Q:

How do you groom a short-haired St. Bernard?

A:

Quick Answer

Properly grooming a short-haired Saint Bernard includes brushing the coat at least three times a week to keep it neat and to remove shed hair, cleaning the ears weekly, trimming nails once or twice each month and bathing the dog about once a month. You need a wide-toothed comb, a rubber curry brush or hound glove, a shedding brush (during the animal's shedding season), dog nail trimmers, cotton balls and ear cleaner solution. If you plan on washing your Saint Bernard, you also need dog shampoo and conditioner.

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Full Answer

  1. Check for matted fur

    Comb through your dog's entire coat first with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to check for any matted clumps of fur. When matted pieces are found, comb them out gently.

  2. Brush the coat

    Brush your Saint Bernard's coat thoroughly with a large rubber curry brush or a hound glove, making sure to go over its entire body, from head to tail. Saint Bernard dogs shed more than usual twice a year when the weather changes significantly. A shedding comb helps to easily remove the excessive amounts of fur during this time.

  3. Trim the nails

    Gently lift and hold your Saint Bernard's paw in your non-dominant hand, and use the clippers in your dominant hand to clip each nail, one paw at a time. There are different styles of nail clippers you can use, depending on what you are most comfortable with. Trim off just a little at a time, being careful not to cut into the blood vessel, know as the nail quick. The nail quick is usually pink, and the nail is softer in this area.

  4. Clean the ears and check the eyes

    Check your Saint Bernard's ears for dirt and buildup. Use a clean cotton ball dabbed with a veterinarian-approved ear cleaner to wipe out the ear canal if necessary. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe gunk from around the dog's eyes.

  5. Bathe the dog with shampoo

    Take your Saint Bernard outside when you wish to give it a bath to avoid a mess. Wet the dog completely with a hose, then massage a dog-friendly shampoo on the coat, starting with the body and shampooing the head last. Use a detangling or whitening shampoo as needed. Rinse thoroughly, then use a dog conditioner to soften its coat. Rinse the conditioner off, and towel-dry completely.

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