For most dogs with long hair fall brings the second heavy shed of the year. Dogs such as the Belgian Sheepdog with it’s jet black coat can be strikingly beautiful if maintained with the appropriate dog grooming supplies.
You will notice during dog grooming that the coat of longhaired dogs is double, with a soft, dense inner coat and a longer, slightly coarser outer coat. The coat on the Belgian for example, is medium long with noticeable fringes on the legs and tail as well as longer and thicker hair around the neck in the ruff and chest area.
While dog grooming a Belgian take note of any white on the toes of the back feet, which can extend between the pads, any white on the front feet is a serious fault in the show ring. The muzzle can have a slight amount of white or gray coloration. In some areas, the coat may fade to a slightly reddish tinge and this is not a fault if it is due to the environment and not to the actual coloration of the dog.
The Belgian Sheepdog as well as all longhaired breeds of dogs “blows” their coat in the spring and fall. This means that the winter and summer coat is lost in a very heavy shed twice a year. Longhaired dogs actually have two coats; the outer coat is thicker, coarser and designed to provide protection and waterproofing. The inner coat is softer, shorter and denser, adding insulation for the dog.
When shedding the inner, softer coat often becomes matted or tangled with the longer, outer coat resulting in thick, knots of hair that may need clipping to be removed. Daily dog grooming with a quality dematting tool will prevent matts and tangles. Also during the shedding season, a bath with FURminator dog shampoo will loosen the hair and make dog grooming much easier. Remember to use only dog specific dog grooming supplies, as human products will cause skin irritations and other issues.
Bathing your longhaired dog in the heavy shed times of the year in your own bathtub will leave a mess. If you choose to do the bathing yourself, it is best done outside in a dog bath tub. This way all of the hair can be collected and discarded without clogging your drains. Using FURminator dog grooming supplies will keep your house hair free for about four to six weeks. To accomplish this goal you will need to really work up a lather when bathing and then immediately brush your dog when the bath is over.
Always groom the outer coat first using a stiff bristle dog brush or dog combs. After the outer areas, including the fringe on the legs and the longer hair on the ruff is completely knot free, use a dog-grooming rake or pin brush to brush the inner coat. Simply and gently, push the longer outer coat up and groom the inner coat downwards in the direction of hair growth. Using these dog grooming supplies daily, especially during the shedding season will prevent most knots and mats from forming.
Using dog grooming scissors, clip the hair around the feet and between the pads to prevent balls from forming between the toes. These balls of hair and debris can cause severe lameness and infections between the toes. Clipping the long hairs on the ears and plucking or pulling any long hairs, in the outer ear area will help prevent infections in the ear itself.
Lastly, your dog grooming sessions should include a brushing their teeth. This component is something some dog owners forget. Dog are just as susceptible to the same tooth and gum diseases as us humans. Grooming your dog should be fun for all. By using the appropriate dog grooming supplies, you will enjoy a cleaner house and beautiful looking dog with fresh breath ready for those sloppy kisses.