What Kind Of Grooming Should I Do If My Dog Has Long Hair?

If your furry friend has long hair, you might find yourself wondering how to keep them looking their best. Grooming plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and appearance of dogs with long hair. From regular brushing to professional grooming, there are a few essential practices you should incorporate into your pet care routine. In this article, we will explore the various grooming techniques and tips that will ensure your long-haired dog remains happy, healthy, and beautifully maintained.

Regular Brushing

Choose the right brush

When it comes to grooming your dog with long hair, choosing the right brush is crucial. Not all brushes are suitable for all types of fur, so it’s important to pick one that is specifically designed for long-haired breeds. Look for a brush with long, gentle bristles that can easily glide through your dog’s coat without causing any discomfort or pulling. A slicker brush or a pin brush is often recommended for dogs with long hair.

Brushing techniques

Brushing your dog’s long hair requires a gentle and patient approach. Start by softly running the brush through their fur, working in the direction of hair growth. Make sure to apply even pressure and avoid tugging or pulling on any tangles or mats you may come across. If you encounter a particularly stubborn tangle, gently tease it apart with your fingers or use a detangling spray or conditioner to help loosen it. Regular brushing will not only prevent tangles and mats from forming but it will also help distribute natural oils throughout your dog’s coat, keeping it healthy and shiny.

Frequency of brushing

To keep your long-haired companion’s coat in the best condition possible, aim to brush them at least once or twice a week. However, certain breeds may require more frequent brushing, especially during shedding seasons when their hair tends to tangle and mat more easily. Regular brushing not only keeps their coat looking beautiful, but it also promotes better blood circulation and serves as a bonding activity between you and your furry friend.


Selecting the right shampoo

When it comes to bathing your dog with long hair, choosing the right shampoo is crucial to maintain the health of their coat. Look for a shampoo specifically formulated for long-haired breeds, as they often contain moisturizing ingredients that help nourish and condition the hair. Avoid using human shampoos or those with harsh chemicals as they can strip away the natural oils that keep your dog’s fur healthy and shiny. If your dog has specific skin conditions or allergies, consult with your veterinarian to determine the most appropriate shampoo for their needs.

Pre-bathing preparation

Before you begin the bathing process, it’s important to prepare your dog and their coat. Start by thoroughly brushing their fur to remove any tangles or mats. This will prevent the tangles from becoming worse when they get wet. You can also place a cotton ball inside each ear to prevent water from entering, as dogs with long hair are more prone to ear infections. Additionally, place a non-slip mat or towel at the bottom of the tub to ensure your dog feels secure during the bath.

Bathing process

When it comes to bathing your long-haired dog, it’s important to be gentle and thorough. Wet their coat with lukewarm water, making sure to soak it completely. Apply the shampoo and work it into a lather, massaging it gently into their fur. Be sure to avoid the eye and ear areas. Rinse thoroughly, ensuring that no shampoo residue remains. Repeat the process if necessary. Once your dog is fully rinsed, use a soft towel to gently pat their fur dry.

Drying the fur

After bathing, it’s important to properly dry your dog’s long hair to prevent tangles and matting. Use a clean, absorbent towel to gently blot their fur, removing as much moisture as possible. Avoid rubbing vigorously as this can cause tangles. If your dog is comfortable with it, you can also use a low heat setting on a blow dryer to aid in the drying process. Just be sure to keep the dryer at a safe distance and use a brush or comb to gently separate the hair as you go.


When to trim

Regular trimming is essential for dogs with long hair to maintain a neat and manageable coat. The frequency of trimming may vary depending on the breed and individual hair growth rate, but a general guideline is to schedule a trim every 6-8 weeks. Trimming helps to prevent the hair from becoming overgrown, which can lead to tangles, matting, and discomfort for your furry friend.

Tools for trimming

To effectively trim your dog’s long hair, you’ll need a few essential tools. Invest in a high-quality pair of grooming shears or clippers specifically designed for animal use. Scissors with straight or curved blades are ideal for trimming long hair, while thinning shears can be used to remove bulk and create a more blended look. Additionally, a comb and slicker brush will come in handy to help you achieve a professional finish.

How to trim

Trimming your dog’s long hair requires skill and caution. If you’re comfortable doing it yourself, start by carefully combing through their coat to identify any areas that may need trimming, such as around the face, paws, or tail. Use the grooming shears or clippers to carefully trim the excess hair, always working in the direction of hair growth. Be mindful of your dog’s comfort and take breaks if necessary. Remember, it’s always better to trim conservatively and gradually than to accidentally cut too much.

Seek professional help if uncertain

If you’re unsure or hesitant about trimming your dog’s long hair, it’s best to seek professional help from a trusted groomer. They have the expertise and experience to handle long hair grooming, ensuring that your dog’s coat is styled and maintained properly. Additionally, professional groomers can offer advice on the best techniques and products to use for at-home maintenance between grooming appointments.

