Dogs with thick dense coat are truly handsome, mostly with wedge-shaped heads and beautiful eyes. They are designed to cope with nature, sometimes in extremes of cold weather.
Mostly, they are well domesticated, as with the Keeshond and Norwegian Elkhound who are lovely to live with, but it is as well to remember they are usually very active dogs at heart and will not be content to lie on the sofa all day while their owners go out to work. Plus, their coats take considerable looking after.
When these dogs molt, they mean it. Fluffy hair will come out in handfuls. In a few days, a good molt can completely cover the living room carpet. Unfortunately, because these dogs are kept in a warm climate, they seemed to molt continuously, so vacuuming is a must on a daily basis. I know several owners of these breeds that have varnished wood floors rather than carpets for ease of cleaning.
A professional bath and groom will remove most of the offending hair in a few hours and save the owner considerable work. The quick removal of the molting coat may not be popular with the show exhibitor where most breeds require an abundance of coat. For pet owners, however, it is usually more practical to remove excess coat, especially when their dogs take up residence on the sofa for the evening to watch television with the family.
With all these breeds, the groomer will save considerable time drying the dog if the power blaster dryer is used to force water from the coat following the bath. The power blower can also be used to blow a considerable amount of dead hair from the coat, even before the bath. However, dogs need to get used to the high velocity of this blower, and some will not tolerate it at any cost.
Dislodging the Coat
With these breeds, it is sometimes as well to comb the hair initially, taking first a wide-toothed comb to dislodge the most offending hairs, and then a medium-toothed comb. Brushing can then be done to enhance the finish.
In some cases, the following procedure will budge most hairs:
- Brush thoroughly with the slicker or pin brush, first using the brush in an upwards stroke.
- Clean the hair out of the brush regularly.
- Then brush the coat in a downward stroke.
- Comb through to remove any loose hairs.
These breeds are not clipped, stripped or thinned, but there is plenty of grooming to be undertaken, and more and more
frequently they are coming into the salon to be professionally presented, whether as pet or show dogs.
These breeds are usually nice to work on, provided they have been accustomed to being brushed from an early age. However, they are mainly good-natured dogs that soon respond to a kind, firm hand and really enjoy all the attention they are given.
All pet owners should be made aware that brushing and combing puppies is essential to their well being and good health. Responsible breeders will remind them of this.