20 Tips on How to Groom a Lhasa Apso (Made Easy for You)


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If you are like me and you prefer to groom your Lhasa Apso at home then this is for you. I have gathered below a collection of 20+ tips on how to groom your Lhasa Apso.

Follow these 20 tips on how to groom a Lhasa Apso, and you will enjoy cuddling up with your pet always smelling nice and clean. They are made easy for you to follow in this article so that you can perform them in your own home.

Grooming your Lhasa Apso yourself is very satisfying, it will bind you closer together. Saving money at the same time is an added bonus. Continue to read and you will find these helpful tips.

Make sure to brush your dog’s fur daily. Especially if you have a show dog. At least once a week brush it for longer with more attention to detail. First, place your dog onto the grooming table or the area where you will carry out the brushing. Separate its fur into equal layers and begin brushing its fur from the inner layer towards the outer layer. If necessary, use some detangling spray this will make it easier to comb through.

In the unlikely and extreme cases of the Lhasa Apsos fur to be in knots, carefully and steadily use a pair of blunt-ended scissors over a comb to avoid cutting its skin. You may also use a Matt-breaker comb on your dog’s coat of matted hair which works wonders. Another fabulous brush that removes tangles from its fur instantly and efficiently is the detangling brush. Sometimes brushing your dog’s hair may cause infection if the skin is broken or scratched, but the Matt-breaker comb will not cause this infection on its skin if used correctly.

TOOLS REQUIRED

  1. Mat-Breaker comb
  2. Slicker brush
  3. Wire pin brush
  4. Rake Comb
  5. Shedding Comb
  6. Soft brush
  7. Flea combs
  8. Claw cutters
  9. Styptic powder
  10. Shampoos
  11. Conditioner
  12. Ear cleanser
  13. Ear powder
  14. Ear medication

The Purpose of the Matt Breaker

  1. The Mat Breaker comb is used specifically for breaking matted hair. These matted areas, especially with long-haired dogs are difficult to remove. Close to the body, they need special care when removing them so as not to damage your dog’s skin and cause infections. You must do this de-matting process before their bath time, after bathing your Lhasa Apso this matted hair will be even more difficult to remove! The best tip here is to use your Mat Breaker comb to remove the matted hair areas before you put your dog in the shower or bath.  One like this is perfect.

Using a Matt-Breaker

Before you start it is best to moisten their coat with a detangling spray to loosen up the hair and make the matted area’s easier to remove. Before using the Matt breaker comb you should gently brush them to remove any small knots in their hair using a comb or even your fingers to gently pull them apart.

Now you can proceed in using the Matt breaker comb to break up and remove the matted hair. Start by putting the mat breaker comb in the center of the matted area, gently and slowly proceed by pulling the comb away from the body.

You will need to repeat this operation several times to eradicate the matted area. When you are satisfied that all the matted areas are sufficiently broken and you have removed all the cut hair you can continue with a normal comb to brush the hair.

If your dog has matted hair they might be suffering from discomfort, matted hair is also dangerous for your dog, it remains moist trapping bacteria inside the matt which in turn can attack your dog’s skin

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Matt-Breaker comb

Slicker brush

A Slicker brush is used for getting down through the outer layer of hair to the undercoat. Using a slicker brush daily will remove the soft fluff that is close to the body, if this is not removed it can turn into those matted areas, which as we have seen above can be difficult to remove and painful for your dog.

The Slicker Brush is almost always a rectangular brush. Unlike a normal soft brush the  Slicker brush is made from very fine wire hair, at the end, these wires are angled so it will not damage your dog’s skin.

Its Primary utilization is to remove the daily build-up of rubbish that can accumulate in your dog’s hair. Including dead hair and small knots. Not only does the slicker brush remove the daily debris it also helps to distribute the oils in your dog’s hair. Your Lhasa Apso will have a beautiful shiny coat. Thanks to the slicker brush.

You may be asking are slicker brushes safe to use on your Lhasa Apso. The answer, of course, is yes if used properly. One of the most common problems of using a slicker brush with too much pressure. Being light-handed and keeping the pressure to a minimum reduces the risk of scratching your dog’s skin which could result in infections.

To keep the risk of infections to a minimum check the skin of your Lhasa before brushing with the slicker brush. Be certain there are no flea bites or broken skin areas. Using a slicker brush can aggravate these problems creating more infections.

Here are some tips on using the slicker brush, Firstly to help prevent damage to the dog’s hair spray lightly some water or some conditioner over your dog. Do be gentle with the slicker brush. Starting from the neck slowly work your way towards the tail in the long slow gentle movements.

