Advanced Grooming Tools

 
 
 

The finishing pin brush is similar to the basic pin brush  used for regular grooming except for the length of the pins. For the finishing brush the pins are extra long (usually 35 mm) to assist with lifting and straitening the coat as you trim. As in the basic brush this should have straight pins with “ground” and “polished” tips in order to reduce drag on the hair and associated hair loss. Manufacturers for this type of brush include Chris Christensen and Number 1 All Systems.

 

Finishing Pin Brush

 

Scissors

 

This page identifies the “advanced” or finishing tools that will help you keep your Old English in a show quality coat. These include additional brushes, scissors, electric trimmers, and other grooming supplies. These tools are intended to be used in conjunction with the Basic Grooming Tools defined on a separate web page. While the basic grooming tools are used on a weekly basis, the advanced tools are generally employed less frequently and are used to trim the coat for basic hygiene and to highlight the standard characteristics of the OES. These tools are also used to prepare your OES for the show ring.

Scissors are required to trim the OES for general hygiene and to highlight the characteristics of the breed. As shown in these photos, three basic scissor types are required: A long straight sheer, a long curved shear, and a coarse thinning sear.


The two long shears should be approximately 9 inches in length. These come in both a standard and short shank version. The ones shown in the photos have relatively short shanks. For the thinner we recommend a relatively coarse shear with 25 to 30 teeth in a 6 to 8.5 inch length.


The straight shear is used to cut the back (top line), the upper portion of the rear, and portions of the hock. The curved shear is used to trim the feet, the sides, and the head. The thinner will be used all over the dog to blend the coat. It is especially useful to trim under the dogs body, the lower portion of the rear, the front, and the sides.


While the three shears described here are what you will use for most of your trimming, you may find it beneficial to have a larger variety of shears to handle specific applications. For example shorter curved or straight shears can be easier to manage in some locations. Very small rounded tip shears can be used to trim around the pads or the nose instead of using an electric trimmer. Some groomers may want a fine toothed thinner in addition to the coarse toothed thinner.


The cost for shears can vary from $40 each to over $1000. If possible you should purchase good quality shears that will hold an edge for a long time. Models from manufacturers such as Gieb provide excellent functionality and life at a medium level price.

Electric Trimmers

 

Electric trimmers are useful to remove the hair between the dogs pads on the bottom of the feet and for some areas on the dogs undercarriage. Of coarse these are also required if you decide to shave down your sheepdog. There are a variety of sizes and manufacturers. Oster and Andis are two of the more popular brands. Both make a “standard” size trimmer with interchangeable blades. Both also offer corded or cordless trimmers in different sizes. At the top of the picture on the left we show a small cordless trimmer from Oster with a very fine blade which is useful to trim the pads. On the bottom we show a two speed corded trimmer from Andis which can be used with a variety of blades for general trimming or to shave down your sheepdog.

Grooming Arm

 

A grooming arm will be useful to hold your dog in position while you trim. You will need a four foot long arm with a clamp that fits your table. You will also need a nylon lead or “noose” that can be used around the dogs neck to hold the dog in place.


You should never leave your dog on a grooming table unattended because they can fall off or tip over the table. This is especially true when they are standing tied to the arm.

Drier and Shampoo

 

It will be necessary to wash or shampoo your OES to keep it clean. Most of the time you will only be washing the head, feet and rear and any white coat that has become soiled. Regular brushing will often keep the dark coat clean minimizing how often you will have to wash the entire dog.


A dog shampoo should be used for washing the coat. You may find it beneficial to use a “whitening” shampoo for the whites and a general purpose shampoo for any dark coat. You should avoid the use of any shampoo that softens the coat or that leaves a residue behind.


After washing the OES you will need to ensure it is completely dried to avoid any curling of the coat and to prevent the dog from developing skin problems. A high capacity dog drier is recommended to minimize the time required for drying. These come in either a “portable” version (shown in the photo) or a stand drier. If you purchase only one drier we recommend a portable with a hose because it is easier to direct the warm air where you need it and it can be more easily moved or transported.

Slicker brushes can be helpful in a variety of applications such as gently brushing the muzzle and around the eyes. They are also very good for brushing up the leg coat to add more body. While a single medium slicker would work we generally use a small slicker for the muzzle and eyes and a medium/large slicjer for the legs. The ones shown in this photo are manufactured by Millers Forge.

Slicker Brushes

 

Other Tools

 

There are hundred of tools available to help you trim, groom, and wash your dog. We have identified the basic and finishing tools we use most often to maintain show quality coat. Many groomers also use a variety of strippers, matt breakers, brushes, and combs to maintain and “finish” the coat. Also, there are hundreds of products you can use to condition or treat the hair. Some will provide more body or help with static. As you gain experience you can work with different tools and products to find what works best for you.