Dealing with Tangles and Mats

Preventing tangles and mats

Prevention is key when it comes to dealing with tangles and mats in your dog’s long hair. Regular brushing, as mentioned earlier, plays a significant role in minimizing tangles and mats. However, if your dog is prone to developing them, you may want to consider using a detangling spray or conditioner before brushing. These products help to loosen knots, making it easier to comb through the hair. Additionally, keeping your dog’s hair at an appropriate length through regular trimming can also help prevent tangles and mats from forming.

Removing tangles and mats

Despite your best efforts, tangles and mats may still occur in your dog’s long hair. When faced with these pesky hair problems, it’s important to approach them with care and patience. Begin by using your fingers to gently tease apart the tangle, working from the ends of the hair towards the base. Be gentle and avoid yanking or pulling forcefully, as this can cause discomfort and even pain for your dog. If the tangle is particularly stubborn, you can use a detangling spray or conditioner to help loosen it. Utilize a comb or brush with wide teeth or wide-spaced bristles to carefully work through the tangle, gradually separating the hairs until it is fully resolved.

Using detangling spray or conditioner

Detangling sprays and conditioners are valuable tools when it comes to managing tangles and mats in your dog’s long hair. These products are formulated to help lubricate the hair and soften the tangles, making them easier to comb through. Before starting the detangling process, lightly spray the product onto the affected area, ensuring that it is evenly distributed. Allow the product to sit for a few minutes, allowing it time to work its magic. Once the hair is sufficiently softened, use a wide-toothed comb or brush to gently work through the tangle, gradually resolving it without causing any discomfort to your dog.

Ear and Eye Care

Check the ears regularly

Proper ear care is essential for dogs with long hair, as their ears are more prone to infections and excess wax buildup. Make it a habit to regularly inspect your dog’s ears for redness, swelling, discharge, or any unpleasant odor. If you notice any abnormalities, consult with your veterinarian as these may be signs of an infection or other underlying ear problems. Regular ear check-ups can help catch any issues early on and prevent them from worsening.

Cleaning the ears

Cleaning your dog’s ears is an important part of their grooming routine, especially for breeds with long hair. To clean their ears, start by gently lifting the ear flap and inspecting the visible part of the ear canal. Use a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaning solution or mild, diluted dog-safe ear cleaning solution on a soft cotton ball or gauze pad. Gently wipe the visible part of the ear canal, being careful not to insert anything deep into the ear. Avoid using cotton swabs or similar objects as they can damage the ear canal or push debris deeper into the ear. If you have any concerns or are unfamiliar with the proper ear cleaning technique, consult with your veterinarian for guidance.

Eye cleaning routine

Maintaining clean and healthy eyes is important for your long-haired dog. To keep their eyes free from dirt and debris, develop a regular eye cleaning routine. Start by moistening a clean, soft cloth or eye wipe with a veterinarian-approved eye cleaning solution. Gently wipe the area around your dog’s eyes, being careful not to touch their eyeball or use excessive force. If you notice any excessive tearing, redness, or discharge, consult with your veterinarian as this could be indicative of an underlying issue. Regular eye cleaning not only promotes good hygiene but also helps prevent eye infections and keeps your dog comfortable.

Nail Care

Trimming the nails

Proper nail care is important for dogs with long hair, as their nails can grow longer and require more attention. Regular nail trimming ensures that your dog’s nails do not become overgrown, which can be uncomfortable and even lead to health problems. Use a pair of dog-specific nail clippers to trim the nails, being mindful of the quick, which is the sensitive part containing blood vessels. It’s best to trim the nails in small increments to avoid accidentally cutting into the quick. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with trimming your dog’s nails, consult with a professional groomer or your veterinarian.

How often to trim

The frequency of nail trimming for dogs with long hair varies depending on various factors, including their activity level, the surface they walk on, and the natural wear of their nails. As a general rule of thumb, aim to trim your dog’s nails every 2-4 weeks. Regular trimming helps maintain the length of the nails and prevents them from curling or breaking, which can be painful for your furry friend. If you notice that their nails are frequently clicking on the floor or getting caught in their fur, it’s a sign that they are due for a trim.

Techniques for nail trimming

Nail trimming can be a stressful experience for both you and your dog, especially if they are not accustomed to it. To make the process easier, introduce your dog to nail trimming gradually from a young age. Start by gently handling their paws and nails, rewarding them with treats and praise. Familiarize them with the sensations and sounds of the nail clippers before actually trimming. It’s helpful to have someone hold and distract your dog while you trim their nails to ensure safety and minimize stress. Remember to take breaks if needed and consult with a professional if you’re unsure about trimming your dog’s nails yourself.

Maintaining the Coat’s Health

Feeding a balanced diet

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential for promoting the overall health and appearance of your dog’s long hair. Ensure that their diet consists of high-quality, nutritionally balanced dog food formulated for their specific needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding amount and frequency for your furry friend. A diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids supports healthy coat growth, reduces shedding, and enhances the natural shine and texture of your dog’s long hair.

