Although minimal grooming is necessary until the puppy is close to six months old, you should introduce him to all parts of grooming care during these early months, including washing, brushing, nail cutting, dental care, and so on. This is also an excellent chance to acclimatize him to laying on his side on the grooming table; start with a few minutes and gradually increase the time period when you need him to lie quietly and cooperatively. Be tough while being patient and courteous. Handle his feet often, since many TTs dislike having their feet handled. If the puppy becomes dirty, I recommend not removing the muck while he is wet; instead, wait for it to dry entirely.
However, since your Tibetan Terrier has a long coat, he or she will need constant coat care and grooming. TTs do not shed like most other breeds, but they can blow old coats on sometimes, which becomes entangled in the permanent hair and may cause mats or tangles. This is normally not an issue until the Tibetan reaches puberty (about nine months and lasting many weeks or months if you’re fortunate) and his double adult coat begins to emerge. This may be a difficult period for his horrified owner’s coat upkeep! He’s “blowing” his puppy coat, and mats form only seconds after you’ve combed him! However, be patient. Put him on a brushing schedule every day, and this phase will pass.
Tibetan Terriers lack the typical canine scent and are a suitable breed for most individuals who are allergic to dogs and cats.
Now, let’s talk about bathing and brushing. As a breeder, my method is definitely more stringent than necessary, as I am compelled to maintain a nice coat long after the dogs have ceased displaying. I’ll continue with my own recommendations and explanation while acknowledging that “pet” owners will treat this vital part with less precision.
Bathing should be done at least once a month. (From late spring to mid-autumn, I attempt to wash them all every 10 days to two weeks.) Some purists feel that only a newly cleaned coat should be brushed at all. However, I placed all of mine on a four-day brushing regimen. Otherwise, I’m sorry I put it off since mats and ‘wads’ make grooming difficult. Furthermore, a TT should be ‘brushed out’, at the very least, BEFORE his bath, otherwise, his matted/wadded coat will turn to ‘felt’!
Make a timetable for yourself and stick to it!
Make use of a high-quality shampoo. Some are available as concentrates, which you can then combine into a suitable bottle. A gallon of it will last you a long time.)
Make sure the tub has a non-slip mat. The washing container will suffice till the puppy becomes too large. This bathing process may be a tremendous back strain for him while he’s in the huge tub, so I made a setup in my basement utilizing a “horse trough” as a tub and had it put at my standing level.
A manually held prolonged shower spray is an important purchase.
Spray the dog with the spray hose. Pour on shampoo and massage into a lather, being careful not to scrape the hair too much. Thoroughly rinse. He won’t like having his face splashed, so cover his nose and push on. He’ll have to get accustomed to it. His breed is a Tibetan Terrier. (If the dog was really filthy or muddy, shampoo again.) Thoroughly rinse. (According to Jane Reif, when you think you’ve washed him enough, rinse him again!)
Now you apply a high-quality conditioner to his coat, which may even be available in concentrated quantities. Pour generously into the coat, squeezing into the ends of the hair as you go. Allow this to settle for a few minutes before properly rinsing.
Using a towel, blot him dry. Don’t rub too hard (tangles). Chamois are effective. Show Sheen, a spray found at horse stores, is another thing I enjoy and use at the moment. I softly spritz the dog, massaging it through his coat. (Be cautious, since this might make your flooring very slippery!)
Some TT owners now take their TT straight to the hair drier and grooming table. I don’t start the next phase right away, but instead, let the wet dog roll around on some towels, run around like crazy for a few minutes, then put him in his crate in some towels warmed in the dryer (he’ll shiver and be cold otherwise), and leave him for… oh, perhaps an hour and a half…. while I catch my breath, tidy up after a bath, do a chore or two, and prepare for grooming.
This is when a grooming table will seem to be one of the handiest purchases you’ve ever made!
This is also where you’ll need one of those free-standing dog hair dryers (which are VERY pricey but fantastic). And he’ll live for another fifteen years……) — or a homemade drier fastened to the table and adjustable so your hands are free and the heat stream may be directed while you brush — or another person to operate the dryer while you brush. (In my experience, this final strategy completely failed since no one else in the home had patience and rapidly became bored.)
You’ll need a decent medium pin brush (I recommend the #1 All Systems brush) and NOT the sort with the small knobs on the ends of the pins.
Begin with your TT standing or sitting, and blow dry while brushing his face, head, ears, and chest. While he stands, brush his back, sides, and legs, blowing the coat in every direction while brushing, north, south, east, west, it doesn’t matter, and then go to his tail and rear in the same manner. You’re going to lay him down on his side soon, so this is only a preliminary drying/brushing to warm him up, start the untangling, and straighten the coat in preparation for laying him down.
Put him on his side now. Push his coat up and begin with his feet and legs, blowing dry and brushing both upward and downward. He’ll be largely dry, so this will quickly become a typical maintenance grooming session. A soft slicker brush is another good brush for his feet and legs (but NOT his outer coat).
Short, rapid, and straight strokes are recommended. Work in tiny portions and don’t take on too much at once. Hold the brush as loosely as possible. If you come upon a mat, gently tear it apart until it is in manageable portions for further brushing. When I’ve finished the feet and legs, I push the remainder of the coat forward, one transversely separated area at a time, and dry/brush (or maybe the dryer is no longer required) upward with the pin brush, raising his legs to get to his chest, underbelly, and bottom. Your aim is to brush him “straight down to the flesh.” When I’ve brushed the coat all the way up, I take it down in transverse pieces, bottom to top, brushing flat…..
