By 18 months a Bouvier should have a full adult coat with a nice crisp texture that you can hear when you rub the hair between your fingers. This coat is much easier to manage as it is far less prone to matting.
- A weekly thorough brush with a slicker brushfirst, followed by a poodle combwill keep the coat in good shape. Line brushing in sections will make sure you get right to the bottom of the coat. Remember you have a double coat and simply brushing the top will leave a very matted dog underneath. Areas to pay special attention to are behind the ears and in the armpits. These are the places most inclined to mat
I like to start at the rear and lift the coat forward in sections, brushing well into the undercoat down to the skin.
Once that is done a good comb through in the direction of the hair growth will remove any remaining knots and loose hair.
Take care on legs, belly, groin and beard not to comb too harshly as you will remove far too much hair, leave a rather bald dog and cause a lot of discomfort.
- Clip the ears inside and out with a 10 blade, stopping just before the area the ear joins the head (you can blend this area later with thinning scissors)
- Clip the skull flat from just behind the stop to where the front fold of the ear joins the skull. DONT clip down the sides of the head, you are aiming for a flat skull, not a rounded domed skull.
- I personally find straight cut eye holes very ugly and clownish. You can trim a much more natural eye brow and eye hole with thinning scissors.
- The hair between the eyes (the “fringe” or “fall”) should never be cut shorter than the nose. This is a vital part of the “Bouvier Look”
- All trimming except round pads and around the anus can be done with thinning scissors. This gives a natural look, a good harsh texture and is much more forgiving as its impossible to accidentally cut a chunk in the wrong place.
- You are aiming for a nice square profile so keep this picture in your mind whilst trimming your Bouviers rear and front. Excess hair in these places make a Bouvier look very unbalanced.
- Check carefully and trim between between the toes and pads with toe scissors – hidden mats can be found deeply buried in the feet and can be so sore your Bouvier develops a limp !
- Top line should be straight and level
- Tails seem to be open to debate, but my preference is for a tidy but full and curving tail. A tail trimmed short just looks like a stick that was attached as an afterthought and doesn’t balance with a coated dog.
- Once you have trimmed your Bouvier into a suitable shape, a good rake along the top line and jacket with a Coarse Coat King will remove excess undercoat and leave a nice finish. The Coat King will also shorten the coat to some extent and keep a tidy outline. Always use a Coat King with caution, over enthusiastic use can quickly leave big holes in the coat and its possible to catch skin in the blades if used incorrectly.
When viewed from above your Bouvier should have a figure like a curvaceous lady – Hour glass shaped with full curves front and back and a distinct waist in the middle
- Other than Beards and “undercarriage” there’s rarely a reason to bath a Bouvier. Mud and dirt tends to drop out and brush out once dried and over bathing can soften a coat unnecessarily. If you must bath there is one golden rule –
NEVER BATH BEFORE BRUSHING
If a matted Bouvier is bathed without having those knots brushed out first, they become baked in, felted and impossible to remove except by cutting them out.
- If you plan to bath regularly a blaster / dryer is a must. A Bouvier can take a long time to dry and a human hair dryer simply won’t do the job. A decent blaster not only dries, but also blows dead hair, debris, dead skin and small knots out of the coat.
- A good blast of a dry coat, with a powerful Blaster, can be an effective coat cleaner / refresher, so definitely a time saver and worthwhile investment.
- Monthly ear plucking and application of Thornit Ear Powder will keep ears clean and healthy.
A groomed Bouvier should look tidy without being over sculpted.
” Compact, Natural, Neat but Rustic” is a good description.
It should have a dense, dry, non glossy jacket, well covered but tidy legs, round feet, neat ears and a well brushed full beard and eye brows. If the hair flaps, flops, ripples or rolls when your Bouvier moves, you have too much hair !!
Most people new to grooming Bouviers have a horror of making a mess of their lovely dog and tend to be over cautious about removing hair, so it’s worth remembering – – –
The Only Difference Between A Good Haircut and a Bad Haircut is about 3 weeks