How to Groom a Cardigan or Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Tips and Tricks to Get the Grooming Job Done

In these hard economic times many people cannot afford to have their Corgis groomed by professionals. Though this active breed is fortunate enough not to require rigorous grooming, the occasional wash and clip is needed. With a few simple supplies, the average, every day Corgi owner can do all the grooming he or she needs.

Supplies:

  • Bathtub or shower stall
  • Dog/puppy shampoo depending on the age of the Corgi
  • Large towel
  • Nail clippers
  • Electric razor with guard
  • Treats or favorite toy

Washing the Dog

Before placing dog in the tub, ensure the water is warm, but not too hot to burn the dog. Place the animal in the water and begin coating the fur with water. Corgis are known to not only have thick fur but also waterproof fur as well. Getting them completely wet is a challenge but can be done! Be careful to avoid the inner ear as the dog is being rinsed. Due to the structure of the ear, water can easily slip inside and cause ear infections.

Once the dog is thoroughly wet, add a quarter size amount of shampoo to your hands. Rub shampoo into fur in almost as if giving a massage. Once the coat is soapy, rinse with water. Again, because of the thickness of the fur, rinsing may take a few minutes but it is important to get all of the shampoo out of the fur. Once the dog is rinsed, allow the dog to shake then wrap him or her in a towel and dry. Blow drying is the quickest way to get the dog dry, but make sure it is not set to a high temperature and only do it if your dog is comfortable with the process. Reward the animal with a treat for his efforts.

Be aware that as a dog’s head and ears get wet, the nature reaction is to shake.

To avoid drying out the dog’s coat, keep washing to a minimum and use baby wipes as a bath alternative to keep your dog smelling fresh. Also, many pet suppliers now carry dog perfume and cologne lines to help reduce the dog smell in between baths. If the dog is very active outdoors and requires frequent baths, add a skin and coat vitamin to his or her diet to prevent dry skin and itching.

Clipping the Dog’s Nails

There are several styles of nail trimmers available on the market, but the guillotine style is the most popular and easiest to use. Many other products, such as the grinders, tend to scare the animal due to noise. The owner should, however, pick the trimmer that suits him the best and makes him the most comfortable. If the owner is nervous, then the animal will respond in the same manner.

Two people are recommended for this project, as Corgis can be difficult when it comes to grooming. One person will need to hold the animal in his or her lap and restrain if need be. The other person, or trimmer, will need to inspect the dog’s paws first in order to located the quick of the nails. The quick is the nail bed and will bleed if cut. On dogs with white paws, the quick is the pink area on the dog’s nail. To trim, simply place the nail in the guillotine on the white area (avoiding the pink area) and squeeze.

For dogs with black paws, trimming is a little more tricky. In order to avoid the quick, the trimmer will need to place only a small portion of the nail in the guillotine and clip. Re-examine the nail and continue clipping until you see a gray or pink oval. This is the beginning of the quick and further cutting will result in bleeding. Approach each subsequent nail in this manner. After cutting the nails, file them until smooth.

If the quick is cut and the dog begins to bleed, do not panic. Most clippers come with a packet of solution to stop bleeding. Apply as directed to the area. Bleeding should stop within 3-4 minutes.

Trimming the Rear and Hindquarters

Though Corgis do not need to have their fur shaved or cut, longer fur around the anus can cause messes. To avoid this regular trimming of the upper thighs and anus area is recommended. First step in this process is to purchase a dog trimming set. These sets range in prices from $20 up into the hundreds of dollars range. A simple kit with a guard or two will do, though. Again, this is a two person job. Person one will need to hold the Corgi in a reverse position with the rear end pointing in the direction of Person Two. The easiest way to accomplish this is to place the Corgi underneath Person One’s arm, while that person wraps their arm around and holds the dog underneath. Person Two will need to remove the clippers from the packaging and place the guard on the razor.

The next step is to actually shave the hair. The noise of the razor may startle the animal, so be aware of initial jerking and allow the dog to calm down before proceeding. To trim the hair, simply run the razor through the dog’s fur from the thigh to the anus in long, smooth motions. Take care around the anus area, so as not to irritate it or upset the dog. It only takes a few motions of the razor before the area is clean and the dog is ready for another treat.

Taking time in between all of these steps is key in keeping the dog happy and calm. Trying to accomplish these all at once can stress the Corgi out and make things more difficult. Also rewards are a must if the owner wishes to instill good grooming behavior in the dog.