It's More Than Just Brushing...

The video below shows the before, during, and after of me actually grooming the heck out of Sadie.

Okay, so I've said I know how to groom cocker spaniels.

... Sadie is not a cocker spaniel.


The grooming job isn't ... exceptional.  But I bonded with my dog.  And she won't bring in as many pine-needles or dirt.  And it's fur!  It'll grow back!  Really!

Sadie and I have a routine when it comes to grooming.  It's the same thing every time.  I call her over, we brush sections at a time, and when she's done she gets a cookie.  It's such a routine, that she'll turn around for me to brush her other side without my even asking her.

So brushing is just a routine, but I believe that all types of grooming -- for any dog -- is more than just that.  It's part of owning a dog, and it helps with bonding with your pet.

First of all, just even brushing your dog allows for a few different things.  You can check for parasites, skin irritations, and other problems while you're grooming.  It gives a great idea of the general health of your dog.  For instance, when I was brushing Sadie yesterday, I found a burr in the fuzz behind one of her legs.  I was able to take care of it before it became a problem.

Also, it's spending time with her.  I think she actually likes the brushing part (although she's not so keen on the 'haircut', 'bath', or 'blow-drying' parts..).  After a few grooming sessions, and working with her to train her to relax, she almost gets excited when I'm pulling out the slicker brush.

And so the grooming job I did wasn't perfect.  But my point is, even if it's not exactly the best haircut in the world, it's something every dog owner should try.  If only for the experience... trust me, as you learn what works, you'll get better at it.

I know I will.