Welsh Springer Spaniels are lovely looking dogs with wonderful long, shiny coats. The breed is known for their friendly and inquisitive natures which makes them such a great choice as a family pet. There's nothing these dogs like more than chasing around in the undergrowth and plunging into water whenever they can. Naturally, this means owners are often left with wet and rather muddy four-legged friends when they get back from a walk.
To really keep things neat and tidy, a Welsh Springer Spaniel would need a daily brush to keep their coats tangle-free and looking good. Because of their love of all things muddy and watery, these lovely dogs need more frequent bathing too. However, a lot of people prefer to have their Welshies clipped because it makes life more comfortable for their pets and easier for them to manage.
If you've just got a Welsh Springer Spaniel puppy, this is the best time to introduce them to a grooming routine and all the equipment needed to keep their coats looking brilliant. You don't have to spend too long brushing their coats, but it's a great idea to fiddle with their paws, ears and check their teeth because this gets the youngster used to you touching these often more sensitive parts of their bodies. It helps you bond with them while at the same time laying the foundations for when they are adult, mature dogs.
With puppies, it's a great idea to have a few tasty and healthy snacks to hand when you first start grooming them. You can use them as rewards for when puppy doesn't fidget which they are bound to do! Because they are so intelligent, they will soon realise that being groomed and being good means getting a tasty treat and will look forward to each session rather than resent it.
It makes life easier if you have everything you need ready for a grooming session and have your dog standing on an elevated surface. This is easier on your back and as a bonus, it gives you more control over your dog. However, younger dogs and puppies should never be left alone when they are on a table because they could injure themselves if they jump off.
If you find any mats or tangles in their coat, the best way to deal with them is to spray either a little water or some dog conditioner on it. This makes detangling a whole lot easier, especially around elbows where Welshies tend to get more matted hair. You may also find it easier to remove tangles and mats with your fingers rather than use a comb.
You can cut out any really stubborn mats but it's best to cut along the length of the hair rather than across it because it won't be so noticeable. The key to grooming your Welshie really well is to make sure they are clean before you begin. If your dog is really dirty, you should give them a bath first because it will make your task a whole lot easier than trying to brush a dirty dog!
Should your Welshie suffer from any sort of allergy, it's best to use a dog specific shampoo that's been specifically formulated which are typically soap-free and hypo-allergenic.
To keep things nice and tidy, it's a good idea to give your Welshie a regular trim. It's best to begin with their head and ears and using thinning scissors, trim all hair away from the opening of their ears. This helps reduce the risk of a yeast or bacterial infection taking hold because it allows air to circulate so much better when the hair is kept trimmed.
Next, trim away the longer and often smellier hair under your dog's chin, whiskers and down their necks stopping just slightly above the sternum. You can then use thinning scissors to blend neck hair into the shoulders so there are no noticeable lines.
It's important to keep a Welshie's paws trimmed too and the best way to do this is to teach your dog to lie on their sides. This makes it a lot easier all round for both your and your dog. Use thinning scissors trim hair found on their toes and in-between them being careful because often, a Welshie's hair gets quite matted between their toes.
Next, using a small pair of scissors with rounded tips, you can trim any hair on the underside of your dog's paws and in-between the pads which helps reduce the risk of mud or snow balls forming which can make walking very painful.
To keep things tidy and hygienic, it's best to trim the hair under the tail using thinning scissors being extra careful as you trim each side of the anus and down the legs.
Luckily, the coat on a Welshie's body is relatively easy maintenance. However, a neutered on spayed dog might be better off being clipped which makes keeping coats clean and tangle-free that much easier because they do tend to get a bit unruly when dogs are neutered.
If you don't clip your dog. it's best to strip out their body coat using either a #7 or #5 blade and for older dogs it makes life a whole lot easier for owners who won't need to spend quite so long grooming their four-legged friends and keeping their coats looking good.
The Welshie's coat is not that high maintenance but because these lovely dogs like messing around in water, they do tend to get a bit muddy and dirty. A quick daily brush makes it that much easier to keep on top of things and the effort is well worth it. It also allows you to check for any injuries or cuts on your dog and the earlier these are treated, the better. Keeping a Welsh Springer Spaniel's coat in good condition is a labour of love, but one that's thoroughly enjoyable because it helps strengthen your bond with your dog.