There are some people out there that don’t want a Lhasa Apso simple because it has a much better hairstyle than they. It happens; and some people work their way around that by keeping their dog’s hair cut short like the puppy look. We’re mostly kidding, but this is a breed that has a fabulous coat that looks completely amazing and beautiful. It is, however, difficult to work with if you let it go too long without a trip to the groomer, and you don’t brush it often enough. Bred as a lovely watchdog for the indoors, the Lhasa apso is a sweet dog with a big personality. It’s great for families, couples and singles, and it’s the kind of dog that’s adorable from day one forward. If you’re looking into getting a Lhasa apso for your family, you might want to know a few tricks of the trade when it comes to grooming your dog. Even if you keep up with regular trips to the groomer, you are still going to need to keep your dog groomed at home, too.
Train the Dog
According to the American Lhasa Apso Club, you should train your dog to be groomed at home and away from home. This is going to be a simple process if you can train the dog to understand how it works and to sit or stand still while it’s happening. Dogs are a lot like kids; they don’t want to stand still for long periods of time if they are not sure why they are standing in the first place. Go ahead and do yourself a favor by starting this training process early enough so that your dog can understand how this is going to work for both him and you.
Lhasa apso puppies require far less grooming than adults, but you should not allow the opportunity to teach the dog what’s expected during grooming sessions pass. This means allowing the dog to lie on his or her side while you brush and trim hair, and this is best done when the dog is tired and/or in need of a rest. Do not do this when the dog is hungry or agitated, as it could meant that your dog is going to make things difficult on you. The process of getting used to this becomes a habit when it’s started at an early age. Once it becomes habit, your dog is going to allow you to go about grooming throughout its life without much issue.
The concept of bathing a dog with this much hair is often intimidating to dog owners, but it should not be. There is nothing to worry about. Allowing yourself to become intimidated by the process is only going to make it worse for you, so we have a few suggestions to help you make it simpler. Some say you should brush your dog prior to bath time to remove any knots or mats from the hair so that bath time is easier. Others say that they don’t find this an issue at all and don’t bother with the added step of brushing before the bath. So essentially, this is something that is entirely up to you and your personal preferences as to what you find simpler or more effective.
Something very important to consider when bathing this breed is how you apply the shampoo. Make sure that you do not rub the shampoo into the dog’s body in a circular motion. This is going to cause your dog’s coat to tangle and make it much more difficult to brush when you are done with your bath. Rub the shampoo down the dog’s fur in a soft downward motion to prevent tangles and mats.
When it’s time to dry your dog, you’re going to ring the water out of his or her fur the way you would your own – but without rubbing it with a towel to create tangles – and then you’re going to blow dry the dog’s hair. You cannot leave it wet to dry on its own as it might tangle this way. Keep the dryer set to low and on a setting that is not overly hot to ensure that your dog does not suffer from any burns.
Cleaning Up Mats
When your dog does have matted fur, it’s helpful to brush it right away. The longer you leave mats in place, the more difficult they are to remove. It’s okay to wet the spot in which you find the mat, too, so that you can make removal that much simpler. Our recommendation is that you spray it with a bit of water prior to brushing it to make removal easier. If this does not work, a very gentle detangling spray designed for small children will help. Be careful not to use too much of this on your dog’s fur, however.
While brushing mats and tangles, a comb might work best. This is your best tool for breaking up severely matted hair in a gentle and less painful manner. Otherwise, you might run the risk of realizing that your dog is in pain and that might make the rest of this process a lot more difficult.
Trim Hair in Ears
One of the least glamorous things about owning a Lhasa apso is the fact that the hair inside the dog’s ears grows significantly. It’s not sparse as it is in most breeds. It’s thick and grows very long. Your job is to keep it trimmed, which can be a daunting task. The vet, of course, can do this for you at visits, but you probably don’t go to the vet every few weeks to make this much easier on you. It can also be done by your dog’s groomer, but there is a good chance you will need to make a few cuts and trims on your own from time to time, and that can be quite stressful. You should be sure you do not cut the ear. The dog should be tired and laying down when you do this job, and it’s often easier to do when the dog is dry rather than fresh out of the tub.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
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