Grooming your Australian Cobberdog


We have always believed that part of the charm of the Australian Cobberdog is its look: cute and sometimes comical, curly, wavy or straight fleece coats as soft as silk, always adorable. The head often looks like a round mass of waves or curls falling over the eyes, and when long, the coat should be flowing, soft and silky to the touch.

This Article on Grooming was adapted from the Breed Founder Beverly Manner’s own Tips on Grooming.  We have found this article to be very helpful to the point where we ask our groomers to read it. We suggest you do the same. Here is an excerpt from the article below:

Rutland Manor – Grooming the Australian Cobberdog, by Beverley Manners.
The Australian Cobberdog has a single coat, (which means it has no fluffy undercoat) and is (or should be) non shedding. Dogs across the canine spectrum drop out their puppy coat in order to grow their adult coat. In the case of a dog which doesn’t shed out its own puppy coat, this has to be stripped out with a good brushing, usually over a period of weeks, so as to allow the adult coat to come through without tangling and knotting with the puppy coat, which has by this time grown quite long. The change from puppy coat to adult coat can commence any time from ten months to around fourteen months of age.

Something I have learned over time, is that the more frequently we bathe them, the more often we need to. In other words, we set up a self perpetuating cycle. The coat is quite fascinating, because unless it is interfered with by frequent shampooing, it has a coating which repels dirt and staining. I don’t have any idea of why this may be, any more than I understand why my car goes when I put my foot on the accelerator. All I know is that it does.

I discovered this phenomenon quite by accident. I had a pale Cream Standard female who got herself into a filthy state splashing around and rolling in a pile of muddy leaves out in one of the cow paddocks. She presented herself at the back door literally slathered in mud and sloppy cow manure, wagging her tail like crazy and obviously very pleased with her delicious perfume. I didn’t agree. Nightfall was approaching and the weather had changed suddenly. Rain pelted down, driven by a chilly wind, so I decided to leave her in the warm laundry and bathe her the following morning if the weather had picked up.

The next morning I opened the laundry door to let her outside and I just stood staring at her with my mouth hanging open I’m sure. As she bounced around, greeting me with great enthusiasm, I saw that her light cream coat was dry and spotlessly clean, even underneath. She didn’t smell either. I could hardly believe it. The laundry floor was coated with dried mud and grit which had dropped out of her coat overnight and left her looking immaculate!

Brushing the Curly Fleece too often, breaks apart the staples (tendrils) into a big puffy fluffy cloud which attracts dirt and moisture and makes it more susceptible to matting.

The Wavy Fleece can be brushed as often as you like without damage, because the fibres of the good Wavy Fleece coat are wider and not as fragile.
After this intriguing experience, I experimented with others of the dogs and always with the same result. I was convinced. The only trouble was, that for ages, I couldn’t get most people to believe me! We are all so pre-conditioned to popping a dirty dog straight into the bath tub that few people are willing to just leave it be.

Tip: Don’t brush too often!
It is better to brush thoroughly each two or three weeks, than to brush casually more often. Why? Too-frequent brushing separates the fibres on the ends, makes them frizzy, a bit like our own ‘split ends’, and is easier for breakage and collecting the moisture that causes knots and matts. So what does ‘thoroughly’ mean? It means that brushing should start close against the skin and that the coat should be brushed one layer at a time, with one hand holding it up while the brush hand pulls down a layer at a time. Start at the bottom and work your way upwards,layer by layer.

Learn How to Maintain a Healthy Coat for Your Dog

If you want to create a rod for your own back, then brush daily, and you’ll always have to brush daily. Not many of us have the luxury to spend an hour or two brushing every single day!

If you brush once each two to three weeks, that’s all the coat will need. There are exceptions to this if the dog has been playing with other dogs who have chewed their coat and started it matting or when the puppy coat needs to be stripped out. When this happens, just brush the area which looks knotty and leave the rest. After legs get muddy let the mud dry and then brush. Otherwise, once each two to three weeks is best to preserve the tendrils in the coat and keep them healthy rather than split and dry.

Use short firm brush strokes, working from the bottom layers upwards and using the brush to pull down the next layer from under your hand. If you use long strokes, the brush will glide over the underneath layers and not reach through all the way to the skin. Work on one brush-width section at a time.

Sometimes if there is matting starting, you may need to brush in different directions, upwards, downwards and to each side, a few strokes at a time. This will loosen the coat and the knots will come out more easily and quickly.

Quick Tip: Lightly sprinkle some talcum powder (body powder) close to the roots as you brush each section. This will make any knots break up much more quickly and easily and leave the coat soft and silky. Legs
Start at the paw, holding up the hair above your brush with your other hand. Let the brush drag down each layer as you work your way up to the top.