Grooming Tips for the Belgian Sheepdogby Amanda Maddox
Owning a Belgian sheepdog does not mean you have to raise sheep or own a farm. This breed fits in with and offers protection to all shapes and sizes of families. His long, flowing coat makes the Belgian unmistakable at a glance -- and keeping the coat healthy and manageable requires ample grooming time from a willing owner.
The tools used for grooming a Belgian sheepdog are pretty much the same tools available at the local pet store used for grooming other long-haired dog breeds. The main tools include a bristle brush, a metal comb, thinning shears and a shedding rake. In addition, you should have a shampoo formulated for long-haired dogs as well as a hair dryer and towels.
Belgian sheepdogs shed pretty much constantly, but they generally blow their coats, or lose the majority of their undercoats, twice a year. Therefore, brushing your four-legged friend weekly helps remove dead hair. A bristle brush works well on the long outercoat, whereas a shedding rake works best or the thick undercoat. After brushing, run a comb through the coat to make sure all mats and tangles are gone. If there is a tangle, hold the hair away from the pup’s skin and gently remove it by working from the end of the hair with the comb.
Wet your Belgian sheepdog's entire coat with lukewarm water, careful not to get it into her eyes or ears. Add a line of pet-safe shampoo down the spine and gently massage it until suds form, avoiding the head. Rinse the shampoo off your pet until the water runs clear. Cover her with a clean, dry towel and pat her fur dry. Do not rub the towel; this may cause the hair to tangle. Brush your furry friend while the coat is still damp.
Before brushing your Belgian, spray a leave-in conditioner on the coat to help reduce tangles. If time permits, use a hair dryer on low-medium setting and finish drying the coat to prevent tangles. Only trim the long, stray hairs from the Belgian’s coat -- these are mostly on the hocks -- with thinning shears. Over-trimming the coat takes away from its natural beauty and protection. Brush his teeth a couple of times a week for dental health, and have a groomer or vet trim his nails if they get too long.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images