleaner (such as Epi-otic or Leo ear drops) to clean out ears
The Basic Dog Grooming
workshop should have given you a good understanding on how to use all of
these items of grooming equipment.
required to clip your own dog
Blades and/or plastic comb attachments
Oil – clipper blade oil or Singer Sewing Machine oil
An old toothbrush
The oil and toothbrush
are needed to keep your clipper blades clean and oiled, so that they will
cut easily and last a long time. Never use any oil apart from the
manufacturer’s clipper blade oil or spray, or Singer Sewing Machine oil, which
is sold in supermarkets.
Good quality clippers
are well worth the investment, especially if you have two or more dogs to be
regularly clipped. Cheap clippers may not be able to do the job for you at all.
If your clippers have
removable blades then you may want to purchase an extra steel clipper
blade to clip your
dog’s coat a different length, depending on whether the plastic combs will
allow you to easily clip your dog’s coat the length you want.
Important to Remember:
- The larger the number given to a clipper blade the shorter it will cut
your dog’s hair. So a 10 blade is the shortest you would use, and a 3F
blade gives the longest cut you can get with a steel clipper blade.
And remember also that an F
blade has full teeth, and is the best type of blade to buy for your dog
The clipping pattern
The clipping pattern for clipping your dog is always the same but there
are variations in how you will go about it depending on what blade, or blades,
you use for the main part of the body.
Clipping your dog short
all over with a #10 (short) blade
Always start clipping your dog at the withers (point of shoulder), then
work over the main part of the body following the growth pattern of the hair,
then the chest, then move on to the legs and feet then the underbelly and inner
thighs. The last part of your dog that you will clip will be the head. You may
need to use scissors on the dog’s feet if he is not tolerant of the clippers
Clipping our dog off with
a longer blade
When clipping a small or medium dog off with a longer blade you will not
be able to do the whole body with eth same blade as you can with the #10 blade
If you are using a blade other than a #10 to clip the main body of your dog you
will still start at the withers (point of shoulder), then work over the main
part of the body, always following the growth pattern of the hair, then the
chest and the upper thighs. You will then clean up the underbelly, inner thighs,
and groin area with a #10 blade.
You will finish off the front legs and lower back legs with scissors and
do the feet with a #10 blade used against the grain or use scissors. Many dogs
dislike having their feet handled and will tolerate scissors much better than
Good luck and enjoy your grooming