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Grooming Tools
Here, I will try to assist the new or perspective Tibbie owner.

This is a part of the Tibbie that I was determined to add as, when we bought our first Tibbie, nobody showed or helped us with the grooming. It was a matter of trial and error. "Lizzie" won the class of his first show with 'No Socks'.

Firstly, a Tibbie has a double coat. The fine silky hair underneath is called the 'undercoat'. This is the part of a Tibbie's coat that not only keeps him warm but also protects him from the sun. Twice a year they will "change coat". This means that they will shed unwanted undercoat before the summer and grow new again before the winter. It's abit like you putting on a jumper in the winter and taking one off in the summer.

To keep a Tibbies coat in good condition, he needs to be brushed about once a week. The fine hair behind their ears is very important. A Tibbie doesn't usually matt, but if you are going to find a knot, especially if there is more than one dog in the household, behind the ears is where you'll find it. When dogs play, this is usually the part that comes off the worst.

To start a full grooming session, first brush your Tibbie through to remove any tangles. This must be done first as, if the tangle gets wet, they tighten and become more difficult to remove.

Next, it's time for his bath. Make sure that the water is only warm, you don't want to burn him. Use a good dog shampoo, one for fleas if you prefer, and give him a good wash. Be careful not to get soap into his eyes, or water into his ears. "Fidos Fre*Itch" is a good flea control shampoo, and you can also use it on puppies. It smells nice and is natural. Always follow the directions on the label.
After you have shampood him, make sure you RINSE PROPERLY. You don't want to leave shampoo in his coat that will cause him to scratch and his skin to go flaky. Alot of people wash their dog in "Wool Wash". It is quite gentle.

Apply a dog conditioner to his coat at this stage and rinse well. I use a lanolin conditioner.

Squeeze off the excess water and wrap him in a towel. Give him a good rub and then dry him. If you have a dryer, make sure it's not too hot and not blowing too hard or this will knot his coat. If you are going to allow him to dry naturally, do not put him outside to catch a chill. In Australia in our summer, the dogs appreciate a bath and being left to dry, as it cools them down. Remember though, we can have 40+ celcius temperatures.

At this point I must add that your Tibbie does NOT need to be bathed every week. They do not have a doggie smell, and washing removes the natural oils in the coat.

This is the part that people worry if they are doing it the 'right way'. Let me say that any brushing, 'right' or 'wrong' way is better than no brushing at all.
I use a "Mason Pearson" brush. It is a pure bristle, english hair brush. They are expensive but worth the money. They do not split the coat like a metal pin brush. DO NOT use a slicker or stripper brush for everyday brushing. These pull out the undercoat. They are fine to remove the dead hair when they are changing coat, but at no other time.

Start by brushing the coat all up the wrong way. Face your Tibbie to you, start at his rump and brush towards his head. Give him a good brush, as this is good for his skin. DON'T ALLOW your Tibbie to tell you he doesn't want it done. I have had my own grooming salon for years and there is nothing worse than a dog that has no manners at grooming time. If you allow them to 'get away with it' as a puppy, they will always do it, only getting worse as they get older. MAKE him stand still for grooming. Do not be rough or cruel, just firm and do not allow him to be the boss. He will try it. Some scream, move and try all sorts of things to get out of it when they are not used to it. Be gentle but firm, reassuring him all the time. He will get bettter with each brushing till he quite enjoys it.

I have seen so many dogs, not just Tibbies, that are dirty, running in fleas, matted and really smell. When the owners are asked why, they reply" He won't let us do it". This is an example of the dog being the boss. He objects, sometimes quite strongly, and he gets away with it. If you allow this to happen, he will only get worse, perhaps even to snapping each time you try. THIS CAN BE STOPPED.

Now, smooth all the coat down the right way. Make sure you have gone through his 'skirt' properly and also the 'ruffs' at the back of his front legs.

I use a fine metal comb for doing behind their ears. Make sure you comb this right through, and not skim over the top. Do not use a plastic comb, these split and break the coat. Do the tail with the brush and a wide toothed comb in the same maner making sure you get right through.

You will have noticed that a Tibbies foot has long hair extending past the end of the foot. This is called their 'socks'. Do not cut it off. You do however have to cut the hair from under their pads. Turn the foot upside down to face you. Hold the foot firm and trim the hair from underneath it. This stops mud etc. from collecting under their pads and also helps the foot to dry out quicker after they have come into contact with wet ground. If left, this can become wet, even from the morning dew, and cause a fungus infection as it doesn't dry quickly enough.

Alot of people are worried about cutting their dogs nails. It is really quite easy. The dog has a quick that runs through their nail. The quick stops where the nail starts to hook. Only ever clip to here. I use a set of 'Resco' clippers. Do not use the cheap versions that you can buy in the supermarket, as the blade tends to spread out instead of going through the nail. They make it alot harder than it actually is. If you do make the mistake of cutting too far down and the nail bleeds, don't panic. Have some 'Condis Crystals' on hand and just apply to the end of the nail. It will stop the bleeding straight away. If you allow your dogs nails to keep growing without them being cut, they can get longer and longer, eventually curling and growing into their foot. Don't forget to cut their dew claws (if they havn't been removed). These are situated on the inside of the front legs, just above the foot. Regular nail trimming stops your Tibbie from becoming lame due to overgrown nails.

Clean the inside of their ears with a cotton bud. Do not poke down too far. Make sure that they are dry inside and add a little medicated ear powder. This helps to dry them and stop any ear problems. If you notice that they are really smelly, dirty and your dog shakes his head, have him checked by a vet, he might have ear mites or Canker. The inside of a Tibbies ears do not need plucking like a Poodle.

Spray lightly with a good grooming spray. I use "Lustre Aid". It smells really nice and it helps the condition of the coat. Any good grooming spray is O.K. You would also use this BEFORE brushing, if your dog is not going to have a bath.

I hope this has made this job a little easier for you. It is not hard, and doesn't take that long. I can do a full coated male, ready for a show, from start to finnish in about 40 - 60 minutes. It won't take you as long for a pet dog once you have the hang of it.

Lyn Dunbar
Web: Lynandra Tibetan Spaniels

Last Update: 26/01/07 12:42 Views: 6008

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