If you have a Portuguese Water Dog, you will know that combing and brushing is an important part of their grooming routine. So it’s important to know how to properly brush and comb their fur. This includes knowing exactly which tools should be used and in which order.
Why Brushing and Combing Your Portuguese Water Dog is Important
Regular brushing and combing of your pupper is crucial for maintaining their coat’s health and well-being. Neglecting to do so can lead to a host of problems, including: matting, skin irritation, and even infection.
By regularly brushing and combing your doggo, you can remove tangles and mats that can cause discomfort and pain. Brushing also helps to distribute natural oils throughout their coat, keeping it shiny and healthy. Regular grooming also provides an opportunity to check for any skin irritations, bumps, or lumps that may require veterinary attention. By catching these issues early, you can ensure that your PWD receives prompt and appropriate care.
Another important aspect that may be overlooked, is that regular grooming also provides an opportunity for bonding between your doggo and you. Take that time to cultivate a trusting and special bond between the two of you. This will not only bring you closer to your pooch, but allow them to complete the necessary grooming ritual in a safe and loving way. This will create positive lasting effects, especially when they then transition to regular groomer or veterinary appointments.
Brushing also helps to remove dirt, debris, and loose hair, which can reduce shedding. This also helps to reduce the amount of loose hair and pet dander within your home; thus reducing the increased risk of exposure for allergy sufferers.
It is recommended to brush your PWD daily. They only have a single coat, but it can come in two different types: curly or wavy.
What You’ll Need
Before you start brushing and combing your Portuguese Water Dog, make sure you have the following:
- Brush Types
- A pin brush
- Comb Types
- A greyhound comb
- Other Tools
- A mat table or high surface
- A detangling spray
- A treat to reward your PWD for good behavior
Preparing to Brush and Comb Your Portuguese Water Dog
It is important to start the grooming process as early as possible. For pupper up to 4 months of age, you should brush several days a week with a metal pin brush in order to begin to establish a grooming routine. Always make sure to remain patient and gentle when completing. Place the puppy on an elevated surface with a non-slip mat such as a dog grooming table in order to complete the grooming routine (brushing, combing, teeth, and nails). Get them comfortable lying on their side and standing while on the higher surface. Just make sure you grab all the necessary equipment required prior to placing your pup up high, and if you have forgotten something then lower them back down to the floor so as you’re making sure not to leave them on a high surface unattended.
Around 9-12 months, they will transition to an adolescent coat for both types (curly and wavy). They will need to be brushed more frequently. Matting will become increasingly difficult to combat during this stage. If severe, it will need to be shaved. The wavy coat type will transition quicker, and is at an even more increased risk for matting. The curly coat type will transition more gradually, and start from front to back. If your dog has white hair, then the white areas will be quicker to mat then other areas since it’s thinner.
Bringing them to a higher work surface will not only signal to your pup that ‘now it’s time for the grooming routine,’ but will also save your back. It will allow you to have proper body mechanics, which will become especially important as they become bigger and stronger. Also, please make sure to incorporate praise and treats prior to and after completing the grooming routine. This will not only help solidify the bonding experience, but will signal to your pupper that the grooming process is a safe and loving space for them.
How to Brush a Portuguese Water Dog
- You should start by removing all mats, dirt, debris, and loose hair from their coat. Attempt to use your fingers firstly, by gently pulling apart small sections at a time and working your way from outermost mat sections and moving closer to the skin. You can use your comb or metal rake to assist, trying to work the tangle out delicately and in small sections at a time. And a detangling spray is always a good option in order to ease the tangles out more freely.
- You will use a pin brush. You can use a slicker brush on their thick, curly coat. Make sure you are a professional or expertly trained on how to use a slicker brush, as these can be very painful for your dog if not used properly. Start at the neck and work your way down the body with a pin brush, using short strokes. Be sure to brush in the direction of hair growth to prevent any discomfort. Make sure to wet with a detangling spray prior to brushing each section.
- Then brush each leg thoroughly, starting at the top and working your way down to the paws. Pay special attention to the areas where tangles are more likely to occur, such as the intersection where the legs meet the body. Be sure to brush in the direction of hair growth to prevent any discomfort. Make sure to wet with a detangling spray prior to brushing each section.
- Now, brush the tail from the base to the tip, using gentle strokes to avoid any discomfort.
- Be sure to remove any tangles or mats that may be present. Be sure to brush in the direction of hair growth to prevent any discomfort. Make sure to wet with a detangling spray prior to brushing each section.
- Then, the chest, sides, and belly. Be sure to be extra gentle around the belly, as this area is sensitive. Be sure to brush in the direction of hair growth to prevent any discomfort. Make sure to wet with a detangling spray prior to brushing each section.
- Finally, the face. Gently brush the head and face. Be careful around the eyes and ears. And be mindful that the ears are prone to matting.
How to Comb a Portuguese Water Dog
- You will comb with the wide-teeth section of a greyhound comb. Start at the neck and work your way down the body with a greyhound comb, using short strokes. Be sure to comb in the direction of hair growth to prevent any discomfort.
- Now, comb your dog’s body and legs. Comb in the direction of hair growth.
- Next, comb your dog’s tail with the fine-tooth comb section of a greyhound comb. Be sure to get any tangles or mats.
- Then, start combing your dog’s face and ears with the fine-tooth comb section of a greyhound comb. Be gentle and avoid pulling on any tangles or mats. Be extra careful around the eyes, ears, and nose so as not to accidentally poke them.
Tips for Maintaining Your Portuguese Water Dog’s Coat
- Brush their entire coat daily
- Use a pin brush or *slicker brush to remove tangles and mats. (Slicker brushes should only be used by professionals, because if used incorrectly, it will be very painful)
- Use a comb to remove loose hair and debris.
- Be gentle and avoid pulling or tugging on the coat.
- Pay special attention to areas that are prone to tangles, such as behind the ears and under the legs.
- If you encounter a mat, use your fingers first. A detangling spray and/or dematting tool or scissors to carefully remove it are also options.
- Always give a treat and praise for good behavior.
By following these tips, you can maintain your Portuguese Water Dog’s coat and keep it looking healthy and shiny.
As long as you are able to maintain regular brushing, shedding will be minimal and consistent stripping will drastically reduce shedding as well.