Short coated dogs include breeds such as the Pug, Australian Cattle Dog, Shar-Pei, Mastiff, Rottweiler, most Hounds and Labradors.
The coat is short, close to the body and tends to shed a lot. The texture of the hair is quite harsh – not smooth and sleek, nor fluffy, nor wiry.
Short coated dogs tend to produce a natural body oil that gives them their characteristic ‘doggy smell’. This is the reason that we want to wash our short coated dogs regularly.
You will know when your short coated dog needs a bath because a slightly greasy film can be felt on the coat and the doggy odour starts to increase.
If your dog lives inside the house with you, a weekly bath is recommended. Outdoor dogs can manage 1-12 weeks without a bath; it’s really your preference and how you cope with doggy odour.
Due to the harsh texture of the coat, shedding can be quite profuse, regardless of the climate. The guard coat is made up of quite spiky hairs, that fall out readily and can stick into furniture and carpets.
Rottweilers are a classic example of a short coated breed of dog. Harsh hair texture, slight odour and heavy shedding.
Another characteristic is the thicker mane of hair around the neck area. The body and leg hair tends to be flatter and sleeker.
The little Jack Russell peeking out of the bath here is also a short coated dog that sheds hair all over your floors too!
Here we have a happy pair in the bath together. Labradors are short coated dogs and they too have a thickish mane of hair around their neck and shoulders, a doggy smell and hair that sheds profusely.
Dalmations are actually smooth coated dogs with much shorter and finer hair which is closer to the body.
When bathing your short coated dog, use a regular, all-purpose shampoo followed by a skin conditioner (unless another product is indicated, such as a medicated shampoo).
Wet the dog thoroughly and rub the shampoo right through the thick coat. You may need to add more water to break through the filmy waterproofing layer on the coat. Sink your fingers into the coat and work it in.
You may want to use a rubber curry comb with cone-shaped teeth to really work the shampoo deep into the coat and reach the skin. Scrub firmly so that you lift dirt, dead skin and debri to the surface.
You could also use a natural bristle brush; this works particularly well on the legs and feet. Brush down in the direction of hair growth with lots of shampoo on the brush.
Rinse off about half the shampoo. You should see most of the loose dirt and hair come off at this stage.
Then apply a second serving of shampoo and repeat the process. The second shampoo stage cleans the hair more thoroughly, ensuring that all the residue is removed and leaving the hair beautifully clean.
Be extremely careful around the eyes and nose, particularly with small dogs.
Breeds such as Pugs, with a short nose can inhale water easily. This will result in them choking, spluttering and running the risk of getting water down into the lungs.
Ensure that the water pressure is very low and that you carefully wet and rinse the hair around the nose without getting water near the end of the nose.
Clean very gently with your fingers, around the eyes. Remove the dried tears and eye ‘goop’ but try and avoid getting shampoo or water into the eyes.
Same around the ears; gently wash the hair around the ear canal and inside the ear leather itself. Remove all dirt and waxy residue. If some water accidentally goes inside the ear, allow the dog to shake it out. Then at the end of the dry the inside of the ear with your finger and a tissue to ensure that all moisture is removed. Or use a product such as Epi-Optic to properly clean inside the ear and remove excess moisture.
After the second shampoo and rinse, aply the conditioner. Work it into the coat with your fingers, in the direction of the hair growth. Your dog should love this massaging process.
Finally, rinse off the conditioner completely. The dogs hair should be squeaky clean.
If you’re bathing a cattle dog, you will probably fill the bath with dead, shedded hair. Sometimes it sheds off in handfuls.
This double shampoo process is brilliant for removing clumps of unwanted hair. Use a rubber curry comb to assist you.
You can brush your dog before the bath, but I’ve found by experience that it’s more effective to curry comb it whilst wet in the bath.
There are a number of different ways to dry your short coated dog. Start by squeezing as much water as you can out with your hands. The use some sort of shammy or ‘water magnet’ cloth. This will soak up most of the water in the coat. You may have to wring the shammy out several times and it may get clogged with dead hair.
The next step depends on what equipment you have.
If you’re a professional groomer, then it’s best to turn on your forced-air dryer and blast the excess water out of the coat. Use the nozzle close to the skin and gently move it through the coat in the direction of the hair growth. This is called a spit dry – you are literally spitting the water and debris off the skin. It’s very effective, but please don’t do it on a nervous dog. Some dogs are scared of the noisy powerful dryer.
If it’s your own dog and you don’t have a forced-air dryer, the you can usually get your dog dry enough with a brisk towel dry. They usually love it and want to play tug-of-war with the towel! Use this time to have fun with and bond with your dog.
The finishing touch is a beautiful blow dry with either a hand-held hair dryer or a professional forced-air dryer. Be mindful of the temperature of the air; you don’t want to burn the dog. As you’re drying the coat, use a soft brush to separate the hairs. This will help it to dry quicker and make it look and feel absolutely gorgeous.
The final step is to stop him or her rolling in the dirt as soon as bath time is over!! Yep, they ALL do it.
If you’d like to learn more about Jill’s online Grooming School, please follow this link. Or you can read the Free Report – when you sign up for the free report you will be taken to our special membership site where you can see some free grooming videos and demonstrations.