Medical Info: Grooming Supplies

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Grooming Supplies.

I keep my sheepies in long coat, and I don't need the best clippers in the world to do the small amount of maintenance they need . However, I do end up shaving/grooming rescue sheepies so I finally invested in some Oster A5 dual speed clippers. I got them online at That model has 2 speeds and is used by many professsional groomers. So is the Andis model. These are corded clippers since my experience with any cordless applicance is that they lack the power of the corded ones.

The Petedge online site has a lot of grooming supplies at reasonable cost. I also have some combs that clip on a standard clipper. It's hard to explain unless you have seen them, but it lets you do a uniform clip at 1"-2" with clippers, for a longer looking coat without hving to scissor it. These can only be used on a completely de-mated coat.

Good luck, and it's great that you are making progress with Archie
Okay, I can admit this since Vero did.

I use baby shampoo on Shayleigh. Usually buy it at a 'dollar' store. And I use nice soft human hairbrushes on her as well.

My sister spent over $300 on grooming supplies for her Scotty. My Shayleigh goes the economical route - maybe $30, tops - including electric and nail clippers. 5 to 10 minutes a day then maybe 30 minutes once a week and Shayleigh always looks pretty good.

We tend to overdo it a bit, I admit. Shayleigh has a 'wardrobe' of bandanas to wear (a Hawaiian print looks best). We also put a 'poof' in the hair on her head (with bow) so we can see those adorable OES eyes.

Gads, we're nuts. hehe
$40 plus postage. Not something I would run out and buy ... but in case anyone else is interested, here's the link:
Maybe I will get that turbo groomer 5.0 for my husband, he would get a bit offended I think.
By the way, look at our posts. Look along the bottom. You will see buttons. One has my e-mail link, as well as my PM (private message link) and my YM address.
Also, to make your url that you gave me into a link you could just go back to your original post, hit edit ---uh oh, will not work, you did not sign in. If you had signed in you could have edited your post and made the an active link just by highlighting it and clicking the URL button at the top of the posting page.
The site is a new one to me. Has all sorts of grooming supplies.....maybe later I will browse.
By the way, welcome to the forum. Thanks for contributing. I am afraid the brush is too rich for my blood. Sort of strange, since I have almost $150 worth of blades for my $100 Oster clppers? Guess I broke the bank already. Very Happy
I have a chemistry background, and ionic devices work best under certain specific circumstances. Mostly this looks like a very good stiff bristled brush that will work best after you have already brushed out all mats and tangles first. I would worry that the fact it has interchangeable heads would give it the tendency to slide off it it hit dense hair. At least that is how it looks to me ..... wonder if the manafacturer has any "demonstrators" going around with it at shows or something?
Here are pictures of what Joan and I have always called a slant-tooth comb or slant-tooth rake.

The angle is slight but significant, as it allows the comb to rise up over any mats it encounters. It's the most gentle of combs, you just keep gently dragging the comb through the hair until it finally moves through without a catch. And notice the there is another row of teeth, so that the deeper you're able to comb mat-free, the more work the top of the comb does in the de-tangled top coat.

On the web, the only devices I saw like this were all called rakes, and most were labeled "undercoat rakes". I didn't see any with a good angle on them, except for a couple of de-mating rakes that were razor blades designed to split the mats.

Maybe it's just that taking a picture of them with the angle prominent is very difficult, as I found out.

These should be available wherever you buy your grooming supplies.

Hope this helps!
tanya is this the right one?,+shampoo,+clippers)+(8+in+1)+Online/232114/
i did a google search and this is the closest that i could find. I've been using baby and kids detangler but would love something made just for dogs more. thanks.
I wouldn't use a chemical like peroxide or bleach on a dog's coat. Both are very drying and makes the fur/hair more porous, which in turn makes the fur/hair absorb the saliva and/or dirt, food, grass, etc.

The best thing to do is as Stormi said -- change the water FREQUENTLY. This is the best preventative.

Also bathe your Sheepie in a quality shampoo. One can buy professional grooming supplies on-line for approx. 14.00 per gallon and can be purchased in smaller sizes. Ounce per ounce it is cheaper than pet store shampoos and/or human shampoos!

