How to Groom Different Types of Coats

When you get immersed into the grooming of dogs as a profession. You’ll need to know how to groom different types of coats; short-haired, medium-haired, and long-haired dogs. Within those types are sub-types like the texture of the coat. In this article you learn how to properly groom dogs. Click Here to See a List of Professional Grooming Supplies.

Grooming A short Coat

When grooming dogs with short coats it is as simple as washing yourself. Short-haired dogs don’t require a lot of intensive grooming techniques, like; de-shedding, or clipping. A dog with a short coat rarely requires any clipping unlike dogs with medium, or long coats. But there are steps to properly clean your dog.

Bathing Dogs with Short Coats

  1. Now, thoroughly soak the coat with water. Avoid the eyes and ears and keep praising.
  1. Put some shampoo in your palms and rub them together. Apply the shampoo to the middle of your dog’s back. Make sure to avoid his eyes.
  1. Begin massaging in circles with a scrub brush for short coats.
  1. Using the scrub brush, work the shampoo in, again using a circular motion.
  1. Next, it’s time to rinse. If you leave shampoo in the coat, it can attract dirt and cause tangles, making your dog look worse than before you washed him. So, you need rinse out all the soap from along the back, under the belly, between paw pads, ect.
  1. When you are sure you’ve rinsed out all the soap, do it again. There’s always more soap that needs to be removed. Finish with a conditioner for dogs.
  1. When the bath is over, wrap your puppy in a big, soft towel and blot the water from his coat.  


Grooming A Medium Coat

Many medium-coated dogs should remain entirely natural without trimming, clipping, or shaping. The medium coat does not tangle, mat, hold on to dirt, or require special attention other than regular brushing and the occasional bath.  Long hair on the feet should be trimmed, particularly between toe pads where mats can easily form.

Keep in mind that you can make slight adjustments to improve the shape of your dog by trimming the head and then the body to balance an uneven dog. However, a few medium-coated breeds require special trimming in order to compete in the show ring.

Let us take the “sporting spaniels” for example.  These dogs have the top third of their ears trimmed with clippers or thinning shears. The ruff on a spaniel’s neck can be trimmed to an inch above the breastbone and blended into the shoulders.

Other breeds with medium coats require very little coat trimming.  When applicable, you can also make small adjustments in shaping the ruff rear furnishings and ear hair.  Basically, leave your medium-coated breed in a natural state, only neatening stray hairs without having to change the dog’s outline. The basic rule for medium-coated dogs is to brush often to remove shed hair.  High-maintenance grooming is not necessary.

The essential tools for grooming the medium coat are as follows:  Pin brush, Coat rake, Hound glove, Shedding comb, Rubber curly brush, and a Blow-dryer with low or cool setting.

Every day, or at least once a week, give your dog a good, thorough brushing.  However, during your monthly grooming sessions, you may apply the following steps after giving your dog a bath.

Steps to Grooming A Medium Coats

  1. For the washing of the medium coat follow the same method as washing a short coat.
  1. Except you need to use a clipper, scissors, or a stripping knife, clip off hairs longer than the ones around them and straighten shaggy outlines that are not supposed to be shaggy.
  1. Use a shedding comb to remove shedding fur from the dog.
  1. Never clip more than a few hairs without stopping and standing back to check again. If you trim at close range for too long, you can easily overdo the job.
  1. In my opinion it’s best do all of these steps before wetting the fur. Because I have noticed that the wet fur tends to tangle more
  1. Now you can wet the fur and begin applying shampoo.
  1. When applying soap instead of working on circular motions you need to make long strokes in the fur to coat the length of the coat with soap.
  1. You need to make sure all of the soap is gone. If you leave shampoo in the coat, it can attract dirt and cause tangles, making your dog look worse than before you washed him. So, you need rinse out all the soap from along the back, under the belly, between paw pads, ect.
  1. When the bath is over, dry the medium coat with a towel. Never rub meduim or long coats as wet hair tangles easily.
  1. When your dog is completely dry, have him stand. Step back and take a good look at his outline. Compare it to a picture of a well-groomed show dog of the same breed.  Look for long, stray hairs, shaggy areas, or other imbalances.
  1. Finally, you may spray your dog’s coat with a little coat conditioner to keep it resilient and easy to brush.

How to Groom a Long Coat

The long coated small breeds are characterized by a certain appealing full fluffiness, as opposed to the parted coat-breeds, which are characterized by long, smooth, flowing hair, which is more similar to long human hair.  For this reason, keep this in mind when grooming long-coated small dogs:  Think of the coat standing out from the body, rather than lying flat against the skin.

When you have finished giving your small dog a bath, below is a step by step process on how to groom that long fluffy coat.


  1. When washing a dog with a long coat follow the same steps as the medium coat
  1. Except there are different steps to clipping the fur. A dog with a long coat I usually trim the dogs fur after washing and drying completely.
  1. After drying your dog, blow-dry the long coat to keep it from drying into tangles. With the blow-dryer on cool or low setting, work from the bottom up, using the pin brush or slicker brush to fluff-dry. Divide the hair into sections with the pin brush or slicker brush and hold them out from the body as you blow-dry.
  1. Keep the blow-dryer moving over each piece of hair until it is dry, then work your way up. Start with the legs and rear end and work your way up and forward. Keep brushing and fluffing for fullness, keeping the coat free from tangles.
  1. Finish by running a metal comb through the coat to make sure that you did not miss a single tangle or snag.
  1. With a #10 blade on your electric clipper, shave your dog’s anal area to keep it clean and free of long hair and tangles. Be careful not to touch the blade directly on your dog’s skin. Another way of keeping this area clean is to clip it neatly with scissors.
  1. Depending on the breed or if you like the idea of having your dog’s underside free of long hair, with the same #10 blade, shave your dog’s abdomen from groin to naval and down the insides of both thighs. Shave with the lay of the hair.
  1. Trim between your dog’s paw pads with scissors, and if hair covers the feet, trim around the feet so the hair reaches the ground evenly around the paw in a rounded shape.
  1. Brush and comb the hair on your dog’s head, ears, and face.
  1. To finish the dog and take advantage of the coat’s fluffiness, spray it with coat conditioner or coat dressing to keep it soft and in place, then brush lightly over the top of the coat to set. Brush from bottom up and from shoulders forward to fluff-the ruff. Fluff the tail, the body, and the chest.

While reading this article I hope that you learned how to properly groom dogs with short, medium and long coats. Hopefully you enjoyed this read and have a happy day