Dogs with heavy fur coats such as Saint Bernards and German Shepherds will often need more than just a regular grooming to keep their coats in perfect condition. Dogs like these also have a thick undercoat that need attention. The undercoat is what most people will notice falling out all over their home when the dog is shedding after the winter season. The undercoat can be removed to limit this shedding, and it can be done by using some canine conditioner and an undercoat removal rake.
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Things you need
- Dog comb
- Paddle brush
- Canine conditioner
- Undercoat removal rake
- Blow dryer
Begin by giving your dog a very good brushing, getting out as many knots as you can with your dog comb and paddle brush, while trying to make the coat as smooth as you can. Pay close attention to the ear area as well as the hind legs, since these are areas that acquire the most knots.
Guide your dog to the washtub and give him a thorough bath, followed by a good rinsing. Liberally apply enough canine conditioner to saturate your dog. You want to give your dog's fur a slippery texture for the rake to flow through.
Starting in the hind area of your dog, run the rake through the fur and remove all of the loose undercoat. Continue up the body of the dog, finally moving over to the front neck area. Take your time during this process to remove as much undercoat as you can. When you have removed most of the undercoat, the comb should slide through the wet fur without any problems. Test the entire coat of your dog for smoothness before removing him from the tub.
Rinse out the conditioner, and walk your dog out of the tub. Towel dry the excessive moisture out of his coat, and then follow it up with a blow dryer. Dry the fur enough to remove as much moisture as you can without over drying and causing skin irritation.
Pass a dry rake over your dog’s body one more time until you are satisfied that you have removed enough of the undercoat. Follow this up with a thorough brushing with your paddle brush to make the removal of your dog's undercoat complete.
Tips and warnings
- You will have an easier time raking your dog if you invest in a table on which he can stand. This will lessen your need to bend and will cause less stress on your back.
- If your dog is opposed to the undercoat removal process, and you fear that he may snap at you, a muzzle is highly recommended.
- Try to avoid excessive tugging on your dog's coat while removing the undercoat. While some pulling is expected, your dog might become uncomfortable if you go overboard.
- If your dog is unable to stand while you are removing the undercoat, you may need to ask the help of a professional.
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