Have you wondered exactly what type of fur your dog has? Most people must determine this fully before even beginning to learn how to groom their dog, or even knowing what tools they will need to purchase. Many clippers and combs as well as brushes depend upon the fur type as to how well each style works. Some combs and brushes work better on smooth coats than on silky coats and vice versa. I am going to take this time to help ease you through the pain and headache involved in determining, this is especially helpful if you have a mixed breed dog. Pure breed dogs tend to be easier since their coats can be found in the AKC standards; however, mix breed dogs tend to be a bit more difficult.
Flat/smooth (such as seen in Dobermans, Boxers, etc)
It’s the easiest type to take care of, hence a simple weekly brushing session will do, or even better, twice a week, first going against the direction of the fur and then accordingly, to ensure an impeccable look. A bath is generally not a good idea, unless utterly necessary.
Short (German Shepherd, Corgi…)
It usually looks a lot like two different capes of fur, one on top, generally longer, and the one beneath, much shorter. In this case, the same kind of weekly brushing or twice a week will do the trick, with a strong brush to get rid of dead fur, and a soft sponge to level afterwards. A bath is not required as well.
Silky(Afghan, Cocker, Yorkies…)
In order to avoid the creation of knots, this type of hair requires special care such as brushing every two days if possible, and bimonthly baths. In order to look after the dog’s looks, scissors, a comb, and a pointy and hard brush is usually a good idea.
Long (Bobtail, Collie…)
These dogs have long, smooth, or mildly curly hair in some cases, and silky with an under cape of thick fur in other cases. They require daily attention and frequent bathing. The brushing needs to be done with a teasel brush, and other varieties of brushes depending on the thickness and kind of fur. As well, special shampoos and bathing softening creams are very helpful.
Curly (Curly Coated Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Kerry Blue…)
These dogs present a special kind of fur, waterproof, which should be washed, cut and trimmed monthly or every two months. Scissors, an electric shaving machine, and all sorts of combs are necessary.
Hard (Airedale Terrier, Italian Hound, Schnauzer, Teckel…)
Dead fur should be removed manually every three or four months, pulling strongly in the direction of its growth, with two fingers or using the help of a small harmless knife. As well, the dog should be brushed once or twice and month to get rid of dust. Bathing is not recommended unless it is once or twice a year only.