Here are some good professional shampoos, and most are available at
- Top Performance (be sure to dilute correctly)
- Mr. Christal's (can be oily is used improperly)
- BioGroom (can by drying, be advised)
- Nova Pearls (actually available at Petco - but still a nice shampoo)
- Bark 2 Basics
- Nature's Specialties (very expensive, but amazing shampoo)
~ Nature's Choice (slicker and conditioner - conditioner takes a while to rinse)
- Groomer's Edge
- Cindra (can also be drying if diluted improperly)

Here are some websites:
I ordered a mat rake with spinning pins and an undercoat rake from petedge grooming supplies online. These seem to do the trick. It's so darn hot right now though, I have to wait until evening to brush. Of course it's playtime for Winston then. Thanks for all the tips. Very Happy
She's Mine!
She's Mine!

Now I have to wait until the 25th/26th until she comes home. How will I manage?

Any helpful tips?

What should I add to my Sheepie Shopping list?

I do have a dog, Kayli Marie, so I've got toys & stuff, but Belle deserves her own things - leash/collar, food dish, grooming supplies . . . .

I've already ordered her a Guardian Angel tag for her collar. If I knew for sure it would arrive before she left her foster home, I would have had it sent directly there. Smile

Oh, I tried to get the bumper sticker but my e-bay account is frozen because I couldn't remember my password a while back and someone else tried to use it . . . . blah blah blah.

Toys - apparently she doesn't know what to do with them; how sad is that? I already bought her a stuffed sheep (doesn't every sheepie need one of their own?) and we'll see how it goes with that one.

I'll start with the grooming supplies for now.
I have been browsing through some of the more “stale” threads and noted several addressing the issue of ear care, (plucking, washing, cleaning, drying etc) which is always a subject of importance and often one less than fully understood. Confused So I’ll throw my few cents worth in and hope it helps, especially some of the newer members of our OES family who may be wrestling with disjointed or incomplete information. Wink

The simple fact is that any breed with large and floppy ear flaps that totally cover the ear canal opening will be prone to ear infections and dirt/wax build-ups. If we want Bobtails’ in our lives (and who on earth wouldn't? Shocked ) one of the prices to be paid is ear care. (Much better for us to pay the price in effort than the Bobtail in pain and discomfort.) Of the 4 OES in my life to date only my first, Punk, ever got a "serious" ear infection and that was while he was young and I didn't have a lot of experience or advise regarding ear care. After that he was alright with regular (every third day or so) ear care and attention. Neither Martin nor Virgil have had any ear infections although they do tend to get “messy” ears much more quickly than Punk ever did. Smile Individual differences are as much a part of this breed as they are with us. Exclamation

A brief word of caution though. When cleaning and drying ears you will be prodding your finger(s) quite deeply into your dog's ear canals which while deep are quite narrow, and the skin is very sensitive, thus easily damaged. Idea Ensure that your fingernails are either cut and filed smooth so that there ear no sharp edges to catch and cut the ear canal skin or for ladies with long fingernails ensure that they are very smoothly filed and be VERY cautious not to scrape or scratch inside the ear. Such cuts and scratches could be a major cause of infection mentioned in several of the previous threads. Shocked Shocked

In my opinion there are 3 important factors in OES ear hygiene, necessary to provide comfort to the dog and avoid infection and/or "smelly ears". Arrow

First is hair removal. It is essential that the dead and broken hair in the ear canal be plucked regularly to prevent it from totally clogging the ear canal which prevents air circulation and drying of any moisture. Excess hair also causes overheating. Evil or Very Mad (Try just touching the area around your Bobtail’s ear canals when he/she hasn't had regular ear care for as little as 5 days. It will be noticeably hotter than the ear flap and skin as little as 4 inches away!) For the most part I remove the hair by grasping it between the nail of my first finger and tip of my thumb. Depending on how much hair has grown in a given area you will grab anywhere from 3 – 20 hairs during each “pluck”. It can be hard on your thumb at first Sad but it will callus up quickly and then you won't notice Smile . Not all the hair can be removed, so don't expect the canal to be totally bald! Some, probably most, hairs are dead or broken and come out readily, some are of “questionable health” and may or may not come while a small amount will be healthy and not come out without excessive grip and plucking force (I estimate 15-20%). This is why I predominantly discourage the use of haemostats (forceps) or tweezers. I do have them and have used them on rare occasions, especially for the deeper areas I can’t reach well because of the size of my fingers. But using these tools does bother my boys even though I can only grasp a few hairs with them compared to 10-20 when done manually. Clearly the extra grip afforded by mechanical tools results in the plucking of healthy hair that was not ready to come out, thus hurting them Shocked . It is also this tearing out of healthy hair which leaves the follicle site exposed and, I believe, it is this “injury” in addition to scratches cautioned above which often leads to the ear infection some people are experiencing.
It is often difficult to get a good grip on the ear hair due to wax and oil build-up in the canal and on the hair itself. There are several solutions available, my choice is the use of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Using the 99% alcohol wet a cotton puff ( Idea don’t use the 70-80% solutions as much of the remaining 20-30% is oil which is what we are trying to avoid). The puff should be thoroughly wet but not dripping. “Swish” the wetted cotton ball around the ear canal ensuring that it contacts all the hair and ear canal surfaces. The alcohol both dries the wax/oil on the hairs and helps loosen any dried deposits from the skin surface. Of course the alcohol can dry the skin so use a minimal amount. It is always better to use too little the first time and then go back for a second, or even third, “swish” when you start loosing grip again.
The other choice is one of the ear drying powders. There are quite a number of brands available and all work reasonably well. Check your local stores for what is available and once you have found one that works without any side effects settle on it. ( Idea Indeed try to keep using the same brand of grooming tools, powders etc., as much as possible to avoid allergic reactions to new items.) Many have used these powders to the same effect as I use alcohol. My personal objection to the powders is that they are more difficult to distribute evenly around the ear canal and they do not loosen dried dirt/wax deposits from the skin. Try both once if you wish and make your own choice on what works for you and your dog.

