Longhair dog breeds, such as the Shih Tzu, the Lhasa apso and the bearded collie, need to be groomed every day to prevent them from suffering painful tangles. With longhair dogs, a simple comb will not satisfy the canine's grooming needs. The best grooming products are a combination of clippers, combs, brushes and rakes to ensure that the dog's hair stays debris and tangle free.
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Combs are used on longhair dogs to remove any fine debris from the fur. This debris can include dust, loose hair, fleas and the occasional loose tangle. Combs often are used when precision grooming is required, as they can part the hair to one side. The standard metal comb is perhaps the best comb for longhair dogs. The needles are spaced at two different lengths at either end of the comb. The wider spaced teeth are used to separate the hair loosely; the finer teeth are used to remove debris.
Slicker brushes have fine wire pins that are bent at an angle. The pins are positioned close together. These tools are useful for breeds of dog that shed a lot of hair. The bristles will pick up and remove any loose hair. Longhair dogs should be brushed at least once a day to stop shedding on the furniture. Another brush that is excellent for longhair dogs is the pin brush. The pins in this brush are longer and spaced farther apart than those in a slicker brush. The pins are coated in a plastic to prevent irritation to the dog's skin. This type of brush is used for untangling knots that are common in longhair dogs.
Clippers and Scissors
When grooming longhair dogs, different methods are used for different styles. Electric clippers are available for shaving off large areas of fur. This procedure can be done to highlight longer areas of the dog or to remove a long coat for the summer. Different heads can be attached to the clippers, allowing different lengths to be removed. Scissors are used to style longhair dogs. Curved blade scissors are used for trimming hard-to-reach areas. The curved blade angles the point away from the dog's skin, preventing accidents. Thinning shears have a toothed blade and a sharp blade. The toothed blade only allows half the normal amount of hair to be cut. This process results in the overall coat being thinned out. The thinning shears blend the cut into the fur rather than a straight cut from normal scissors.
Shedding Combs and Rakes
Unlike normal combs, shedding combs are designed to remove loose hair and mats. The undercoat rake is used like a brush, but its needles are much tougher and specifically designed to tackle the thick, matted undercoats some breeds, such as Shih Tzu, have. Shedding combs and rakes also are used to remove stubborn tangles, as the bristles are not as flexible.
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