Does your dog have long, fluffy hair? If so, chances are they are probably a double-coated breed, which means keeping them properly groomed can be challenging! If you are a pet parent in-between visits to the dog groomer or simply looking to maintain your pet’s coat, dog grooming at home is a great option! At-home grooming is cost-saving, causes less stress and anxiety on your pet, and promotes positive bonding for a healthy and happy animal!
Double-coated breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Great Pyrenees, and German Shepards, will naturally shed their coats twice a year. Typically, once in the fall for a winter coat and again in the spring for a summer coat. Maintaining regular grooming is crucial in keeping your pet comfortable and healthy from fleas, debris, or ticks.
We worked with Certified Master Groomer and ELITE Team Educator, Lisa Leady, to put together the best tips when grooming double-coated dogs at home using Wahl Animal’s 4-Steps to Healthy and Happy Grooming. For more tips from Professional and Certified Master Groomers – head over to the Wahl Animal Classroom for FREE educational tips and grooming tricks!
Step 1: BRUSH
For double-coated dogs, you’ll want a brush with longer pins so that it reaches down near their skin to brush out the loose hair and dead undercoat. We recommend using the Wahl Animal Large Flexible Pin Brush and the Wahl Animal Double-Sided Pin Brush. The Flexible Pin Brush is designed for dual use with one side obtaining straight bristles for coat-fluffing and the other side containing bent bristles for de-shedding and removing the dead undercoat. The Double-Sided Pin Brush allows for gentle brushing and a rubber massage side helps to loosen hair and distribute shampoo in the bath.
Start your grooming process using the Flexible Pin Brush to remove the dead undercoat. When brushing a double-coated dog, lift a section of their hair up and brush through underneath. Start in sections and continue brushing through the rest of their body, layer by layer. Lifting sections of the hair is key to removing a dead undercoat. Without lifting, you will only brush out the loose hair from the topcoat. Practice daily to weekly brushing with your dog. The more you practice, the more relaxed and comfortable your furry friend will become, and the easier it will be to brush out their full coat and maintain excessive shedding. Begin Step 2 using the Double-Sided Pin Brush for bath-time and drying.
Step 2: BATHE
We recommend bathing in a large bathtub or shower with a hand-held shower head. With double-coated breeds, always try to use a drain hair catcher. If bathing outside and using a garden hose, be sure to let the water tub or kiddy pool sit in the sun prior to use. The temperature of the water should be lukewarm to avoid shocking your dog’s system with cold water.
Apply Wahl Animal Shampoo through their body, face, and sanitation area and rinse thoroughly with warm water. You may use the rubber side of the Double-Sided Pin Brush to loosen hair and distribute shampoo in the bath while rinsing. Try to get your furry friend to shake out in the bath area before drying them off with towels. Lay extra pool towels on the floor for them to sit on while drying off and finish with a handheld blow-dryer on low heat. Use the long pins on the Double-Sided Pin Brush to comb through their coat and ensure your pet is completely dry before moving along to step 3.
Step 3: CLIP
For double-coated dogs, trimming and touch-up clipper work is suitable. A compact and cordless trimmer such as the Wahl Animal Super Pocket Pro is the perfect trimmer to use in those hard-to-reach areas and for on-the-go use. This trimmer is quiet, battery-operated, and comes with plastic guide combs that attach for a careful and even trim. The trimmer's small, hand-held size is comfortable to hold and is perfect for storing in your grooming bag.
The Super Pocket Pro is ideal for keeping the hair around the face and ears tidy, paw pads free of debris, and the sanitation area clean. Introduce your pet to this trimmer by letting them sniff it or gently rubbing the bottom of this trimmer along their back and legs to familiarize them.
Step 4: NAILS
For sensitive pets, we recommend using the Wahl Animal Ultimate Nail Grinder. The Ultimate Nail Grinder is perfect for sensitive pets because it is quiet and can get the job done quickly with an adjustable speed dial for any comfort level. This nail grinder is designed for trimming and smoothing pet nails.
When using the Ultimate Nail Grinder, try to get your pet to lay down or sit in a contained area such as a bathroom at home. Another option is to sit on part of your pet’s leash to restrain your pet from bolting. When using an electric nail grinder, be sure to move the nail grinder back and forth quickly, not staying in one area for too long, so that contact at the nail doesn’t become too hot. Breeds like Alaskan Malamutes or Siberian Huskies often don’t like their feet touched. Practice touching and tickling your pet’s feet and paw pads so they become used to their feet being touched during the grooming process. If you can only accomplish trimming one foot or one nail in one sitting, that’s a success! Be sure to celebrate or reward your pet with a treat. Continue trimming the rest of their nails, making more progress, each day at a time. Consistency and rewarding your pet are key. Nail work at home takes practice and patience but the more frequently nails are maintained, the quicker the nail quick will recede on its own and the less time you will need to spend on nail work in the future.