Hello! Terrie here from TLC, and today I’m going to share a little bit about how to look after your double coated breeds. So that’s the Collie, the Great Pyrenees, the Newfoundlander, the Sheltie, and even the Pomeranian.
These breeds can be a big challenge to care for and maintain. Whether you go to a professional or you do it yourself at home. They are a considerable amount of work and most owners really struggle to keep them in tip top shape all year round.
Keep them Clean
My first bit of advice is to do your best to keep them clean. When I get a double coated dog in the salon, our first stop is the tub. I don’t waste my time brushing or combing before the bath. We go straight in, and we get all nice and wet and soapy in there.
Bathing and Brushing
Once the shampoo is all lathered up and sudsy, I brush the dog with my slicker brush. I brush forward and backward. We’re working to get the undercoat loosened and up off the skin of the dog. I rinse them and repeat the brushing, but on round 2, I use conditioner.
Drying the Hair
- A grooming table with a grooming pole and grooming loop.
- A high velocity dryer.
Yes, a rather sizable expense but well worth it’s weight in gold. You should be able to find a suitable table and arm for $150. Or make your own and buy the clamp arm and loop. A velocity dryer for home use should be $180-$300. You don’t need a big one like mine for $600-$1000. You’d be more than happy with something like this, but it’s not necessary.
So after I have finished the bath, I move to the drying table. This is where even more magic happens. The high velocity drying is drying the dog by blowing the water off of the body. But what is also happening is that the loosened undercoat from the previous step in the bath, is now being blown up and off the body of your dog.
Undercoat just flies off a dog’s body when a velocity dryer is used properly, and it is a HUGE part of the entire grooming process. Which by the way, depending on the size of the dog and the condition of their coat, should take approximately another 30 minutes or longer. The last Great Pyrenees that I groomed took 60 minutes to velocity dry properly. So yes, it’s a time consuming process but so worth the effort.
When that is done and the dog is completely dry, I start the combing out process. On some parts of the dog, I will use my slicker brush. Like the front of the front legs, or the hocks, the top of the head. Most of my efforts are spent “line combing” with my metal comb. That’s how I know I am doing a complete and thorough job.
By holding the hair up with my holding hand and combing the hair down in sections, line by line. I work the last of the undercoat out. It’s a very long and tedious process. Don’t expect to get your entire dog completely finished in a few hours or one day. You may have to have to do it in stages until you get comfortable with the process, the tools and equipment.
Line Combing Your Double-Coated Breed
Maybe you only get the back end done one day. The back, the sides and the belly another day. The shoulders, neck and chest another. Don’t forget behind the ears and the feathers on the front legs (everybody else does).
Successful Double Coat Care
The keys to success are to have a clean dry dog to work with. Make sure you are working off of a flat, level, raised surface. Your metal comb is your best friend and a velocity dryer in the mix is wedded bliss.
I also wrote a short article sharing details on WHY it’s important to brush and comb your dog after every bath:
Make it a beautiful day folks.