Grooming Your Samoyed
The glistening white coat of a clean, well-groomed Samoyed will draw the attention and admiration of even the most non-dog-loving person as he happily struts his stuff down the street. But, Oh-no, a white dog! How do you keep them clean?
The Sammy will remain clean and happy, for the most part, with weekly brushing to shed the loose fur and dirt from his coat. But what about the doggy odor? Samoyeds have no dog odor, so weekly baths are not required to keep the Samoyed smelling and looking beautiful.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED :
Part the hair with your left hand (unless you're a lefty, then reverse) and hold back, then brush the remainder below your hand using a pat & pull motion from the skin out. Don't jerk or yank the brush through the hair or you will have an unhappy dog who will not be motivated to cooperate with your efforts. Samoyeds have tender pink skin, so be firm, but gentle. Hold the hair going against the grain, and brush with the grain, else you'll pull out too much live coat, and again, hurt your dog. The tail is a very sensitive area, brush this area gently; be patient and your Sammy will have a lovely plume tail! Do not rake a comb through the dogs' tail or you won't like the result; always brush the tail.
As you go, you'll be also looking for fleas, ticks, or any unusual growths etc., plus this is a pleasant social interaction for you both, is soothing, and deepens your bond. Grooming is an important activity among animals of all sorts, and it serves to solidify the familial ties.
Talk to your dog, tell him what a good baby s/he is, don't fall into the trap of trying to do the whole dog the first few times; do a bit now, then some later on. When either of you begins to get impatient, stop before the dog starts actively resisting, or you'll end up in an unpleasant war which will destroy everything you're trying to build. Also, if a dog ever gets the idea that he can kick & act up and you'll stop what you're doing, he learns that he can get away with that behavior in many other areas of life in addition to grooming.
When you're done with this, you do your finish combing and then more brushwork to pick up the loose dead coat you combed out, and then check your work carefully with your fingers in places like armpits and behind the ears.
I'd say give that dog a good thorough grooming weekly at least. If this is an intact boy, check testicles for any strange lumps or bumps; if you're grooming a girl, check breasts for the same, whether she's spayed or not. Like I said before, this is the time for getting a heads-up on any problems which may be developing.
I do not use creme rinses; they tend to coat the hairs and weigh them down, giving the dog a flat look. Also, creme rinses & conditioners tend to pick up a lot of dirt, and will additionally give a greasy feel to the coat. Aim for a clean dog.
Be sure that when you dry the dog to be VERY careful around his head, in fact, until you get very familiar with the dryer and know what it can do, I recommend letting his head air dry...don't use the dryer there at all. Unless you REALLY know what you're doing here, stay away from the dog's head with the power dryer.
AFTER YOU ARE DONE BLOW-DRYING:
Do the trimming at least 2 days prior to the show; even if you stay away from the quick, you don't want any chance of sensitive toenails to ruin your dog's movement and create something that isn't there.
Do the bottoms of the paws first. Trim level with the pads. Be careful not to trim all the way up the toes...try & keep level with the toenails, so that when the dog puts her foot down, you don't have that "Elf Shoe" effect you will get if you follow the toes all the way up to the nail.
Brush the hair against the grain on top of the foot, take your thinning scissors and take a few hairs at a time and angle back from the end of the foot to the arch of the foot's top. DO NOT chop all the hair off to the level of the dog's foot, else you'll get an ugly result and all the toenails will stick out and the dog will look awful. Carefully create a nice, neat foot...the object of the game here is to make the foot look as if the hair grows like this, NOT as if it were "groomed."
Read your breed standard; this breed has a flattish, hare-foot, not little cat feet. Yes, you want the foot to look substantial enough to hold up the dog, but you don't want it to be round in shape; follow the contours of the foot, while giving it substance by trimming just a few hairs at a time. You can always take more off...but you can't put back what you took!
When you get the shape you want and there aren't a bunch of loose stray hairs sticking out the top of the dog's foot, then take your curved scissors and using the same "few hairs at a time" method, scissor off any long stray bits around the edges of the foot, again keeping to the proper hare shape of the Sammy foot. Yes, this takes time, but the final product is well worth it.
Comb through again, taking stray hairs as you go, aiming for a nice, straight line. The hair coming from the bottom of the hock (next to the back of the foot) will be somewhat longer than that next to the top (next to the actual hock joint)...this is what you want...you don't want that sickle hocked look you'll get if if you hack it all off.
While you're at it, check the insides of the pasterns where a front dewclaw would be if they were removed on your dog: trim off any of the long hairs that sometimes occur there for a nice clean look.
FINISHING UP :
When you're done grooming, pay the dog. Give him a raw carrot if he likes them or a dog cookie and thank him for his time. My dogs love the grooming table and will jostle each other out of the way to be first up on deck. Don't let your dog jump off the table, he can hurt himself. Teach him to wait for you to come get him and lift him off.
Enjoy the fruits of your labors and admire your beautiful clean, groomed dog!