The second factor in ear care is cleaning. With most of the hair removed effective cleaning is now, and only now, a possibility. Cleaning requires swabbing very deep into the ear canal with Q'Tips. PLEASE HAVE A VET OR PROFESSIONAL GROOMER SHOW YOU AND HELP THE FIRST TIME OR TWO. YOU CAN EASILY RUPTURE AN EARDRUM IF YOU PROD ABOUT TO VIGOUROUSLY OR DEEPLY. Exclamation (Sorry about shouting but this is just so darned important. Exclamation ) Depending on how dirty the ear is you may need to use an ointment or bit more alcohol to loosen and remove waxy-dirt deposits from the ear canal surfaces. Be thorough with this and for the most part your son/daughter won't mind this as long as you start early in their lives and develop a good technique. (Punk, and now Martin and Virgil often make little contented grunting noises when I clean their ears. All are just soooo utterly fantastic on the grooming table for any care I need to give them. Hey, it’s attention from their Daddy and almost any attention and approval from Dad (the pack leader) is what they seek the most.) Once the dirt/debris has been loosened and mostly removed use giant cotton puffs to "sweep" the ear clean removing anything that didn't come out on the Q'Tips. (I always found that the regular size ones were too small to cover my fingertip and didn't provide enough padding to protect the skin from my nail, nor did they effectively collect the loosened dirt. Note that I say Q'Tips and cotton puffs plural: don't skimp with the "grooming supplies", change them as they get dirty – no point regrinding the dirt back into your Bobtails’ ear. To allow the Q'Tips and swabs to get deep into the ear you will have to lift the flap up parallel to the ear canal and pull gently with you "weak" had while swabbing with the strong hand. (I'm right handed so I would raise the ear flap with my left-weak- hand while swabbing with the right-strong hand.) Idea Your groomer or vet should be able to show you how to do this.

Lastly but equally important is drying the ear. Bobtail ears are naturally warm humid places prone to nasties Evil or Very Mad !! If they are not well dried you are simply NOT going to win this battle!! When the cotton puffs used to "sweep" the ear canal come out clean take a fresh one and dab some isopropyl alcohol onto it. I usually cover the bottle opening with the swab and invert it completely until the swab is wet but not saturated and dripping. Too little won't dry and cool the ear, to much will irritate the skin. Several "wetted" swabs should be followed up by a few final dry ones to remove any excess alcohol. Idea If you are particularly concerned about the alcohol drying out the skin there are ear drops readily available which will do a similarly good same job. I have never had any significant problem with the skin being dried and on there rare occasion that it has happened at all I have treated the dry skin with tiny amounts of a quality skin conditioner for a few days.

At this point the ear should be free of loose and dead hair, clean and dry. Very Happy Very Happy I however also added one more step Rolling Eyes of treating the ear canal with an antibiotic ointment. Long ago our then vet recommended and sold "panalog". If you do this squeeze a very small amount (.1-.2 mls) as deeply into the ear as the applicator tip will allow. Then place the ear flap into its natural position and "massage" the ear to distribute the ointment in a smooth even coating. Open the ear flap again to give the ear canal a bit of air for a few minutes until the ointment has completely dried. If the ointment hasn't dried within 4 to 5 minutes you have used too much, adjust your application next time.

