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Grooming


Akita Puppy's First Bath (9 months old)

This is Himeko's very first bathing experience. She was a little apprehensive at first, but eventually relaxed when she saw other dogs getting bathed.

 


Dremeling 14 Week Old Akita Puppy's Nails

Here I am dremeling Himeko's nails. She loves her elk antler.

 


Here I am trying to think of different ways to apply coconut oil to my dog's paws.

 

Does Your Dog Shed?

My Akita sheds or blows his coat two times a year.  In between those two times, he still sheds a little bit.  If you happen to own a dog with an undercoat like mine, there are some great tools out there to help the shedding process along.  Some are quite expensive and some are not.  You just have to find what works best for you and your dog.  As silly as it may seem, I find that when I use the dog dryer on him (it only blows cool air), it also blows out the undercoat.  However, this is best done outside.  Otherwise, the fur will get EVERYWHERE, even in other rooms.  It's not necessary to use the shedding tool every day but it is a good idea to get into the habit of brushing.

 

Protecting Your Dog's Paws in Hot or Cold Weather

When I know there is going to be salt on the roads due to snow, I want to make sure Kumason's paws are protected.  I use Musher's Secret which is made for pets.  It's easy to apply.  I scoop it out from the container, rub it on my hands and then onto his paws.  He doesn't seem to mind. I have piece of mind knowing that he won't get salt burns.  It's very moisturizing and smells great too!  

 

Cleaning Muddy Paws

This is our typical walk in the rain. While Akitas have double coats and are basically waterproof, I put a raincoat on him when it's pouring as we're outside for a long time. The raincoat is an XXL but barely fits him because his chest and neck are so big. It's fastened with velcro underneath and keeps opening up. The purpose for the raincoat is that it shortens my drying time with the dryer. The dryer I use is specific for dogs and does not blow hot air, just cool. This video is a condensed version of what our time is like after we come home from our walk on a rainy day.

Dremmeling Your Dog's Nails

When I brought Kumason home, he was only 16 weeks old. Whenever I would go to a pet store and watch the dogs get groomed, it did not seem like a pleasant experience. All of the dogs were shaking terribly with their tails between their legs. I decided I wanted to groom Kumason myself. I wanted to make doing his nails a fun and relaxing experience for him, something that he would look forward to.  Getting your dog to trust you is the key component here. It's imperative to forming a strong bond.

I went out and bought a cordless dremel as I thought it would be easier and safer than clipping. I also ordered some styptic powder just to have on hand in case I nicked his quick. The first introduction to it was just letting him sniff the dremel. I did this for a couple of weeks. The next step was turning it on low speed so he could get used to the sound. I would turn it on and leave it on the floor. After I did this for several days, I then let him feel the vibration of it anywhere on his body. This was a very slow process as he did not like any of this. He was actually quite scared, he didn't know what to make of it. When I tried to dremel his nails for the very first time, he hated it and tried to run away. I did this with another person holding him on a leash. I would only dremel a couple of nails at a time rather than do all of them. This way, I could dremel more frequently so he would get used to it quicker. At first I was giving him a meaty bone from a pet store to eat but that got me nervous because I was afraid of it splintering, plus it was extremely greasy. Since he really enjoyed the bone, I continued using it for several months. It probably took close to a year before he was oblivious to the dremel. I then made my switch to peanut butter which you can see in the video. Kumason only gets peanut butter when I do his nails. Now, he actually looks forward to his manicures.
 
In fact, one morning when Kumason and I were in the bedroom, I told him it was time to do his nails. I went into the kitchen to prepare the peanut butter inside his toy. When I went into the living room, there he was on the couch with his front paws draped over the edge of the couch. It was hilarious to see. So, the bottom line is, if you have perseverance, trust and patience, you can do almost anything with your dog.