As you are performing this job listen to the noise brush is making and if you hear a type of scraping sound from the wire hair of the brush this means it has met a small knot. Now you must use extreme care in removing the knock maybe if it’s too difficult with a slicker brush then use a steel comb gently.

Now that top of the body has been brushed move on to the remaining areas including the tail, legs, neck and the underbody. you can use the slicker brush on their ears, but absolutely in no way use the slicker brush on their face or muzzle.

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                                                                           Slicker brush 

Shedding Comb

The reason for using a shedding comb is to remove surplus hair from your dog. And as we all know some dogs will shed more hair than others depending on the time of year, the breed of dog and it’s gender.

Reduce the amount of dog hair in and around your home which is not very aesthetic is easy using a shedding comb. This will help you house cleaning by saving you time. Another advantage of using a shedding comb on your dog’s hair will have a thinner coat helping to keep your dog cool in the hot summers.

A shedding brush main function is to remove dead hair from your dog’s coat without damaging the living hair, dead hair is what you find around your house. The shedding comb achieves this with a special pair of knife blades on the head of the comb.

Normal daily brushing using a soft brush will help in keeping the dead hairs to a minimum around the house. You should spend around 5 to 10 minutes daily brushing your pet. Certain times of the year when the shedding becomes heavier, this will be the time to start to use your shedding comb or brush more often.


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Shedding Comb

Soft Bristle Brush

A soft bristle brush Is an ideal brush to use on your Lhasa Apso if you are keeping their coat short. These soft brushes will remove some of the daily debris that has accumulated. It also has a beneficial effect on stimulating the dog’s skin whilst you are brushing.

A soft bristle brush used to with care can also be used to brush the mussel and face of your Lhasa Apso. Taking extreme care around the eyes.

There are various models available and you can purchase a soft bristle brush with a wire pin slicker brush combined, this makes brushing easy and quicker having two brushes in your hand at the same time.

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                                                           Soft Bristle / Wire Pin brush

Flea Combs

Obviously you do not need to be told what a flea comb is for, let’s continue with the tips on this post and learn the best way to use a flea comb. The first tip I will give if at all possible then brush your dog outside this will prevent any of the flea eggs falling into your carpet with disastrous consequences.

If you have recently seen your dog scratching or biting his own skin these are tell-tale signs that your dog may have fleas. To determine if your dog has fleas or not you will have to do a close visual examination.  as you part the hair look closely at the skin to see if you can see the fleas, very tiny black insects that run around quickly on your dog’s skin.

A flea comb is one of the tools that you should always have in your pet’s equipment box. After the close inspection and you have confirmed your dog has fleas then you need to go and get your flea brush from the toolbox and start the job of de-fleeing.

Living in the countryside where are the risks of fleas and ticks are higher I always use this product from Amazon, which is placed along the spinal column of the dog. This Product lasts for 2 to 3 months and will kill the fleas before they install and do damage.

Before you start to de-flea your Lhasa, have beside you a basin of hot soapy water. As you comb your dog and find the fleas put them into the hot soapy water. Remember fleas jump and your water container should be deep enough so that the critters cannot jump out again.

Now you’re all set up and ready to go and hunt down these fleas. Take the flea comb and start brushing from the top of the head, working towards their tail, always checking to see if you have trapped any fleas in the flea comb.  Did you find some? Dump them into the hot soapy water, they will love you for a warm swim!!

Do not forget to check under their chin, under the armpits, inside their rear legs and around their bottom, these are all places fleas love to hide from you.

Do not rush this brushing and check regularly if you’re catching the fleas in the brush. There are two ways of removing the fleas from that brush/comb the first is to manually with your thumb and finger pull them out and putting them into the water, Alternatively, you can put the comb into hot soapy water swishing it around but this is not as effective as doing it manually with your thumb and finger, this is your choice.

Ok so now you have brushed your Lhasa completely, well done. Wait a few minutes and repeat the operation, After disturbing the fleas some may have escaped the flea comb and have moved on to newer places on your dog’s body hence the second brushing session to go and find these last resistant fleas.

After Brushing your pet twice now is the time to clean up. Take your recipient with the warm soapy water and dispose of its contents down an outside drain or down your toilet. If you have no choice and had to brush your dog inside your home you will now need to get out the vacuum cleaner, clean the work area to suck up any eggs that may have fallen from your dog into the carpet / tiled floor. If you were fortunate enough to be able to de-flea your dog outside, now is the time to hose down the floor area in case any of the eggs fell. You could save time in not having to use a bucket of hot soapy water by using an electric flea comb like this one


Nail Clippers

Oh, how I dreaded the idea of even trying to cut the nails of my Lhasa Apso. I once had a bad experience when a vet told me she did not like to trim the dog’s nails. She said to me that I should do it! I replied that it wasn’t my job but her job.

