Did you ever imagine that you'd step in as your dog's hairdresser? Long-haired dogs can't really be ignored when it comes to grooming. Overly long hair on some animals can become tangled and matted. Your dog's comfort is also important to consider since dog haircut styles can help keep your pet feeling cooler when the temperatures rise.
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Learning to groom well takes practice and time, and gaining your pet's trust is a part of the process. Keep calm as you wield your brush and scissors and the result will be a great-looking dog of whom you can be proud.
Two dog hairstyles
Dog hairstyles are best selected when you base them on the time you have to devote and the type of life you lead with your dog. Two dog hairstyles are up for grabs in this case: a show coat or a pet trim.
If you plan to enter your dog in competitions, you'll need to sport a show coat on your pup. For example, a Yorkshire terrier's hair should be trimmed so that it's even with the floor (it actually grows like a human's hair does). Long and luscious, this special show cut allows your pup's locks to swish while she prances, highlighting her gorgeous coat as she racks up ribbons. For regular folks who just want fur that's easy to manage, many small, long-haired dogs, like the Yorkie, look very nice with a pet trim. This particular dog hairstyle is much shorter and quicker to care for.
Both types of dog hairstyles will need to be maintained with a brush to keep it smooth and free of knots and debris. Pet cuts are also sometimes called puppy cuts or teddy bear cuts, and all of these can be done by a professional groomer if you're short on time or not keen to DIY.
Gaining your pet's trust
Grooming sessions are your chance to bond with your pet, but not every dog loves being brushed or trimmed. It could be that your new rescue doesn't trust you yet, or your animal could associate brushing with a bad experience he had when he was a puppy. Either way, approach your pet slowly so you can gain his confidence and you can get the job done. To help ease the process, keep a bunch of treats handy to offer him along the way.
Start by brushing or trimming small sections of fur and then continue if he's relaxed enough. If you only create half the desired look on your long-haired dog, know that it's perfectly fine. You can always finish the grooming another day.
If you find that your dog still becomes upset no matter how gentle and quiet you are during the session, it might be time to call in a trainer or your pet's vet. An experienced trainer can teach your dog to be less aggressive and more likely to sit still when he's being groomed. Your pet's doc can examine him to see if there's a physical reason, such as joint pain or infection, that's preventing him from enjoying his dog hairstyles.
Shaving a long-haired dog
As warmer weather approaches, you may be wondering whether shaving your pet is the best idea for long-haired dogs. While this sounds like a smart move when it's super humid outside, shaving your pet's fur is very often not the best idea.
The reason is that dog fur actually protects and insulates your dog and can actually prevent her from getting too hot during summer weather. Shaving your dog down to the skin can expose this delicate layer to sunburn, upping the risk of skin cancer. Instead, consider a summer cut for your animal, which means trimming it to a shorter length so she has less weight on her and feels more comfy.