4 Tips for Grooming a Mixed-breed Dog
At Smudgers Mutts Dog Grooming in Cheltenham we love mixed-breed dogs. Cockapoos, Cavapoos, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles…the list goes on! Did you know that these dogs have specific grooming needs to keep their coats in tip-top condition?
Every mixed-breed dog has unique grooming requirements because they have unpredictable coat combinations – one Labradoodle may be more Poodle than Labrador compared to another. The image above is a perfect example of a mother and daughter mixed-breed with very different coats. We are yet to see a mixed-breed dog that doesn’t need the professional grooming service we provide at Smudgers Mutts.
Here are 4 tips to learn the basics.
Tip 1 – Start when they’re Puppies
Begin grooming as soon as you bring your puppy home so they’ll learn to be touched, brushed and combed. Then, soon after their first vaccinations, book an appointment for a puppy groom at Smudgers Mutts. Find out about our free puppy groom HERE.
At between 6 and 9 months, a dog’s developing adult coat collides with the puppy coat and can cause matting. Matting is when small amounts of hair moult and form a tight mat against the skin. It restricts the dog’s movement, causes pain and, in the worst cases, cuts off circulation. If a dog is brought to us at this point, we may have to clip short to remove the matting and allow the coat to regrow knot-free. So it’s best to bring your dog in for a puppy groom soon after vaccinations.
Also, an early visit to Smudgers Mutts will familiarise your dog with us and our grooming kit. A puppy groom builds trust between your dog and the groomers. We give these young dogs cuddles, chatty praise and a lot of puppy love! This first groom is followed up after 6 weeks with a light groom so their coat is managed as they enter their first year.
Metal Comb and Slicker Brush
Tip 2 – Home Grooming Tools
At Smudgers Mutts we recommend using both a slicker brush and a metal comb on a dog with a mixed-breed coat.A slicker brush lightly separates the strands of hair. However, the pins on the brush can feel sharp against skin. Put it against the inside of your forearm to experience how the brush feels. Find a pressure that’s comfortable to you. Then you’ll know it’s comfortable for your dog.
Use a metal comb over the whole dog after a slicker brush for the finishing touches.
Example of matting
Tip 3 – How to Brush and Comb
We suggest a home groom routine of 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Set it for Monday to Friday and then you and your dog can have the weekend off! To let your dog know that grooming is not play time, put it on a table at waist height. An old car mat or damp towel will prevent slipping. After 10 minutes, let your dog down from the table, play and give a treat so they know they’ve been a good dog.
Imagine your dog in 5 grooming sections: 2 hind legs, 2 front legs, and the last section is the tail and head together. Work on one section for 10 minutes each day. Start with the slicker brush and finish with the metal comb. By the end of the week, you’ll have brushed and combed your whole dog.
This routine will keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny. It will also reinforce grooming as a regular routine. Just ask if you have any questions. Smudgers Mutts can demonstrate the techniques and provide advice on the right kit for home grooming between visits.
Gorgeous mixed-breed mother and daughter with very different coats!
Tip 4 – Book a Grooming Appointment
We work in partnership with you to keep your dog healthy and happy. If there’s a particular look you’d like to maintain with your mixed-breed dog let us know. We’ll aim to achieve it together.
Even with the best care and attention at home, matting can occur. At Smudgers Mutts we always put a dog’s welfare first. Under the Animal Welfare Act it’s an offence to cause pain or suffering to an animal. We’ll only attempt to comb out matting for a maximum of 15 minutes on a small area like the ears. If there’s a larger area of matting, we will clip the coat short for your dog’s comfort. Clients often tell us that their dog is more playful and active after matting’s been removed. It’s likely that the dog was in discomfort before and feels relief afterwards. A happy outcome for everyone.
We love our mixed-breed dogs at Smudgers Mutts. It’s a pleasure to groom them. Together with grooming care at home, a regular visit with us will keep your dog at its gorgeous best.
Book an appointment for your mixed-breed dog with us today!