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Anyone who wants to own a Lhasa Apso must be prepared to groom.  However, if you intend having a pet then perhaps a clipped Lhasa would be better for both of you. I begin bathing a pup at 4 weeks.  Just a gentle, tiny wash in the bathroom hand basin, with only a drop of SULFATE FREE Shampoo, making sure not to get it near their face.  All I am doing is getting the pup accustomed to grooming. 

I then blow dry the pup with a hairdryer on 'low' and make sure I hold it well back - a pup's skin is sensitive and can burn easily.  Then I use a soft bristle brush and gently brush it all over.  I know this sounds very young, but it pays off in the end, for the pup knows from a very young age that it is not going to be hurt or harmed in any way.  When I have finished I give the little puppy a big cuddle as a reward for behaving well on the grooming table.  My dogs actually come up to me after being washed, dripping wet, looking forward to grooming time!

Lhasa Apsos have long, flowing, beautiful coats and many people love this coat so much that they want to keep it long.  However, I have seen too many Lhasa Apsos with mats in their coat, no matter how well intentioned their owners may have been initially. 

Male clipped

Female full coat

A clipped Lhasa Apso looks beautiful if done well, so please clip it off or take it to a grooming parlour a few times a year if you are finding it is too much work - do not neglect your dog.  Show dogs need to have a full coat, but pet dogs do not.  Unless you have the time to brush your dog at least once a week, it is kinder to both you and your dog to keep it clipped.   Lhasa Apsos, like many other long coated dogs, look absolutely beautiful when clipped and the benefit of a Lhasa Apsos is that it will only require clipping about 3 times a year.  However, you must wash it and keep the fur clipped from under and in between its pads.  This hair grows fast, so wash and groom your Lhasa weekly and check for anything you can find that needs doing, in between visits to the dog groomer.

Lhasa Apsos do not shed hair!  This makes them wonderful for people with allergies and keeps the house very clean.  However, all 'dead hair' must go somewhere and this is what causes mats in a Lhasa Apso, so it is your job to make sure this does not happen - very little to ask for all you receive in return.

I bath my dogs once a week and make 'grooming time' a special time, where the dogs enjoy being groomed.  I also pluck any hair from their ears, make sure their toenails are clipped and finally I let them jump from the grooming table into my arms, when I say "all finished" and then I give them a cuddle.  Once this 'ritual' is over, I give them a little tidbit of cottage cheese!  They flounce around the house, showing themselves off and feeling just gorgeous!

The Grooming Table

You can use a card table for grooming or buy a proper grooming table, but make sure that you groom your dog, even from a puppy on the table, because that sets the pattern for their life as well as allowing full access to hard to get at areas, such as under joints. 

Your pup will know that you mean 'business' when it is on the grooming table and this avoids turning grooming into an exhausting playtime, as it will do if you groom it on your lap.   After you bring your saturated, bedraggled looking dog to the table, gently squeeze water out of the coat (if it has long hair) or towel dry if it is clipped.  If your dog is in long coat, lie it on its side and groom the coat downwards in layers, beginning from the underbelly and working your way to the top.  Switch the dog over and do the other side.  Do the same thing with blow drying.  Once this is done, pluck its ears, give it a comb and put bands in the front to keep hair out of its eyes if you want to.  Be firm with your puppy, but never nasty or aggressive. 

Ears:   Many breeds of dogs get fur in their ears and it does not hurt them at all to pluck it out.  It may feel strange to them at first, but just like nail clipping, it does not hurt, so please keep a vigilant eye on this.  Your dog can get vertigo, dizziness and become afraid, if it cannot hear properly.


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