Grooming the Irish Wolfhound

It is easy to care for his aspect, also for groomers with little experience

Malissia non toelettataMalissia, toelettata

The coat of a Wolfhound that isn’t to be presented at dog-shows is easily kept in good condition with a weekly brushing.
For taking part successfully at dog-shows it is necessary however to acquire some measures which are easily learned and do not ask for a great technical ability nor a great investment of time.
In my opinion, exaggeration in grooming betrays the rustic appearance of a Wolfhound, making him look like a terrier, but thinning somewhat the hair around the ears and beneath the neck with your fingers allows to set his line off just making him appear more tidy.

First step: away with the knots

The first basic operation, within the capacity of everyone, is that of removing the knots and the dead hair.
To do so it is necessary to brush the whole dog thoroughly, tail and ears included, with a solid sticker brush, then pass again with a solid steel comb having round points insisting in particular under the neck, on the eyebrows and the beard.
If this is well done half of the work is already achieved. If the coat is very thread it is advisable to use the coat king, a very easily handled tool which eliminates knots, dead hair and reduces the volume of the undercoat in a short time.
Attention however to not abuse because a too frequent use tends to spoil the hair.

Shears, for those who know how to use them.

With the shears you should have a certain knowledge. I use them rarely because I’am not very skilled, and prefer to leave it to Iwonna; she is an expert in grooming who knows how to use them for enhancing the lines of the dog, to bring out the qualities and minimize the faults.
This procedure of finishing may be done every six months if the basic work with the brush and the comb is done steadfastly.
I then use the normal shears for keeping clean the zone under the tail and for eliminating the possible matted hair on the inside of the thighs.
With the thinning shears I venture to regulate the small tufts of hair that grow in an untidy way on each side of the neck, around the ears, and to adjust the length of the beard.

The tools

The bath

A dog well fed and brushed regularly doesn’t need frequent baths.
A product for dogs with wired hair is indicated for the Wolfhound, followed on occasion by a conditioner of the same type.
The time of the bath is the best moment for checking the skin, to watch weather there are small injuries or parasites. I have a look at the inter digital skin of the feet, control the anal glands and the pavilions of the ears.
In Summer, and each time it is necessary, I use a natural shampoo based on essential oils against parasites.
The rinsing with tepid water must be carefully done and last long enough. It is very important not to neglect the period of the drying : the wolfhounds are often susceptible to respiratory diseases, it isn’t advisable that they remain wet for a long time, not even during the summer months.