We must emphasize that proper Jack Russell grooming is necessary for many reasons. For one thing, proper grooming of the coat, nails and other parts of the body is essential in the prevention of infections. As in humans, cleanliness ensures that harmful bacteria, viruses and germs are kept at bay.
For another thing, dog competitions are very strict when it comes to the appearance of the canine. In fact, a properly groomed dog immediately attracts the attention of the judges before the agility level does in these competitions. Besides, every day is an opportunity to show off your Jack Russell’s healthy coat, trimmed nails and clean body.
Combing the Coat
The main purpose of Jack Russell grooming when it comes to combing the coat is to attain the ideal look – hard, dense and lying close to the body as well as being smooth without looking sparse. This look is necessary not just for show purposes but for protection against the natural elements and the prevention of potentially harmful undergrowth.
The ideal look can also be achieved by plucking, which is done with the use of a stripping knife. Just hold the stripping knife in the right hand, take a few hairs between the knife and the thumb and then tugging the hairs with a sharp pull. Jack Russells will need getting used to the process so perform it for a few minutes at a time only.
Daily grooming for a rough-coated or broken-coated Jack Russell is different, however. The coat should be combed thoroughly with a slicker brush, which should remove the dirt and loose hair, the brush should then be followed by an electric clipper. The second process is meant to keep the dog’s coat at the appropriate length, not to mention that older Jack Russells like this more than plucking and stripping.
Yet another important aspect of Jack Russell grooming is clipping the toenails, which is to the best interest of both dog and humans. Accidents can happen when nails are on the long side such as scratching on the skin and coat as well as on floors and furniture.
When clipping the toenails, remember to cut only until the small white dot seen in the nail’s center. If a red dot appears, stop at this point as it is the blood supply to the nail – or what we call the “quick”. Bleeding can result from cutting to the quick that can, fortunately, be abated with nail clotting powder or corn starch. The toenails should then be rounded off and the long hairs between the feet trimmed off with the use of small sharp scissors.
Bathing the Body
Of course, bathes are essential parts of Jack Russell grooming. We recommend bathing the dog once every 1 to 3 months depending on the dirt, dust and grime present in the body. Ask the veterinarian, too, since Jack Russells also have special needs in bathing.
A few tips in bathing the Jack Russell include the following:
- Only bathe the dog after stripping if and only if the coat and skin still remain covered in dirt, dust and grime. The emphasis is on “after stripping” as bathing before stripping results in a softer coat and curlier hair, thus, defeating the purpose of combing the coat as previously discussed.
- Avoid using hair dryers in drying the coat as the heat can make the Jack Russell look fluffy, which is not how the breed is designed to look. Instead, the dog must be “rugged” with a dry towel so that the coat will lie as flat as possible once dry.
Taking Care of Teeth, Eyes and Ears
Don’t forget to take care of the teeth, eyes and ears in Jack Russell grooming either. Many diseases have arisen from negligence of these areas of the body, of which the following tips should help in avoiding such health issues:
- Check the dog’s ears twice a month to make sure that there are no foul odours. The skin should be pinkish in colour with no scabs and scars from flea bites.
- Teeth should be brushed regularly in addition to teething toys and professional dental care.
- Regularly check the eyes for signs of infection like watery discharges.
Indeed, Jack Russell grooming can be easy to do just as long as you know the right tips, tricks and techniques and use the right equipment for the purpose.
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