BASIC GROOMING FOR THE BEGINNER
This will be just a basic lesson for those with their first Saint whether an adult or a puppy, not meant to be a complete guide for grooming for the show ring.
Minimum supplies to have on hand include:
- A good pair of straight scissors and curved scissors
- Slicker brush and pin brush
- Mat splitter
- Nail clippers
- Ear cleaner
- Cotton balls
- Whitening shampoo
- Leave-in conditioner spray
Brush thoroughly first
First go through the dog’s coat with the comb to make sure he or she is mat free, and especially on longhairs, checking behind the ears, the rump, the tail, and the toes. You may have to use the mat splitter. Brush the dog thoroughly. Use a gentle ear cleaner and cotton balls to clean out the ears, never dig around with a Q-tip.
Ready to Bathe
Bathing – wet the dog thoroughly first, and then using the whitening shampoo, gently shampoo all the white areas and then the entire dog, head last, keeping the shampoo out of the dog’s eyes. Rinse thoroughly, and then use the conditioner, following the specific instructions on the bottle. Again rinse well, getting down to the skin, and when you think you’re done rinsing, rinse some more! Leaving any shampoo or conditioner on can cause hot spots.
Important to Dry Thoroughly
Towel dry the dog and then use the leave-in conditioner, following the directions. Use a dog blow dryer to completely dry. When completely dry you can now trim the nails, clipping just a little bit at a time to avoid getting too close to the quick. If you do get too close and the nail starts bleeding, dab some Kwik-Stop on the nail and press gently.
You can now brush out again, scissor behind the ears if necessary, trim the hair under the feet, and any long hairs sticking out.
And my best tip to you – start training your Saint as a pup to enjoy his grooming, getting used to the nail clippers, the noise of the blower, and having his ears checked and cleaned regularly. Good luck and have fun!
Bonnie Claus, Indiana