Brushing & Combing
Before you brush your Wheaten, teach him to lie quietly on his side, either on the floor, a grooming table, or even a bed. This is the easiest way to get to all those hard-to-reach places, such as the underarms, chest, and loins. When your dog rests on his side while you brush, it will become a special moment for both of you, peaceful and relaxing. It is also a very good way for him to learn who’s boss.
The Right Tools
You will need a metal comb with medium and fine teeth and either a slicker or pin brush. You may want to use a conditioning spray, anti-static spray, water with a small amount of conditioner mixed in or plain water sprayed in a fine mist. Spritz the dog lightly with one of these before you start. Read more on The Right Tools for the Job.
Brushing is most efficiently done in small sections. With the hand not holding the brush, push a section of hair forward against the grain. Then, brush small amounts of hair back with the grain, taking a little more hair with each stroke. This method is called line-brushing, because you always have a line between hair that has been brushed and hair that hasn’t.
Comb After Brushing
After you’ve done a section, repeat the whole process with the comb. Combing is actually the most important part of brushing. If the comb glides easily through the coat, there are no mats.
Those *&#!@ Mats!
When you find a mat with the comb, you can break it up with your fingers. You can also go over it with the slicker brush and then pick carefully at it with the comb. If you hold the coat with your free hand between the mat and the dog, you’ll minimize the discomfort for your Wheaten; you’ll be pulling against your fingers, not his skin. De-matting sprays can also help. Do not try to cut out mats – you might cut the dog.
Head to Toe to Tail
Make sure you brush and comb the entire dog. Don’t forget the underarms, the insides of the back legs, the feet, the tail, and beards. When the first side is thoroughly done, roll the dog over and start on the other side.
While you brush, keep an eye on the dog’s skin. Check for fleas, ticks, skin conditions, bumps, or wounds.
After you’ve brushed and combed both sides, stand the dog up, run a comb through the hair to put it in place, and give your dog a hug and a treat for a job well done.