Let’s Shave A Poodle 101 Dog Grooming – Pre-Bath

I did a live video stream about how I groom my dogs. The pandemic has us packed away for safety so how do you get your dogs groomed? Many of us miss taking our furbabies to get groomed where they come out looking perfect… Those were the days, but for now, your dog needs your help.

I’ve had my share of grooming, showing and training dogs and I, too, had to learn a lot about them. We bring our dogs into our homes with all love but we have to remind ourselves that this is a responsibility. When people tell you to do your research before you get a dog, I get it. I’m from the old school before the internet where actual books were your only source of information. Looking for breed specific books was an errand on the list with other shopping needs. Although the internet has solved that issue, sometimes the info highway can get convoluted depending on what you read. Well, this is not that kind of post.

This post is made to help you start grooming your own dogs and develop a new bonding experience. So let’s begin with tools.

Fine and wide tooth comb

If you have a dog that requires regular grooming, you will need a few things. A metal comb made specifically for dogs and yes, there was a time when I used a plastic human comb… Short story, it broke in my Lhasa Apso’s coat and he looked at me with disdain while I spent 5 mins picking broken plastic teeth out of his hair.

Pin brush and slicker brush

Long and double coated dogs need to be brushed everyday. That cute fluffy puppy grows coat by the minute so before you bring him/her home make sure you invest in quality brushes. As puppies, my poodles were brushed, combed and daily checked for any knots that tend to form in sensitive areas.

Small, medium and large brushes

Make sure you buy size appropriate brushes for your puppy. It can be intimidating to see this great big thing with a bunch of teeth coming at you so speak softly and encourage your pup by letting him/her smell all your tools before you use them. This is telling your pup to trust you because this tool is an extension of your hand.

Dual spray bottle with water and a small spray bottle with diluted conditioner.

Misting and conditioning the coat is also an awesome maintenance tip. My breeder friend taught me this tip years ago. I was preparing my dog’s coat, I had it brushed and combed out perfectly, but he decided that rolling in the grass and playing with my other dog was fun. I called my friend exhausted and totally whining. After he laughed at me, he told me to mix my concentrated conditioner and dilute it at a 1:1 ratio and lightly mist his coat while I combed through it again. Wow did I ever breathe sigh of relief. 4 hours of grooming was saved and he went on to get his Championship! This tip can greatly change your world and shave some time off their daily groom. Now don’t get crazy and douse your dog with conditioner their skin needs to breathe and dried conditioner on their skin can be problematic.

I left a couple of links to the brushes I use and a live stream where I’m prepping my dog, Babbette’s coat for her bath. Don’t stress about getting a brush, wash and final groom done in one day. A little progress everyday is a win for you and your furbaby!

Let’s Shave A Poodle 101 Dog Grooming – Pre-Bath

Medium Brush

Large Brush

Dog Nail Maintenance for Beginners

While the world is on pause I decided to share some tips on doing some 101 minimum puppy care for your new furbaby.

I have been grooming, training and showing dogs for over 25 years. Of course, I am a sucker for those little fluffy puppies but they are definitely a lot of work. Dog sales have sky rocketed over the last year, so fast that I have seen some frustration and confusion on basic puppy care.

Whatever the reason you have about bringing a puppy into your home; he/she is now staring right back at you while you’re trying to figure out your next move. There are some basic equipment that I’m sure you already have in place. Namely you will have: a food and water bowl; crate/kennel; bones & toys; blanket; leash & collar; brush and/or comb. Along with those listed, you will need a Veterinarian, a Groomer and contact information of your breeder. I know, it may seem like a lot but these are the secrets of owning a new puppy.

Once upon a time, there wasn’t a pandemic and we could easily book grooming and veterinarian appointments. Now, we are encouraged to independently take care of the beings within our home. For me, that includes haircuts for humans and dogs. Regardless of breed, our pups of all ages need their nails clipped. The clip clop of the nails on the hard surface floors is a sign that your dog needs a nail trim.

I use a scissor type pet nail clipper to take off extra length. I take off at least 3-5mm off of each nail. I found a clipper and nail file combination on Amazon. I especially like the guard it has that can limit the amount of nail to trim. When trimming puppy nails it can be a challenge. They squirm and sometimes cry. Stay calm and even if you get one nail done, call it a win for the day and try again the next day. I recommend tapping the clipper on each nail to desensitize your pup.

The product that most prompted me to do this post is a nail grinder I found also on Amazon. A nail grinder is an electric corded or cordless rotary tool. This grinder is cordless and rechargeable which makes it easier to get around each foot. It is very quiet and dogs of all ages in my household don’t argue with me at all. I felt it was important to share these tools because those long nails can cause hip and spine problems with your dog in the long term. I have been using this grinder for over a year without any problems. Using a combo of both the clippers and the grinder should make your nail trimming day a lot easier. I would also recommend grinding your dogs nails on a regular basis of once or more a week.

If anything doing the bare minimum of keeping your dog’s nails trimmed can lead to a stronger bond with them. A trust like that can also lead to having the courage to giving them a haircut…. but that will be another post. ☺️

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