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~Line Combing~
By: Debbie Baird, Dynasty Samoyeds

I will share my method of line combing. Basically, line combing is a process of combing out the dog's entire coat from the skin outwards, except the tail (brush), section by section line by line. When first learning this process can seem not only awkward, but tedious as well. It takes time and practice to get to where you feel comfortable line combing. Most of us use this time to just relax with our dogs and/ or spend some time with them. I prefer line combing my dog lying on their side, on the floor and in front of the TV. You may want to put a towel, blanket or sheet under them. Others prefer to line comb with the dog on the grooming table.

Different people may start in a different area of the dog when line combing. Remember that your dog has more sensitive areas of his/her body just as you do. Usually these more tender areas are on the dog's side, ruff, tummy, etc. The legs/feet/elbows, rear and shoulder areas are where I usually begin line combing.

Line combing is one of those things that is best learned while watching versus trying to put it in writing, but I will try. Have either a trash can or plastic bag near by to put the coat you remove into. Using the large tooth end of the Greyhound comb in my right hand I lay my left hand down on the section of the dog's coat I will be starting with separating that section from the skin to where you can now see a line of the dog's skin. The first time I line comb the entire dog I will take a section of the dog's coat from under my left hand and comb out from the skin all the way to the end of that section of coat. I do this in the direction the dog's coat lays. You continue to line comb each small section until the entire dog is done. Usually, I will then take the small tooth end of the coat and go back over the dog line combing in more of an up and out direction taking long strokes. Generally speaking, the body coat will go towards the direction of the head and out. The part of the dog's coat that lies on top of the back near the tail will be combed in the direction of the tail and the pants/skirts (the coat viewed from the rear) will go in an out and downwards motion. Again, on line combing your best bet is to arrange to meet with someone more experienced in line combing on a day when they plan to groom their dog. Visuals, I have found, are so much better when first learning and most owners would be more than glad to have you watch, learn and ask questions.





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