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Canine Grooming Fact or Fiction

Author Chris Chamberlin

Call it myths or old wives tales, most of the time there is but a grain of truth in the do's and don'ts of doggy facts.

How many times have you heard the one that says "You shouldn't bathe a dog more than twice a year!" That it destroys theirs coats. Well now, if that little titbit were true, those POOR show dogs with their glorious coats would be bald. With dog shows every weekend and more, those purebreds are bathed at a minimum once a week.

Myths concerning Dog Grooming

This myth came about when shampoos consisted of a bar of lye soap and a lake was used instead of tub with warm water. Long before grooming shops and ph shampoos and conditioners for dogs bathing your dog routinely this way would have caused dry skin and dull coats. It is reasonable to say that these dogs did not receive regular brushing either. The truth comes in on this myth when you don't use conditioning shampoo and or conditioners. Harsh soaps can dry a coat.

If you bath your dog like a show dog would be bathed, once a week, then you MUST compensate the natural oils his skin produces to condition his coat, with quality conditioners that are ph balanced for dogs. I recommend using a dog shampoo but if you use people shampoos on your dog, please nothing stronger than baby shampoo. Dogs have sensitive eyes too so buy the tearless kind.

Another myth is "Never cut the hair away from a sheepdog's eyes." Many folks believe this applies to all long-haired dogs who have hair that grows over their faces. The sun WILL NOT hurt their eyes folks! This one was for the herding dog to keep the dust out of his eyes while in the field, not the sun. For the most part the hair never directly covered their eyes in the first place. At the time of herding in the sheep, they were sheared just like the animals they tended. They would not be able to do their jobs in the field if they had remained long.

Dog Grooming and Working Dogs

It should be also noted that those dogs would not have the profuse coat of the show dog either. Leaving long hair in front of your dog's eyes or over your dog's eyes will collect dust and dirt and inevitably cause eyes problems. Adorable bows can be used to keep the hair back or even a nice trim job to help maintain clean clear eyes and good eye sight.

How about believing that "My dog is so cute when comes up and wants his ears rubbed!" While some dogs will tuck their noses under your hand to be petted, if they rub their ears against your hand it is probably because he has ear mites. Mites can be so irritating that your dog will actually rub up against anything to relieve the itch. More often than not, it will be accompanied be an ear infection as well. So love 'em to death with the petting but if they go for an ear rub, be suspicious of ear trouble first. Signs to look for include, dark brown dirt and or waxy build-up, red and or inflamed ear canal, bad odour, and your dog scratching at his ears.

Shaving A Long Haired Dogs Coat

One that is debatable is --"Never shave off your large dog's coat." Well there should be no reason to shave off a large breed dog's coat unless it has been neglected. It is far better to shave a Chow or Old English or any longhaired dog that has matted to the skin then let the hair fall out on its own. By the time nature took its course the poor dog could have terrible skin problems. Should you find it necessary to take off the coat protect your dog from the elements. Sunburns in the summer and cold in the winter.

More Myths about Grooming A Dog

Then there is "Only poodles are non allergenic, non shedding dogs." Bigtime FALSE. There are a number of breeds that are non-shedding and if you have an allergy to dogs, it is from their dander not their hair. Granted the non- shedding breeds tend to produce less shedding of dander, they can still effect a sensitive allergy. Some non-shedding breeds other than the poodle( in most cases it is only the purebred poodles that can be safely be considered non-shedding) are : Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrrier, Bichon Frise to name a few. The main difference between long-haired and short haired dogs that do shed some coat is the way they shed. Short-haired dogs will leave hundreds of short single strands of hair on your couch, whereas a long-haired dog will leave clumps of hair. Most shedding can be maintained by regular brushing.

In General, proper grooming practices and common sense will tell you what is fact and what isn't when it comes to maintaining your dog's coat.