Grooming

The grooming of the SWD is very easy as they do not require too much grooming especially if you do not show. The coat is of a wool texture and it needs clipping twice a year to improve and strengthen the coat.

The coat does not shed and this makes the breed very good for people that have allergies. No combs or brushes are used on the coat the only tool that you need is your fingers.

When you bath your dog make sure that you use tepid water and a mild shampoo, their coat is wool and if too hot water is used it will cause the coat to matt. How often to bath is dependant on what activities your dog takes part in. If you get the chance to swim your dog in sea water it will have a noticeable effect on the coat, it seems that the salt has a desirable conditioning effect on the texture of the coat.

A young SWD puppy needs clipping for the first time around the age of 4-5 months, this is really to get them used to having the clippers used on them. You will only cut a small amount off the first time but it will help the coat to improve in texture. The second clip which is usually required at about 11 months of age takes longer and a full clip is needed.

If you have left the coat too long in between clips and it has matted then there is no option but to have the coat clipped very short and then start again. It is important not to let this happen as it will cause your dog discomfort and could even cause skin problems.

Other area's that need attention are the ears, as a breed they have ears that hang close to the side of their head, this means that air does not get the chance to circulate easily and if not checked on a regular basis infection can cause a problem.

A build up of hair inside the ear can also stop air getting in and also helps wax to accumulate. You need to carefully pull out any hair that is blocking the ear gently, and use an ear cleaner with cotton wool to clean out any dirt or wax that has built up.

In the summer it is important to check all over your dog paying special attention to the webbing in their feet as grass seeds can sometimes lodge there and in other area's of their coat, and if left they will cause great discomfort and need veterinary treatment.

If you view the pictures on the right then you will see the top picture is of a mature dog who has a fully corded coat, and the middle one is of a two year old and has just been clipped and the bottom picture is of 6 month old puppy that has recently had it's first trim.