Things You Will Need
1 Facial Mitt
Boar Bristle Brush or shoe brush
Sweat Scraper, made for horses
Hand Held Hair Dryer
I recommend taking your Pug to a self serve dog wash so you do not end up chasing a wet Pug through your house. They have a sense of humor as you know.
Lightly mist the entire Pug as this will keep the hair from flying all over the place. Take your Boar Bristle brush and start brushing from the head back, using a medium to strong stroke to get most of the dead coat started to release. Pay particular attention to the the legs, feet ears and tail as this is an area most often missed by owners. Now take your Furminator and gently go over your Pug. Be careful not to use too much as you can get bald areas or irritate the skin if over brushed.
I always start my Pugs bath by applying an ear cleaner to the ear canal. This starts moving any dirt up towards the opening and helps keep the ear dry. Then, starting at the nose, apply warm water in the direction of coat growth. Once the entire dog is saturated with water apply your first shampoo.
If dog has an oily coat you need to start breaking that up without compromising the follicle. The best shampoo for this is a clarifying shampoo. If the dog has a normal coat you need a shampoo that will release dirt from the follicle, again without compromise. I recommended a conditioning shampoo. Dogs that have heavy staining you might want to use a brightening shampoo. You can use this as your first shampoo or only apply where as needed.
After shampoo has been applied over the entire coat take a boar bristle brush (a shoe brush is best) and gently brush the shampoo through the coat in the direction of coat growth. This will stimulate blood circulation so important for keeping the follicle healthy. Remember you are brushing coat not scraping skin. I use a soft pedicure brush for the face, pads and at the nail bed to start breaking up stubborn stains and dirt. Do not forget under the tail.
I check and express, if necessary, the anal glands during the rinsing of the first bath. I find the dog has relaxed through the brushing/massaging process and is distracted by the rinsing. Since there will be another shampoo you will not end up with that residual aroma only detected while drying.
After rinsing apply your second shampoo and follow the same brushing procedure. By brushing gently each step of the way you cleanse and rejuvenate the skin and coat as well as guarantee you have the product on the coat long enough to receive maximum results. Your second shampoo will depend on what you need to accomplish on your dogs coat. Since the Pug is a short coated dog it is a very important to pick the correct second shampoo, consult with your breeder or groomer.
Washing the Face:
This is the hardest part of your Pug to get clean. All those wrinkles pose a great challenge for owners yet this is the area that need the cleaning the most. The easiest way to wash the face is by applying your shampoo to a facial mitt for all you have to do is pretend you are petting your Pugs face. It will be easier for you to get in between the wrinkles without fear of frightening your Pug. More experienced owners might prefer a toothbrush, washcloth or pedicure brush for the face. Make she you get around the lip line of the mouth and between the eyes. This is where the face stays the wettest and tends to smell like sour milk. Simply cover the eyes with your fingers and the Pug will shut their eyes so you can rinse. If your Pug will not sit still for the rinse use your washcloth to rinse off the face.
The Bath, Condition:
After rinsing it is time to condition or reconstruct the skin and coat. Again you will start by applying product entirely all over the coat and follow by brushing it through. You may use a sweat scraper or curry comb (both items made for horses) for heavy undercoat removal. Brush through the coat always in the direction of coat growth, to protect the skin. But before you brush you need to choose the proper conditioner. For a dog with a coat on the overly soft side you might want to use a light conditioner to help add crispness to the coat. Proper coat texture use a weekly conditioner. Coat that needs reconstructing due to prior damage needs a heavy conditioner.
When rinsing, it is important to use warm water to increase circulation and excess coat release. Warm water helps open the follicle so it may accept products more favorably. Always rinse in the direction of coat growth massaging the coat through with your fingers or use your brush of choice. Make sure all product has been removed before you ever continue on to the next step.
Once the dog is thoroughly rinsed and before you start to towel re apply ear cleaner to keep the ear dry and then apply all styling products. Use products that will accomplish what you need such as a straighter to keep fluff under control and to add shine. After all other products have been applied. Work product into the coat with your fingers in the same manner you work your fingers while rinsing. You might lose a bit of product after toweling but you can always add. In applying at this time I find the product gets all the way down the shaft to the skin. This is most important in enabling you to set the proper base during drying of the coat. You will squeeze the towel around the dog and coat especially paying attention to the legs and feet. You will spend too much time drying the feet if left too wet. This will cause you to possibly not get the maximum result in setting the base of the coat.
Drying the Coat:
This is the most important part of the process, if you do get all the way to the skin you will not get all the excess coat out and that is why you are doing this right?
Start by using a force dryer in the tub after a good toweling of the coat. Start at the bottom of the read leg and blow off as much water as possible. Work your way up towards the body ending at the head. Turn the dog around and repeat. After you have completely gone around the entire dog you might want to towel again and repeat the forced dryer over the entire dog. This will get your Pug most of the way dry.
Once on the drying table you will mist with your anti static or conditioner then take the back leg elevate and brush, with a boar bristle brush, in a free moving upward motion. Follow through each swing as one would in tennis. You will reduce stress on your back, arm and rotator cup. Get a rhythm going and work around the entire foot before moving up the leg. You need not a death grip in the brush, rather gently hold your brush and swing through the coat. The headpiece is most important. I use a boar bristle brush in a swift motion against the grain on the face and ears first. Ears are important to completely dry as they tend to get moisture build up that can lead to infection.
Finish the Coat:
In the case of heavily coated Pugs you will want to remove as much undercoat as possible to keep them manageable at home. After a light mist of your conditioning spray you will go back over the entire Pug with a Boar Bristle Brush or Furminator. Brush in the direction of coat growth until the coat no longer easily comes out. Over brushing can result in bald spots and skin irritation. If the Pug is blowing much coat I use a cool setting on a stand dryer to help release the coat. Place your dryer to blow in the direction of coat growth and brush in the direction of the air flow. This simple procedure will cut your brushing time in half. Apply conditioning spray as needed to help coat release more easily, careful not to soak the coat rather protect it from over stretching.
By using the proper products (recommended by your groomer) you can scrub your Pug weekly during the high shedding times of the year. Then you can hug your Pug without him hanging on to your clothes all day!
Some Pugs do not like the force dryer on their face. If this turns into more of a battle than need be simply towel dry the best you can and finish off with your stand, or hand held, dryer. I have had good success by placing cotton in the Pugs ears and a towel over the eyes. You must remember to remove the cotton from the ears. Another trick is to rub with a facecloth under the dryer, sneaky but effective. The easiest way to check dryness is to turn off the heat of your dryer and when the temp is cool run your fingers through the coat in a wiggling motion. If you feel any overly cool or cold areas they are still damp.
Just because something says it is natural do not expect it is safe for your Pug. Some natural products can be extremely drying as they lack the proper emollients for good skin and coat health. Only use products recommended by your groomer or breeder.
Things You Will Need