I recommend cleaning and drying every three days, no more than 4. In particularly rainy periods or hot and humid climates or if you are experiencing build-ups and smelly ears you might need to increase to every two days or even daily. (Bobtail ears always have some odour but you shouldn't notice it if the ear flaps are down or from more than a few feet when open.) Plucking the hair, depending on the specific dog, is pretty much a weekly task, just maybe 10 days but never more. (Note that once you have done the initial plucking and have the ear canals in a good hair-reduced and cleaned condition plucking at every 7-10 days is going to be a much less intense and laborious task. Smile )

Some care of the underside of the ear flap is also required, and clipping all the hair off is not a very good solution. The stubble is really irritating and causes the dog to shake excessively, sometimes causing hematomas Sad . Most of the loose hair is removed by grooming with a good pinbrush and either a high quality slicker or fine comb. (I know some won’t use slickers on OES but with care, judicious use and confidence in your technique they can be a good tool.) However there is usually an area in the middle 1/3 the flap extending from the opening down to about 1/2 the flap length that needs some plucking. Ensure that the hair on the underside of the flap is clean, dry and well groomed. Then just as you did in the ear canal pluck the hair on the underside of the ear flap. Be slow Exclamation (only a few hairs at a time) and start in the middle, right at the ear canal opening, carefully extending the plucked area. Each dog will be different. You should never have to apply more force than you did in the ear canal. If that level of tug won't remove the hair it doesn't need removing. While you are at it pluck the hair from the side of the head immediately below the ear canal opening. This plucking will create a little crescent of bald skin under the ear opening about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch wide the length of the ear canal opening. It will be invisible when the flap is down but adds a lot to ear hygiene. Smile

The other thing I have done, but is a bit touchy with many dogs Question is to syringe the ears while bathing them. This can be done with a handheld shower head or with a medical syringe.(You will need one of at least 2 oz capacity. Larger ones are better, especially with larger tip openings. Not meaning to be rude but vaginal syringes purchased at a pharmacy are actually ideal. The large opening keeps the stream velocity down a bit which is less upsetting to the dogs and the volume provides a good cleaning in as little as 10 flushes.) But not many dogs will accept this unless you start them young and are persistent, but loving, for the first few times. And be very careful of the water temperature you use. If the temperature isn't absolutely perfect for flushing your own ears, DON'T use it in a Bobtail’s ears. Of course make absolutely sure that the ear is properly dried out as well, even while still in the bath get as much water out right away, either by letting the dog shake or “swabbing” the ear with a dry facecloth to sponge out the water. This is of course followed by a complete cleaning as described above as soon as the dog is dried.

Long winded as this explanation may be, actually cleaning the ears will be much faster than reading it Very Happy (10-12 minutes each for a complete ear cleaning including plucking, 4 minutes, maybe 5 minutes max, on each ear for cleaning and drying only when you become proficient). I developed and used this technique on Punk for more than 10 of his 11 1/2 years of life and also cared for my parent's Afghan Hounds' ears the exact same way with excellent results. Now Martin, Virgil, Farouk and Brigham are receiving the same care and are predominantly free of ear problems. Thanks for reading and I hope it helps some of you experiencing problems. Feel free to e-mail me direct or through the forum for further commentary or explanation.

All, another response based on my going through "stale" threads. hope this helps some of you.

Keeping these guys' whites white can be quite a challenge Shocked . Whitening is an ongoing grooming activity and needs to be addressed during both routine grooming/cleaning and periodic bathing.

