I’m sure you’ve read about the Boerboel being a ‘wash & wear’ breed. True, but there are a few other things to think about, so I’ll share our grooming habits with our BB’s.
· Bathing: How often you bathe your BB will depend greatly on where you live. When we lived in California, I had to bath about every other week during the summer due to the amount of dust. Here is Idaho I only bathe the dogs about once a month year-round. I use a mixture of diluted Dawn dish soap, a dash of olive oil and essential oils (typically lavender). You can add other essential oils for bug deterrent or whatever else.
· Some of the BB’s have a longer ear flap than others and are prone to having moist ears because the ear stays warm. So, every time you bathe them, make sure you clean the ears. You can put alcohol on a rag and clean them or squirt them out with a mixture of 50% vinegar and 50% distilled water, let the dog shake their head vigorously. If your BB is fed starches, you will have a higher likelihood of ear issues.
· Teeth- the best cleaning for the teeth is bones! Very large, raw beef bone (knuckles, legs) are great for cleaning the teeth and strengthening the jaw; they are very inexpensive-just ask for them at the butcher counter. RAW feeding in and of itself also keeps the teeth clean and white. Elk antlers are a great chew to have lying around the house. Antler Ridge is a great place to order them from. Shipping is free and they arrive quickly. We do use some Nylabones, but just the very basic, XL ones or the large yellow ring. Stay away from flavored Nylabones.
· Nails: start trimming your puppy’s nails early. Because their nails are so big and thick when they get older, they are more sensitive. The earlier you begin, the easier it will be. We’ve found that having two people involved in the process is easier. Don’t let you BB get away with controlling the situation. Restrain if necessary to complete the job. It is a HUGE chore for us to do Nzuri’s because he had a bad experience at a groomers and we allowed him to control the situation for too long. So, again, START EARLY…even if you’re barely taking off anything in the beginning. The puppies are getting theirs trimmed with a small clip, but we have found that using a Dremel works much better and is less painful for the dog.
· Brushing: completely optional…..some of ours just think it feels good. I use a horse type brush and a glove that pulls off all the loose hair.
All grooming and vet checks will be made easier if you constantly do the following when they are little:
· Rub the ears, inside and out
· Open mouth and inspect teeth – say “show me your teeth” or something similar
· Rub the nub (tail)
· Lightly squeeze paws and hold each toe individually
· For males: touch their testicles (sounds odd, but you just never know when the vet will need to check them!)
· Roll them on their backs often, going “over” them, checking all their parts
This might be a good time to mention that puppies get pimples! Mostly around their mouth – they are harmless and will go away. You can wipe their mouth after each feeding to reduce them.