I’m sure if you were in my place you would have done the same as me, I changed my vet, then I searched on the internet how to cut dog’s nails. I found how and now I do it with no apprehension.

Dog nail clippers come in all sorts and sizes so be sure to take your time in choosing the correct ones for your Lhasa Apso. Some dog owners will say using a Dremel to grind down the dog nails is the best way,  but I use nail clippers to perform this job.

If your dog is already nervous about having their nails clipped then I think a Dremel with the constant noise of the motor and the grinding will upset them even more.

What is the best way to clip a dog’s nails at home? Well, the bad news is most dogs including the Lhasa Apsos do not like their nails clipped. If you have just acquired a puppy Lhasa Apso then I strongly advise you to start to trim their nails at an early age so they become used to you holding their foot and using the nail clippers. This will help them to become accustomed to this task. You might need your partner to hold and restrain your pet whilst you trim the nails.

A method to use if you are on your own is to lay your dog on its side, you standing on the opposite side of their legs, as you lean over your pet to reach the paw your own body will restrain your dog from moving. Pass your arm that is closest to the head over the back of the neck and with your hand grasp your pet’s paw.  Holding the nail clippers in your other hand you can proceed to cut their nails. Using your body to restrain your dog’s bodily movement. Your forearm holding the head down with your hand holding the paw.

There are available two types of nail clippers, one will be like a pair of scissors and the other is called a guillotine. Scissor type clippers are mostly used when the dog’s nails have grown far too long, Which could eventually curl and enter their pads causing injury. Remember dogs have a dew nail which is found a little way up above the others on the inside of their leg. Don’t forget this nail, it is sometimes forgotten.

One precaution that should be taken into account when clipping their nails is never to cut into the wick. If your dog’s claws are clear or white you will be able to see the wick, which can be seen starting at the base of the nail becoming transparent towards the ending. This ending point is where you must not cut into always leave 3 to 5 mm of the nail after the wick. If by accident you cut a little bit into the end of the week your dog will let you know with a short cry and you’ll see a little bleeding this is nothing to worry about and can be stopped using appropriate powders to stem the blood flow.

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Nail Clippers


Styptic powder

Occasionally when we cut too close to the wick and you detect a small amount of blood coming from the nail, then you will need to stem the blood flow using a styptic powder. This powder contains Silver nitrate which will stem the flow of blood. Dogs do not enjoy having their nails clipped and they enjoy even less having styptic powder placed on their bleeding nails, do take care when clipping nails.

An alternative if you do not have a styptic pen or stick available you can use some corn starch. If this is scarce then try regular flour. Once you have applied one of these remedies to the bleeding area keep your dog calm, not allowing him to walk for a little while until the bleeding has ceased.

On a final note do not be overly worried if you do not have one of these remedies at home, the bleeding will stop naturally after a few minutes.

Shampoos

You’ve been out for the day with your Lhasa Apso and as we all know they just love to roll around and get dirty. It sure was fun watching them enjoy themselves but now you are back home and of your pet needs a bath or shower.

With so many different types of shampoos for a dog on the market which one do you choose, do you go for off-the-shelf chemical shampoos, do you prefer a natural shampoo or are you the type person that would prefer to make their own dog shampoo because this is possible.

Before we look at the available dog shampoo one thing you must never do is to shampoo your dog with human products, they are totally unacceptable for animals.

Let’s look at the supermarket off-the-shelf types first. The first one I looked at had all these ingredients

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-7, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, PEG-12 Dimethicone, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid

Without taking each one of these products and looking to see what these chemicals are going to do to our dogs. They are absorbed into the metabolism through the skin. They could be potentially dangerous, may be cancerous. Personally I would not use any of these products on my dog.

Alternatively, you could use dog shampoos made from natural resources. I always read the ingredients that make the composition of the product, if they are renewable natural resources then I feel happy I am not contributing to my dog suffering from having toxic chemicals infiltrating into his body.

If you have the time and you enjoy making homemade products you could always try your hand at making your own natural dog shampoo.

Here is a recipe for making a basic dog shampoo.

2 cups of warm water

1/4 cup of dish soap

1/2 cup of white vinegar

Simply take these ingredients to mix them together, place your mixture into a hand spray bottle, and that’s all there is to it, a simple tip.

Ok so now you are armed with your homemade natural dog shampoo, your Lhasa is patiently awaiting you in the bathtub or the shower, now it’s time for you to start shampooing.

