English pointers are beautiful dogs known for their unique spotted and speckled fur.
These dogs are adorable, affectionate pets as well as hardworking and loyal hunting dogs.
Whether Fido plays at home with the family or is bounding through a forest, there are a few key aspects to keep in mind.
English pointers do shed. English pointers have short, glossy coats and are not hypo-allergenic. Due to the short and shiny hair, it is not hard to reduce the effects of shedding at home.
Regular at-home grooming is a reliable way to keep the English pointer’s coat clean and manage hair.
Grooming needs can vary slightly depending on the age of the dog and time of year.
English Pointer Puppy Shedding
An English pointer puppy will shed its first soft, smooth coat as it reaches maturity. This first shed is what lets the puppy get its adult coloring and patterning.
English pointers are single-coat breeds with hair that stays close to the body.
Fur is usually white, with some liver, black or brown splotches. They won’t develop a thick undercoat like a husky or samoyed.
Since they don’t shed a lot and have a single coat, this puppy shed may end up being one of their most dramatic sheds.
Frequent brushing and bathing will be helpful for the puppy. While future shedding will happen after this initial shed, it’ll likely be less intensive and easier to manage.
Like many other breeds, the occasional shedding English pointers experience will likely happen during changing seasons. In winter, they may grow a slightly denser coat, and in summer, it will probably shed off.
There are tips and tricks to manage these seasonal changes best so that both the dog and the owner can enjoy the dog’s beautiful coat all year round.
Brushing English Pointers
Weekly brushing will reduce hair loss throughout the week by removing weak follicles before they have the chance to fall off. Proper grooming can even be helpful to building a bond between owner and dog.
Choosing the correct hairbrush for an English pointer’s coat will make grooming more manageable and more fun for the owner and pup.
An English pointer has short hair that will benefit from a natural bristle brush. Gently brush against the grain to remove loose hair. Once the loose hair is removed, brush with the grain to style hair and distribute natural oils.
Brushing with the grain will also put the hairs back in place and stop the dog’s skin from becoming irritated. When brushing a dog, it can be helpful to:
- Brush the dog outside.
- Reward the dog with treats throughout brushing.
- Hold the dog so that it can’t squirm away.
- Speak in a gentle, soothing manner to keep the dog calm.
Bathing English Pointers
If the dog gets dirty while playing or needs a scrub, it may be time for a good wash. Due to the English pointer’s high activity needs, bath time may be more frequent than other dog breeds.
These dogs are bred to get messy. While their glossy, short coat means they won’t experience matting, they still need regular grooming.
To bathe an English pointer, first, it needs a tub. English pointers are medium-sized, so a bathtub or small plastic wading pool will work.
Put down towels before bathing the dog since dogs tend to shake once they leave the water. Once the washing area is ready, remember these tips:
- Use warm water. Cold or hot water can be distressing for the dog.
- Using cold water and not getting proper drying in can leave the dog cold and shivering.
- Use dog shampoo. This shampoo isn’t as heavily scented as human shampoo and will have less irritating ingredients. Some dog shampoos are formulated for reducing odor when a dog gets sprayed by a skunk.
- Rinse thoroughly to avoid leaving any soap scum behind. Using a showerhead or filling a bucket with water in advance can make this process simpler.
Drying a dog should also be done with care. There are two key things to remember when bathtime is over:
- Don’t use a hairdryer! A dog can get burnt, and its skin can dry out. Towel dry to absorb the most water, then let the dog air dry.
- Make sure to dry the inside of the floppy ears with soft gauze after bathing. Drying the ears will reduce the chance of an ear infection.
English pointers typically only need to be bathed once every few weeks if they are correctly brushed and not muddy.
If the dog needs meticulous grooming or hair trim, consider going to a professional groomer.
If professional bathing isn’t an option, then have someone to help!
Another person the dog trusts can keep the dog calm and reassure it throughout the bathing process. Some dogs will always hate bathtime, but having a mellow friend around can make the dog feel safer and more secure.
Other Grooming Needs
There’s more to grooming a dog than simply brushing or bathing the pup. Keeping the nails clipped is essential since they overgrow.
Personal use dog nail clippers are available. Do not use nail clippers designed for humans because it’s easy to cut too far into the wick and cause bleeding. Make sure:
- The dog’s paw is steady before the clip.
- It’s visible where the cut will occur to avoid cutting too high and hurting the dog.
- To trim the hair between the pads if possible.
Some dogs get anxious during nail clipping, and most groomers or vets will offer the service at affordable rates. If the dog is too upset for easy clipping, considering professional help may be necessary.
Dogs may also need teeth brushing to reduce plaque build-up. Tending to a dog’s teeth can be done at home using a dog-toothbrush and dog-toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste on dogs since it can potentially have chemicals that are toxic to dogs.
This is another service that groomers may offer. If keeping plaque at bay is becoming difficult, consider visiting a vet. Dogs can develop gum disease similar to humans.
English Pointers and Seasons
During winter, a dog may also develop dry pads after bathing or because of extreme weather.
A dog may benefit from wearing booties outside or applying a thick layer of shea butter or coconut oil during typical brushing sessions to reduce discomfort.
English pointers that hunt or otherwise spend lots of time outdoors will need to be monitored. Not only will frequent moisturizing help the dog but so will a warm coat.
A warm, fitted coat will keep the elements off of the English pointer. Due to their thin single coat, these dogs feel the cold and are not as adapted to low temperatures as a malamute or Saint Bernard.
Drying the English pointer after spending time in the snow or rain will warm it up and help remove loose hairs.
If wintertime shedding is a concern, a brushing session after exercise might be relaxing for both the dog and the owner. A dog that is tired from spending time outside may appreciate gentle drying and combing.
This grooming will warm up both the owner and pup.
During the summertime, dogs can even get sunburns. While an English pointer’s thin coat may help it stay cool, they lose extra winter protection during warmer months.
Less hair means UV rays can reach the pup’s skin. Rubbing sunscreen into their fur can protect them from harmful UV rays.
Regular sunscreen can make a dog’s skin oily, and a summer bath can help keep its coat clean.
Try not to bathe an English pointer using a garden hose all the time. Hose water is cold. On hot days this can be a relief, but be mindful of the weather and keep from unnecessarily stressing the dog.
English pointers certainly are a lovable breed with an enduring charm.
Their loyal and temperate demeanors make them fantastic companions, even if they would prefer to run around than sleep on the sofa. It’s in their nature to need daily exercise and challenging activities to stay happy and fit.
Of course, these energetic activities, from hunting trips to agility classes, can mean English pointers get messy.
Keeping them well-groomed will not only reduce shedding but also contribute to the well-being of the dog.
People with allergies may want to consider staying on top of shedding all the time or choosing a breed that does not shed.
For English pointer fans or people who already have English pointers, make grooming a part of everyday life. Stay diligent in keeping dogs familiar with grooming practices and ensuring a positive experience.
If grooming an English pointer seems impossible at home, it’s helpful to consider a professional grooming service.
Groomers handle scared, anxious dogs for a living and know different techniques to keep dogs calm and still.
Following these methods to keep best an English pointer hygienic is a good start. If someone becomes concerning, like an allergic reaction or constant dry skin, consider seeing a vet.
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