San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
Awe, the Old English Sheepdog, fondly known as the OES. This is a favored pet breed for those who can accommodate their size, and, well, all that hair!
Some beauties and top award winners include: Bugaboo, who was a top winner not only in his OES classes in 2013 and 2014, but also won third Best in Show Bred-by-Exhibitor at Westminster in his third show; and Swagger, who won Best in Breed and Herding Group at Westminster in 2015, therefore being one of eight to compete for Best in Show.
And, while your homebody pooch may not be the award-winning caliber of these fine gents, you want him, or her, to look her best – after all, he is Best in Show to you!
If you want to keep a coat similar to Bugaboo or Swagger, it is going to take a LOT of work – combing and/or brushing every day. And, you will need mobile dog grooming to come out about every two weeks or so, for a thorough bath and comb out.
Owner Grooming Equipment
Grooming equipment you will need includes:
A coarse comb – also called a poodle comb.
A semi-fine toothed comb – we recommend a Greyhound comb that has different spacing between blades on the two ends, but any metal semi-fine toothed comb will work.
A mat splitter – let’s face it, no matter how consistent you are at combing, your OES will get mats, especially around the ears, the neck – around the collar area, and behind the forearms. Use the mat splitter as soon as you find one of these mats, to open it up and get rid of it before it progresses.
Brush – a large rubber-based pin brush works well on an OES. The rubber base allows flexibility when brushing.
De-tangling spray or anti-stat spray – designed for dogs to reduce static, and moisten and loosen hair for combing.
There are easier ways to deal with an OES coat and keep him looking at the top of his game.
Length of Coat
Like a lot of other small breeds, such as a Shih Tzu, Maltese or Lhasa Apso, a puppy cut is well-suited for the OES. By clipping the coat down to one-half to three-fourths of an inch in length, your furry doggie's coat is transformed into something much easier to care for. The appearance of the dog is changed, but it is not a shave, rather a bit longer. If you don’t want it quite that short, and the coat is currently not too matted, your groomer may be able to clip using guard combs, resulting in hair that is more like an inch or longer. With this length your OES will need to have the mobile groomer visit about every six weeks for maintenance.
In order to first trim to these lengths, the coat will have to be in good condition with very little tangling. If the OES’s coat gets matted, we’ll need to start from scratch, which requires a shave down. Don’t worry, your dog will not be bald, although they may look quite different! A shave down leaves the coat short and smooth. It is a necessity when there is matting that cannot be combed out.
Essential Groomer Care Beyond Bath & Haircut
Other aspects of grooming that should be performed when the groomer visits include:
Nail clipping – which should be done with every groom.
Ear cleaning – OES naturally have hair growth in the ears. It is important to have the groomer remove this hair to prevent wax buildup and infections.
Trim the hair from the pads of the feet and in between the toes - in general, this is one of the dirtiest areas and will mat easily and quickly.
Trim hair away from the corner of and below the eyes - to avoid buildup and matting. Your groomer should also clean out the corners with an eye debris remover designed especially for dogs, as well as a stain remover if necessary.
Provide a sanitary hair clip around the private areas – no matter the length of your OES’s regular coat, it is important to keep the private area clipped short for easy cleaning and less matting, for either sex.
Teeth brushing and oral cleaning– this is optional. However, cleaning the mouth on a regular basis promotes good oral health, helps to prevent tartar buildup making for easier and, perhaps, less often dental cleaning by the veterinarian. It will also freshen the breath, making for happier human family members.
Because of his massive coat, many potential OES owners may shy back from the breed. The amount of work involved with coat maintenance should definitely be a major consideration when bringing an OES into the family, as is his size. However, Old English Sheepdogs have a wonderful temperament and make great family dogs. We love them, and you will too!
Contact us for more information and to plan you mobile grooming visit with us today!
But whether you have a 250-pound English mastiff or a 5-pound Chihuahua, your dog will shed some of its hair. Granted, some dogs shed more than others, but the fact is that all dogs shed. The good news is that loose dog hair isn't a serious or concerning problem. The bad news is that it's still a nuisance for dog owners and their family members. With a bit of work, however, you can control your dog's wild shedding.
Your teeth aren't the only thing you should brush daily (well, twice daily). It's also a good idea to brush your dog's coat daily.
Here are some tips to follow when brushing your dog:
- Use a brush designed specifically for canines, of a type that is particularly suited to your dog's coat type (ask your groomer if you aren't sure)
- Make slow and steady strokes, using caution not to pull on your dog's hair
- When you encounter a knot, hold it close to your dog's body while teasing it out with the brush.
- Brush in the direction of your dog's hair growth, not against their hair growth.
- Reward your dog with treats during and after brushing - make it a happy time.
Check Your Dog's FoodWhat type of food does your dog eat? Some owners wrongfully assume that all pet food is the same, so they choose the cheapest variety available at their local pet store. The truth, however, is that many cheap dog foods contain mostly filler ingredients like grain and relatively little crude protein. Not only does this restrict your dog's nutritional intake, but some filler ingredients can trigger an allergic reaction that causes your dog to itch and scratch.
If you've noticed your dog shedding more after switching to a new food, perhaps go back to their old food or try a different variety.
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsAdd omega-3 fatty acids (alpha linoleic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids) to your dog's diet to promote a healthy, vibrant coat with less frequent shedding. Most dog food varieties lack omega-3s because of its high manufacturing costs. So even if Fido is getting plenty of protein and vegetables, he probably isn't getting enough omega-3s.
You can buy omega-3 supplements from most pet stores, or you can simply add a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil to your dog's feed. Your veterinarian can also recommend specific supplements tailored to your dog's needs.
Professional GroomingOf course, we as groomers think it's a good idea for pet owners to use a professional grooming service such as ours. Brushing your dog daily is a great way to control loose hair, but if you don't have the time to keep up with that yourself, a professional groomer has the tools and expertise to really make a difference in your dog's shedding, even if they only see your pet once a month. In addition to brushing, a professional groomer can also deshed (card the coat), and bathe your dog with massage, which further reduces your dog's loose hair -- hair that would otherwise end up on your carpet, couch and clothes. We posted elsewhere on the benefits of our FURminator deshedding treatment. It really does work wonders. Shedding can be reduced 60-80% for most pets, when used regularly. That's a big difference.
Vacuuming and cleaning your home isn't going to stop your dog from shedding, but it will reduce the amount of hair scattered throughout your home. Use a high-suction vacuum cleaner to remove as much hair from your floors as possible. For baseboards and corners, use a wand attachment to clean dust, dog hair and other debris. Damp sponges work well for wiping loose hair off your upholstery. Lint rollers (or pieces of tape) can be used in smaller areas, but are usually just used for clothing.
Hopefully, this will give you a better idea on how to control your dog's shedding. For more information on our deshedding and other mobile pet grooming services, contact us today.