My Favorite Grooming Tools and How I Use Them - The Grooming Series
In no particular order here.....
The de-tangling spray is not brand specific, for my use. I have several brands I use that I feel perform about as well as each other.
I can spray this some necessary portion of a dirty, winter coat and have maybe a prayer of brushing out something.
I use it on a clean dog to help the brushes, and the clippers, work better.
I sometimes work it into the coat of the dog the day before I want to groom him, let it dry, and then apply it again when I am grooming the dog.
This spray can be used on the clean, groomed coat of a dog to prevent tangles from happening as quickly as without using it, and it will repel dirt. I think dirt is a proud fact of life for an LGD, but if you want your dog to stay clean longer this is an option.
The toenail trimmers are covered in the blog below. They are THE ONLY brand I use, and I throw them out as soon as they start to twist toenails when I try to use them because that means they are getting dull. Dull trimmers hurt dogs, and teach the dogs to avoid toenail trims. Not helpful to anyone!
Toenail Trimming – How To Go About It and Why It Matters -The Grooming Series
The Safari stripping tool with the blades is designed to cut through mats. I would be lost without this tool. Of all these tools, this is the one I could not do without. Proper use of this tool is important. Those blades are sharp, from the top sides as well, so if you press your finger on the blades rather than the thumb support, you are highly likely to cut yourself; speaking from experience here. It is easy to avoid doing that to yourself, but keep handling of this tool in mind. It comes with a clear plastic cover for the blades portion; I use it! When using this tool on the dog it is super important not to drag the tips of the blades across the skin of the dog. I have never cut a dog with this tool, but the blades would scrape along the skin, and I am sure that would not be comfortable for the dog. Use this tool flat against the skin of the dog. Go deep under slightly matted areas, and with quick upward strokes, begin to lift the mat away from the skin of the dog. I usually work my way across a portion of the dog in a row, and then I use my brush with the little wires to pull the mat off a bit more. Using the stripping tool, in combination with the wire brush and spray detangler, will help you out a lot.
The stainless steel comb:
There are times when cutting a portion of a mat off makes sense, but boy oh boy do you need to be careful when using scissors on a dog's coat! IF I decide I need to use scissors I place this comb between the dog and my scissors, and cut ONLY with my scissors fully over the top of the comb. What I mean by this is that I don't allow the tip of the scissors to extend beyond the end of the comb. I always have the dog tied, using my front attachment harness, and usually I don't do scissor jobs without having a helper. Any veterinarian can tell you horror stories about people who inadvertently cut their dogs, with the dogs often requiring sutures. Don't be that person! Mostly, I prefer to use my clippers to cut under something, but sometimes, infrequently, using scissors makes sense. Done safely.
The little Wahl clippers are wonderful. They come with two batteries, so one can be charging while you use up the other battery. They hold a charge for a surprisingly long time. The blade has a slide adjustment, so the length of the desired cut can be adjusted on the blade. I often put these clippers in my back pocket and do trims behind ears while the dogs are out in the field, often without the necessity of using a harness or leash. The clippers are super quiet, and are well tolerated by even worried dogs. For more detailed information about how to use clippers in general please read the blog below:
And now to my favorite brush - they no longer make it. Grrr. had I known that was coming I would have bought twenty. Below is a photo of the two brushes I now use to replace it.
Brushes that don't reach all the way to the skin of the dog's aren't taking care of what is important. Your dog's coat may look fluffy and lovely, but unless you can see the condition of your dog's skin you don't know if he is comfortable. So, the appropriate length of the wire teeth varies with the length and density of the dog's coat. The brush above is a great winter coat brush, but is probably more than most dogs would need for their summer coat.
The brush with the spikes is helpful to lift matted hair up off of the skin, and to loosen up portions of a mat, which can then be brushed with the previous wire teeth brush.