Grooming Equipment


I am addressing the faithful when I say that the most striking attribute of our breed is the coat. Whether it is the soft downy feel of a new puppy or the wonderful springy sensation of a full coated adult, the Keeshond is a handsome animal. Continual breeding over the years has increased coat length and density so much that the Keeshond is hardly recognisable from the dog that entered the scene in the 1930’s. I’m not sure if this is correct but nevertheless it has happened. For all this the Keeshond has the hard part; he has to grow it in the first place and contend with any discomfort that he may experience when it is hot, etc. He cannot however, cope wholly on his own; you need only to see the terrible sight of neglected Keeshonds to realise what part we must play too.

Looking after a Keeshond is to ensure that it is groomed frequently and not just a ‘blast’ the night before a show. Extra pre-show treatment is essential of course but if you attend to some fundamental points on a regular basis, both owner and dog can enjoy an early night and not spend all of it at, or upon, the grooming table.

Your Grooming Kit

If you walk around the trade stands at a any big show you can be easily seduced into buying the wrong utensils. Money can be wasted and more importantly, the valuable coat can be damaged. The needs of a Keeshond are surprisingly few when it comes to brushes and combs, etc. Ignore the claims of the wonder brush salesmen and instead, watch what the experienced breeders use. A good rule-of-thumb is to keep it simple and buy the best you can afford.

Many have asked me what they should buy in order that they may be prepared for anything. With pictures being worth a thousand words I present the Jean Sharp-Bale essential grooming kit. The equipment shown below illustrates what I believe to be the minimum that your salon, or show bag, should contain.

Pin Brush
Straight wire pins set in a cushion base, Used for basic brushing. There should be no pin head bobbles – Show Me.

Bristle Brush
Such as a Mason Pearson. Used when finishing off, giving a final brush to remove loose hairs. Especially good at moulting time.

Small Slicker Brush
Used for grooming the legs, but never the coat

Large Toothed Comb
With the exception of teasing-out knots, from behind the ears and under the arms, this is only used during moulting.

Small Comb
Used when grooming the head, ears and back pasterns.

Flea Comb
Used to take out the dead hair from the muzzle (helps to minimise the possibility of red on the muzzle).

Nail Clippers
Use at least once a week to trim nails.
An alternative design of nail clipper, preferred by some owners. 
Small Pointed Blade Scissors
Used to trim feet.
Long Pointed Scissors
Used to trim the back pasterns.

Toothpaste and Toothbrush
An essential part of grooming is to clean your dog’s teeth. This is for his own good, as well as yours, as it helps to keep the breath sweet.

Clothes Brush (Optional)
Anyone who has toiled at the grooming table will know how much of the Keeshonds’ coat will find its way onto the groomer. As such this is of equal importance to all of the above, especially if you are to enter the Show Ring.

Baby Wipes (Optional)
Not forgetting the need to clean your hands, on completion of grooming, there are plenty of important little places on your dog that may have need of these. Therefore with these having a dual role, they could be considered more of a necessity than a option.

A final wordI have only one thing to add. All dog grooming equipment is expensive. Be sure to keep the scissors sharp and the other pieces in good condition. Clean the hair from the brush regularly; it is the best indication you have of whether the coat is casting or not.Good Luck
Jean Sharp-Bale
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