Grooming Tips For An Old English Sheep Dog
The Old English sheepdog is a beautiful canine with a dense coat, is quite intelligent and agile, not to mention exceptionally obedient. This sheepdog enjoys performing tasks and is one such breed that possesses great strength. This is why it can be seen in the obedience, conformation, herding and agility rings and competitions with its trademark shuffling gait.
Its thick coat protects it from the elements, which is always ideal for a British based dog given our freezing weather conditions. You will find that this canine comes in shades of grey, blue or blue merle, both with and without markings. But all in all, we can agree that this dog is simply beautiful whatever its markings.
This breed is one that is extremely athletic and as a result it’s filled with a sort of clownish energy that it needs to vent. Because of this, it is important that owners see to it that their sheepdog gets regular exercise but given the size of its form, it’s no mean feat. Old English sheepdogs are a breed that is affectionate, and they might end up trying to herd people and other objects without even realising.
Considering all these traits, it can be quite the job to groom this bear of a dog. But, if the fur of this dog is of the correct texture, it shouldn’t be that difficult to groom compared to other long-haired dogs. The only condition being that the dog should be introduced to these grooming sessions early on so that the process of grooming becomes second nature.
In this piece, we’ll give you a complete breakdown of how to go on with grooming your Old English sheepdog to ensure a smooth, calm clipping experience each and every time.
The Grooming Guide
As mentioned above, the Old English sheepdog has a dense, rough outer coat, with another layer of soft undercoat to help deal with extreme weather conditions. Grooming sessions for this breed are recommended once every four weeks and these sessions should include cleaning its ears, clipping its nails and trimming its fur using dog clippers. Check its anal glands and make sure that its coat and skin are in the best possible condition. These DIY grooming sessions should be held at regular intervals to keep your furry buddy’s luscious locks brushed and matt-free at all times.
Long, thick coats keep these sheepdogs warm in the cold winter months and shaded throughout hot summers. If you do away with all of their hair or cut it short, you might cause your dog more discomfort than you realise. If you clip a sheep dogs’ fur, be sure to leave enough hair to cover its body, ensuring there is enough layers to regulate and maintain its body temperature.
For a complete and thorough grooming session, follow the tips mentioned below:
Check its eyes - Check if your pooch’s eyes look clear, alert and bright. Use a vet-recommended eye wash whilst giving your furry buddy a bath to flush out any foreign objects. Check the eyes after you bring your dog back from walks or after a long, energetic run in the fields.
Check its ears – Ear care is an important aspect of DIY grooming. Clean your dog’s ear at least once a month to ensure there are no ear related issues that might warrant a trip to the vet’s. When cleaning the ears, it is important to clean what you can see and to not go too overboard and clean too deep, as this may end up causing harm to your pets inner ear.
Bath time – An Old English sheepdog requires two baths. The first one should be a regular, general bathing session. If your pup spends a lot of time outdoors, then an extra-long bath with a good shampoo is recommended. In the second round of bathing your dog, it’s important that you target the specific need that its coat might have. If it has any allergies or sensitive skin, then use a mild dog shampoo that doesn’t aggravate the condition.
Alternate the shampoo you use as spring and fall shedding seasons approach. Given the dense fur that this sheepdog has, it is best to use a generous amount of conditioner on its coat too.
Common issues - Hotspots are an issue that is quite common with this breed, especially during summer. To keep hotspots at bay, get rid of the dead undercoat so that the skin gets sufficient exposure to air. If this doesn’t happen, the moisture will lead to irritation and form hotspots. Keep hotspot foam handy just in case.
Grooming equipment – When shedding season arrives, it won’t hurt to have an undercoat rake around to help you get rid of dead hair and prevent hotspots. When you have an Old English sheepdog as your pet, it is always a good idea to keep a brush or comb handy. You can use these between shedding cycles to keep your dog’s fur healthy. You can also get a dematting rake to remove matted fur and knots when grooming.
Paw care – Use paw balm on a weekly basis to keep the paw pads of your four-legged friend soft. Regular application of paw balm will prevent the pads from cracking and drying.
Taking good care of your pet is essential, even more so if it has a fur as long as the Old English sheepdog.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can help with your best friend’s grooming regime!