Periodic bathing is the easiest to review so it is first. I have found that a two step approach is the most effective Very Happy . Bath your dog as you normally do using your shampoo of choice. If the whites are especially dirty for some reason (spring rains and mud, summer grass stains, fall rains and leaves, grit and salt from winter roads, etc, etc., etc., Rolling Eyes ) make sure to use extra shampoo and work it in really really well. (Always work the shampoo in the direction of coat growth only. Going "against the grain" will result in a huge matted mess. Crying or Very sad ) A fine "jet" stream from the spray bottle will help get the shampoo deep into the coat before you begin working it into a good lather. This extra heavy shampooing should remove all the dirt and may well remove some of the staining on the whites. Now rince your dog really well to ensure that all the shampoo is out and the coat is again thoroughly wet down to the skin. These guys are really water resistant and will actually repell the water while the are being bathed
Now comes the second step. Using a dedicated whitening shampoo rewash the white areas. There are a huge variety of whitening shampoos from which to choose. If you are using a dog shampoo for the regular cleaning, chances are that the same company makes a whitening shampoo and that should be your first try. Whitening shampoo from the same brand name as the general cleaning shampoo should ensure compatability and prevent any irritating or allergy triggering reactions.
If, like me, you use a good quality human shampoo for regular bathing you are free to try any whitening shampoo as your first choice. I have had particular success with Cardinal Gold Medal Blue Diamond Shampoo. (It never ceases to amaze me that a blue concoction can make things brilliantly white.) Apply the shampoo and work it in thoroughly and in accordance with directions let it sit for a time. Cardinal recommends 5-10 minutes so I give it at solid 10 minutes and often 12-14 for good measure. Once it has "worked" for the recommended time rinse the coat clear of shampoo and complete the bathing with a light conditioning treatment. Virgil's white coveralls absolutely gleam in the ring when he has been bathed this way. (The whites can be conditioned as they are naturally a softer coat texture than the grizzle but be cautious not to soften the grizzle coat if you are showing. If you don't show your dog and you like a softer coat you can condition the grizzle just like the white.)
Make sure the coat is thoroughly dried before letting your now clean Bobtail loose. Wet coats stain incredibly quickly and those stains seems to set in more persistantly if the coat is wet when stained. (Small brag here: While waiting to be judged in group competition earlier this year the handler of a Sheltie which had a particularly white "bib" asked me how I got Virgil's whites so bright!! Cool It is great to get acknowledgement from peers even though the judge passed on us!)

Daily whitening can be accompished in a number of ways. Around the beard area which typically gets very wet while drinking and stays at least damp the white beard can stain from pink to a dark brown depending on how "wet mouthed" the dog is, how much water he/she gets and how sloppy an eater he/she is. After brushing out the beard and affected upper chest area the coat can be sprayed with a hydrogen peroxide or lemon water solution. I like the peroxide for speed and "intesity" of results. Be cautious though not to wet the coat down to the skin as peroxide will dry the skin and may even cause burning if enough gets on the skin directly, especially if there is food debris or dirt on the skin with which it will react. Once the peroxide has finished reacting with the dirt (foaming and heating stops) rince the area with a damp face cloth and dry thoroughly. The beard will now be free of food debris and much whiter than when you started. If the coat is not quite dry enough corn starch is a good addative. It both dries any remaining moisture and whitens the hair.
Less drastically baking soda mixed with a bit of water to form a paste and then rubbed into the stained white areas will help remove stains. This will not be as aggressive or ultimately effective in removing large or dark stains as the proxide but it is gentler and less damaging to the skin. And it doesn't heat up like peroxide which can be distracting to the dog.
Alternatively if the coat is essentially clean a variety of chalks are available where you purchase show supplies. These are proprietary blends of chalks ground to very specific size distributions for use in the ring. They do NOT clean to any significant degree but rather mask stains.

Of course prevention is far better than cure so limiting your dog's access to mud, cow patties etc will substantially help in keeping him/her crisp and clean. Although by the perverse laws of nature they are only interested in these things when clean Rolling Eyes !! Once dirty these items are of absolutely no interest whatsoever. Of course anything more than a few days following a bath will result in beard staining from food and water but this is again part of life with these boisterous clowns and fawning over them just keeps us in our place. Laughing

Hope this helps a bit. Feel free to ping more questions if you need more detail or explanations.

Carl.... I wondered about that too... my mother is a hairdresser and I've always thought backcombing meant but I thought you meant something else by it. LOL
Ron, I think your idea of doing a static page with Carl's grooming tips and pictures is an awesome idea!! I printed off the post and intend to laminate it. LOL
Carl, if I am ever lucky enough to raise a litter, I am planning on including a comprehensive booklet on care, feeding, grooming, supplies, behavior, and a few funny anecdotes. Would you allow me to include this in it as well? Of course, your name as the author would be included.
In the “Clippers” thread Mike had asked for recommendations about grooming supplies and food for a soon to arrive pupper. Mike’s concerns are for a pet which will be maintained in a home-cut puppy clip with an occasional visit to a groomer.

