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.
    1. 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 make it non-slip, encouraging them to lie down for you.

    2. It’s important to note that the dog should be safely restrained. If you are not using a grooming table, its most ideal to have your dog on their lead and to attach the lead around your waist or somewhere this will keep them from easily jumping off. Alternatively, you may need a second person to hold the dog until you are satisfied they are not going to jump off.

      Jumping off not only risks injury, but the act of “breaking free” is a form of reinforcement, so this should be avoided. The dog should be only be released from the table on your say so, not their own.

    3. 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 for as much of the groom as possible. Treats are an important part of this process; either a long-lasting treat or lots of little treats (it’s best if the dog is hungry, and their meal or a meal equivalent in treats is used as bribery).

    4. 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 is this important?: 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. Especially important if your dog likes to play in the sand or dirt as debris will dry their coat out and has a higher risk of causing breakage of the hair fibres. Breakage leads to more risk of knots and matting, so its important to minimise breakage where it is possible.

    5. Ideally starting your journey from the underside of the dog, start at the base and work your way up. Lift the section of fur and hold up with one hand. With your other hand (typically your dominant hand), use your Firm slicker brush to brush a thin section of fur.

      Brushing in the direction of the coat growth when starting a grooming session is much more comfortable compared to brushing in the opposite direction. Only brush in the opposite direction once you know there are no more knots and the bulk of the dead coat has been removed.

      Slowly work your way through this section, until all fur has been brushed from beneath your hand. It’s important to work toward being able to see the skin and getting your slicker brush all the way down to the skin layer. You may wish to use a “guarded” slicker brush for the sensitive areas like groin and inner thighs.

      Why is this important?: 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 as long as you can see the skin when the hair is parted. 

      The amount of fur you can hold up will be relevant to the size of your hand; it’s always better to start off small until you gain some confidence and muscle memory.

      Note: At first this technique may feel awkward and clumsy, but over time, you will find the best way to hold the brush, at which angles to use it, and you will also develop a feeling for brush friction (which will be explained later on)

    6. Repeat step 4 using a Regular Tooth Comb

      The eventual goal 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 there is too much friction upon trying to comb through the hair, or your dog is showing / vocalising discomfort; first try with a smaller section of hair. If your comb is still challenging to get through the smaller section, return to using your slicker brush for a bit longer.

      If you come across any knots, matts or felting and are not sure how to move forward, (or simply feel overwhelmed / out of your depth) please feel free to contact us to discuss further.

    7. We recommend (if you have the patience and your dog has the tolerance) to then repeat step 4 again using a fine tooth comb. This will pick up on any small knots, matts or tangles which may have slipped through with the wider comb. You could use a de-shedding comb for this step too, and if you really want to do a quality job and get on top of shedding, you could use the de-shedding comb followed by the fine comb. 

    8. Finally, and this is also optional depending on how much you are willing to do; we would recommend repeating step 4 yet another time, but this time with the Soft slicker brush. What this will do is pick up on any of the remaining loose bits of coat that have been loosened by the comb but not fully brushed out.

      A dog should have a full brush out once a week. For dogs (and owners) who are still getting used to the process, we recommend that short daily sessions are undertaken. We recommend that allocating a limb to each day of the week works quite well as this means each section is being worked on once a week, and it's not too much of a task to then groom the dog out in full. 

    9. For areas of the dog with shorter fur such as face and legs, these areas still shed, so you can use a Small Fine Tooth Comb to help stay on top of these sections.

    10. 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 goal would be to have a dog that lies down and relaxes without the need for restraint. The foundation to achieving this is establishing clear boundaries.

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