GROOMING THE EASY WAY

Corgis are such an easy breed to keep looking their best and it really requires very little effort or cost to keep your pet both comfortable and pleasing on the eye.  

Regular baths are the starting point and I would suggest an all over bath every two or three months with perhaps additional frequency during moulting.  Always buy a good quality dog shampoo as this will be formulated specifically for their coat and skin and may even have insecticidal ingredients to keep away fleas and ticks.  Take a trip to your local pet store and purchase a Zoom Groom which is a type of rubber brush.  Get the soft pink coloured version which is for short haired dogs, they cost about 4 and will last for years.  Wet the dog thoroughly and apply the shampoo then use your Zoom Groom to really massage the shampoo right through using a circular motion.  This will help in removing any loose hair.  If the dog is dirty you can repeat with a second shampoo but I find this is rarely necessary unless your pride and joy has been rolling in fox or something dead!    After a very thorough rinsing, you do not want any soap residue left in the coat, use soak up cloths for the initial drying.   These blotter type cloths can be bought from hardware shops and supermarkets; I get mine from Lakeland who do packs of 10 for 4.50.  You will be amazed at how much water you can remove from the coat using these.  To dry off use a towel or if possible a dryer.  A lot of exhibitors use blaster dryers and these are excellent in that you literally blast the water out of the coat with the added benefit that the coat dries straight.  You can use your own hair dryer to achieve a very good result but you do need to get your dog used to the idea as they do not always take kindly to this.  Also be careful not to use too hot a setting as dogs cannot stand the high temperature that we use on our own hair.  Hold the dryer so that the air blows the coat flat and towards the tail as you do not want to end up with a Chow!

If bathing is not possible or if you need to do a quick clean up between baths then you can use non rinse shampoo which can be toweled off.

Brushes and combs

You can use more or less any brush or comb; it is down to personal preference.  I consider that the comb is the most important piece of grooming equipment and you can manage quite adequately without a brush.  I favour the metal versions without a handle that are approx 7 to 8 inches long with teeth approx 1 inches long and in varying widths.  It is important to really comb the coat right through getting down to the skin.  Don’t forget the legs, trousers and underneath.   If the coat is clean and dead hair removed then the comb should glide through the coat easily.  A thorough comb through once a week is all that is necessary with a few additional sessions during heavy moulting.

I am always surprised at how many pet corgis seem to get infested with fleas and can only conclude that their owners do not groom them often enough or thoroughly enough to be aware of what is going on until it is a big problem. 

Personally I am not very keen on slicker brushes and the only brush I would use on my dogs is a pure bristle such as a Mason Pearson.

Coat sprays can put a finish on the coat and make the dog smell wonderful but do beware if exhibiting that you are not contravening any regulations.

Teeth

If you can encourage your dog to allow you to clean his teeth it might save you from a future vets bill.  There are lots of different preparations available at both pet shops and your vets.  

Ears

Corgi ears generally remain trouble free but you should check that the inside of the ear is clean.  Never push anything into the ear and if it appears unusually dirty or smelly it is best to consult your vet.

Eyes

Runny eyes* are quite a common problem in corgis and they need regular cleaning to avoid staining the face.  There are lots of different lotions and potions that you can buy but I have found that damp cotton wool and then a tissue to dry works just as well.
(* Runny eyes is mostly a problem in Pems and does not occur often in Cardis. )

Feet 

The hair on the underside of the foot should be kept trimmed flush with the pad.  Always use scissors with rounded ends when doing this.  The nails should be kept short either by clipping with appropriate clippers if you feel confident enough or by using a metal file.  Always stop before you hit the quick or you will discover how much they can bleed!  Use Stop Clip if this happens.

Follow the above and you will soon have your pride and joy looking like the Crufts Champion you have always been convinced he really is.

 

Sarah Taylor

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