Grooming a Doberman, with their sleek short coats, is fairly easy . Brush regularly to keep their coats gleaming. Doberman nails must be kept trimmed and their ears and teeth cleaned. Dobermans are a single coated breed without undercoat and there are some tips to brushing and grooming a single coated breed dog.
Things You'll Need
- Rubber or soft bristle brush
- Toenail clippers
- Dremel tool
- Dental chews
How to Groom a Doberman
Bathe your Doberman infrequently using mild dog shampoo and be sure it is very thoroughly rinsed out. Dobermans rarely need to be bathed, especially if they are fed a high quality diet and brushed regularly. Never bathe more than once a month as this will dry out the skin and strip the coat of natural oils. If your Doberman has a "doggie" smell, it may be from an unsuitable diet. If there is a persistent doggie odor, dry or reddened skin or a very dull or thin coat, consult your veterinarian to rule out skin problems, underactive thyroid, or any other health problem.
Give your Doberman a quick daily brushing. Not only will she enjoy it, you will have less dog hair in your house. Since Dobermans don't have an undercoat, it is unecessary to use a pin or comb-type grooming tool on them and will probably be uncomfortable for your dog as well. Use a rubber grooming tool, a very soft bristled brush or even a chamois cloth to remove dead hair and shine up the coat. If you get your Dobe as a puppy, start grooming right away and always praise and give her treats for letting you do this.
Feed the best diet you can and provide healthy chews to clean teeth and stimulate gums. A good diet will help keep the teeth and gums healthy and breath sweet. Many people swear by a natural raw diet for optimum health. You may not want to feed a raw diet, but do feed the best food you can afford. Appropriate chew toys are important. Raw beef knuckle bones are wonderful but there are many commercial chews designed to keep teeth clean and stimulate gums. You may also ask your vet about enzyme chews for extra cleaning. Check your local pet store for doggie toothbrushes. While it may be hard to train an adult dog to accept having her teeth brushed, starting the habit with a puppy is quite easy.
Trim your Doberman's toenails regularly. The proper Doberman foot is high with large-knuckled toes and it is really important to keep their toenails trimmed short. Waiting until the nails get very long before cutting them allows the quick to lengthen. The trick to cutting dog toenails is to do a little bit about once a week. This is easier on the dog because you are just taking off a little bit and of course the more often you do it, the easier it gets for everyone! There are two methods of cutting dog toenails. You can use toenail clippers. Avoid the very budget priced ones because they are not as sharp and often not aligned well, which can mash rather than cleanly cut the toenail. Practice with cutting just a tiny bit off each toenail and give your Doberman lots of praise while you do so. The other way to trim toenails is with a grinder tool, like a Dremel or a special grinder available from pet stores. These are a bit easier to use for most people and once your dog gets used to the buzzing noise, it won't bother her.
Check your Doberman's ears about once a week for redness or odor, which may indicate a yeast build up or infection. If your Doberman's ears are cropped they should stay quite clean. Never use a cotton swab in your dog's ears because you can do serious damage. You may wrap a soft rag around your finger, dip it in plain vinegar and use your finger to clean the visible parts of the ear. If your Dobe has natural ears, be extra careful to check them regularly because floppy ears are more likely to harbor dirt and bacteria. If your dog is prone to ear infections or yeast buildup, ask your vet about a safe earwash and follow directions for regular douching out of the ears.
Taking your Doberman to a groomer for baths, ear cleaning and nail trimming is always an option but handling your dog helps alert you to any lumps and bumps and keeps you familiar with her overall condition. Regular brushing takes only minutes a day and will keep her coat and skin shiny and healthy. Even if you decide to leave most grooming to a professional, you should check on ears and teeth on a regular basis as well so you know quickly if there is a problem.
Tips & Warnings
- Adding 1000mg salmon or fish oil capsules to the daily diet will help keep your dog's skin and coat in great condition.
- Photo Credit author photo
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