We are often asked about the different supplies we recommend. We've been through a variety of products over the years and do have products we prefer. There are other ways to go, of course, and those will work just fine, but since you've asked, here's what we specifically use: (product names are in bold)
Explanation of Products and How We Use Them:
A. Cleaning Products
VetSolutions Aloe and Oatmeal or VetSolutions Universal Medicated Shampoo. Or another general one:Suave shampoo. It is a basic, easy-to-find shampoo and works well with normal skin conditions. I dilute these with water before using. I have a plastic bowl in the tub and I put a couple of tablespoons of shampoo in with a couple of cups of water. I use the dilution to bathe the dog. The shampoo lasts longer and rinses easier from the Airedale's coat. You want to be sure to rinse all the shampoo out before finishing.
*If your dog has itchy skin or skin issues, see your vet for a recommendation. We do sometimes use Universal Medicated on basic itchiness problems, but there are other products that may be more effective depending on the condition of the skin. T-Lux, for example. But I recommend you visit with your vet first so he/she can guide you toward something geared for the particular skin issue.
Short answer: General times - Suave conditioner. If fur is esp. dry or tends to mat - Redkin Heavy Cream or Redkin Butter (expensive, doesn't take much so it lasts a while).
If you want to use a conditioner on the dog's furnishings, by all means do. I often do this as well even for dogs not getting ready for show. It can make the furnishings easier to comb out. Suave conditioner can be fine. There are conditioners for dogs they may work just as well. If I don't use Suave, I sometimes use Redkin's Heavy Cream or Redkin's Butter conditioners. These are heavier and work great on wiry hair (my own, too).
VetSolutions Ear Cleaner. You can also visit your vet about getting a similar sort of cleaner.
B. Beds & Crates
Beds - Our dogs love beds, of all sorts. The Sherpa beds are easy to wash and dry though, so I keep that in mind when looking for a bed - how easy will it be to clean? Crate mats and pads are great if your dog will use a crate to sleep in. Keep in mind what the dog can chew up. If it's full of stuffing and your dog tends to chew his beds, you might skip that particular bed. A straight Sherpa pad is nearly impossible to shred and eat. (not totally however) Crates - A large size will work for the dog's life if the Airedale is AKC standard size. This is sometimes called an S400. Some crate brands list breed sizes for each. There are two types of crates - the plastic version and the wire version. We use both. Advantages of the plastic version - easy to clean, can be put in car easily, is the type airlines ask for if you travel with the dog. It has complete covering for the dog with air vents. If the dog needs less stimulation and more quiet time or privacy, this is a good choice. Advantages of the wire crate - the dog can see out easily and be more a part of what's going on in the room. Air circulation is better. This type of crate doesn't transport easily though. We use the plastic for traveling and the wire for in the house. Our summers in Texas are hot and the A/C blows through the wire crate better than the plastic. When shipping a puppy across country - the airlines recommend that the dog be able to stand up and turn around with ease. The crate can't be too large however, so with a 10 lb (9 weeks old) puppy, we usually have to get a small crate. This will not last long as the dog grows. Get a large crate for general use and you won't have to replace it.
C. Food & Treats
Dog food brands are not all created equal and if you get a dog from us, we'll go into this in some detail. We do recommend our owners use a premium dog food though and products we recommend are:
We can also go into more detail on this if you contact us directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If your dog is experiencing health issues, see your vet on the diet. There are a lot of great dog foods that can address dietary needs, so don't be afraid to ask.
Raw Food Diets, Barf Diets - We do not recommend these. It is quite possible to make up your own dog food, but you will have to be very mindful of the dog's nutritional requirements and be sure to make up a balanced diet for the dog. This will require research on your part and a running conversation with your vet or another studied professional on canine nutrition. For our commercial dog food recommendations: The dog food companies we recommend have done and are continuing to do research using controlled research formats on canine nutrition, so you might want to look into their findings. David and I are both research-minded and stick with studied results (where controls have been used) to make our decisions.
We use stainless steel bowls for food and stainless steel pails for water. There are no-tip versions of the bowls that are very nice. Stainless steel are easy to clean in the dishwasher. Dog bowls that are off the ground? Some report using these and liking them. We use stainless steel bowls that sit on the ground.
I used rawhides for treats or liver treats, esp. with training. You may want to test a treat on your dog first by giving him a little and then seeing if he tolerates it well. Some products, such as pigs's ears, give our dogs diahhrea, so you might be on alert for that kind of reaction. But our dogs do like to have something to chew on, so we recommend treats of some sort to give them jaw exercise.
D. Grooming Supplies
Our reference for this section will be www.cherrybrook.com. so you can see pictures of the products I list below. Shop around if you'd like to find the best price.
A pair of scissors is useful. Thinning shears are also good for thinning out certain areas, but these are only necessary if you get into the nitty-gritty of grooming. For most purposes, a pair of trimming scissors is all you'll need.
A large size with an arm. Check out 18-038 at cherrybrook.com (under grooming tables) to see a picture of one we'd use.
