Upon entering dog grooming school, one of the first things you often learn is that not all dogs have the same type of coat. In fact, fur lengths and textures can vary so much between breeds they’re part of what make certain kinds of dog unique. However, what this also means for you is that you won’t be able to use the same cutting practices on all the pets you work with. So, in order to determine the best course of action for each individual client, you must first know the needs of specific fur types. These are the different types of dog fur and how they’re properly maintained.
Smooth-coated dogs, such as the dachshund, have the shortest kind of fur—second only to hairless breeds. They don’t require as much grooming to look nice, but they do need frequent brushing to prevent painful matts closer to the skin. They’ll also need gentle baths to help preserve the moisture of their skin. Should you do need to trim these coats a bit, shorter straight shears are typically the best models to use.
Tarriers such as Irish Wolfhounds and the German Wire-Haired Pointer, on the other hand, have fur texture that’s similar to wire. It can be long or short but it’s always coarse to the touch. Coats like these are easier to tangle and develop matts. Therefore, it’s crucial that you’re familiar with the proper methods to remove them.
Another important type of dog fur to mention is the longer coat exhibited by the Akita and Bernese Mountain Dog breeds. These hairs also have the tendency to be coarse, and they’ll often tangle easily due to their length. This means that, as a groomer, these clients will present the biggest challenge. Not only does longer fur take a lot of management, but it also means more cutting is required to properly shape the fur’s style.
Some dogs, such as Siberian Huskies, have thick undercoats to protect themselves from harsh environmental conditions. So, when you’re grooming them, you’re responsible for both layers of fur separately. Typically, the undercoat will need to be brushed first to remove any loose strands and matts. Then, the top layer can be brushed and cut into the proper shape.
The curly coats the Poodles have can be a struggle to manage. These waves and curls grow quickly and become tangled a lot sooner than most owners tend to think. Because of this, you’ll have your work cut out for you. To prevent tugging at the hair and hurting the pet, make sure you use a softer brush and move the tool in the opposite direction that the fur is laying. This will safely fluff up the coat and prepare it for cutting.
No matter which type of dog coat you end up working on, it’s essential you have the proper tools to do the job. After all, there are many types of fur, and there’s no telling what the work day will throw your way. So, equipping yourself with all the different types of dog grooming shears is the best way to set yourself up for success.