Before learning the best way to groom a Tibetan Terrier, it can be useful to know some facts about the breed itself. Even though the breed’s name suggests this dog is of the terrier family, this is a misnomer. The Tibetan Terrier is not a terrier but a long-haired dog used for companionship. The Tibetan Terrier most closely shares ancestry with Tibetan Spaniels and Havanese, both of which were companion dogs used by monks in Tibet. A groomer should note that the fur of the Tibetan Terrier is a long-haired dog with a double coat. The long coat requires daily brushing to avoid mats and tangles and the coat comes in a variety of colors from black, silver, tricolor, brindle, and more.
Bathing is an important step in grooming the Tibetan Terrier. Loose hair, dirt, and other debris can be taken off. The best shampoo to use is a protein suitable shampoo. The temperature of the water should be warm. The groomer uses the shampoo to clean all areas of the dog including the undercarriage and the ears. The groomer may need to rinse several times to be sure all the shampoo is removed because of the double coat. If a mat begins to form, the best idea is to gently use your fingers to separate the mat. After checking to be sure all the shampoo is removed, the groomer can use a conditioner that helps prevent tangles and mats. If the groomer needs to empty the dog’s anal glands, the best time to do so is during the bath. The groomer locates the anal glands which are two bean-shaped sacs next to the dog’s anus. The tail of the dog needs to be lifted by an assistant. The groomer gently squeezes the anal sacs together until liquid squirts from the anus. The liquid should not be thick or oily, if so, the dog can have an impaction that must be examined by a veterinarian. The liquid can vary in color from brown, yellow, or white. The groomer then rinses off the dog’s anus.
What Tools to Use
The first order of business is to bathe a Tibetan Terrier. Be sure to remove the collar before beginning. The Tibetan Terrier will require a dryer because of the thick double coat. When drying a dog like a Tibetan Terrier, the hair should be blow-dried in sections with the remaining sections pinned back. A groomer can use a brush on the fur after the whole body is dry. After the coat is dry, the groomer can proceed to brush out the coat. The best way to groom the coat it to divide the coat into sections and to be sure to brush any loose fur. Dogs with undercoats tend to blow out twice a year: once in the fall and then again in spring. The undercoat will be fluffier than the outer coat. A groomer should start with a slicker brush and start by brushing the back foot and work up into sections to remove any dead fur and to take care of mats. A dog that has mats will be required to have a mat breaker available. The groomer needs to be gentle and patient with a dog that is matted as the matted fur pulls on the dog’s skin painfully. If the mat is too large, the only solution may be to cut the mat out.
The groomer should continue to work brushing the fur with a wide-toothed comb. The groomer needs to check the teeth, nails, and ears of the animal. If the nails require clipping, place the dog on the grooming table. The groomer should have an assistant nearby to help restrain the dog, if necessary. The groomer should check to see if the dog has lighter cuticles or black. The very tip of the claw is all that needs to be clipped and it is best to use guillotine-style clippers rather than scissor clippers. The groomer can get the dog into position by holding the dog in a position like you were shaking the hand of another person. The assistant can help hold the dog from behind. The groomer can gently take the dog’s paw into his or her hands and then separate the dog’s toes. While holding the dog’s toes take the clippers and gently snip the very tip of the nail below the quick. Do not forget to cut the dewclaws of the dog.
While at the table the groomer can look inside the dog’s ears. If an infection is present, the groomer can use ear cleaning solution and gauze. The groomer gently squeezes the solution into the ear and messages it. The dog will shake his or her head. The groomer then takes the cotton balls or gauze and cleans the debris out of the ear. The groomer should note if there is a yeast-type smell which can indicate infection.
Styling the Tibetan Terrier
One type of cut all dogs must receive is a sanitary cut. This simply means that the areas around the anus, vagina, or penis are shaved to help with hygiene. The groomer will use a #10 clipper and lightly and lift one leg and shave the inside of the leg and move up towards the dog’s private area. The groomer should use small strokes. The groomer will also shave near the dog’s anus. The groomer will have an assistant life the dog’s tail and use small strokes near the anus.
The tools used will vary depending on the type of style requested by the owner. One of the most common cuts is the pet cut or puppy cut. This style is low maintenance for the owner and gives the dog a youthful appearance. This hairstyle keeps the fur even and short and is typically between one and two inches long.
A more elaborate grooming style is the show style. The groomer will need to see the dog every couple of days to correctly groom the fur and check for mats or tangles.
Another option with terriers is called the casual cut. The casual cut preserves some of the length of the fur, usually around four to five inches. It is less easy to maintain than the puppy cut and the owner must still brush the dog frequently.
Dealing with Mats
Double-coated dogs face the possibility of having mats and tangles in their fur. There are certain ways to approach dealing with these mats. First of all, a groomer should use his or her fingers by using their forefinger and thumb to separate the strands of hair. Many groomers spray a de-tangling solution to help with difficult mats. If the finger method does not work, the groomer can try a de-shedding tool. This tool will also remove dead hair from the undercoat. If all other methods fail, the mat will have to be completely cut from the coat.