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To Groom A Newfoundland

June 19, 2011
Fluffy Buddy

For Christmas in 2005 my husband brought home a puppy. I had been wanting a dog for a few years and was incredibly happy when he pulled Buddy out of his coat. He was black and tiny and fuzzy. The guy we got him from said that he was a chow/lab mix.

Well it’s, 5 1/2 years later and he’s still black and still fuzzy. He is Not, however, a chow. Buddy is half Newfoundland, which, as you may or may not know, is slightly larger and more hairy than a chow. We always have long black hair all over the house. Every year, come about June, Buddy starts his yearly shedding spree. It gets to the point that I find myself sweeping the kitchen about twice a day, just to keep up with the hair.

In my years of brushing this massive walking mound of fur I have found some things that really help.

Brush the carpet before you vacuum. This is one of the best things I have found for keeping my sanity (and vacuum cleaner) in tact. I use a regular double-sided dog brush for this purpose. You can get them for incredibly cheap at the dollar store, just get an extra one and designate it for the carpet, because they get pretty beat up pretty fast.

Also, you need four things to effectively brush a long haired dog – A good, metal bristled brush, a lot of patience, a windless day, and untiring arm muscles.
I have a couple of brushes that I use to shed the dog, the good old fashioned double sided bristle brush, and a long toothed metal comb. I also use a pair of scissors to keep his leg and tail fringe manageable.
Buddy doesn’t always like to sit still when he’s being brushed. It’s not easy to man-handle a 100lb dog, so I pretty much have to wait for him to settle into a position and then I brush whatever I can get to.
When it comes to brushing him this time of year I generally choose to do it outside. This way any hair that I don’t manage to get into the bag will get blown away and used by the birds. The downside of this strategy is that there is often wind going on while I am still brushing. This means that I get more covered in hair than usual. Mornings are usually calmer in these parts, so I try to do all the grooming before 1pm or so.
Finally, I can easily fill up a shopping bag every time I brush Buddy this time of year. This means that the more I brush, the more hair comes out of him… in seemingly endless supply. It’s a very tiring process to get all that winter hair out, but it poses a very good workout for my arms, and the more I do it the easier it gets.

But, really, a good wire comb and a double sided (metal/nylon) bristle brush are pretty much indispensable for a Newfie owner!

So with a few good tools, and a lot of hard work, my house is still covered in dog hair.

Hey, I said these things help, I didn’t say I found a dog hair removing miracle! 🙂

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