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Understanding dog grooming techniques: Spinning, shaving, stripping and trimming

Understanding dog grooming techniques: Spinning, shaving, stripping and trimming


Spinning is a recommended operation in the case of straight long-haired species. The Yorkshire Terrier, the Maltese Silky Dog, and the Shih-Tzu, but even the Afghan Hound may be seen before the exhibitions with white paper packs on their bodies. Although basically, each spinning species has different hair types, in each case the target is to protect from damages, breaking the very long hairs, which the dog pulls after itself while moving. Spinning the hairs should be always done with completely clean and well-dried hairs. The first step is the oiling of the hairs. For oiling always an oil has to be selected that is appropriate for the hair type and for the individual sensitivity of the dog, and this may be found out only through experimenting. Attention has to be paid to introduce the lotion to the end of the hairs, and not to the skin, where it would clog the pores. The hairs have to be separated into mops of hair, and the oil has to be distributed on each mop with a bristle brush, then the mop has to be laid into a special paper folded in advance, and it has to be folded into this paper piece. In order to prevent these long papers hanging, they have to be folded upwards three times, and they have to be fixed with rubber. Subsequently, the hairs of the dogs have to be checked every two-three days from several aspects. On one hand, it has to be checked whether the spins have become dirty, whether the papers have been torn, and attention has to be paid that the hairs under them should not become tangled. In the case of these inspections the mops have to be opened up one-by-one, the hairs have to be combed and if needed they have to be reoiled and the papers have to be replaced.



Learning the method of shaving is not a simple task. Acquiring the required skills may last for years. Shaving may be done with an electric shaving machine or with scissors. 

In the case of machine shaving, the proper holding of the device and using the appropriate shaving head (which may be different by species and body areas) are very important. Attention has to be paid not to damage the skin of the dog during shaving. This can be achieved by laying the shaving head evenly on the surface of the skin and never perpendicularly to it. Shaving has to be always done in the direction of the growth of the hair, except if the instructions for the given species require it to be done elsehow. In the case of shaving by machine, there may be injuries caused by the overheating of the shaving head or the sensitivity of the thinner skin. The first reason can be prevented by periodically checking the shaving head, while the second one, in the case of existing skin sensitivity it is possible to prevent the reddening, scarring of the skin by using special dog cosmetic preparations that are available on the internet. Scissors may be also used, provided we hold the scissors properly, that is, our thumb is in the bigger hole, while our middle finger is in the smaller one. During shaving, only our thumb should move. The scissors have to be always laid on the surface of the hair, we have to progress opposite the orientation of the hairs, and the scissors should be never pressed between the hairs. If we shave the fur this way, the hairs will be nice and they will be of equal lengths, while the hair coat will be thick and uniform.


Trimming and stripping your dog's coat the proper way

Trimming is nothing else, but the removal of the dead hairs without any pain, pulling them out from the hair follicles in order to open a new way for the fresh, newly growing hairs. The ill-kempt, untrimmed hairs may lead to the development of serious skin diseases, and this leads to an ungroomed appearance of the dog. Generally, the dead hairs may be easily distinguished from the rest, since their color is more lustreless. The stringy and wiry haired species are usually trimmed each 4-6 weeks because this much time is required for the hairs to become “trimmable”. Trimming of the wiry-haired Hungarian Retriever and of the Fox Terrier has to be done differently and with another schedule, as e.g. the trimming of the stringy-haired Dachshund or of the Westies and the Schnauzers. Moreover, preparing the fur of the exhibition dogs requires far more thorough and regular grooming than the periodical trimming of the dogs of the same species that are kept as pets. In addition to this, the trimming of those species that have mixed hair types (e.g. the Setters, the Spaniels) require again a different procedure. It has to be known that it is strictly forbidden to shave the hairs that are to be trimmed. Many people turn to the dog cosmeticians asking that the dog to be trimmed should be shaved, maybe because they think this is not only faster but cheaper as well. However, this is not so, moreover, the hairs of the dog are completely destroyed by shaving with a machine. The hairs not only become softer, but they completely lose their species related character.

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