How to Groom a Dog

The Medium Coat Type

The medium-coated dogs are easy to groom. Many of them should remain entirely natural, without any trimming, clipping, or shaping. The medium coat has manu advantages: it does not tangle, mat, hold on to dirt, or require special attention (other than regular brushing and the occasional bath, of course). With one exception, though: long hair on the feet should be trimmed, because mats can easily form, particularly between toe pads.

Of course, you can make some adjustments in order to improve the shape of your dog, by trimming first the head and then the body, so as to balance an "uneven" dog. Anyway, there are a few medium-coated breeds which require special trimming so as they can compete in the show ring. For example, the “sporting spaniels”. The top third of their ears should be trimmed with clippers or thinning shears. Also, the ruff on a spaniel's neck can be trimmed to an inch above the breastbone, so as to blend into the shoulders.

Other dog breeds with medium coats require very little trimming. When needed, you could make some small adjustments in shaping the ruff rear furnishings and the ear hair. The medium-coated breed should be left in a natural state, you should just neaten stray hairs without having to change the dog's outline.

No high-maintenance grooming is necessary for medium-coated dogs. For them, the basic rule is to brush them often, so as to remove shed hair. You should give your dog a thorough brushing every day, or at least once a week.

The most important tools for grooming medium-coated dogs are: a pin brush, a coat rake, a hound glove, a shedding comb, a rubber curly brush, and a blow-dryer (you will use the low or cool setting).

Anyway, you should give during your dog a monthly grooming session, applying the following steps after giving him a bath:

- Dry the medium-coated dog with a towel. When he dog is completely dry, have him stand and take a good look at his outline. You should look for long or stray hairs, or shaggy areas. See if the overall outline seems imbalaned (you might want to compare him to a a picture of a well-groomed show dog).

- with a clipper, scissors, or a stripping knife, clip off all the hairs which are longer than the rest and straighten the outline.

- it is important to only clip a few hairs before stopping and standing back to check again. If you trim at close range for too long, you can easily make mistakes.

- in the end, you may spray your dog with a little coat conditioner, so as to keep it easy to brush.