Caring for the coat of your Tibetan Terrier requires some time, and occasionally your patience and resolve. It can be easy if you keep your TT cut short. This can either be a total shave down or a cute looking "puppy-clip". Shaving down your TT is the easiest way of maintaining the care required to keep him clean and fit. For many it takes away that look of breed type. Many will opt for a compromise look; keeping some hair gives a more breed type appearance. A "puppy-clip" will most likely require the experience of a groomer: manuals with procedures, previous experience, and correct equipment are essential. Or in the case of the purest: even your little pet Tashi can look like a show dog in full coat.
You will need a few important tools. Be prepared by acquiring them as your TT grows. (Pups don't require much coat care - but preparing him for the full experience to-come with pay off with practice, practice, practice.) I recommend a pin brush, a metal comb that fits comfortably in your hand with tines that are not too close together, and a slicker. (An inexperienced TT groomer should try the pin brushwith little plastic heads to protect the tender skin of their TT pup.) As you groom and find needs, you may add to this list. Stand-up driers, adjustable grooming tables, and an array of brushes, combs, and slickers may eventually help you do the job.
TTs have hair, not fur. In fact, there are two types of hair - an outer coat of profuse, fine straight or slightly wavy hair with a softer, wooly undercoat. To the inexperienced eye of a new enthusiast, the difference may be unperceivable, but trust me, it is there. And as Tashi grows up, his coat will grow longer, and the meshing of these two coat types can cause matting. Maintaining a beautiful coat is not as hard as it may look. It just takes time and persistence. The more experience you gain in grooming your TT, the easier it gets.
In fact, those new to grooming have found that a daily brush through saves the hours required to removes snarls and mats. This exercise can become part of a daily routine -part of a time-sharing with your new companion.
A very matted TT may need to be shaved down. A very matted TT looks lumpy and bumpy, and most likely is a little uncomfortable. It is possible to save most of the coat by grooming little bits at a time over a few days. Again, a more experienced TT owner will know more about saving the coat of a very matted dog.
For a comfortable experience for dog and owner, it is a good idea to teach your TT to lie on his side. Remember the word patience while you are adhering to the word persistence.
Fold back as much of the body coat as you can, revealing the chest, belly and legs.
Starting with a rear leg, first brush out the coat with a pin brush. A comb will come in handy to break apart matted areas where the undercoat and outer coat have spun together.
Using the end tine of a comb can help break apart a mat that is close to the skin. Try your best to hold as much of the coat nearest the skin as you are gently removing the matt so as not to pull the dogs skin. That will prevent your TT from becoming impatient with your technique.
A comb should freely pass through any area you have completed.
Tougher, gnarled-in matted areas may require the use of a slicker. (I suggest a cat slicker. Cat slickers are smaller allowingyou to get to a small area and they are usually not as prickly). Once you have completed an area, move to the next portion, getting closer and closer to your TT's body. As you approach the upper part of the rear leg, start to incorporate hair toward his rear. Gradually you will work toward his mid-section. After completing the hindquarters, move to the front leg and proceed again up the leg to the shoulders, neck, and eventually the head. After one side has been groomed out, the dog is ready to get up, stretch, turn around, and get into position for the other side. The other side is a bit easier. Most of the belly coat has been groomed. Before you think it's over, it's a good idea to have your TT sit on the table facing you. Grooming his chest and "arm-pits" is easier in this position. And you can check to make sure his head, muzzle, and neck are matt free. Then standing facing away from you, check his rear, especially between his back two legs. Careful, these spots are tender. Don't forget his tail; it mats too. Soon your TT will look like he is ring-ready.
Or at least he is ready for a bath. Soak down the matt-free dog. (Leaving a matt in a wet TT and drying him may cause skin irritations. Hot spots can occur this way.) Soap him up and rinse him completely. Applying a cream rinse will also make grooming him to dry a little easier, and it will give his coat a nicer smell and feel.
Drying a fully coated TT without some kind of drier is difficult. On warm days crate drying in the air is possible. And you can partially dry a dog in a crate with a drier. Be careful of too much heat. Again the easiest way to get him beautifully groomed is lying down on a table and drying one side at a time as you groomed him. Starting with the legs and belly, flip the coat down in layers as it dries. After you dry one side, the dog is ready to get up, stretch, turn around, and get into position for the other side. Then voila, he really is ring-ready.
A couple of important things to do while grooming are pulling out excessive hair in ears, trimming nails, and with some TTs, checking anal glands.
There are many good products to bathe and rinse your TT. You can purchase products right off your pet store shelf or inquire about other products from your breeder or doggie friends that can be ordered. Some products have perfumes infused that may give human inhabitants allergic reactions (it might not be Tashi), so be careful. And paying a lot isn't sometimes necessary.
Whether Tashi is shaved down or in his long locks, caring properly for your TT is important. If you are not going to attend to this yourself, you need to find a groomer you like.