How to Groom a Bouvier

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The Bouvier des Flandres is a robust and attractive breed of dog whose coat requires specialized grooming. Many owners believe only a professional groomer can successfully tackle the sophisticated Bouvier coif. The prick-eared herder demands in his groomer knowledge of shaving, trimming, and other dog grooming techniques. A Bouvier does not shed. Dead hair must be removed from the coat regularly from every inch of his body, down to the skin. Bouvier owners can save a substantial amount of money and time by caring for their pet at home. In addition, these caretakers are likely to deepen the bond with their Bouvier.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal pin brush
  • Fine toothed comb
  • Thinning shears
  • Straight scissors
  • Grooming table
  • Stripping knife
  • Clipper with No. 10 and No. 4 guards
  • Round tip scissors
  • Tweezers

Place your Bouvier on a table and ask him to stand for the duration of the grooming process. Condition Bouvier puppies to be comfortable with grooming with early exposure to the table and tools. Choose a well-lit area to groom the Bouvier to ensure visibility.

Brush out your Bouvier with a metal pin brush. Repeat this process against the natural direction of the fur's growth.

Pass through the hair with a fine-toothed metal comb against the direction of the fur. Complete the process by brushing the hair in the natural direction using the metal brush.

Using thinning shears and the stripping knife, trim the hair atop a Bouvier's skull to 1/2 inch in length. Cut the hair around the eyebrows diagonally from the outside corner to the center of the eye. Ensure your Bouvier's coat is left at about 2.5 inches long. Do not trim the hair between the eyes, as you might for a terrier.

Using scissors or a clipper with a No. 10 guard, shave the hair on the Bouvier's ears. Enlist tweezers to remove the hair from inside the ears.

Comb through the Bouvier's legs with a stripping knife, even if you are short on time. This lends the legs an attractive straight quality prized in the breed, especially to the hind legs. Examine the front and side of each leg to see if you need to remove more hair for the desired look. Round the hair along the feet with round-tip scissors, and trim hair between the toes using the thinning shears.

Cut the hair on the tail to a short length, particularly underneath the tail and along its sides. Choose between straight scissors, thinning shears, or a clipper with a No. 10 guard to accomplish this. Use the same tool to trim the hindquarters, changing out the No. 10 blade for a No. 4. Trim the tail hair so that it is thinnest on the tail and imperceptibly thickens down to the hocks of the legs.

Tips & Warnings

  • Groom your Bouvier at least once a week.
  • Consult your Bouvier's breeder and other experienced owners about grooming the breed, especially if you do not have much familiarity with the necessary tools or techniques.
  • Be patient with your dog and yourself.
  • Dress comfortably and ensure that your Bouvier has plenty of water and some treats to ease the experience.
  • The process is highly sophisticated, it takes a while to demonstrate true proficiency.

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