Grooming Your Coton de Tuléar puppy
Your Coton de Tuléar requires grooming - lots of it. When your Coton is still a puppy you may believe that grooming is a breeze - and for now it is! However, do not be fooled into complacency.
While your puppy is young you have the opportunity to not only learn to groom him, but also to teach him the rules of the game! The rules are -- he must be groomed and therefore he must accept all the aspects of grooming without fidgeting and fighting you. It is best to start right away so that when the grooming does become more intense you will not be fighting a dog that has better ideas!
Start with the right tools! You will want a good quality pin brush with uncoated metal pins. Helpful also is a "poodle" comb, and a "greyhound" comb, as well a nail clipper. Here are a few pictures of the products you may wish to purchase. These products can be ordered at various online retailers as well as clicking on any of the photos shown in the sidebar.
You may wish to purchase a grooming table as well, though it is not absolutely necessary. The grooming arm and noose are not required.
Start grooming your puppy as soon as you get him home and settled. Keep the sessions short and fun, but make sure the puppy understands what you require of him. Use the various combs and brushes on him even though any one of these will do the job on its own right now. As he gets older the various grooming tools will need to be used and you want him to be used to them from the start.
Lightly use a spray conditioner when you are grooming. This will help avoid breakage while grooming and will provide the coat with extra conditioning. Use the poodle comb for an initial combing, followed by the greyhound comb, then the pin brush. Remember to be gentle. The idea is to preserve coat, not break it. If there is a knot or mat, gently separate the hairs using your fingers, do not pull the mat out in a clump. A Resco comb is handy in the facial areas.
Following the grooming, once or twice a week you will want to clean out the ears with a mild ear cleaning solution and a cotton ball. Do not try to dig into the ear. Any foul smell or reddish brown buildup requires veterinary attention as soon as possible as it means your puppy has an ear inflammation or infection. You will also want to trim your puppy's nails once a week. Take a little bit off the nails at a time to avoid cutting the quick of the nail. If you do cut the quick your puppy will scream and the nail will bleed. While painful, this is not serious and a styptic powder will eliminate the bleeding. In a pinch, flour works reasonably well in place of styptic powder.
Every two to three weeks or so you will want to bathe your puppy. Ensure that you use a quality shampoo and conditioner. Prior to bathing you will want to ensure that your puppy is tangle/knot/mat free. If you bathe a dog that has knots or tangles they will tighten to the point of needing to be shaved out. So, carefully brush the dog first. Make sure that you rinse all shampoo and conditioners out of the coat thoroughly. Rinse, rinse, then rinse some more. When finished, put your puppy in a towel and pat dry. DO NOT RUB or you will have one very large white knot in your arms. Brush out your puppy and blow dry. Make certain you have dried out his ears with a cotton ball.
Grooming article graciously supplied by writer and breeder Karen Black of the Cotonwind Kennel in Canada.
More information on Bathing your Coton.