How not to brush a dog’s coat

So I’m reading about akitas because, as a good doggie mom, I’m interested in keeping up with the needs and issues of my pooch. And I read I should be brushing her hair on a weekly basis. Apparently, not only do dogs enjoy it, the ritual is an opportunity for a beautiful bonding session between the dog and myself.

Hereto we have been spoiled because our dogs have all been of the short-haired variety and required minimal grooming. Akitas have longer fur. Ours is a mix of black and white with one fluffy, ridiculously white tail that she waves like a flag in delight. Every bit of dirt shows on white, so her tail and her paws (also white) are usually a disgrace.

After four dogs you’d think I’d know better, but I approached the brushing task with single-minded determination, not thinking that the dog might have something to say about it all. That fur was mangled and dirty and it had to be brushed. Right? Right.

First problem, direction of brush. Okay, so brushing might work better if you go with the hair. That’s from the head to the tail of the dog. Don’t try parting it or teasing it or braiding it. Go with the hair. Oops.

Second problem, don’t try to brush a sleeping dog. Turns out sneaking up on a sleeping akita is a great way to lose an eye. Note to self: akitas don’t like to be woken up by a brush yanking on their fur.

Tip: explaining the procedure to the dog will not aid their comprehension in the least. I tried. Exhaustively. I’m pretty sure all she got out of my verbal diarrhea was her name. Note to self (2): Akitas aren’t mental giants in the doggie world. Use. Small. Words.

Finally, do not try to hold the dog down while you brush her fur. She will either squirm and curl until she looks like a hairy version of a macaroni or shove at you with her four paws. Note to self (3): four paws will always out do two arms.

Oh, and you can’t sneak in a brush faster than she can stop you. No matter how quickly you move, she’ll always be faster.

I did manage to brush some of her fur but, at the end, I was the one covered in dog hair and in desperate need of a shower and a cup of tea. Ocean was energized and still pawing at me. When she realized the activity was over, she bounced off, waving that almost-white tail in triumph.

Apparently she didn’t get the memo that it was supposed to be a beautiful bonding session.



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