General Grooming Tips for All Dogs

On purchasing your new puppy/dog I always hope that breeders/owners will pass on important information about coat care, as it is just as important as feeding and health care.

Its best to get started on home coat care right away to help keep your dog comfortable being touched and handled so grooming can become a pleasurable experience for the dog, dog owner and groomer.

Start with this grooming routine:

  1. Lift and 'play' with her feet
  2. Lift and touch all around his ears
  3. Encourage her to stand to be brushed and combed
  4. Do brush his legs, tummy, tail and face.

If you do this routine regularly, not only will your dog be more comfortable for groomings, but her coat will remain free of matting, and is more likely to stay healthy and shiny.

Regular groomings with PJs Pet Grooming are a great way to keep your pooch healthy and looking and feeling his best.

Follow these guidelines for your own breed:

Non-Shedding Dogs: (eg: Bichon, Poodle, Maltese, Spoodle and mixes including one or more of these.)

Terriers: (eg: Schnauzers, West Highland White, Scottish, Lakeland, Wire-Haired Fox and Airedales.)

Spaniels: (eg: Springer, Cocker, King Cavalier Charles, Field)

Non-Shedding Dogs:
A non-shedding breed is perfect for the person who is allergic to dog/cat hair and for asthmatics… not to mention the end of pet hair on the furniture and carpets! These wee delights will require regular coat maintenance and grooming.

It can take 18 months to 2 years for these dogs to come into their "full coat" during which time it will grow, thicken, and perhaps even curl! The best time to get them used to being groomed is AS.A.P.! See the tips above about how to do this.

Tools I would recommend for use:
Slicker brush – these are often used incorrectly. The most efficient and pain free way to get your slicker right through a non-shedding coat is backwards against the hair growth. Most slickers have pins that are angled and these wont "dig in' if used correctly.

Moulting comb (two lengths of teeth) – These combs are terrific for tails and after your slicker or to help east out small tangles. Make sure you run them between each toe as non-shedders matt between their toes easily and especially when they get wet!

When do you need to come in for a grooming with me? I'd love to see your new puppy at about 4-5 months old for a quick meet and greet, tidy up and trim the face, and look in his ears and pluck them as necessary. Most non-shedding dogs grow hair right down in their ear canals and if it is not teased out regularly it can trap excess ear-wax and stop air flow causing a great environment for bacteria to grow.

These ear infections can be very costly with vet visits, ear washes, drops and sometimes tablets and be quite painful for your wee one. With regular checkups with PJs Pet Grooming , I can help you avoid that situation.

As the coat grows and thickens you can decide on how you would like it to be managed. From 6-8 months old you will find trimming a necessity. A trip to PJs Pet Grooming will include having your dog's ears picked, nails clipped, a brush through, bath, conditioning treatment, blow-dry and styled as you request. I pride myself on listening and fulfilling owners wishes for their dog. I recommend 6-8 weeks between grooms for your non-shedders.

What if you don't want to use a groomer? If these dogs are left to their own devices, in time (only a few months) they will start to tangle, which very quickly turns into matts. The worst thing to do if your dog is starting to tangle is to put him in the bath or take her swimming. The water gets into his tangled coat and when it dries it makes the tangles even tighter! These matts not only start to pull on the skin, but fleas love the warm, soft environment! Most matts form very close to the skin and if brought to the groomer, the only humane solution is to shave them off. It is definitely better to avoid this situation!If the dog isn't handled regularly to accept grooming any small amount of pulling or tugging will stress the dog, who will then struggle, fidget and even bite, making the groomers job increasingly difficult and very unpleasant for both dog and groomer. As a result the fee will be a bit more than that of a regular groom.


Terrier breeds need regular coat attention. They typically have a double-layered coat. A soft downy undercoat with a course, wiry top coat. If left unattended the undercoat will felt and matt up, which pulls on the skin causing irritation and creating a perfect environment for fleas and lice. The other issue with most terriers, especially schnauzers, is the growth of hair inside the ear canals. To prevent infections of both bacteria and yeast these need to be plucked regularly to allow the normal wax to exit and airflow to enter.

A good pin brush and comb is all that is needed to upkeep a terrier at home. Or, if you are game enough, a stripper works a treat to keep that undercoat thinned out and the top coat nice and course.

Terriers will respond well to the home coat care routine outlined above as a daily and fun occurrence.

When to come in for a groom: I do like to meet these dogs as puppies between 3-5 months for a quick nail trim, ear check and usually a wee face trim. Depending on the time of year and how full the coat is will determine whether we start to shape the coat into the breed standard or however you decide you would like him to look! I listen to my clients and try as best as I can to style as requested. I recommend 6-10 weeks between grooms for Terriers.

All Spaniel breeds need a good regular brush, some more than others.

Cocker Spaniels need more attention than most and it is a must to handle these puppies from day one! Go through the routine outlined above, and really just touch them all over. As their coats lengthen and thicken they will require trimming and clipping.  As coats vary immensely in density, the timing of when they will need their first trim will also vary.  Probably between 5-12 months of age.Their feet need to be kept trimmed as they can form knots between the toes and under the foot making the dog very uncomfortable.

As the feathering gets longer it needs daily brushing to stop tangles forming into matts.

When to come in for a groom: I recommend 6-10 weeks between grooms along with regular maintenance at home. I can clip a cocker Spaniel from a full show groom to a pet clip all over and everything in between!

Cavalier King Charles and Springer Spaniels should be stripped and trimmed at PJs Pet Grooming twice per year. This should coincide with moulting times (spring and just before winter.)

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Jo's Pet Grooming, Newsletter November 2017
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