If you’re worried about too much water getting inside your dog’s ears then you could place a shower cap over them until the time you have to wash their head. First water your dog so that the coat is completely wet. Now with your spray bottle with your natural shampoo spray your dog’s body and work this really into the coat making a  soapy coat all over your dog.

Before moving to shampooing the head rinse thoroughly at least twice the body to remove all the lather. Now you can remove the shower cap and moisten your dog’s head and start to wash it, paying attention not to get the soap into their eyes. For the dog, this is the worst moment of shower time and they will more than likely do a lot of shaking so try and be as quick as possible shampooing their head and don’t forget to rinse twice I personally place my hand over the nose so that as little water as possible enters.

Conditioners

As with shampoos conditioners come from many different manufacturers. Choosing the right conditioner for your Lhasa Apso coat type is your decision, again read carefully the composition on the container it comes in. Again opting for natural sources is much kinder for your pet.

After you have spent 10 to 20 minutes washing your dog and getting water over the floor and yourself you may be asking why should I continue and use a conditioner. After the shampooing which has removed all the grime and dirt that has accumulated in your dog’s coat and at the same time has open the pores in your dog’s hair allowing the natural oils to escape. Which could lead to dry and brittle hair.

This newly washed hair now needs to be conditioned. Doing so will repair damaged broken strands, seal the pores, and give back a nice soft velvety texture. Using a conditioner will give your Lhasa Apsos hair a nice shiny look to it, also making it healthier and stronger. So yes it is worth your time getting more water on the floor and all over you as you condition your dog’s hair.

Ear cleanser

Some signs to look out for ear problems are a bad odor, inflammation or swelling, pain if you touch their ears, or a substance leaking from their ears. If you have detected or are in doubt of ear infection you must go and see your vet, do not try and clean infected ears as you could make them worse.

One area that can become overlooked is the ears of our dogs. After shampooing your dog and getting them completely dry it is now time to have a closer look inside their ears.

To prevent infections cleaning regularly is the answer. Do this with an ear solution brought specifically from your vet or one that can be made at home with;

1 part white vinegar to 1 part of water.

1 part hydrogen peroxide to 1 part water.

Prior to cleaning their ears try and get your dog to relax, this can be achieved by gently rubbing their tummy and talking softly. Once your pet is in a Zen mode you can start to clean their ears.

An error that some people make is using tips or similar type articles with alcohol. This mistake will dry the sensitive skin inside of the dog’s ear which could create allergic reactions. Cotton pads or balls are the best items to use that have been soaked in the solution.

To start with place a tiny amount of your solution inside the ear and work this around with small circular movements with your finger. Just as in bath time your Lhasa Apso does not like water in his ears nor does he like your ear cleansing solution and will shake his head, let them do this as this will help loosen up any dirt or debris that may be inside the ear.

If your dog is supporting his ear cleaning time then you could repeat this operation before using the cotton ball or pad slowly from the inside working outwards removing any dirt or wax that may still be lingering inside. There, your dog’s ears are nice and clean with less risk of infections occurring.


Dog Vacuums

Now if your dog is like mine and chases the vacuum cleaner around then it might be difficult to vacuum your dog. A good idea would be to switch on the vacuum close to your dog but not touching them with it, this would give them time to become accustomed to the noise.

Once your dog is happy with the noise then you need to start slowly introducing the vacuum attachment towards your dog’s body letting them feel this action as the loose hairs are being removed. This is a totally strange action for a dog to support, you may have to take quite a few efforts before your Lhasa Apso accepts to be vacuumed.

There are attachments that are gentle on dogs that you can fix to your house vacuum cleaner, obviously a reduction in the suction will be needed. These attachments are specifically designed for grooming dogs and come in a wide variety.

The moment has come when you start to vacuum your dog, beforehand give them praise and some treats which they will remember for the next time. Your dog may be scared still and runaway, give it a few more minutes and attempt for the second time again giving treats and praise before starting.

Start this vacuuming on the back, beginning from the head and working all the way back to the tail. Repeating this over the same area several times to be sure all the loose hair is removed. You could help by holding your dog’s collar to stop them from trying to escape.

Now that the body has been completely vacuumed you now need to concentrate on the legs. Starting at the top working down towards the feet, You could try holding their feet to restrain any leg movement making your job easier.

Lastly, have your dog lay down and starting from the collarbone going over the chest and down to the stomach continue vacuuming until all the loose hairs have been removed. At the end of this vacuuming session give your dog lots of praise and some treats which they will remember, hopefully, they will be glad to have this vacuum on their body the next time.

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Nicely Groomed Lhasa Apso 

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