Josh is going through an awkward, adolescent stage. He's high in the rear and I hope that topline levels out before his next show. He's also going through his coat change. This is not a pleasant time for him or the people who have to groom him. Years ago I wrote an article for Dog World Magazine about Lhasas and their coat change. If you have a Lhasa puppy that suddenly seems to have ballooned in size from side to side, you just might have a puppy experiencing his/her coat change. Here's how you handle it:
Coat Change in Lhasa Apso PuppiesEach Lhasa Apso puppy should come with a warning label, "Attention: This puppy will undergo a coat change. Be prepared!" The alternative, of course, is for Lhasa breeders to inform their puppies' new owners about the grooming required to see a puppy through his coat change without having to resort to clipping him down.
The owner of a Lhasa puppy should be prepared for the puppy's coat change anywhere between the ages of 9 to 14 months. Since individuals differ, the time frame may also vary somewhat: some Lhasas may begin as early as 6 months, while others may hold off until 16 months. One thing you can be sure of, unless your Lhasa puppy has a really sparse coat, the coat change WILL happen.
What's so scary and all important about watching for the coat change? It has to do with matting and grooming.
Remember, a Lhasa's coat does not shed as most other breeds' coats do. What happens during the coat change is that the softer puppy coat is being replaced by the harsher-textured adult coat. As the adult coat comes in, the puppy coat "dies" and needs to be brushed out or it will tangle and mat terribly. At this time, your puppy may need daily grooming to remove the soft, "dead" puppy coat. You will be surprised at how much loose coat can be brushed out during coat change time. You may remark that the pile of hair on the floor by the grooming table would easily fully coat another dog! And you may wonder if your little Lhasa will have any coat left by the time you've finished brushing him! Don't worry, if all you are getting out is dead, loose hair, there's no problem.
While grooming difficulties may vary, depending on the amount and texture of your Lhasa puppy's coat, keep in mind that the coat change is a natural part of a Lhasa's development, and when it is over, your Lhasa's softer puppy coat should have given way to the harder-textured adult coat, which is usually a lot easier to take care of. Now that's something to look forward to!
Knowing what's going to happen is only part of "being prepared." The other part of the preparation lies in training. Since getting through the coat change requires that the Lhasa be groomed, start your preparations by teaching the puppy to accept grooming as part of his routine and to lie quietly on his back or sides while you comb and brush him. Prepare yourself also by learning how to groom your Lhasa properly. Refer to any of the books (by Herbel, Helf, Brearly, Nicholas) written about the Lhasa. Most contain excellent grooming suggestions or entire chapters devoted to grooming. I also have articles devoted to grooming on the Joyslyn's website.
When the coat change does begin, don't get discouraged. It usually lasts less than a month. Set aside time each day to groom your Lhasa. If you don't have time to brush him completely each day, then at least do some spot grooming in the troublesome areas (neck, insides of legs, behind the ears) on a daily basis. Don't go longer than two days without a complete brushing, though. Those darn mats surprise you -- a puppy may not look matted, but his undercoat may be a real mess.
My best advice is to be aware of what will happen, be prepared to do some heavy-duty grooming for about 3 weeks, train your puppy early to accept being groomed, watch for and take care of tangles and mats as they appear, and do not put off grooming thinking the mats will disappear by themselves (they don't!). Finally, don't be discouraged; just hang in there until it's over -- the coat change period really does end!*
More Specialty PhotosMany who attended ALAC National Specialty have been posting photos on Facebook. Here are some of Josh and me, posted by our friend Ronnie Crowder. Thanks, Ron!
|Josh stacked on the floor during the 9-12 month class judging|
|Josh on the table during the 9-12 month class judging|
|Judge Steve Campbell awarding us the RWD Ribbon and Trophy|
|Walking back to our grooming set up. Yes, I was happy!!! Josh was, like, "What just happened?"|
|The official photo of Josh's Major|
You have read previously that our youngest son plays guitar for Black Fast. The announcement this week of the band's signing with eOne Music made us so happy and proud of the guys' accomplishments. (You can skip this part if you don't care to read about it or if you've already seen the announcement on Facebook.)
|That's my son, Trevor, on the right|
(NEW YORK) - Midwestern progressive thrashers BLACK FAST have announced a worldwide deal with eOne Music. The band plans an all new full length LP next year and could not be more excited. "What an amazing day for not only Black Fast, but for every local heavy metal band out there," says guitarist/vocalist Aaron Akin. "Our signing to eOne Music is a reminder to keep grinding, writing, rehearsing, opening up for nationals, developing relationships and doing whatever it takes." The yet to be titled LP will be the bands followup to their highly buzzed about self-released Starving Out The Light.
BLACK FAST has a short but concentrated history. Started in 2010 by fellow music students Aaron Akin, Trevor Johanson, Ryan Thompson and Ross Burnett, the band has bulldozed on an upward trajectory ever since. Akin continues, "We want to thank everyone who helped make this day happen, including our favorite national bands like Havok and Battlecross for spreading the word, the metal blogs for the great reviews, our management for guiding us, promoters for booking us, and to eOne, for thinking we are worthy of joining a roster of artists that include legends like Overkill, Unearth and High on Fire."
You can read more about the band and listen to their music here and here.
Notes and Pictures from Joyslyn's Puppy BuyersBert wrote about Andy's reaction to the construction workers who've been working on their house: "Through all the noise and strangers in the house, Andy has been an angel." Bert said Andy "loves to cuddle up with my daughter when she is studying or doing homework. He likes to socialize with the neighbour's dogs. In the morning when I am running water for the coffee, if his bowl is empty and he is thirsty, he will look at me and vocalize his request for water."
Andy's photo was featured in the last blog post.
Jennifer wrote, "Mozzie is doing great and getting along (somewhat) with his sister Kaia. He is a ball of energy and loads of fun! He potty-trained very quickly but seems to dislike walks and runs away every time I bring out the leash lol!"
|Mozzie (he is Josh's litter brother)|
|Our family room once the dogs have "decorated" it to their satisfaction!|