Labrador Care Articles
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Dog Grooming Tools
There are various cutting tools for use on dogs' coats. Stripping combs, knives, scissors and shears can all be useful, whether your dog needs a trim, a thinning out, or just a routine tidy- up. There are also special nail clippers available for pets. Electric clippers are probably best restricted to professional use unless you're an expert. Handling them badly can harm a dog's skin.
An effective tool with one regular and one serrated blade. The aim is to thin the coat without acting. Its appearance too much, so the shares are usually used on the undercoat, the top coat being combed up out of the way. This preserves the colour of the outer Handling coat in dogs which have a different coloured undercoat
Using a Stripping Knife
Stripping combs ("dressers") and knives provide a serrated metal cutting edge for removing dull, dead hair. The stripping comb has a removable guard-plate on one side and comprises a razor blade mounted against a comb. A stripping knife is just a metal blade with a handle, like a butter knife. Stripping is often combined with "plucking" - using the thumb and forefinger to pluck out dead hair.
- Brush the coat well ' to fully separate all the hairs. For silky-coated dogs, chalk powder dusted into the coat gives you a better grip.
- Grasp a section of hair between knife and thumb and pull the knife away with a twisting motion. Dead hair comes out, live hair is trimmed Scissors Barber's scissors can be used on dogs, but for safety's sake they must be the type with round-ended blades.
The most useful size is 12.5 cm. Use scissors for trimming "wispy hair" in delicate areas, especially around the eyes, ears, lips, feet, anal and genital areas. Never cut the sensitive whiskers on a dog's muzzle. Scissors can also be used in conjunction with a comb to remove mats and snags.
Special care for show-dogs
Scissors and thinning shears are used on show dogs in the same way, although the extra grooming that show animals need actually cuts down on the need for scissors. Both tools can be used to make minor adjustments to the coat or to shape it in order to "balance" the look of the dog. A dog may need last-minute touches such as a thinning over the shoulders or a slight trim on the legs before being presented in the show-ring. Take care not to trim of too much hair.
Careful use of scissors round the eye can prevent the problems suffered by some spaniels and terriers, particularly where hair irritating the eye causes a sticky discharge. Use scissors to improve the vision of non-show. Maltase and Old English Sheepdogs; trim the fringe, then thin it.
The tactile hairs on the ears and the muzzle are too sensitive to be stripped or plucked, but you can trim these areas with scissors if you take care to give any "whiskers" intact. Hair between the pads of the paws can be trimmed on long-haired breeds, to avoid matting or dirt in the house. Hair around the penis of male dogs may need an occasional trim for hygiene; this can be necessary in the vulval area of bitches too. Similarly, it is sensible to keep hair in the anal region short to avoid matting. Use a comb to lift the mat away from the skin and then cut above the comb. Once a mat is reduced, it can be combed out.
Clipping a Dogs Nails
Most of the nail bed, but it narrows right down at the tip, so make allowances for this. Dogs with black nails tend to have longer nail beds. Err on the side of caution and learn by the first one you cause to bleed. Place the dog on an easily-cleaned surface. Have a styptic pencil or other caustic to hand to stop any bleeding. You may also need to apply a light dressing. Check the dew claws on the inside of the leg if your dog hasn't had these removed. They don't wear down and, if covered with hair, may be forgotten.