summersbrook labradors - puppy grooming
.... a young gundog ....

It’s fortunate for all, that gundogs don’t need too much by way of grooming. Compared with some breeds, they’re very easy to maintain and keep clean. On the other hand - they do have some quite disgusting and filthy habits, ..... but more of that later.

Let’s start with our little puppy.

  • A daily, gentle brushing with a good quality bristle brush is about all that’s needed to keep it looking just like “brand new”. All the fuss helps to replace its mother’s general attentions and establish you as its new “pack leader”.
  • If its coat is at all matted or soiled - use a good quality baby powder (mind its eyes!). Gently rubbed into the coat by hand - against the “grain”- and then gently brushed out - it makes an excellent dry shampoo.. pic ruby
  • The fun really starts when they’re old enough to go for  walks - off  the lead - in winter and in the country. Their natural affinity for water seems to attract them to every dirty puddle, pool and.mud!
  • Something left over from their days in the wild, seems to make them want to change their scent. This, they achieve - with wonderful efficiency - by rolling in the excrement of other animals - fox is an all-time favourite!

So .. just over a hour ago, you set out with your lovely dog, for a good bracing walk through the woods - and now you’re looking at a wet, filthy animal, that’s covered in mud, smells to high heaven - has a big “happy” smile - a wagging tail - and wants its supper!

Five things you can’t do:

  • Give it supper - until it’s cooled down - and been cleaned up!
  • Let it in the house - the mess on the carpets would be ‘orrible!
  • Send it back to us - “Thank’s” - but we’ve got our own to cope with!
  • Leave it like that - I don’t know why I say “it” - bitches are worse!
  • Wring its neck - be reasonable - it was your idea to go to the woods!

and

Five things you should do:

  • Wash off the mud with plenty of “hand-warm” water ... then ...
  • Amply treat the “smelly” area with Tomato Ketchup - no kidding!
  • Shampoo off the resultant muck - rinse ... and then ...
  • Thoroughly “dry off” - with a towel - remembering the ears and tail.
  • Take it back to the woods next weekend - it obviously enjoyed it!

Moulting:

  • Labradors tend to moult twice a year. Dogs - as opposed to bitches - have their big moult in Spring. As the weather warms up, the thick winter coat is replaced by a lighter summer one - and a lighter moult in the Autumn.
  • Bitches, on the other hand, start moulting about six weeks after each of their seasons, twice a year.
  • Armed with a good bristle brush and moulting comb - take the dog outside.
  • Gently but firmly comb with the coat - and don’t be alarmed if it comes out by the handful. Finish off with a good brushing.
  • Don’t throw the hair away - birds use it for nest lining - leave it by the bird table.

Bathing:

  • It would be more accurate to call this “showering”, because we’re going to use a hand held shower.
  • It’s best done twice a year - just after moulting.
  • Don’t use human shampoo or soap - use insecticidal dog shampoo.
  • Don’t forget to have plenty of large towels handy - and a lead.
  • Don’t forget to use a rubber “non-slip” bath mat - essential.
  • Don’t have the water too hot - warm to “hand warm” is fine.
  • Don’t try it on your own - somebody to “steady” the dog - to stop it slipping around is important - and also to stop it getting shampoo in its ears and eyes.
  • Don’t start from the head down - a mistake you’ll make only once!
  • Don’t forget to dry it off afterwards.
  • So, ...... nicely relaxed and calm, ...... here we go!
  • Gently lift the dog into the bath and thoroughly wet - from the shoulders down, using the hand shower.
  • Apply the shampoo - and work into a really good lather.
  • Rinse off - and the real fun of the occasion is about to start!
  • Remember that as soon as its head gets wet - it’s going to start shaking it! So, whilst your assistant is trying to keep the dog steady - and trying to keep shampoo out of its eyes and ears - you’re going to be as quick as you can, soaking, shampooing and rinsing - before everybody gets soaked!
  • The next thing to do is to cover it with a large towel, lift it out of the bath - and finish drying it off!

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