Regarding food your best bet is to follow your breeder’s initial recommendations for the first 6 months to a year of your dog’s life. Your breeder is the one who best knows his/her line and on what food the line best thrives. In my opinion the minimum base line food is Purina Pro Plan large breed formula. Royal Canin, Iams and Eukanuba are generally accepted as the “best” foods with Nutro and Pedigree being the intermediate level. Each company offers a variety of formulae and you should choose the one appropriate for your dog’s age and condition. Large Breed puppy formulae are specifically balanced to give the energy and nutrition a growing puppy needs without promoting too rapid a growth rate, which could lead to bone and joint structure and strength being compromised.

Since Mike’s pup will be a pet one doesn’t need to be concerned about keeping the undercoat. Indeed removal of the undercoat would be beneficial in reducing the amount of grooming necessary and minimizing how much the dog will matt. Under these criteria I view the absolute basic tools to be:

2 large oval head pin brushes. (My brand choice is Hindes as they have long been a good standard with strong pins, a good long lived supple pad and a comfortable wood grip. There are other brands but I think it is best to avoid those with plastic handles, hard pads and square or rectangular shapes.) The pins need to be approximately 1 inch long and straight ended. Don’t get those with balls or “heads” on the end, they pull out too much coat, both undercoat and guard coat. Buy two and keep one in reserve as they will wear and need replacement. When the first is life expired open the second and buy two more. That way you always have a good one in use and at least one good reserve brush.

1 long tined coarse dematting comb. (I have both Twinco and Resco combs and find the lighter and contoured “spine” of the Resco much more comfortable and less fatiguing to use. It is also substantially lighter.) These combs are about 7 inches long with 8-9 tines per inch, each tine being about 1 ¾” long.

1 Slicker. The subject of slickers can be “touchy” as some groomers find them to be overly harsh and sharp against the dog’s skin. Indeed if used incorrectly and too vigorously a slicker can literally shred a dogs skin with hundreds of tiny scratches. (The individual pin ends are quite sharp as they are simply cut wire that is only superficially/minimally smoothed.) Used properly slickers can readily remove small matts and strip out undercoat. I have found the convex shaped “Universal” brand of slicker to be relatively easy to use and effective in removing matts. As I keep my boys in full coat I am very careful that it’s use not effect a general stripping of the undercoat.

1 Grooming Table. In my opinion there is no greater Godsend when grooming than a good, sturdy, proper height grooming table. It sets the mood that it is grooming time and no other activities will take place, provides a dependable surface which is safe, slip resistant and capable of supporting the dog’s weight and occasional shaking/protests and provides prevention of backaches from leaning over while grooming on the floor, a bed or even the sofa. While a significant up front expense a good grooming table will last for at least 10 years and be well worth it’s expense. (I still have our original table from almost 30 years ago. Well at least the legs are original as the plywood top was replaced after about 15 years of service.) A grooming arm and noose is a very nice addition as it helps secure the dog while completing final grooming, especially around the back end when grooming alone. If you get a grooming arm I recommend those that affix to the table with a clamp and hence can be totally removed when not in use. I find tables with a fixed arm base fitted on their surface to be limiting and a potential danger to the dog. I have never used one like this and NEVER will.

1 pair of nail trimmers. There are a wide variety of nail trimmers available. Most are good but as with all grooming tools quality is reflected in price. It may be of value to buy an intermediate priced pair at first and use them for a while to determine if this is something you will be able to do yourself. Some people are fine with trimming nails, others never get comfortable with it and defer to a professional groomer. I have two strong recommendations here, the first is to avoid clippers where the nail is places through a loop and is cut by a “guillotine” blade as I feel these are prone to twisting when used and could harm the dog by pulling the nail or cutting more deeply than intended and secondly to never use the “trimming guides” fitted to some trimmers. Always determine for yourself how much trimming is necessary, if the nail has not grown to the extent the guide indicates than you can cut the toe tissue itself and if it has grown more than the guide indicates the nail will still be too long after trimming. Nails that are too long are just as problematic as nails that are too short. Also remember to get a styptic powder such as "Quick-Stop" to dab onto any nails which happen to be cut too short and end up bleeding.

1 pair long bladed scissors. As you will be trimming the fantail relatively frequently a good pair of dedicated grooming scissors are another essential. If you have a beauty or barber supply house nearby check there. Their scissors are often identical to those sold at pet grooming supply houses and can be substantially less expensive. Certain specialty curved bladed scissors such as those for poodles are exclusive to pet supply houses but we in the OES world rarely if ever use those. Scissors are very much like knives in terms of quality for price. They must be made from a good carbon steel to allow for repeated sharpening so while you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for a pair you also need to avoid the “bargain $19.99 specials”. Scissors with blades in the range of 7 – 8 ½” long and about $60-85 should be good for extended service use by most home groomers. Try holding and “air cutting” with a variety of pairs when selecting a pair of Scissors. Check for weight, ease of closure and general comfort. I am always amazed at the variety available even at a given price point. I personally prefer a lighter pair with longer blades and “crisp” closing action.

