Estrela Mountain Dog Puppy Champion Sire
  • How I groom

  • Equipment

  • Top tips

 

Grooming

OK so I start with a rake in the direction the coat grows - head to tail, over the main parts of the body. The best rake I have found, has rolling pins which means the hair stays in the brush instead of releasing in a cloud after every stroke: http://www.mikkipet.com/?mikki_grooming=anti-tangle-undercoat-rake-for-thick-coats

 

Then if they are not moulting too much, I use a slicker brush like this one: http://www.mikkipet.com/?mikki_grooming=hard-pin-slicker-for-thickdense-coats

The important thing is that the backing is hard so when you press the pins, they don't sink in and crowd together, or it will just bounce off of the Estrela coat.

I use the slicker going in the opposite direction to the coat, lifting the coat, usually in sections, to get to the undercoat.

 

For the feathers on the back of the thigh, I brush it all upwards with a slicker, then starting with the thinnest bit at the bottom by the hock, I take sections and work upwards by brushing a small bit down until it's tangle free, then I take the bit above it and repeat.

 

If I find a knot or a mat I'll usually get scissors (this shape is best http://www.mikkipet.com/?mikki_grooming=coat-scissors ) and insert them between the skin and the knot so I can cut away from the skin. Always cut away, I've known even experienced dog groomers slice the skin because they have cut towards it. If the matt is very dense and close to the skin you might have to literally cut a few hairs at a time.

Sometimes just cutting the matt in half will loosen it enough to be able to brush it out. You can also get a matt splitter http://www.mikkipet.com/?mikki_grooming=matt-breaker-with-replacement-blades .

 

Try not to pull knots, hold them at the root of the hair if you are determined not to cut the coat, and brush them out from the outer edges of the matt, to the centre.

 

I still find grooming the ruff under the chin a pain because of the combination of soft bits and pointy, boney bits. A comb is good but takes forever!

At the kennels we had a blaster (giant, super powered hairdryer) which was amazing for removing deaad coat (and spreading it, in an even layer, over the walls) so when I have a spare few hundred quid...

 

Does that help at all?  Any tips you want to share please do!

  • Grooming regularly saves time in the long run.

  • Frequent brushing makes your Estrela shiny and smell less!

  • Little and often means it’s less likely your dog will get fed up and become uncooperative.

  • Use a suitable ear cleaner such as Sancerum, to help prevent ear problems.

  • Some dogs are ticklish.

  • Neutering can make the coat grow longer and woollier.

  • Estrela’s have tough nails, so unless they spend a lot of time on concrete, they will need clipping.

  • Shaping the nail rather than cutting straight across, can help wear it down quicker.

  • Wet weather means more frequent grooming – soggy Estrela’s get matted much more quickly.

  • Never clip or shave an Estrela – its double coat acts as insulation from cold and heat.

  • Bathing should be limited as it harms the natural balance of the skin.

  • Estrela’s aren’t normally smelly – try changing diet, more exercise, clean bedding and regular grooming.