Slickers or Pin Brushes work great on the wiry hair. I prefer a slicker. You'll pull out loose hair and undercoat nicely with this.
We use stainless steel or chrome versions like 14-078. If you get one comb where the teeth are set widely apart and then more closely, you can work out mats with the wide end and then finish up with the narrow end. This isn't necessary though - one type of comb where the teeth are uniformly set is fine, too.
11-015 is one type commonly used. A nail grinder (Dremel tool) is my preference though - it sands the nails down. I use human nail clippers on the puppies' nails until they get too thick for the clipper. Then I go on to the sander. Dave uses the 11-015 type mostly. He and his staff sand the nails afterward for a smooth finish.
Oster is a trusty brand. I've used it for decades and still prefer it. Oster A5 is what we tend to use. You can get by with only a couple of blades to do generally grooming. A #8 blade and a #30 blade will work. (The higher the blade number, the shorter it will cut. The lower numbers leave the hair longer. If a #8 cuts too short, go lower to get the length of hair you want.) Used the 8 for the jacket and you can face work. Use the 30 for getting the hair out from between the foot pads. Cleaning out between the pads will reduce the dirt the dog brings into the house.
If you want the show look or want to remove undercoat before clipping, here's what we use:
Knives for getting undercoat out - McClellan Knives (12-003-LC at cherrybrook.com). The yellow-handled knife is used first for the general removal, then you can switch to the red-handled knife to remove the even finer undercoat. If you want only one - get the yellow-handled (coarse) knife. It will do most of the work for everyday purposes. Knives for stripping the coat: MacKnyfe - 12-007-C; They come in coarse, fine, extra fine and their handles are blue, yellow, and orange respectively. I use the yellow and orange handled knives.
Some people use the Mars Coat Kingto remove lots of hair fast. I don't use the product. It tends to cut hair rather than pull it out. For dogs not being shown, this doesn't matter, but if I want to cut hair quickly, nothing beats a pair of Oster clippers. That's as fast as it gets. So I either strip or I clip.
Does it matter which you do? If we are not getting a dog ready for show, we clip. It's fast, easy on the dog. Some people like the stripped look though and I know of owners and breeders who will strip the dog for its lifetime because they like the look. For us, time, energy, and convenience lead us to clip dogs that aren't going to be shown. Choose what you'd like.
E. Leads and Collars
Buckle or Snap Collars
These are fine and come in a multitude of patterns. We tend to use the nylon snap collars and nylon leads. You can put id and rabies vacc. tags on the collar.
Sizes of collars
Puppies at around 8-12 weeks use a 10-12" collar. It varies from there as to their growth. Adults, depending on their size and length of fur around the neck, use anywhere from a 16" to a 22/24" collar.
Fit - you should be able to put a couple of fingers under the collar with relative ease. Not so loose that it can slip over the dog's head though - that's the right fit.
Choke Chain Collars
When I'm going to train or go out in public with our dogs, I use a choke chain and lead. The choke chain gives more control. A dog can easily back out of a snap/buckle collar if he decides he doesn't want to go where you are going (into a vet clinic for instance or if he wants to visit another dog across the walk). So a choke chain gives more control.
It is important to know how to put the collar on and how to use it in correction though. You want to loop the chain in a way that it forms a letter "P" when you are looking at it. Then, you slip it over the dog's neck as it still forms a "P" as you look at it. This puts the loop such that if you walk the dog on your LEFT, there is slack in the collar. When communicating with the dog, you will give the collar a quick tug and release. Often the sound of the slide on the collar is enough to get the dog's attention. For training and puppies, you will have to tug enough that the dog feels it. Often, if the dog wants to take off without notice, the collar will correct for you as the lead stretches. Be sure to read about the choke chain and get instruction, if possible, on how to use it. It's not a choking devise in the true sense of the word and can seriously hurt a dog's throat/neck if you yank on it too hard. That's not the purpose and does nothing to communicate to the dog in a way you want. For choke chains, you want an inch or so of slack when the collar is on the dog. it should be somewhat loose so you can make a correction when necessary and then release so there is no tension on the dog's neck when it's not being corrected. Not so loose that it can slip off the dog's head if he leans down, however.
Prong Collars - We don't recommend these.
Unless you are working under a trainer's recommendation and supervision. I've never used one on one of our dogs in 20+ years. So... If you have an especially aggressive dog, I can see where a trainer might suggest one. Still - be careful with this product.
Flexileads - I wish they were extinct!
HATE FLEXILEADS and have never seen an owner have any sort of control with one of these. If you don't mind your dog wandering all over kingdom come when you're out and and about, by all means, go for this product. But if I'm walking with my dog, I don't want him walking into my path or wandering over to a tree while I'm trying to go somewhere. I love (sarcasm) to see people bring their dogs into the vet clinic with a flexi-lead. The dog is out of control, the owner is out of control, total chaos. Then in comes a cat and the dog wants to get at it and the dog's owner has no control. More chaos. Hate the flexi-lead!!!!
Short List of Supplies
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