Care of the Coat

The semi-long coat of the Stabyhoun is self-cleaning. This means that dirt falls off by itself when it is dry; one brush through it to remove the last remnants of sand and it is clean again. He only rarely gets a bath. Even if he really is very dirty, just a rinse or a swim in a clean pool is usually sufficient. Shampoo is only required if he has been rolling in something smelly; then, use a special, neutral dog shampoo so as not to disturb the skin oils. A healthy dog ??has, by definition, a beautiful, shiny coat.

The coat does not often require brushing, except during the moulting period (2x per year) when the
undercoat is released. Every other day brushing is then necessary. Always keep at least the hair behind the ears and on the pants tangle free. Some dogs shed year round, it is said that the warm climate is to blame and that a "cold" coat tends to stay beautiful and healthy. Therefore, set the thermostat down at night for sleeping. Stabys like a cool (draft-free) space.

A Staby basically does not need to be groomed. Any necessary trimming you can very well do yourself, unless your dog is neutered. With this often comes what is called a "castrated" coat, where the undercoat is exploding (this may also be true with females). There are all kinds of luxury and expensive hair care products on the market, but all you really need is a universal brush, a comb, scissors and some skill. Often dogs prefer a simple plastic comb, because the the teeth seem more pleasant than that of a metal comb.

The Coat

Start by brushing the fur with a universal brush. Make sure all the tangles are out of the coat.

The Ears

The breed standard is that the bottom third of the ears should be short hair. Often that is true, but that is hidden from view by overhanging longer hair from the upper part of the ears. This can be corrected by plucking the long and discolored fur, as below.

The top coat on the ears is too long and is already brown. It disturbs the facial expression and gives a messy look.

Here the excess old, brown hair has been plucked. You again see that the lower part of the ear actually has short hairs, as correct in the breed standard.

Behind the ear thick clumps of old fur can be seen when sunlight falls over the brown color.

You had better pluck here because it is quickly tangling. Plucking is described below.

Hold the hair at the base of the ear with one hand and pull the brown hair out with the other hand, bit by bit.

If you take small tufts at a time, it does not hurt because the hair shaft is already dead and loose.


The hair should be cut in the winter because otherwise salt brine or snow may linger, which can be painful for the dog. The hair between the toes grows, but should be kept short.

You can see tufts of hair between the toes protruding.

You cut tufts flush with the bottom of the sole of the foot and the toes.

That looks neater plus the chance that junk lingers and creates irritation is much smaller.

Now we are going to tackle the blades of fur stabbing out on top between the toes. On the last picture above, you can see that part is still sloppy.

Comb the hair between the toes and spread it up. While keeping it fixed, cut the fur from the tip of the nail with a curve in so that all hairs are about as long.

On the rear feet, the hair is trimmed to the right heel. Comb against the grain in order to get everything right.

and after

On the front feet, the hair is trimmed to the right wrist pad.

Note the difference.

The fur on the ears, collar, trousers and tail of a Staby is not cut with scissors!

Dental care

To keep the teeth of your dog clean, it may be necessary to frequently provide a bone to chew or to brush his teeth regularly. If however, brown spots appear, you can easily remove them with your fingernail or a scraper, if you're there on time. If they are left, the plaque will change quite quickly to hard tartar and gum may become infected. For your dog, this is very painful. Ultimately, it can result in receding gums and heavy inflammation. Not infrequently, pulling the affected teeth is the only solution. Regular monitoring of the teeth is
therefore wise. If you find that your dog starts to have a smelly mouth, it is almost certainly time for a cleaning.

With the arrows you see that there is a brown yellowish plaque. At this stage, the damage is still relatively soft and you can quite easily remove it with your fingernail or a sharp object.

Personally I prefer a special denture cleaner (hawksbill) for this. It allows you to treat more difficult to reach areas.

To be able to do this without the dog struggling, he must first get accustomed to the routine.

A dog that does not allow this will have to visit the veterinarian and be treated under general anesthesia. Anesthesia always has some risk.

In all, physical care of your dog is very easy if he permits it without a struggle. If you begin with brushing his fur when he has painful tangles, or cleaning his teeth when there is already inflammation, then you cannot count on the cooperation of your dog. He will soon learn to hate it when you get the brush and or start fidgeting in his mouth. Chances are he will growl next time or worse.

It is therefore important that the puppy gets used to the actions that he has to undergo later in his life. Look in his ears, pat his tail slowly, take his feet one by one in your hands, lift his lips briefly, get his mouth wide open and put something sweet on his tongue as a reward, pat his coat with a soft brush. Use no force, make it fun for him, do everything in a playful way and repeat regularly. Later, you will have the convenience of a dog that meekly allows grooming and handling, not only in the daily care, but also at the vet.

This information is courtesy of Angelique Plasman,