Congratulations on your new puppy!!
We are often contacted by new puppy parents and would like to offer a few words of grooming knowledge.....
If your new puppy will grow up to be a dog that does not require a haircut (he or she has hair that will only grow to a certain length and will shed seasonally), you are very lucky! You only have to worry about when the shedding will start. You can expect the undercoat (think soft down-like insulation) to start to come in at about 9 to 12 months, depending on what time of year they reach this age. If your puppy has his or her undercoat for their first winter, you can expect the shedding to start that following spring. Most shedding dogs will "blow their coat" twice a year, which means that they will shed a great deal more than any other time of the year. This is usually in the spring and fall. We have found that with the right brush and a thorough blow dry, we can remove a significant amount of that undercoat and leave your home a little less hairy.
If your new puppy will grow up to be a dog that requires regular haircuts (he or she has hair that will never stop growing - much like human hair), please read further and learn about what you can expect for grooming. We typically recommend starting grooming for a haircut dog at about 4 months old, with regular appointments every 4 to 6 weeks. They usually don’t require a lot of grooming at this point, but it is the perfect time in their development to get them accustomed to the grooming process, as they have had most of their vaccinations by then. If you do choose to wait a few months before starting professional grooming, we have some recommendations for you to help desensitize your puppy and ease him into professional grooming: play with his feet – touch between his toes & hold his nails; look inside his ears and gently touch the opening of the ear; gently hold his head still and reward with a very yummy treat when he is relaxed; run a hairdryer or vacuum in close proximity and also reward with a very yummy treat when he is relaxed. These are all activities that can be done a little at a time in an effort to desensitize you puppy so that when it comes time to really be groomed he isn’t too stressed. Right now, your puppy has this wonderful soft puppy hair that is not likely to matt because of the soft texture. Once a puppy gets to about 7 to 8 months old, the coat starts to change to their adult hair and the new texture will mat up very easily - this change can seem to happen over night. Once matted (the next level after a tangle in the hair – the tangles sort of multiply rapidly forming a “clump” that is almost impossible to brush out), we usually have to shave the dog because matt removal is too painful for a puppy. The longer the coat, the more likely a tangle will form and quickly turn into a matt. In our experience, dogs who have been regularly groomed with us since they were 4 months old are very well adjusted by the time they are about a year old and have very little stress toward being groomed.