Grooming The Siberian Husky
If you socialize your Siberian to grooming early, he’ll probably enjoy it. And the more your Siberian enjoys grooming, the easier and more fun it will be for you as well. To socialize your Siberian to grooming:
- Start a consistent grooming routine immediately after you bring your Siberian home.
- Keep grooming sessions short.
- Reward your Siberian with treats for staying still and allowing his feet, muzzle, and ears to be touched.
If your dog doesn’t like to be groomed, don’t force it. For instance, if he doesn’t like his feet to be touched, try touching one foot for one second, then reward him with a treat. A few days later, touch the other foot for two seconds and offer a treat, and so on.
The Siberian Husky is a double-coated breed. This means that it has a woolly undercoat that serves as the dog's insulation against cold or heat, and a layer of longer, harsher outercoat that grows through the undercoat. The double coat insulates them from heat and cold, which is why they should never be shaved, even in the hottest climates. Shedding will occur at least once a year in males, and twice a year in females, generally spring and fall. However I have had on occasion a Siberian blow coat in July and/or January. This is due to sudden extreme temperature change. High humidity or excessive heat often will make the shedding worse.
Besides cutting down on the household dust bunnies there are many good reasons to schedule regular grooming sessions with your dog. As well as good bonding time, it helps your dog become accustomed to being handled all over. This will make your dog more comfortable during visits to the vet, groomer, or just when being handled. Grooming also helps stimulate the natural oils in your dog’s coat.Grooming is also an opportunity for regular inspections for parasites, lumps, skin problems, ear problems etc. that can become serious if undetected for long periods.Keep grooming sessions short and fun for your dog until he is comfortable with the process.
Tools to assemble for grooming should include
Large Furminator Tool A metal comb,
A pin brush (with round tips), A rubber curry brush
A spray bottle filled with water and a little conditioner.
A blow dryer is an invaluable tool and well worth the investment.
Prior to bathing you should brush out as much of the loose hair as possible with the furminator. The Siberian Husky will not need bathing more than twice a year at most, usually in the spring and fall, coinciding with the blowing of the coat. The husky's coat remains clean year-round and should not take on a doggy odor. When bathing is needed, use a very mild shampoo designed especially for dogs. Human shampoos designed are too harsh and drying for a dog's coat. Choose a shampoo that is appropriate for your dog’s coat.
There are a wide variety of shampoos available including ones for dry itchy skin, sensitive skin, antibacterial, tea tree oil shampoos, and whitening shampoo for white or light colored dogs. Wet the dog thoroughly and use plently of the shampoo.Using a rubber curry brush is a huge help in loosening up hair and dirt.The most important step is rinsing, rinsing and rinsing again. Then towel dry as much as possible and finish with the blow dryer. Shampoo left on the coat or not thoroughly drying your dog can lead to hot spots.Conditioners with sunscreen are available for dogs with coats that are prone to sunburn. This helps red dogs keep a richer color and helps prevent black dogs from getting that red tinge to the guard hairs.
- Wet your dog’s coat thoroughly with warm water.
- Wet his head as well, but tilt it back so that water doesn’t get in his eyes.
- Avoid getting water in his ears, or gently insert cotton balls into the opening to keep out water.
- Lather your Siberian well with dog shampoo, rubbing your hands with and against the coat in circles.
- Once you’ve shampooed your Siberian, rinse him thoroughly, making sure to get every last bit of soap out of the coat.
- When your done rinsing, rinse again!
- Dry him with a towel or a hair dryer set to a low setting, being sure not to burn or frighten him.
The main aim of grooming is to remove dead hairs that are clinging to the coat. In the process, you are cleaning the skin and shafts of the living hair. The main tools for grooming the Siberian are a wide-toothed comb and a bristle brush. The tips of the comb's teeth must always be rounded, and the bristles of the brush must be long enough to reach through the coat to the skin. The Siberian's coat is not to be cut or trimmed ever! Very minor tidying of stray hairs may occur around such areas as the feet in show dogs, but any shaping or stripping of the Siberian's coat is not necessary or advised!
The comb should be used to run through the coat to break up any snags and to remove the dead hairs. Siberians with regular coat usually do not matt however long coated siberians do need to be brushed regularly as they do have a tendency to matt up with thier longer softer hair. Knots should be worked out a little at a time, using the comb and the fingers to gently tease the hairs apart. A fine-toothed comb is handy for the areas under the chin and tail and between the ears. Use the brush once the combing is complete to finish off the coat. Brush the coat forward, over the head and shoulders, before combing it back. Brush the rear areas in the direction of the lay of the coat. If you maintain a bi-weekly grooming pattern, you should not be plagued continually by hair left behind wherever the dog has been, as is common with some other breeds.
Twice a year the new guard coat coming in and pushes the undercoat out resulting in profuse shedding or “blowing coat”. The shedding process usually takes from three to six weeks, with a new coat growing in during the next four to six weeks. During the active shedding period, groom your dog daily.
The furminator can be used to remove big clumps of loose hair.Then start at the head brushing against the lay of the coat, lay your hand below the coat rake and pull a little hair at a time up from under your hand and continue working toward the back of the dog. While brushing, spray a fine mist of your water/condtioner mix to help loosen tangles and prevent breakage. Horse Mane and Tail detangler works great on dogs as well!
A warm bath once a week can really help loosen the hair and shorten the length of time they blow thier coats.
Nail trimming will go a lot easier if you handle your dog’s feet often.Nail clippers come in a few styles.Plier styles often comes with a safety to prevent cutting to deeply. A guillotine style with surgical steel blades.Be sure to keep some “quick stop” or something similar to stop bleeding if you do cut to far. Many people myself included, prefer to use a cordless Dremel tool to file the nails.This method works great but, some dogs don’t like the noise. However if you use it regularly and reward the dog with treats after each foot or if he is very upset by the procedure reward after each nail and only do a few at a time until he is more comfortable with the process.
Trim each nail just a tiny bit at a time or you’ll risk cutting the quick, the blood vessel inside the nail. In a dog with light-colored nails, you can see the quick as a pink line running up the middle of the nail nearly to the end. On darker nails, you can see the quick by holding a flashlight under the nail. If you do cut the quick, dip the nail into styptic powder or gel to stop the bleeding.
To clean your Siberian’s eyes, you’ll need a moist cloth. Whenever necessary, remove discharge from the corners of his eyes by wiping it away carefully with a moist cloth. If he seems to have constant eye discharge, bring him to the vet. If your Siberian’s brows or eyelashes are interfering with his eyes, your vet can trim those hairs carefully.
Check your Siberian’s ears once a month for signs of mites or illness, and bring him to the vet if his ears have:
- A color different from the skin
- Red blotches
- A strong, unpleasant odor
Clean each ear once a month. To clean his ears, you’ll need cotton balls and dog ear cleanser.
- Use a cotton ball (not a cotton swab) moistened with ear cleanser to clean the visible area inside the ear. Do not stick anything deeply into the ear.
- Use a dry cotton ball after cleaning to remove any waxy buildup.
A good homemade ear wash solution is:
5 tsp. boric acid powder
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
Mix and pour into a squeeze bottle.
To keep your Siberian’s teeth and gums clean and healthy, brush them once a week.
You’ll need a dog toothbrush or finger brush and dog toothpaste, Never use human toothpaste on a dog.
- Put a little toothpaste on the toothbrush.
- Rub the brush against the front of your Siberian’s teeth.
If you don’t brush your Siberian’s teeth regularly, plaque will build up, and plaque can be removed only via a thorough cleaning at the vet.
Vet cleanings require full anesthesia, which can be risky and can’t be given to older Siberians.