Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Brushing a short-haired dog

Short-haired dog owners signed up for a low maintenance grooming schedule when they chose to bring home a short-haired breed. I bet, though, that very few of them were unaware they’d be unable to brush their dogs at all.
I found this out while Sensi was still young. I bought a brush from a pet store similar to the one I’d seen my relatives use on their golden retriever. But when I brushed Sensi’s coat with it, not a single hair came out.
So, I returned to the pet store, this time purchasing a wire brush intended for cats.
“This has got to work,” I thought.
Wrong. It didn’t.
While some short-haired purebreds do need practically no grooming — think about a boxer’s super fine coat or a pit bull — there are plenty of short-haired dogs out there who have what I call an “in-between” coat.
Take Sensi, for instance. That quarter percent lab blood running through him thickened and lengthened his hair. His coat is not as long and dense as a lab’s, yet it’s not as short and fine as a pit bull’s either.
And he sheds. The hair is all over the place, all the time. I swear, that stuff floats around in the air like little birdies are picking it up and moving it around my house, dropping it on top of countertops and tables throughout my home.
The wiry little hairs weave themselves into the fabric of every blanket and sweater, couch cushions and seat covers. I’ve often said that owning a short-haired dog is more of a hassle than owning a long-haired dog because at least with long, soft hair, it cleans up easily. It’s not so easy to vacuum up the wiry hairs of a short-haired dog once they’ve weaved themselves into materials.
I’d bathe him frequently, trying to get as much hair out as possible. After baths, it seemed like the only way to remove the rest of the dead hair lingering in his coat was to sit there and pet him, pushing handfuls of hair out with every stroke.
Well, those days are gone for me. I’ve found a brush and it works wonders.
Check back tomorrow for a blog about the brush as well as a video of me demonstrating how to use it.

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