Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Member of the Old English Sheepdog Club of America
How I groom my dogs so they are clean, beautiful and happy.
First, over time, you will have to decide how long you want to keep the fur. This is a balancing act between the amount of time you have to brush the dog and how long you like the fur. The longer the fur, the more time you must spend brushing your dog. If you fall behind and your dog becomes matted the only solution is to shave the fur off and start over. The OES that is kept at 1" to 3" is still adorable and much more manageable for a busy family.
Be aware of the "coat changeover." At around one year the OES changes over from its soft puppy coat to a more coarse adult coat. As the puppy coat falls out it matts up. This can be an especially frustrating time. Either you have to greatly increase the brushing during this time or clip them back with a #3 blade to let the adult coat grow in. Never take a badly matted dog to the groomer and expect them to perform miracles. Groomers want to bar the door and run when they see this coming. They know that whatever they do the owners are not going to be happy.
I have made the following grooming videos to help teach you how to take care of your dog yourself. The grooming tools that I use can be purchased online at Pet Edge. These tools are not available at pet stores.
Remember the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is approximately two weeks. You will have endless opportunities to improve, so cut yourself some slack. Be patient with yourself as you learn these new skills. Be ready to laugh at the occasional goofy looking mistake as you improve. Soon you will gain confidence and be clipping and snipping with the best of them.
Hint - dog fur makes great bird nesting material. The birds will thank you. Also if you live in an area where deer want to eat your landscaping, spread the fur in the woods next to your home. It has worked for me for 30 years. Now my neighbors line up for the fur to protect their plants and gardens.