looking good!

When you train with a guide dog, you soon learn the importance of grooming. No matter what breed you are matched with, grooming is necessary to keep your dog healthy and clean. As these dogs have access to all public places, their appearance is very important. As well as combing and brushing, grooming can include bathing, checking for any signs of health problems, cleaning ears and teeth, and even clipping toenails. It is also a good bonding process between you and your dog. Unfortunately all pet dogs don’t get groomed as regularly as guide dogs, even though they would benefit from it just as much.

Everybody approaches grooming differently. I spoke to a guide dog owner who happened to mention that they recently spent almost two hours drying their lab with a hair dryer after bathing it with shampoo, combing it and then putting on conditioner. Now that’s dedication!
I could lie and tell you that I groom O J every day. It’s more like every second or third, but I always do it if we’re going somewhere special or to someone’s house. No matter when I do it, lots of hair comes off! I don’t clean his teeth. The chews he eats take care of that, and the vet checks them often. I have never needed to clip his toenails yet, but think I would let Dougal’s groomer do it, rather than risk nearly cutting a blood vessel, which is apparently very very painful.
I try to wash him as little as possible, as too much washing can remove the natural oils from their coat. I’m not really into all this doggy perfume and stuff, but all the brushing ensures that he doesn’t smell. People constantly tell me how shiny his coat is (not sure if this is a black lab thing, or just my luck.) O J loves being groomed, but other
Don’t make it so easy!

I have thought of getting O J groomed professionally sometime, to see how he would react and to see if he can get any shinier! Maybe that could be his Christmas present. All groomers charge different rates, and some apparently reduce their rate for assistance dogs. I know a guide dog owner who’s local groomer will collect his dog at work, groom it free of charge and return it to him when its done. Talk about good service!

So what does your dog’s grooming routine involve?


6 thoughts on “looking good!

  1. I@m afraid Freddie doesn't get groomed quite so often as once ever day or second day. I know this is terrible but I just don't have half an hour to spare in the mornings and in the efenings, I'm usually just plain lazy after communing / working etc or I've somethingelse on. When he gets groomed I'm the same as you. His coat gets well done, between his pads etc is checked, his ears are checked and every week I spray him with something. I spray him because when he gets rubbed he lies on top of me so without spraying him he leaves a lot of coat oil behind him. I really should do him more often though.

  2. Clive is high maintenance I'm afraid. All goldendoodles are unless they are kept very tightly clipped. Murray got so upset the one time we got Clive tightly clipped that we have to leave him with a very full face although the rest of him is only about an inch and half long.All this means though that he needs to be brushed, combed and the de-matting hook used on him every day! I mean every day – leave him for a day or two and the matts appear. So he gets groomed morning (usually only 10 mins) but often I can spend an hour in the evening on him. Do it in front of the TV so I don't mind the time it takes. He's not mad about being groomed but he puts up with it.He gets done professionally every five to six weeks as well. That's a wash and trim – and costs either 100 or 120 euros depending on how long the groomer takes. I have to leave him with her for four to five hours. No free grooming sessions here in Dublin I'm afraid. His brother Clint who is a guide dog also uses the same groomer for the same fee!So doodles are very high maintenance! Don't think Guide Dogs quite tell you all that before they give them out!

  3. Doodles sound like a lot of hard work! I know Clive's worth it though.Do you think this is something Cork should think about more when they provide these breeds as guide dogs?On the plus side, you can groom him in front of the tv and he doesn't cover the house in hair.I really only spend 5 mins, 10 at the most grooming OJ when I do it every second or third day. Not as long as I probably should but more often and quick works for me.

  4. Must say i'm very lazy when it comes to grooming. I use the zoom groom every other day and find that gets most of the dead hair out and then i use the leather shamie. I groom her fully once a week and it takes me about 45 mins. I groom her outside my flat on the walk way as she moults loads. Uma stays very still as she loves being groomed and she turns round when i tell her too, which makes life alot easier.

  5. I'd say most guide dog owners tell themselves that when they get a dog their going to groom it religiously every day without fail, but that's rarely the case.As long as they don't shed half their coat when they shake, are clean and healthy, and your hands don't stink after you pet them then I think your doing a good enough job.

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