Grooming Hamiltonstovare

It is widely assumed that all short-coated breeds of dog are low in grooming needs. In many cases, that is very true for the average pet but very different for the show dog. In my previous breed, Beagles, I was shocked to learn that the pet needs low grooming but the show dog needs on average about 45 minutes to an hour of grooming after bathing for entering the show ring. Thankfully, with Hamiltonstovare that is not the case. 

The main grooming needs with Hamiltonstovare is keeping the white feet very white. Alice broke me in easy because she is very dainty and actively avoids getting dirty at all costs. Rolo was the exact opposite, he is all boy and loves playing in mud puddles and rolls in the dirty as often as he can. Rolo has a regime with his feet and that regime has spread across all of the hounds. After going outside in the mud or rain, his feet are toweled off, they are then sprayed with a rinseless shampoo by Chris Christensen. Hamiltonstovare naturally have a LOT of hair between their toes and the pads of their feet. During the winter, I keep those furry feet to protect them from the cold ground. During the peak of the summer, I trim it down so that the pads of the feet can be cooled off by the cold floor after being outside. The other bits of trimming that I do are show dog specific and not needed for the average pet. I trim the tip of the tail so that it looks neat instead of forming a little curl. I also trim a bit of the areas of the chest that form points or swirls. 

Brushing is minimal and needed only every month or so during shedding season of fall and spring. I use a zoom groom tool to pull the dead hair out and give them a nice massage in the process. Generally a good brushing session can bring out enough coat to cover my terrier in a nice sweater, per dog. However, that's pretty much all they shed every six months or so. 

I do brush teeth about every other week, between brushing they are given raw bones and dental chews. Ear care is done monthly and I clean the ears with a nice cleanser with cotton pads. I hand pluck ear hair from time to time but it very minimal. 

The most invasive part of the grooming processes is the bath. Generally bathing each dog takes about 40 minutes for show dogs. First I apply Chris Christensen White on White on all of the white parts, let it sit for at least 10 minutes, then I apply Isle of Dogs No 50 on each color separately. The colors are rinsed separately as well. This method of bathing is time consuming but it makes the colors pop. Then at the end, I apply Isle of Dogs No 51 conditioner on the white feet, and the entire black saddle. Hamiltonstovare that spend a lot of time in the sun can see sun damage but the conditioner helps protect the black saddle from sun damage and even sun burn. After bathing, they are toweled dry and any stray hairs that mix in the colors are removed by a sculpting stone. 

All of this is what I do for each dog prior to a show or every two weeks, whichever comes first. The pets need a bath every month or so, but don't have to be so invasive. I start bathing puppies around 4 weeks old so that they enjoy the water and understand that a bath is a good thing. 

The most important part of grooming is proper nail care. I dremmel my dogs' nails because it gets them shorter much faster and safer than clippers. Nails should be done every two weeks at an absolute minimum, but every week is ideal. Keeping nails short not only decreases damage to flooring but it is safer for dogs and people. Nails kept at an appropriate length keep dogs fit and healthy because it causes less stress on the dogs' feet. Less stress on the feet, transitions upward for the rest of the dog.

Grooming is an important part of keeping Hamiltonstovare happy and healthy. Hamiltonstovare should ALWAYS have a vibrant coat that shines. Dull coats are a sign of poor care and even poor nutrition.