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1:35 AM   April 27, 2015
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Common Coats/Common Brushes
The common question: What kind of brush do I need for my dog? May strike fear into an employee who’s not prepared to answer authoritatively. To ensure the highest customer satisfaction, make sure you spread the right information among staff members.

With so many breeds and coat types and an equally dizzying variety of combs and brushes on the market, consumers look to qualified sales staff to point them in the right direction. If your staff is equally confused about what to recommend, the customer and your future business could suffer.

Inexperienced staff members or situations resulting in high turnover make it essential to create a simple breakdown of coat types and their resulting grooming product recommendations. Make sure each staff member commits a list, like the following, to heart. The health of your business could be at stake.

Short, Single Coated Breeds
Often favored by consumers for their easy coat care, single coated, short haired breeds such as the Boxer, Whippet, Pug and the like may not be tailored for life in the arctic, but their grooming needs are no nonsense. Occasional brushing helps keep their coats and skin in tip-top shape.

Best Brushes: Soft bristled brushes make the best recommendations for short haired breeds. Soft nylon or natural fiber brushes effectively and gently remove loose hairs and bugs and debris from the outdoors. Bristle brushes are also essential for spreading the dog’s oils over the skin, which has less protection from the elements as a result of its finer, flat texture. A once-a-week once over with a bristle brush does the trick.

Wire Coated or Wavy Haired Breeds
Ambitious, hard working dogs like Border Terriers, West Highland Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Wire Fox Terriers, Schnauzers and the like feature slightly higher-maintenance requirements. Kinky guard hairs rest on the surface of their coats, giving them a distinctly rugged look, popular with so many consumers. With the right tools and some regular maintenance, that look can be maintained.

Best Brushes: Straight pin brushes work best for these breeds. Their long tines reach deep below the wiry surface to dislodge loose undercoat hairs, along with dirt and debris. A good brushing a couple of times a week can help preserve a characteristic wiry coat, but more may be required to keep a dog with this coat looking their best. Make sure to discuss a stripping blade or “knife” as they are sometimes called with the consumer. This specialized tool tugs at the animal’s undercoat to make way for a new wiry surface coat to emerge.

Double Coated Breeds
These popular breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Shetland Sheepdog, Saint Bernard and so many others sport thick, weather-proof coats. As heavy shedders, many consumers look to control hair problems with regular, sometimes daily, grooming sessions.

Best Brushes: Double coated breeds present lots of sales options for retailers. Consumers fighting a daily battle with shedding, fuzzy undercoats look to any number of solutions to help make life easier. Shedding blades do wonders for removing loose undercoats, while slicker brushes, metal combs and mitts help keep out the mats while working oils out to the surface, where they create a healthy shiny glow. <HOME>

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