Above is a picture of a properly groomed, champion Bouvier des Flandres (not Dawg). To give you a better idea of just how much of that is hair, I’ve placed a picture of a shaved Bouvier below. Obviously, grooming a Bouv is not something you undertake lightly.
Once a month we take Dawg to the groomer’s to get bathed, trimmed, and have his nails filed. Because Bouvs have three coats, they’re very hard to keep groomed — you have to brush them at least once a day, and that’s not a five-minute job. It can take hours if the dog has a “show cut” or if his hair tangles a lot. Dawg’s hair tangles so badly that you can comb him out and five minutes later his coat will be full of knots. So we have him clipped short, like a Giant Schnauzer. In fact, only Bouvier and Schnauzer owners can tell he isn’t one (we each know our breeds!). It’s cooler for him in the Texas heat, and his daily upkeep is easier on my arthritis.
I used to clip and groom my previous Bouv all the time. I still have the tools. And I still brush on Dawg, whether he needs it or not. It’s good socialization for him. Plus, since I give him treats, he likes it. But I can no longer lift him in and out of the tub to bath him, and because I have to stop so often to rest, it takes me about four hours to clip him — which is no fun for the dog. So I let a professional do it. She makes money and I don’t have to push myself so hard. It’s a win-win-win all around.
This week was his grooming time. What do you think — isn’t he a cute little Schnauzer? Compare that to the way he used to look in the blog pic over to the right. That’s a lot of hair gone bye-bye.
Dawg always leaves a cute little hand-made thank you card with the groomer containing her tip. I was married to a waitress once, so I’m a big tipper. The groomer says she loves the personal cards she gets and she sends notes home with him saying how well he did, etc. each time. This week she said he kissed her for the first time (she’s been his groomer for six months — Dawg warms up slowly to strangers). I hope he wasn’t just checking to see how she tasted.