How Do I Brush My Dog’s Long Coat?

How Do I Brush My Dog’s Long Coat?

How to Brush Your Long Haired Dog’s Coat

Longer haired dog breeds like Maltese Terriers, Bearded Collies, Japanese Spitz and the Lhasa Apso have beautiful long hair that needs daily care to help keeping it looking fabulous, so in this blog post I’m going to show you what to do to keep your longer haired dog looking and feeling great!

The main purpose of your dog’s long luscious locks is to regulate your best friend’s temperature – helping to keep her cool in the summer and warm on colder days, but she does need your help to keep it in top condition.

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 long coated dogs at home

Brush your dog’s long 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. If you have a puppy, I would recommend starting to brush her hair daily from a young age, to get her used to the sensation which will make it much easier as she gets older. 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 will help to keep her soft and fluffy.

Getting Started

When brushing your longer haired 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. Designed to get deep into the undercoat and lift out dead hair, 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. Hair Tie – a hair tie or bobbin will help you section off parts of your dog’s coat, allowing you to reach trouble spots like the under-arm
  4. Conditioning Spray – using a conditioning spray can make it easier to brush your dog’s hair, and has the added benefit of leaving her hair soft and cuddly.

5 Steps to Brushing A Long Haired Dog

From my experience, the trouble spots on longer, straight coated dogs will be the ears, under-arms, belly and hygiene area. Paying special attention to these as you brush is really important in order to prevent matting.

1. Run your fingers through the coat first. This will get your dog used to the sensation, and will help you to identify any problems before you start brushing.

2. Starting with one of the front legs, section off the hair using your hair tie, to allow you access to the leg.

3. Using your slicker brush, brush in the direction of hair, making sure to get deep into the hair to remove any dead hair and tangles.

4. Once you have completed the first leg, you can then take out your hair tie, and brush through the longer hair on top, again, using your slicker brush in a downward motion.

5. Repeat these steps on all four legs, paying special attention to the under-arms, belly and hygiene area.

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 long haired dog will develop matting which will tighten on the skin causing pain and discomfort for you dog. Your professional dog groomer will wash and dry the coat, and cut your dog’s hair which will make your daily brushing at home much easier. A nail trim, ear 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 longer coated breeds, a full groom is recommended every 6-8 weeks.


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