Friday, January 22, 2010

Grooming Tips

After posting my "Grooming Your TT" video on youtube, I received the following comment:

Thats all very well on how to groom, but, how do you stop the fighting when they dont want to be brushed?. We have to put ours on the ironing board to keep her still, and it takes two of us because she struggles all the time!

An ironing board?

This comment made think I should post the grooming tips that I share with the new owners of my pups. Really, I think the biggest key to success is to start grooming your TT as a small pup even before they need to be groomed so that they get used to it (and maybe even enjoy it). Also us TTs can be very sensitive about having our feet touched so I recommend that you start massaging and holding and grooming your pup's feet very early on.

Grooming Tools
Although your new puppy won't really need to be formally groomed until the age of 6-9 months (with the exception of nails which should be done from the time you bring your pup home), we recommend that you accustom the pup to grooming from an early age. Make sure you handle the pup’s feet during grooming (so they get used to it), because TTs seem to be particularly sensitive about having their feet touched.
We recommend that you buy a metal greyhound comb, a good quality pin brush, and a slicker brush for grooming. (We use a pin brush with 27mm pins and a slicker brush from Chris Christensen, available through Cherrybrook at You’ll also need nail clippers; we use Resco guillotine-type clippers.

Teach your pup to lie on his side on a counter or table. You’ll be forever grateful. With your dog lying on his side you can complete one side, then flip him over and do the other.
Brushing completely through the coat is the only way to get out all mats and prevent new ones from forming. We use the pin brush for this. It isn't enough to brush from the part along the back down the sides of the dog. You must line brush each side of the dog, starting at the belly and proceeding up the side of the dog, brushing each section or “line” of hair separately. In this way you can brush all of the undercoat as well as the top coat.
When you reach a mat, gently try to separate it with your fingers until you can pull out just the mat without any of the surrounding hair. You can also use the greyhound comb to tease out the mat. The belly, behind the ears, and where the legs meet the body will are the areas that mat most readily.
When you’re done combing your dog’s coat with the pin brush, comb through the entire coat with the greyhound comb to find any mats you might have missed.
Always mist the dog’s coat with water and little conditioner before brushing or combing, to reduce coat breakage. Also, always brush and comb your dog before and after a bath. My parents usually bathe us every two to three weeks. They find that a clean dog is easier to groom.