Supplements for coat health

In addition to a balanced diet, certain supplements can help support the health of your dog’s long hair. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil or flaxseed oil, can promote a healthy coat and reduce inflammation. These supplements are available in various forms, including liquid or capsule form, and can be added to your dog’s food. However, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any supplements to ensure they are suitable for your dog and to determine the appropriate dosage.

Regular veterinary check-ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for maintaining the overall health of your dog, including their coat’s health. During these routine visits, your veterinarian can assess the condition of your dog’s coat, identify any underlying health issues that may affect their hair, and provide appropriate treatment if necessary. They can also advise on any additional grooming or dietary needs specific to your dog’s breed or individual requirements. Remember to follow your veterinarian’s recommended vaccination and parasite prevention schedules to keep your pet in optimal health.

Preventing Hair Clipping Accidents

Choosing a professional groomer

While regular home grooming is important for keeping your dog’s long hair in good condition, there will be times when professional grooming is necessary. When selecting a professional groomer, it’s crucial to choose one with experience working with dogs with long hair. Do your research, read reviews, and ask for recommendations from fellow pet owners or your veterinarian. Visit the grooming salon beforehand to assess their facilities, cleanliness, and how they handle the animals. A reputable groomer will have the knowledge and expertise to properly care for your dog’s long hair while minimizing the risk of accidents.

Communicating with the groomer

Clear and open communication with your dog’s groomer is key to ensuring that your furry friend’s grooming needs are met. Discuss your dog’s specific requirements, including the desired hairstyle, any specific grooming concerns, and the frequency of grooming sessions. Provide the groomer with detailed information about your dog’s coat, including any underlying health issues or sensitivities that they should be aware of. Regularly check in with the groomer during the grooming process, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or provide feedback to ensure that both you and your dog are satisfied with the results.

Regularly inspecting your dog’s skin

To prevent hair clipping accidents during grooming sessions, it’s important to regularly inspect your dog’s skin for any abnormalities or sensitivities. Part your dog’s hair to expose their skin and carefully examine it for any redness, sores, rashes, or signs of irritation. Look for any lumps or bumps that may require medical attention. By regularly inspecting your dog’s skin, you can identify potential issues early on and bring them to the attention of your veterinarian or groomer to ensure that the grooming process is carried out safely and without any complications.

Managing Shedding

Controlling shedding

Dealing with shedding is a common concern when it comes to dogs with long hair. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate shedding, there are measures you can take to control it. Regular brushing plays a crucial role in managing shedding by removing loose hair and preventing it from accumulating in your home. Consider using a shedding brush or a de-shedding tool specifically designed for long-haired breeds to effectively remove loose hair without damaging the coat. A healthy diet, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can also minimize shedding and promote healthier hair growth.

Using appropriate grooming tools and techniques

Using the right grooming tools and techniques can significantly reduce shedding in dogs with long hair. Opt for brushes with fine bristles that can effectively reach the undercoat and remove loose hair. The FURminator, for example, is a popular grooming tool that helps reduce shedding by up to 90%. When brushing, be thorough and work in the direction of hair growth, paying extra attention to areas prone to matting, such as the armpits and behind the ears. Regularly bathe your dog, using a shampoo specifically formulated for shedding control, to help remove loose hair and minimize shedding.

Professional Grooming

Benefits of professional grooming

While regular home grooming is essential, professional grooming also offers numerous benefits for dogs with long hair. Professional groomers are experienced and knowledgeable in handling long-haired breeds and can provide a level of expertise that may be beyond the capabilities of most pet owners. They have access to specialized tools and techniques that can enhance the appearance and maintenance of your dog’s long hair. Professional grooming also allows for the opportunity to have your dog’s coat and overall health thoroughly assessed, ensuring that any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly.

Finding a reliable groomer

When seeking a reliable groomer for your long-haired dog, it’s important to do your research and choose wisely. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your veterinarian. Read reviews and visit various grooming salons to assess their facilities, cleanliness, and overall professionalism. It’s also beneficial to have a consultation session with the groomer to discuss your dog’s specific needs and gauge their knowledge and understanding of long-haired breeds. A reliable groomer will prioritize your dog’s comfort, safety, and the satisfaction of both you and your furry companion.

Frequency of professional grooming

The frequency of professional grooming for dogs with long hair often depends on the breed, the length of their coat, and their individual needs. As a general guideline, scheduling a professional grooming session every 4-8 weeks is recommended to keep your dog’s coat in its best condition. However, certain breeds may require more frequent grooming if their hair grows quickly or if they participate in activities that cause significant matting or tangling. Consult with your groomer to determine the most appropriate grooming schedule for your dog, taking into consideration their unique requirements and lifestyle.