If you want us to groom and train your adorable pooch, we offer comprehensive and professional training. You can also groom and train your dog at home by taking our grooming courses, which is good for the aspiring dog groomers. You can take advantage of our 1 day course where you will get expert dog grooming tips but you will need to bring your own dog. This course is available from £65 to £80.
Helping to keep your dog well groomed
Gundog grooming a speciality
Hand stripping available
Breeds prepared to show standard
High quality shampoos and conditioners used
We are an expert Flatcoated Retriever breeder. To find out more contact Lynette Irwin.
"All dogs need grooming; even little hairless dogs need special attention to prevent their skin getting dry. Very short haired breeds such as Whippets can get very greasy and smelly without the occasional rub down or brush and they need regular nail trimming or they can get problems with their feet. Double coated dogs such as Labradors need the undercoat removing, which if they swim and get rubbed down may do it but I have seen a few completely matted ones.
When you get your dog you should find out what grooming is required for its coat type, maybe as a groomer I see the worst cases of neglect but in my 25 years of grooming I have seen dogs with fleas and lice, maggots in their beards, a dog with its back legs matted together so that it could not cock a leg and similar in a bitch with terrible urine burns and several dogs who have had to be literally shaved to remove whole matted coats which is very painful for the dog often causing sore skin and then leaving them prone to sun burn.
A dog’s coat is there for a reason; it protects them from the cold in winter and has a water resistant top coat leaving the undercoat and skin warm and dry. In summer it protects them from the sun and keeps the skin cool by trapping air in the coat. I believe it is total laziness by owners who allow their dogs to get matted then shave them in the summer; it seems to be a modern trend to cut the backs of dogs as close as possible. The hair on the back will only grow to one length and then would moult and a nice new coat grow, by clipping it you prevent this moult and choke up the new coat causing the undercoat to grow through. This is then not water resistant or the correct colour or shine and offers no protection from the elements. The feathers are the bits that can get knotted but even cutting these will make them grow thicker but it is often good to cut the feathers around the feet and hocks for cleanliness and also to prevent painful knots between the toes and pads.
The exceptions to this is Poodles, Poodle cross and Puli type or Spanish and Portuguese water dogs, they have a coat which keeps growing and needs to be clipped regularly or left with the long coat which requires a good deal of attention.
The early Labradoodles either had the Labrador moulting coat or the Poodle coat, most of the second generation have the poodle coat which requires 6 to 8 weekly clipping and if the Labrador coat type ones are clipped then they have to be kept clipped.
Retrievers, Collies, German Shepherds and Spaniels have a double coat which should not be clipped. If they were, the coat would be ruined as explained above and could be grown out again but may take a year or would have to be constantly clipped and could grow thicker each time. In a heat wave I have occasionally clipped the stomach area of very heavy coated breeds such as a Newfoundlands so that they can lie on a cold floor but it is just as effective to hose them down. The coat grows back thicker as explained.
Terriers also have a double coat but they need to have the dead hair stripped out when it is dead, this is called hand stripping although some people use a serrated blade which is then called knife stripping and does cut the coat a bit. They are supposed to have a very harsh coat, if they have not been bred with the correct coat it may not be possible to hand strip them. The first strip is normally done at about 10 months but this will depend on the time of year and whether the coat is moulting or dead and ready to be pulled, the new coat should be visible beneath it. If a dog is overweight it will hang on to its coat and if neutered the coat will not be as easy to pull so if neutered and overweight it may be difficult to do and so would be painful for the dog and the dog should be left until the weight had been reduced. Hand stripping dead hair is not painful and gives the dog the best chance of a dirt and water resistant coat; a hand stripped Westie will have a harsh coat and be less prone to skin conditions, whereas one that is clipped close is generally more prone. Possibly the better bred ones have a harsh coat so the poorly bred ones have the soft coat and a tendency to get skin problems? White dogs are particularly prone to sunburn so they should have a covering of hair.
Retrievers and Setters and some spaniels require the head and ears to be hand stripped and also any hair that grows on the legs as a result of neutering or excess puppy coat. Some people use thinning scissors to try and achieve the same result but the grow back is quicker.
I think it is a shame when someone buys a Bearded Collie or similar and then lets it get matted and clips the coat off. This will make it a thick and soft coat much more prone to matting. They do have a thick puppy coat, but with regular brushing and combing this should be gone by 18 months old leaving an easier adult coat. They obviously need a lot of brushing and if you comb then a lot of the thicker undercoat can be removed whereas this is left in for the show ring and they will need bathing. There should be a pride in owning a beautiful long haired dog, if not why not buy a smooth breed.
Soft coated dogs need to be bathed, all dogs will benefit from a bath, especially old dogs that do not moult as readily and can become smelly. Bathing helps to remove dead hair and undercoat and also the grease that builds up in the dogs hair, if a good quality shampoo is used it won’t strip out all the natural oils and a conditioner can also be used on long haired breeds to assist in this. Mostly dogs smell because their bedding has been allowed to get smelly or their collars, a swim can be nice to freshen them up or even just a walk in the rain and good rub down but if they have rolled in something then some shampoo or something similar is required.
Grooming should be pleasurable for dog and owner. If done regularly there will not be knots so it won’t be painful for the dog but a nice bonding time. Brushing can be like a nice massage and help with the general health of your dog, it is a time for getting to know how your dog feels in the normal temperature and appearance and helps to make a quick diagnosis of a pain or skin infestation or ear infection. Also to check teeth for tartar, eyes for staining and nails requiring trimming."