Dog grooming is crucial to keep every Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s (CKCS) coat shiny, healthy and matt free.
Do not bathe your CKCS before you want to brush him as once matts and tangles get wet it is almost impossible, not to mention painful for the dog, to remove them. A King Charles only needs a dog wash once or twice a month, but must be brushed much more regularly, at least twice a week.
Getting a puppy used to dog grooming is essential as they will have to sit still and be patient while you work. Starting when they are very young is strongly advised. Start with putting them on the table and getting them to sit and stay for a few seconds. Do that every day and afterwards reward with treats and play, although make sure they are on the floor first. They must know that playing on the table is not allowed!
Once they can sit nicely introduce some of the dog grooming supplies you will be using such as brushes, combs, dog shampoo, nail clippers, hair clippers, scissors and of course, water. Put all these things on the table, or nearby, so your dog gets used to their presence.
Take the brush and gently brush your puppy’s coat. If they get up or try to play stop, turn away from them and ignore them for a few seconds. Once you have managed to brush once or twice put your puppy back on the floor and praise him.
It is very important not to overdo the initial training and to end each session on a positive. As your CKCS gets older increase the time that they spend on the table being brushed and slowly introduce the new products you will be using.
Dog grooming creates a strong bond between you and your dog provided that you have shown the dog what behavior is acceptable. Your dog will love the feeling of being groomed and pampered and you will enjoy the quiet time spent with your faithful companion.
If you have taken on a rescue CKCS that is not used to being groomed, or is scared because of its past taking it to professional dog groomers may help. If it doesn’t then dog grooming courses are available at colleges and night and weekend schools that can teach you how to confidently handle and manage a dog.
Going to a dog grooming school is an option for anyone who might want to learn how to professionally groom a dog, especially if you plan on keeping dogs that need regular upkeep of their coats.
Clipping the nails and trimming the fur around the paws and ears is an important part of your dog grooming routine. Handling and massaging your dog’s paws when he is young and getting him used to having the clippers near his feet will help desensitize him to having his nails clipped.
To avoid hurting him when clipping his nails do not cut the quick. In clear nails this is the pink flesh inside the nails. If he has long quicks just nip the very end of the nail off. Do this as often as possible and slowly the quick will begin to recede. If he has black nails and you cannot see the quick use the same method as above, being vey careful not to cut too far into the nail. If you cut your dog’s quick use something such as iodine, or a formula from your vets, to stop the bleeding.
If you are showing your dog, then trimming around the bottom of the pads is allowed, but nowhere else. If your dog is not a show dog then it is advisable to trim around the paws, pads and flares as trying to pick out dirt and twigs and leaves that get stuck in the fur can take hours.
King Charles Spaniel coats are normally not clipped, however, this can be done if you do not plan on showing your dog to keep the grooming down to a minimum. This can be done at home, or at a professional dog grooming parlour.
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