Grooming YOUR Cavalier (still under construction ! )
Grooming - Some BASICS
Frequently I get ask.... how do you groom that lovely coat ? It does take time and experience however I also started out not know much, asking lots of questions, standing, watching, reading, talking to various breeders of cavaliers and handlers of other breeds which have long silky coats. The answer to what makes a great coat is: good coats are bred, fed and cared for.
Do not under estimate the importance of using good equipment and supplies. Many of the items can be purchased via suppliers on the web Dog Shopping or local shows or mail order catalogs. For every person that likes one particular comb, three others will like another......for everyone who only uses a pin brush, others will only use a boar bristle brush. The following is what I use on my kids - Pin brush, boar bristle brush, a slicker brush, 4 1/2 in Belgium greyhound comb. nail clippers, grinder, blunt edge scissors (for the pads of the feet), and a spay bottle. Both the Pin brush and the slicker brush comes from #1 All Systems. The slicker brush from #1 All System comes with a longer handle and if you hold this brush was you would an artist tool, you will then us it with the right amount of pressure.
Training Young so later...Grooming time will be a Joy
Train your cavalier puppy is lay on his back in your arms while he is young or on his side. The best time to do this is when he is tired, place him on his side, and start rubbings and talking him in a soft, quiet voice.....basically give him loving and massage his body. By doing this early you are teaching your cavalier that it wonderful to have mother give him a rub down. remember to play with the feet, don't forget the tail, or under the arms. Later when your puppy is a full adult, it will be a bit easier if he has learned that its ok for Mom to comb under the arms, behind the ears, and comb out my beautiful flowing tail.
Brushing your dog is the single most important thing that you can do to keep the coat nice and mat free. Most people brush every day or at the very least every other day. When brushing, you should mist the hair with a conditioner spray (example: make a 50% solution of regular conditioner & water, place in a small spray bottle for misting). The conditioning mist helps avoid breaking the coat, and is helpful in dry climates, or during periods when static electricity is present.
It important to remember the brush the entire coat and not just the feathering and the ears. Use a comb to separate the hair. It's your preference weither its front to back or back to front in the order that you do the brushing. The grooming stroke should be gentle, avoid flipping your wrist at the end of the brush stroke -- the wrist flip will cause hair to break off on the ends, and if done on a regular basis - mats can be avoided.
If you find a small mat, try and gently separate it with your fingertips. Spray the mat, lightly with your conditioner spray, to aid in lubricating the hair to allow it to split apart. If however the mat is larger and packed solid - the first thing you are going to have to go get is "Patience", patience for you and your cavalier. Work the mat from whichever side allows you the best access. If possible place a finger under the mat, supporting it, take your sticker brush and stab the center of the mat, then try and make a circular scrubbing motion with the sticker brush. Remove the brush from the mat and gently try to continue separating the mat. Never try to pull out the entire mat at once with a comb or brush - it will hurt. Never cut a mat out, you will forever loose that hair and in a cavalier, the wonderful silky hair is what makes out guys special.
The coat must be free of all mats before bathing as water only serves to set the mat even tighter.
The frequency that you will need to bathe your cavalier will depend on wither your cavalier is a pet or a show dog, or is a total house dog vs one that romps in the yard and plays in the flower garden. When my girls have been on the show circuit, I bathe them Friday before the weekend show and Monday after the show. Friday was to have them fresh for the show, and Monday to get out any of the additional conditioners that were used during the show weekend.
this page is still under construction . . . . . .