Welcome to Professional Dog Grooming Tools in the second in our series of Dog Grooming Tips For Beginners.
If you are considering grooming your dog at home, there are many useful professional dog grooming utensils that you can use, depending on the breed of your dog and the state of their coat.
You might think that only a brush is necessary or maybe a comb. However, there are quite a few tools out there which you may not have heard of before.
Brushing your dog every day is a must to remove dirt, debris and dead hairs from their body. It keeps them healthy, gives them a lovely massage as well as helping to create a stronger bond and helps to build trust.
The brushing tool and technique to be used will differ if your dog’s coat is wet, matted, dry, knotted or dry.
I first saw these for sale on a TV shopping channel years ago, and I thought they were such a novel idea. These gloves, which you wear on just one or both hands for double effect, mean you can stroke your dog at the same time as brushing them. They will love it either way.
There are two types. The more common one has rubber pins which are great to use in the bath or just every day. The one with metal pins is more for professional use in the practice of “stripping” (see below).
I’d say that the rubber pinned gloves are more for daily use rather than for a coat that is matted and hasn’t seen a brush in ages. They are convenient to use when sitting on the sofa watching the television, stroking your dog and giving her a lovely cuddle at the same time.
This type of brush comes in all kinds, made from different materials. It is best for grooming softly without losing too much hair while it gives more of an intense brush.
They are made from plastic or wood while their bristles can be natural, made from copper or wild boar (vegans beware).
Combs ordinarily come second after a brush as another method to clear away debris or dead hair after the brushing. They help to smooth down the hair and will also be used together with scissor work to aid sculpturing and styling.
They are for sale in a range of sizes. From very large to tiny for the face and around the eyes, also, for flea removal. You use them even for parting the hair during styling.
This tool can be dangerous as it has sharp blades so please keep out of the way of children and, of course, use with caution on the animals.
The Supercoat is for professional use as it requires training to use it properly. It allows the groomer to de-shed the coat while breaking up any matted hair at the same time. It can also be used during stripping by getting rid of the undercoat or a wire-coat.
Slickers are great for both gentle brushings as well as brushing with deeper intent. When using it lightly, no hair will be damaged, but using it more deeply will remove dead hair.
In terms of design, there are many formats. The pins can vary in diameter, length and flexibility, thereby producing a slightly different result with each one.
Rakes and Mat Breakers
These are excellent for fast and easy de-shedding.
These are a hybrid between a “normal” brush and a typical slicker because they come in various pin formation types and they are more pleasant and convenient to hold.
HAIR REGENERATION – STRIPPING
Stripping literally means pulling out. It sounds painful, and many dogs do complain, but when it is done accurately by a professional, the dog should hardly notice it.
As the hair is extracted from the follicle root, it encourages the renewal of hair. The new hair becomes harder, rougher in texture and colour.
Over time, as the hair ages, it becomes weaker and more delicate. Stripping is the only accepted method that permits the hair to grow back more durable and is primarily used to achieve a perfectly healthy coat in coarse/wire-haired breeds.
For professional use – knives are dangerous after all – they are used in the removal of the undercoat.
Suitable for removing fine hair without causing damage.
Yes, you read correctly. A latex or rubber thimble can be a handy and convenient tool for the professional groomer. Not only does it protect the fingers when applying the stripping technique, but thimbles can also be used to pull out finer hair, without the need for a knife.
As opposed to the generic Stripping Knife which only strips the hair, the Japanese Knife will also break it. Determining which one to use is based on the quality and the amount of hair to renew.
A groomer who frequently uses the stripping procedure will most definitely possess this tool, and they come in sets of two. You have the one with spacious teeth and another with slim teeth, using one for general jobs and the other for the undercoat or more detailed tasks.
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These tools are durable and long-lasting, coming in different formats and sizes for small, medium and large dogs. Cats have a different design for their nail trimmers, and a groomer may also use a specialised nail file for a smoother finish in both dogs and cats.
When it comes to scissors, there is a world of choice. Anything from the material used, i.e. steel, or if they are straight, curved or chunker blades, the variety of sizes available, whether they have finger-rests or not, their weight, the cut quality, down to the colour! Different styles of scissors for different purposes during styling. The professional groomer is not short of variety.
Please note: It is very dangerous to cut mats from a pet’s coat with scissors. For mat removal, a groomer should use the specialised tools mentioned above as these have been appropriately designed for the safe removal of mats. Otherwise, the animal could be hurt.
Dog Grooming Tips For Beginners – Professional Dog Grooming Tools
These are an example of a few of the tools that a professional dog groomer will use every day. However, there are other items which a groomer cannot live without if he/she wants to work in a professional capacity. In the next post of our series, we will see these.
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