Beyond these basics there exists a wide choice of tools. As originally queried a good set of clippers are essential for home clipping to maintain a puppy cut, unless of course you are sufficiently good with scissors to do it that way. As with a good grooming table this is a high “buy-in” cost item but when properly used and maintained will serve for many years. The biggest maintenance cost is blade sharpening.

Dog dryer. Please see my post in the dog dryers topic thread for my thoughts and experience with these. In summary though, while it is a very high “buy-in” cost item a good dog dryer is worth every penny spent and will serve for many thousands of service hours. Remember to amortize these items over several generations of dogs and they aren't really that expensive.

Combs. In addition to the coarse de-matting comb there are a variety of others available for specialized uses. I have a very fine toothed comb which I use around our boys' eyes to remove the “eye boogers” – Michele just gets them with her nails but I just can’t do that so the fine tooth comb comes in handy. I also use it very judiciously in the beard to remove food debris, and on the inside of the ear flap leathers to remove any fine knots or dirt from the ear flap insides. On very rare occasions I will use it to finish cleaning up a “dirty butt” after a bout of diarrhea . I also have a “poodle comb” which is a combination fine and course toothed comb about 9 inches long (4 ½ inches fine comb, 4 ½ inches course comb) with tines about 1 ¼ inch long. This is also judiciously used around the face and ears to removed food/dirt debris as well as remove fine knots wherever they are found.

De-Matting Rake. This is a very coarse, sharp, multi-bladed rake used for breaking up large matts. This is another of the items I have but rarely use. By the time you need a matt rake you are way behind the grooming requirements curve and it is a “last ditch” attempt to save the matted area before clipping it out. Matts requiring a de-matting rake often also require that the matt be cut to break it into smaller matts to be removed in a less “dramatic or intense” manner. Some people use a de-matting rake on a well groomed dog to strip out undercoat. This is not my preferred method but as with many grooming topics everyone develops varying techniques suitable for themselves and their dogs.

As already mentioned in a few of the other threads general items such as a fine corn starch, Milk of Magnesia and grooming chalks/powders are good for whitening the coat. I’ have already addressed shampoos and conditioners in another thread.

Finally while many people don’t think of it as grooming, dental care supplies can be added in as initial supplies for your puppy’s arrival. Get him used to having his/her teeth done at a young age. I use an electric toothbrush (Crest Spinbrush) and a poultry flavored “dog toothpaste” available at any good pet store. Both the teeth and gums are brushed to reduce plaque build-up and should be done at least weekly. For more periodic treatments you can buy tooth scalers to remove plaque build-up. If you are careful and get a demonstration you should be able to remove most plaque from your dog’s teeth until they enter middle-age at which point plaque is usually so stubborn that it needs to be removed by a vet under anesthetic.

Hope these thoughts help

Cheers and good luck with your soon-to-arrive Bobtail Baby

I have an excellent list of grooming supplies, sent to me by one of my mentors. All of these items can be found at

