Dogs with double coats lose their thick, insulating undercoat once or twice a year; the natural shedding helps keep them comfortable no matter the season. Regular grooming helps remove the undercoat, speeding the transition and lessening the loose hair around your home.
Brush your pup every day while he switches out his coat to help remove the dead hair and keep it from coating your home. The type of brush you need depends on your pooch's hair type, but most double-coated breeds respond well to pin or slicker brush types. Start near your pup's head and brush all the way down to the skin, working on one small section at a time. Brush until the bristles run smoothly through his hair before moving on to the next section to repeat the process. Keep going until your pooch is brushed through from front to back.
Rakes, Combs and Splitters
For pups whose hair is too thick or dense to take full advantage of a regular brush, a specialized tool may be required. Shedding rakes or combs are designed to help get through even the toughest undercoats and pull the shedding hair out. As you would with a regular brush, work in small sections. Run the rake or comb through his hair as you would a brush, and keep going over a single section until the tool runs through smooth. Shedding hair tends to tangle, so keep a mat splitter on hand to break up and remove them. Be careful when using a mat splitter on your pup. You want to get through the entire coat down to the skin, but you don't want to hurt your pooch in the process.
Into the Tub
Once you've brushed, raked and combed your pooch through, you can work more of his undercoat loose by giving him a bath. Put a cover over the drain to prevent the hair from causing a clog. Wet him completely, working the water in with your hands. Work a gentle dog shampoo into a lather and massage it into his wet coat. Rinse him thoroughly, and keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Lose hair should come off as you rinse, so keep rinsing and running your hands through his coat to encourage as much of the shedding hair out as possible. Squeeze the excess water out of his coat, let him dry, and brush again.
No Shaving, Please
Shaving your pooch may seem like a solution to shedding, but double-coated breeds should never be shaved. Shaving alters the way their follicles behave and could result in a patchy coat when it regrows. Besides, a dog's coat protects it from the sun and elements, and acts as insulation to keep him warm in winter and cool in summer. Shaving him removes this protection and leave him vulnerable to dangers such as heat stroke and sunburn.
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