As your pup nears adulthood, grooming requirements can change. Owners of short coated pups have nothing to worry about. Their pups are low-maintenance, being drip-dry from birth to old age. But pups with others types of coats may require careful attention during this transitional time. Knowing what to do, and how to do it, prevents matting and tangles, which may require professional removal.
Double coated pups
If your puppy has a double coat (smooth, longer hair on the outside with soft, wooly fur underneath), you'll want to pay special attention during this time. His cute puppy fuzz is about to shed, only to be replaced by a mature, shiny coat. During the transition from puppy fuzz to adult coat, extra grooming is necessary. Sometimes daily grooming is required or your puppy's fuzzy coat may start to form mats under the new fur. The mats are painful and time consuming to remove, if they can be removed at all. If they can't, then shaving is the only alternative.
Fortunately, this can be avoided with thorough brushing. Thorough means parting the hair down to the skin and then brushing, in long strokes, from the skin out to the end of the hair. If you can't part the hair easily down to the skin, then you have a mat forming.
Pay particular attention to the chest, hips, elbows, and to areas where fur rubs against fur, behind the ears and under or between the legs. If this is all new to you, ask a groomer to show you what to do or, if you purchased your puppy from a breeder, he should be able to instruct you.
Wire coated pups
Wire coated puppies, such as Terriers, start getting stiffer fur growing in as they mature. To achieve that harsh Terrier coat "stripping" is required. This is a process where the undercoat is plucked away a few hairs at a time. Stripping emphasizes the harsh texture and the rich color of many Terriers' coats. This process is best done by a professional. Since it is time consuming, and because some puppies resent the process, many puppy owners forego it entirely, and instead opt for the ease of having their puppy's coat clipped short.
Long coated pups
It's easy to fall in love with the long coat sported by the Yorkshire Terrier or Maltese, among others. These dogs look wonderful in the show ring but is such a coat practical at home? Few people realize that a dog with this "full coat" often lives with his coat rolled up and banded to avoid breakage and tangles. Oil is frequently applied for the same reason, and these dogs rarely play with other dogs or romp freely lest knots appear. Luckily, these small dogs look charming in what are called "puppy cuts," which are, generally, overall short cuts. These cuts are often more practical for many puppy owners, whose busy schedules don't allow for intensive daily grooming.
Cottony coated pups
The truly cottony coated dogs, for example: the Bichon Frise, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and some Poodles, are prone to matting at any age - not just during adolescence. Any place that rubs against anything will be a potential problem area.
Dampness is particularly effective for forming mats so these dogs may need careful drying after a romp in the rain. Often the best solution is a regular appointment at a groomers. Every four to six weeks is about right, though this can vary. Keeping your pup's coat trimmed short is not only tidier around the house - it's also kinder for your puppy as removing mats is no fun for anyone.
With proper coat care, any pup can make the transition from puppy to adult without mishap.
Copyright © 2000 KAL KAN FOODS INC.® , All rights reserved. Pedigree