How Do I Brush My Dog’s Curly Coat?

How Do I Brush My Dog’s Curly Coat?

How to Brush Your Curly Haired Dog’s Coat

Curly coated dogs, like the name suggest, have short tight curls all over their body. Breeds like the Bichon Frise, Poodle and Airedale Terrier all have coats like this. There is a common misconception that curly coated dog’s don’t shed, but this isn’t true – all dogs that have hair will shed, so regular brushing will take out the dead hairs, protecting your dog from potential matting, and helping to reduce the stray hairs attaching to to your sofa!

The main purpose of your dog’s hair is however to regulate your best friend’s body temperature, so keeping it in top condition will make sure your dog is warm and snug all year around.

Hayley Ryan, Professional Dog Groomer

Hayley is a Professional Dog Groomer at Petmania Grooming Studios since 2018, having qualified as groomer in 2015. She is also a Grooming Trainer for the Petmania Grooming Academy. She has competed and won rosettes at the Irish Professional Dog Groomers Association's Madra Mania, and cares for dogs at our Grooming Studio in Kilkenny.

Hayley is the human companion to 11 year old rescue dog Lady, whom she believes to be a Yorkie-Jack Russell cross, and her favourite thing about being a dog groomer is the bond that she creates with the dogs she cares for - she just love to see those tails wagging on arrival for their groom!

Caring for your curly coated dog at home

Brushing your curly coated dog’s hair every day is a must to prevent knots, tangles, and nasty matting which can cause pain and potentially nasty skin problems for your dog. But brushing your dog’s hair doesn’t need to be a chore! It’s a great way to spend quality, relaxation time with your four legged friend and it will help keep his coat soft and fluffy, making those doggie cuddles all the better!

If you have a puppy, I would recommend starting to brush her hair daily from a young age, to get him used to the sensation which will make it much easier as she gets older.

Getting Started

When brushing your curly dog, there are a couple of things that you will need, so get your kit together before you start:

  1. A Slicker Brush – this will be your (second!) best friend. A slicker brush is long pinned brush designed to penetrate your dog’s curly coat. If you don’t have a slicker brush, pick one up today.
  2. Comb – using a comb after a brush through with your slicker brush is a great way to do a final check for knots and tangles. I normally use a larger comb on a body and a smaller comb on the face.
  3. Conditioning Spray – using a conditioning spray can make it easier to brush your dog’s hair, and has the added benefit of leaving him hair soft and cuddly.

5 Steps to Brushing Your Dog’s Coat

From my experience, the trouble spots on curly coated dogs will be the behind the ears, under the arm pits and on the tail. Paying special attention to these as you brush will help prevent matting.

1. The first step to brushing your dog’s coat is to run your fingers through the coat. This will get your dog used to the sensation, and will also help you to identify any problems before you start brushing.

2. Start with the trouble spots first. Parting the hair, brush from root to tip, working through any tangles gently but firmly.

3. Once you have brushed the trouble areas, continue to brush through the rest of the body, again, parting the hair and brushing downwards.

4. When the whole body has been brushed with your slicker brush, take your comb and comb through the hair to check that you haven’t missed any tangles

5. To get the coat nice and fluffy, when you’re finished your brush through, take the slicker brush and brush backwards (from tip to root).

What Happens if my Dog Gets Wet?

Getting out for a walk, run or swim is so important to help keep your dog fit and healthy, but if your dog’s hair gets wet, it’s really important that you dry it straight away and give it a really good brush through. This will make sure that matts don’t get the chance to form. If matts form on the coat, we may need to cut the hair very short, or even shave it, to remove them.

Does My Dog Really Need a Dog Groomer?

Without regular bathing and hair cuts, along with daily at-home brushing, your curly haired dog will develop matting which will tighten on the skin causing pain and discomfort for you dog, and will lead to otherwise avoidable trips to your vet.

Your professional dog groomer is here to help you care for your dog’s coat and will wash and dry the coat, and cut your dog’s hair which will make your daily brushing at home much easier. A nail trimear clean and hygiene trim will also be included in a regular visit to your groomer, and special treatments are also available depending on your dog’s individual needs to nourish the skin and help keep the coat in top condition. For curly coated breeds, a full groom is recommended every 6-8 weeks.


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