Line Brushing Technique (Brushing Medium to Long Coats)
Please refer also to our YouTube video to see a grooming demonstration incorporating the brushing technique mentioned below.
- Set up a dedicated area for grooming. If you don't have a grooming table, you can use just about any table to make your own - just make sure it is comforting and inviting for your dog. We recommend using a blanket or a few towels to soften the surface and to encourage them to lie down for you.
- Once your dog is comfortable, pick a section to work on (for example, the front, the back, a side, underneath, etc). As mentioned above, it is optimal for your dog to be lying down and relaxing, but if they are still in training to relax on the table (or stay in one place), you may need to add a restraint to keep them in place safely.
- Lightly mist a section of your dog’s coat with a grooming spray. The objective is not to make the coat wet, but instead add a little hydration.
Why: Hydration will help in preventing breakage to your dog's coat as it will offer a little more flexibility in the hair shaft rather than it being rigid.
- Lift up the section of fur and hold up with one hand. With your other hand (typically your dominant hand), use your Soft Slicker Brush to brush a thin section of fur in the direction of the coat growth. Slowly work your way through this section, until all fur has been combed from beneath your hand.
Why: This step is simply to help break up the coat for the next step to make it more pleasant for your dog… It can be done as much or as little as you feel necessary before moving on to the next step.
The amount of fur you can hold will be relevant to the size of your hand; its always better to start off small until you gain some confidence and muscle memory.
At first this technique may feel awkward and clumsy, but over time, you will find the best way to hold the comb, at which angles to use the comb and you will also develop a feeling for comb friction (which will be explained later on)
- If you are unable to comb through a section, or if your dog is showing discomfort, try a smaller section of fur. If this is still not possible, you may need to use the soft slicker brush to remove a build-up of dead coat and then go back to combing.
- If you come across any knots, matts or felting and are not sure how to move forward, please feel free to contact us to discuss further.
- Repeat step 4 using a Regular Tooth Comb.
The eventual goal for all sections is to be able to run your regular tooth comb smoothly through the coat, and to be able to see skin upon parting the fur.
- If you would like to take your grooming to the next level and reduce shedding significantly, repeat step 4 again using a Shedding Rake.
- Use a Small Fine Tooth Comb for areas with shorter fur such as face and legs.
Why: Faces and legs shed too!
- Once the section has been thoroughly combed, finish off by using the soft slicker brush over this area (as much or as little as you feel necessary). If you have a blow-dryer, feel free to blow through the coat at this stage to remove the loosened fur.
Why: This final step will help to pick up any loosened coat which did not come out in the combing stages.
- Reward your dog for their participation and formally release them from their grooming position! While lots of praise should have been given throughout their session, this is one final hoorah to tell them how proud you are! You may choose to reward them with their dinner or a healthy snack to celebrate.
Having a ritual around their release will instil your dog with a clearer understanding of their boundaries when it comes to grooming. The ultimate goal would be to have a dog that lies down and relaxes; and the foundation to this is establishing boundaries.
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