After you’ve done one side, go through his coat with a Greyhound comb (a must-have piece of equipment) to remove any loose hair or tangles. You may also use the comb on his beard and hair. Try not to pull or tug (HA!) so he doesn’t mind the grooming experience. Some dogs fully relax and fall asleep on the table.
Then it’s up, maybe a reward for being such a GOO-OO-D DOG, and down the other side for another go!
When the second side is completed, it’s time to hold it up for any last admiring touches — teach people how to split their dogs’ hair down the back — if there is a lot of static, I use an anti-static spray for a little spritz and final brush along his sides.
*Bonus Tips 1
My recommendation for detangling the mats that are situated extremely near to the skin is to make use of the little flea combs. The greatest one I’ve discovered may be purchased in-store or online at Petsmart.com. It has a length of 2.5 inches and is marketed under the brand name Groomax.
I use the corner of the flea comb to quickly remove the gunk that may build up in the corner of the eyes. It has a form that is more or less oval and does not have a handle. It is ideal for getting close to the skin to break up mats.
*Bonus Tips 2
My spouse and I attended the National Specialty together in May of last year in Denver. It also provided a convenient pretext for us to go see our brand baby grandchild. Even though we weren’t going to be displaying any dogs, I really wanted to show them off, so it was important that they looked well. The day before the specialty, Bill led them on a stroll in the area of Lowry, which is where my daughter lives. As this is a more recently developed town, they have started tarring the roads. He remained on the sidewalk the whole time, all the way up until they arrived at the park and started running about on the grass there. It was a large document that was, for some unknown reason, coated with tar. Both Summit and Bella had been covered in tar up to their chests, making them completely black. I was completely clueless about how to remove it, so I sought the assistance of numerous groomers, veterinarians, and other breeders. When I eventually reached into the cabinet, I brought out a huge bottle of canola oil, and the oil immediately began to break down the tar. I was successful in removing it entirely, and the whiteness returned to their skin. I did not have to use any harsh chemicals or costly treatments, nor was it necessary for me to trim any of their coat.
*Bonus Tips 3
We are all having trouble with the head fall of the TT. We experiment with elastics, barrettes, and other colored ponytail bands at home. We utilize one, we experiment with two,… they escape, another dog PULLS them out, and this pattern continues. There are certain head falls that are more substantial and hazardous than others. Some of them separate neatly on their own by the time the TT reaches maturity, at which point the dog sees well, seems gorgeous, and beautiful eyes begin to show themselves. But not every head that should fall does. In the show ring, obviously, these kinds of assistance (as well as scissored cutting!) are not permitted in any way. In addition, a recently washed coat is more likely to become flyaway and static-charged, which might therefore obstruct eyesight. If he is unable to see where he is going, a Tibetan Terrier will not walk with the same level of assurance. This is very important to remember while socializing with impressionable pups. (If a puppy is unable to see, it is possible that he may not walk at all! There are many of us who have been caught off guard and embarrassed by a balk!)
People who compete in shows often use various techniques and commercial items in an effort to help their Tibetan Terrier perform better in the show ring. Even if it’s simply for those few minutes that really matter! There are many other approaches and items that may be of assistance, and the one that I will discuss here is one that I have found to be helpful. Section the fall, brush it to the sides and secure it with a barrette. Apply a little amount of Grand Finale hairspray to your fingertips, and then massage it into the area in between the dog’s eyes and in the direction of the ‘eyebrows.’ It will dry, and when you remove the barrettes, brush — if at all — very gently so as not to disrupt the solid hold. (Not too much, and NOT spritzing the whole head.) The TT will have an improved vision, yet his fall will still seem to be quite natural.
GET THE CAMERA NOW!
I should mention that this is a post-bathing grooming description. Of course, you’ll have to groom IN BETWEEN BATHS! After all, this is a Tibetan Terrier! Same procedure, except without the dryer, and I start with him on his first side right away. You should also avoid brushing a completely dry coat. Before you begin working on your coat, lightly wet it with a fine mist grooming spray (such as Royal Crown Magic Touch).
TIBETAN TERRIER COAT CARE
This may have sounded frightening, but don’t be concerned or discouraged. Remember that you will be beginning with a young puppy’s coat and will be a few years away from the more difficult chore of bathing/grooming an adult coat. Furthermore, certain coats are simpler to maintain than others.
For a full-grown adult, the bath may take 30 minutes, followed by an hour to an hour and a half of brushing out. Maybe less if you’re fortunate, really efficient, or he hasn’t been brushed out in a long time. (Don’t forget… this was written by someone who is going crazy about show-coats!)
Of course, if you choose and can afford it, you may send your Tibetan to a professional groomer once a month or so, and then you’ll just have to perform in-between-bath maintenance grooming! However, make sure you use a groomer who is familiar with Tibetan Terrier coats. This dog isn’t a Lhasa Apso. Undercoat removal is not permitted. Scissoring for a show ring TT is also prohibited.
Trim the head fall over the eyes into wispy bangs for a pet Tibetan so that you can see his eyes. (Utilize thinning scissors.) You may also cut a little amount of hair away from the rectal region to ensure that nothing sticks.
I strongly advise you to attempt to retain your Tibetan coat in its full splendor, since this symbolizes the breed’s natural appearance.