How to Groom a Long Haired Dog

German Shepherd Breed, Grooming, Health & Wellness

Do you have a long-haired dog, like a Yorkshire terrier, a German Shepherd, or a Shih Tzu? If so, you might be wondering how to start grooming long-haired dogs without having to keep going to a professional dog groomer. Our tips will help you learn to groom your long-haired dogs at home.

Tips for Grooming a Dog with Long Hair

1) Choose the Right Dog Grooming Tools


The tools and devices you use for grooming your dog’s coat make a difference. You may want to choose a professional-grade hair clipper for a long-haired dog. Search around the internet, read reviews, and talk to other dog owners to find a clipper that will work well with your dog’s particular grooming needs and hairstyle. You may also consult with a professional groomer so that you can ask them what brand of clipper they recommend. Scissors can also be used in the grooming process. To make the process as stress-free as possible, it’s worth investing in the best dog grooming scissors you can afford. While doing the whole thing by scissors may be a bit too much work, they can come in handy after the initial trim. Using scissors will allow you to fine tune your dog’s appearance, enabling you to make some sections of your furry friend’s coat shorter or longer.

2) Consider How Short You Want to Trim Your Dog’s Hair


You should consider several factors when deciding how short. You will, of course, want to consider how you want your long-haired dog to look. You should also consider your environment. While dogs are good at self-regulating their body temperature, the length of their coat can make it more difficult. You will also want to consider your dog’s play style. Does your furry friend keep rolling around in the dirt or engaging in other messy behavior? If so, a shorter style might be more well-suited to your long-haired dogs.

3) Pick a High-Quality Shampoo


Picking a high-quality shampoo is an important part of keeping your dog’s fur and coat nice and clean. You may also want to consider a specially formulated shampoo if your dog has any skin conditions, such as those specially formulated for antifungal, anti-bacterial, anti-dandruff, anti-itch, and rehydrated properties. Deciding which shampoo is right for you will depend on your pet and their specific needs, your preferred scents, and your personal price range.

4) Give them a Bath

Giving your dog a bath is an important part of grooming. Shampooing, rinsing, and cleaning your dog’s coat helps not only to make sure they look clean and smell good. It also helps to mitigate any potential skin issues they might have, and lets you check that your furry friend isn’t struggling with ticks, fleas, or any other pests. Check out our guide to the top flea products for German Shepherds if you’re dealing with them.

Once you have your dog in the bath, make sure you thoroughly soak and shampoo their fur. Once you’ve given the shampoo some time to help clean your dog’s fur, rinse them off thoroughly and dry them off. This may also be a good time to give your dog a treat, as bath time can be met with reluctance from some dogs.

tips to shampooing your long haired dog

5) Brush Your Dog’s Coat Often


Not only should you brush your dog after bathing them or trimming their fur, but you should also be brushing them on a regular basis. Dogs with long hair are more prone to get knots in their fur. These knots can become sources of frustration, causing your dog to chew or lick their fur which can lead to irritable skin. You’ll want to brush your dog at least once every few days, taking special care to be certain that no knots are forming. Keep brushing regularly, and if there are any particularly pesky knots that you can’t untangle, consider bathing them to soften the coat. Your other option is to cut the knot out of their fur, but this may be less desirable to some owners.

6) Make Sure You’re Not in a Rush


Whether you’re trimming your dog’s fur or giving them a bath, you’ll want to set aside a decent amount of time to dedicate to the process. Deciding to groom a dog with longer hair can take a long time considering the amount of hair they have. Dogs can sense when they’re being rushed, and this can make for an unpleasant grooming session. You should, for this reason, make sure that you can take the process slowly, in accordance with your dog’s needs and use the time to further develop your bond with your dog.

7) Reward Your Dog


Grooming can be stressful for any dog, but for dogs with longer hair and coats, it can be especially stressful. The length of their hair and the time that grooming takes can make it difficult for long haired dogs to stay relaxed throughout the process. Once grooming is finished, consider using toys, treats, or even belly rubs to let your furry friend know that they’ve done a good job. This positive reinforcement can make future grooming sessions something your pup looks forward to.

8) There’s No Shame in Using a Professional


We would all like to be able to groom our furry friends at home, but the truth of the matter is that not all of us are comfortable doing so. There is nothing wrong with having a pro-groomer take care of your dog’s more intricate grooming needs. In fact, some owners may wish to do things like brushing and bathing at home, but use a professional to actually trim their dog’s fur. If you want to use a professional, you should feel free to! Check around with friends and other local dog owners to find a good one near you.

Final Thoughts


We know that there are advantages to grooming your long-coated or haired dog at home. It’s a way to bond with your furry friend, to learn their specific needs, and to save the time and money involved in using a professional groomer. For inexperienced dog owners, however, it can often be a confusing learning process. We hope that our tips have helped you feel more confident about keeping your furry friend groomed!

choosing tools to groom a long haired dog
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We’ve grown up with many pets over the years including gold fish, tropical fish, gerbils and bunny rabbits home for the school holidays, two tortoises called Zaza and Fred, and Allana even had a crazy horse on loan for a while

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