There’s something about long-haired dogs that stands out in a crowd. Whether it’s the striking look or the knowledge that those luscious locks don’t groom themselves, dogs (and their people) that can maintain flowing hair are something to be celebrated.
So how do you maintain a mane? These 5 tips will keep your dog's fur looking fabulous at any length.
It’s important to brush your long-haired dog’s coat regularly as it can help to stimulate the hair and coat to keep it healthy. It’s also a quick and slippery slope between a little knot and a full-on mat and catching them early is a must. You may need a selection of brushes to do the job, but it is well worth a little time and effort each day, to save you from dog hair disaster. A pin brush is a good all around brush, and slickers are great for dog’s who shed and need loose hairs pulled from the coat. Once you’ve brushed from head to tail, metal combs are great tools for the face, ears and to catch any smaller knots you may have missed while brushing.
Before you get your dog near water, make sure you have the perfect products on hand. First and foremost choose a shampoo that suits your dog’s skin and coat type. This will ensure your dog’s coat looks shiny and healthy and will make your job easier as well. Follow the shampoo with a conditioner that will help smooth the follicles. Even the most well-brushed coat can become twisted into a bunch after a bath so don’t brush or blow dry before applying a much needed detangler, which you and your dog will both deem life-saving.
Bath your dog from the top down, allowing the water to flow over and down their back. Shampoo and condition them in the same manner, working from top to bottom. This will allow the debris in your dog’s coat to flow down and out and will keep the hair from clumping together.
If you’ve followed tips one and two, drying should be a breeze, no pun intended. Wrap your dog in a towel. I love quick drying micro-fiber for my long-haired pooch, to get rid of the extra moisture in the hair. This will reduce the time needed under the blow dryer making the process faster, more pleasant and less damaging to the hair. You can blow dry your dog or allow them to air-dry. Follow up either method with a fluffing by brushing their coat backwards and then forwards for the perfect do.
Even long hair dogs need a trim now and again. Keeping the nails and hair on their feet nice and trim keeps them comfortable and also helps prevent them from collecting extra dirt. Trimming around the face may be necessary in some breeds and if your dog is not headed to the show ring consider giving them a sanitary trim, to keep things neat and tidy down below. Scissors can also come in great handy for loosening and trimming out mats when necessary.
Once you get the proper tools and a little routine, your dog’s long hair will look like puppy perfection.