Grooming Bolognese & Coton de Tulear
The Dogs That Don't Look Real!!
If you see a wiggly, lively, adorable, curly white dog full of life and energy that looks like a stuffed animal and makes you take a second look, you might possibly be looking at an Italian Bolognese! If its hair is a bit straighter and you see a cuddly, calm baby snuggling against its owner, you are possibly admiring a Coton de Tulear! Nothing compares to their beautiful white coats!
The Coton's coat is fluffy and cottony-like while the Bolognese has a curly, silky, white coat. It is important that both breeds are combed and/or brushed at least twice a week. We brush our puppies weekly from the time they are quite small to get them used to being groomed. A critical time to keep the Coton and the Bolognese in tip-top condition with more frequent grooming / brushing is during the transition time between the puppy stage and the adult coat. Cotons and Bolognese are beautiful in long coat, but many people opt to keep the body in a puppy cut for easy care. A puppy cut is about 2 inches long. Keep ears, tail and face uncut to preserve the special Coton and Bolognese look. The basic grooming tools are a bristle brush, metal comb, scissors, rubber mat, dog shampoo, spray hose attachment, blow dryer, towels, ear cleaner, cotton balls, nail clippers, and dental care products. The best single tool is the metal comb, in fact, many groomers just use a grayhound metal comb on Bolognese and Cotons because it removes mats and tangles better than any other tool. Always check the coat carefully after spending time outside and remove all burrs, dry grass, thorns, and anything else that may have gotten into the coat. It is very important that all mats and tangles are removed before bathing your dog. They are much harder to remove on a wet coat.
Bathing. Not everyone agrees as to how often a dog should be bathed. A good rule of thumb is once a month. You can of course, bathe a little more often or less often, according to your preference. Even when your dog gets wet or a bit dirty after an extended time outside, many times when you towel dry them and then brush them out, they look great. When you do bathe your dog, make sure the water is not too hot or cold. A hose attachment really helps for thoroughly wetting and rinsing the coat. Apply shampoo and work it into a good lather. Wash the head last so water isn't dripping into your pet's eyes while you are working on the rest of the body. Try to avoid getting water into the ear canal. A cotton ball in each ear works well or hold the ears down with one hand while washing with your other hand. We use a whitening shampoo from Fosters and Smith that is wonderful for these white dogs. When washing the face, we use a tearless puppy shampoo to protect their eyes. The shampoo is followed by a conditioner. Dry your dog thoroughly with a towel and then brush or comb out gently and use the blow dryer at a low temperature to dry him/her off. Make sure you keep your hand running back and forth and fluffing the coat at the same time so you know the dryer doesn't get too warm. Then brush and comb again. For a more natural look with the Bolognese, don't blow dry, just comb out and let them dry naturally in a warm place.
Feet and Nails. In order to prevent knots of hair from forming between the pads of the feet, the hair should be trimmed with a round-tipped pair of scissors. For a well-groomed appearance, the hair around the nails should also be trimmed. When trimming nails, you may use a nail clipper or a file. Just be sure to trim a little nail at a time to make sure you don't hit the quick. That will cause bleeding and is quite painful for the dog. Talk soothingly to your pet to keep him/her calm and unafraid.
Ear Cleaning. Be very careful and gentle when cleaning ears. Use a soft piece of cotton with a powdered or liquid ear cleaner. Pluck the hairs from the ear with your fingers as a preventative measure to keep an unobstructed canal so that ear wax may be discharged freely.
Teeth. Brush your dog's teeth once a week with a toothbrush and a dog toothpaste. This will help keep your dog's gums and teeth healthy and strong.
A well-groomed dog is a happy dog, so keep your Cotons and Bolognese beautiful and healthy.
Sometimes dogs can get stains around their eyes. There are several reasons for this. First, it can be genetic. Dogs can be born with narrow tear ducts or extra eyelashes that curl under and rub the eye. It is best not to breed dogs that are predisposed to this genetic characteristic. The actual staining is caused from red yeast in your dog's system. There are products such as "Angel Eyes"that targets red yeast. These products can be added to your pet's food daily to stop the staining.
Other causes of staining are teething, food, allergies, or ear infections. Puppies cut teeth up to 8 months. This may cause pressure on the tear ducts. Just like a human baby, where teething can cause runny noses and excessive tearing, so it does in a puppy. You need to be patient. This too, will pass.
We have discovered that the number one culprit has been food. We do not feed our dogs food that contains wheat, corn, or food coloring because these can cause allergies. Remember, dogs are carnivores.
If your dog is an adult dog that has had no previous tearing, and suddenly begins tearing, see your vet to check for ear infections and tooth problems. Even though tear staining can occur, it is solvable.