LÖWCHEN GROOMING BASICS

NAILS:

Nails should be done once a week to keep them a good length. Nails that have become too long will splay the toes and can be painful for your dog to walk on. You can have your professional groomer do this, or look after yourself. Select a style of nail trimmer; either a guillotine or scissor style, it is up to you. Make sure they are sharp. Trim a small amount from the tip of the nail with a quick snip, being careful not to cut the quick. You can follow up with a file to smooth the edges. If you do cut the quick, apply some styptic powder or cornstarch to the nail to stop the bleeding.

For nails that are too long, you may find trimming a small amount 2-3 times a week will help the quick recede and your dogs nails can gradually be cut to a shorter length. It is never too late to start trimming nails on a regular basis.

Nails


Many people find they like to use a dremel...yes, the same tool found in the hardware stores! Dremel makes a nail grinder specifically for pets as well. Some people find it easier to use the dremel by first poking the nails of each paw through an old nylon stocking. This keeps the hair out of the way so it is very easy to manage.

EARS:

Check your dog’s ears once a week as well. Lowchen have “drop ears” which can make an ideal moist environment for bacteria, so check often. If you notice any wax buildup or the ears have a slight odor, it’s time to clean. Moisten a cotton ball with an ear cleaner product and gently wipe the areas of the ear that are accessible. Do not go deeply into the canal. If you need to remove hair from the ear canal, remove only a few hairs at a time, using a slow steady movement. Do not yank hairs out. You can use your fingers, blunt edged tweezers or a hemostat (available from your vet).

If you see your dog repeatedly shaking their head and/or scratching at their ears this could be a sign of an infection. Check with your vet.

TEETH:

Regular weekly brushing will keep your dogs teeth in good shape and help insure the overall health of your pet. Make sure you use toothpaste specifically for dogs; do not use human toothpaste. Apply a small amount of toothpaste on your dog’s toothbrush and brush in small circles from the back of the mouth to the front. Do this on each side, top and bottom. This is a good time to check the teeth and gums for overall health.

For puppies who are teething, make sure all baby teeth have fallen out before the adult teeth come in. If you find a retained baby tooth alongside an emerging adult tooth, consult your vet.

BATH TIME:

Ideally, you should start with a brushed coat, but that is not always possible. A show Löwchen is usually bathed before every show; sometimes every week during show season. A pet Löwchen will require a bath much less frequently. If you find their coat is matting more than usual, this could be an indication the coat is dirty and is time for a bath. Kept in the puppy clip, a bath every 6-8 weeks is all you should need. You can send to the groomers or do it yourself.

Place a rubber mat on the bottom of the tub to give the dog a secure footing.
With warm water, soak the coat with the shower, making sure all layers are wet. Leave the head until last.
Always use dog shampoo and conditioner as these have the proper Ph levels for the coat. Human products are too harsh for their coat.

Starting at the spine, apply a line of shampoo on either side. Work the shampoo into the coat in a downward motion, gently squeezing to distribute shampoo right through to the ends. Do not rub. This will damage the coat and create knots. Gently squeeze the shampoo through the coat and use your fingers to "comb" through. Apply shampoo to front, underside, feet and tail and work through in same manner until clean.

Tilt the head back slightly and dampen the head. Put some shampoo in your hand and gently stoke onto top of head in a backwards motion. Keeping the head tilted slightly up and back will keep shampoo out of their eyes and make rinsing much easier.

Rinse the coat in warm water until the water runs clear, then rinse again. When you think the coat is free from shampoo, rinse one more time. Yes, rinsing is very important to remove all shampoo, so rinse, rinse, rinse! Now you will want to follow up with a conditioner. Apply conditioner in the same manner as above. You can choose a rinse out or leave-in product, depending on the condition of the coat.

Squeeze the excess moisture from the coat and wrap your dog in a cotton towel. Gently blot the coat and replace with a dry towel. Keep wrapped in towel for about 5 minutes to soak up additional moisture before you start to dry the coat. This will speed up the overall drying time. In the wintertime a towel just fresh from the dryer is a nice treat. Place on grooming table or other sturdy table. If not using a grooming table, place a towel on top to help the dog feel secure on the table.

Spritz the entire coat with a grooming or anti stat spray. Gently comb through the coat with a wide toothed comb starting at the ends and working up to the roots. Once the entire coat is free from tangles you can begin drying. Use a low to medium heat on your dryer. You might want to check periodically by placing your hand in from of the nozzle to make sure it doesn't get too hot. If it is too hot for your hand, it is too hot for the coat.

Use your pin brush to brush the coat and keep it moving while you hold the dryer in the other hand. Hold the dryer about 10" away from coat and dry in the direction of the hair growth, a section at a time. Do not go to another section until the one you are working on is completely dry. Once finished, if you find an area of the coat that feels "cold" this is a good indication it is still damp...go back and dry completely.

THE LION CLIP:

If you are showing your Lowchen then you must keep in the lion clip.

You can choose to have this done by a professional groomer or do it yourself. Your breeder will be able to give you some tips to get you started as well. A professional groomer in your area can also be helpful in guiding you through the use of a clipper. Ask if they could give you a few lessons and you will soon be on your way to doing this yourself. One thing to mention, there will be hair afoot, so please keep in mind and place something underneath your grooming table to make clean-up easier. The feet and forelegs are trimmed. The back area is trimmed from the top of the bracelet on each back foot up to the last rib. The front bracelets are clipped at the same height as the back bracelets, up to the elbow. The tail is trimmed to a point halfway, leaving a tuft of hair on the end resembling a plume. The coat should not be scissored or shaped from the body or the head. The untrimmed areas should be left natural.