Basic Grooming Tools & Equipment
for the Old English Sheepdog

Basic …

1. # 1 All Systems Pin Brush regular …….BR 702…………….$ 21.40

2. “Doggy Man” Large Slicker Brush …..BR 072…………….$ 17.70

3. Classic , Groom Master combination comb ...CB5218……………$ 17.00

4. “ Resco” Wide Toothed Comb ………..CB 703……………. $ 21.35

5. “ Doggy Man” Nail Clippers large ……...NT024….....………$ 24.30

6. Vari Dog Crate ..# 500 ………………….DC500……….. ....$ 159.95

Nice things to have

7. Stainless steel Water Pail [ for crate ] ….FD11F……………..$ 11.90

8. Stainless Steel food dish & water dish [ for everyday ]

9. Grooming Table ,,24 x 36 inches . …GT236……………….$ 132.30

10. Grooming Arm & clamp …………….GT001………………$ 33.40

11. Grooming arm noose…………………GT003………………$ 5.95

12. Scissors & Thinning Shears ….various prices .
[ For trimming bum, and feet ]

13. Litter Scoops…rake & scoop [reg]… LS041……………….$ 27.95

14. Plastic bin for dry dog food … available at Petsmart ………?

15. Toys you can go wild ,, check that they are washable ….?
So sorry to hear about your situation! Really stinks - especially now.
It sort of sounds like maybe you have thought about going the grooming
and boarding route before this came up. It also sounds like something
you would really enjoy. I think Ron gave you good advice. I guess,
all things being equal you need to figure financially what it would 'cost'
you to take the offer to stay within company- daycare, dogcare, gas, wear on your vehicle. I personally would not be able to afford to work
unless I made over a certain amount yearly. A lot of people around here
are dual income, but mostly to afford the daycare etc, and they aren't
really coming out that much ahead. Also consider your benefits - that may
make a difference also. Then you need to consider what you would
need to start a home based business- doggy daycare/ grooming supplies.
I know you probably have a lot of it - but there will be things you need.
It would be great if you could work from home and still make a little $$!
In the meantime take the offer, you can always change your mind later!
At least it gives you something to fall back on.
You never know, this might turn out to be a wonderful opportunity. As
long as you have something to fall back on you don't have to decide
immediately. That at least helps.

Wow, some really great suggestions, and you are all thinking ahead of me by a long shot! LOL
My thoughts had only gone as far as perhaps grooming 4 or 5 dogs a week, or at most 2 a day Mon-Fri. I would only purchase a few more grooming supplies to begin with, and some replacement blades for the 3 sets of clippers I have already. I just want to be home with my kids (though at this moment as they argue I'm wondering why?? Rolling Eyes ) and my dogs, to have more time to train, and show, and have a little money to pay for those things.
If it took off I would probably hire someone to take over most of it, because I still want my time with my kids, and furkids.
Who knows....

We bring home our new rescue 13 month old Kobe on Friday. I have been waiting for his arrival for a month now, over 50 ppl applied for him, only two were accetable and we were chosen. I have been so excited about his arrival that I forgot to ask anyone what supplies we should get. The rescue is not an OES rescue, she is just a no kill shelter and saved Kobe from the needle at the last hour. He is a beautiful pup with much personality and I want to get him everything, but I think I need to focus on the basics for now. He is bringing his leash, collar, bowl, blankee and a toy, home with him. I already have his food, but what other necessities should I be buying. My husband had an OES as a child and only remembers brushing, so I am asking the experienced here.

What should I buy for my new baby. I want the whole family involved in his grooming any suggestions, advice, basically anything you can offer would be very much appreciated.

Kobe's furever mommy. Very Happy
We live in Texas and have contacted our local OES rescue and submitted an application two days ago. I wrote them yesterday to confirm that the application was received and no response. I realize I am VERY impatient and am trying to BE patient. I grew up with an OES and we are looking to either adopt a rescue, or - we are trying to find a reputable breeder in our area. OESCA gave us the email address of two breeders in our "area" - one in Montana. We really do not want to ship a puppy. We are looking for a GOOD family dog that we can spoil rotten !

My question is this - any suggestions for us? Any good books to read? What are your favorite sites for doggie supplies? Foster and Smith are what we usually use - any better? While we are searching for a dog/pup (and we really are not in a rush - what will be will be....) I would like to gather as much information as possible. Grooming - I would like to learn how to do this. Any sites or suggestions on where to start? *whew* So many questions !

I have been running around the forum, reading all I can ~ and have a question. Has anyone made a list for first time OES owners, of supplies needed? I am not just talking about the "usual" bed, toys, dishes - etc. etc. But a more comprhensive list on where to purchase (do I need an orthopedic bed?) the best prices for crates (wire or not?) dishes (should they be elevated??) brushes and grooming supplies (now THAT is a daunting task to find!) and so forth.....

Can someone with more knowledge maybe make one up? PUHLEEZE ?? I am checking sites and trying to get lists together and some of this stuff is just GREEK. Rolling Eyes OR does anyone have a link, or a book - or a site that might help??

I know there are others, but I tend to stick to these two sites to buy my gear:


I bought my crate through JB and it was the best price by far. WAY less that PetSmart or Pet Co. I bought a lot of my basic stuff there at first so the shipping was free.

Pet Edge has been great for buying most of the grooming supplies. And I live in the city so clean-up bags are a must and you can't complain about 150 for under $10.00. I did run across this site for bags the other day ( ) and my try 100 bags for $6.00.

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