Old English Sheepdogs boast superb looking coats, however, making sure they are kept in great condition means spending quite a bit of time brushing your pet. One thing the breed does not lack is an abundance of hair, in fact, part of their unique appearance is their wonderfully shaggy double coat.
Their coats comprise of a well textured outer coat with a soft undercoat and they come in quite a variety of colours which includes the following:
However, the variety of colours are typically mixed with striking white markings which gives the breed its very attractive look. No matter what colour the coat happens to be grooming is essential because they are not the easiest dogs in the world to maintain. As such, these dogs need brushing on a daily basis and if you are a first time dog owner, you will need to take a few lessons on how to groom your Old English Sheepdog properly.
Old English Sheepdogs are considered high shedding dogs which is just one of the reasons they need brushing every day. Setting up a daily routine helps rid their coats of dead and excess hair whilst at the same time this helps keep their shaggy coats tangle-free. It also reduces the amount of dog hair left around the house.
There are certain things to watch out for which includes the fact that some Old English Sheepdogs tend to drool excessively. The result being the hair around their mouths turns a rather yellowish and unsightly colour. The only way to keep on top of this is to regularly wash their mouths using a warm damp cloth especially once your pet has finished eating. Some people coat the stain with a paste made out of cornflour and once this has completely dried out, all that's left to do is brush out the paste leaving the hair a natural colour again.
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to start grooming Old English Sheepdogs as early as possible. Getting puppies used to a routine helps prevent any resentment when being brushed later on. The other thing to bear in mind, is the experience has to be a positive one which a puppy really enjoys. They soon learn that being brushed is soothing which ultimately will make handling them so much easier for both owners and professional groomers when they are mature dogs.
It goes without saying, that you would need to invest in some good quality grooming tools for your dog. This includes the following:
It is worth buying good quality tools because they will last that much longer than cheaper combs and brushes especially as they will be used on a daily basis.
As previously mentioned, brushing your dog has to be a pleasant experience which means you need to spend time and never pull on mats or tangles which could end up hurting your pet. Doing this may well make them resent being brushed making the whole process of keeping their coats looking good a whole lot harder for you and professional groomers.
You need to brush the hair all the way down to the skin which helps remove debris and dead hair found in the undercoat. A lot of people like to spray some detangler on their dog's coat which helps when it comes to brushing out any matted fur. However, you need to make sure the product is safe to use on dogs and that it does not contain any essential oils which could cause a skin reaction.
Getting rid of mats is essential because if left in your pet's coat, they can lead to all sorts of skin complaints which would not only be very painful for your dog but which could lead to large vet bills too. Badly matted coats can become so hard to brush out that often it is easier for a badly tangled coat to be completed shaved off.
Because these lovely dogs have such shaggy coats, they do need to be routinely bathed every 6 to 8 weeks. You can do this yourself or leave it up to the experts by taking your dog to a grooming parlour which will ensure they are correctly dried afterwards, reducing the chances of them catching cold. The reason being they have such thick, double coats, it can take a long time for them to completely dry out.
It's important to keep an eye on your pet's nails, ears and teeth. Nails should be trimmed once every month and ears should be checked weekly. If you notice a bad smell coming for your dog's ears or any redness, the chances are there's an infection going on which means a trip to the vet would be in order. However, if your dog's ears are just dirty, then using a damp cotton ball, you should gently wipe them clean, but only the parts of the inner ear that are visible.
When it comes to cleaning teeth, this needs to be done on a regular basis using a specifically formulated toothpaste for dogs. You should never use human"" toothpaste because the ingredients are toxic to dogs. If you have just got a puppy, you should start teaching them to have their teeth brushed as soon as possible, If you have adopted an older dog, you should start off by giving them dental sticks to chew and to take them for check-ups at the vets on a regular basis.