Spot Cleaning a Long-Haired GSD: What Do You Recommend? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Spot Cleaning a Long-Haired GSD: What Do You Recommend?

I know that frequent bathing is not recommended for long-haired GSD's (or GSD's in general). Does anyone have a recommended product or something homemade to spot clean a dog?

I started taking Cassie to a dog-park on the weekends. It's been good for her overall for off-leash socialization with both other dogs & people. The problem I'm having is that Cassie gets very dirty. Actually, the dirty substance that gets on her is similar to a sticky tar. I'm not sure if it's from tree sap or because there used to be oil fields there many years ago. They have wood chips covering most of the ground, but coverage is rather light in some areas.

I'd like to keep the baths to no more than once a month. Any suggestions on what to use to spot clean?

Last edited by NaughtyNibbler; 10-08-2019 at 02:05 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:21 AM
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Actually, the dirty substance that gets on her is similar to a sticky tar.
Not sure about spot cleaning, but if it were me I'd look for a different place to exercise your dog!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 06:33 AM
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I agree with Tim.
Dog parks are the worst invention ever.

Leerburg | Dog Parks: Why They Are A Bad Idea


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your input about dog parks. I'm well aware of the downside of dog parks. I've learned that I have to be cautious of both problem dogs & problem owners. Every visit can be a different experience & I'm prepared to leave at the first sign of trouble or a bad mix of dogs.

Cassie meets other dogs during her obedience class, but it's on leash. At the dog park, we actually met her sister, from her same litter. Play at the dog park, with her sister & a couple of other GSD dogs we met, has gone well. Cassie has gone from being afraid to play, to cautious playing with some other compatible dogs. In my particular recent experience, Cassie has gotten along well with some GSD's at the park.

I am aware that there is a potential for a problem, with every dog we meet at the dog park. Unlike many other owners, I don't glue myself to a cell phone, sit my rear down on a bench & ignore my dog. I'm viewing her at all times & along side of her as possible (except during running).

I might check out some pay-for dog play facilities at some point in the future, but it doesn't fit into the budget right now.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:02 PM
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Is there any way to find out what the substance is? Tar would need an oil of some sort to removed it. If it’s oil and mud mixed in to a tar like substance then dawn dishwashing soap will do, the original blue one. Sand baths work too but I would research that more before trying.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Is there any way to find out what the substance is? Tar would need an oil of some sort to removed it. If it’s oil and mud mixed in to a tar like substance then dawn dishwashing soap will do, the original blue one. Sand baths work too but I would research that more before trying.
Thanks SeniorGSD! Dawn dish washing soap is a good suggestion. I forgot that it is used for water foul, after they are victims of oil spills.

Yesterday, I heard a news report about a neighboring city, having a problem with bug-infested trees dropping a sticky substance. The dog park is inside a very large park, with lots of trees. There are, also, several trees within the dog park area. A few years ago, the park had to remove several trees, due to tree beetles. I read yesterday, that when trees are infested with certain insects, the insects can secrete a sticky substance that they call "honeydew". I'll have to pay special attention and examine some of the tree leaves, during my next visit. If it's an insect issue, I'll report it to the city & then steer clear of the trees.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by NaughtyNibbler View Post
Thank you both for your input about dog parks. I'm well aware of the downside of dog parks. I've learned that I have to be cautious of both problem dogs & problem owners. Every visit can be a different experience & I'm prepared to leave at the first sign of trouble or a bad mix of dogs.

Cassie meets other dogs during her obedience class, but it's on leash. At the dog park, we actually met her sister, from her same litter. Play at the dog park, with her sister & a couple of other GSD dogs we met, has gone well. Cassie has gone from being afraid to play, to cautious playing with some other compatible dogs. In my particular recent experience, Cassie has gotten along well with some GSD's at the park.

I am aware that there is a potential for a problem, with every dog we meet at the dog park. Unlike many other owners, I don't glue myself to a cell phone, sit my rear down on a bench & ignore my dog. I'm viewing her at all times & along side of her as possible (except during running).

I might check out some pay-for dog play facilities at some point in the future, but it doesn't fit into the budget right now.
Actually I think both you and @Sunflower misunderstood what I meant! I take my dog to dog parks frequently, and I think for the most part they're awesome!

My concern stemmed mostly from the OP's statement about this dog park being located where an oil field used to be. If there is a chance the tarry substance is petroleum-based, it could very well be carcinogenic to both you and your dog!

But even if it isn't petroleum-based, if my dog got the stuff on her everytime we went there, I'd go elsewhere! That's all...

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I think both you and @Sunflower misunderstood what I meant! I take my dog to dog parks frequently, and I think for the most part they're awesome!

My concern stemmed mostly from the OP's statement about this dog park being located where an oil field used to be. If there is a chance the tarry substance is petroleum-based, it could very well be carcinogenic to both you and your dog!

But even if it isn't petroleum-based, if my dog got the stuff on her everytime we went there, I'd go elsewhere! That's all...
Tim: Thanks for clarifying. I was just speculating about the prior use of the land, based on history of some areas of that city, and seeing some rather dark soil in some other areas of the park. Turns out, the specific area didn't have a history of being an oil field.

I have since done a little research about the history of the park land, by finding an online PDF file, copied from the park library. I found out it was once swamp land and has contained a lot of peat. I'm glad I researched the history of the park land. It was actually a very interesting read.

I'll continue to check out what's sticky at the dog park. My current angle is that it's likely related to insects on one or more trees & a muddy condition caused by someone turning on one of the hoses by a couple of trees. There were no issues during the first 4 weeks of dog park visits - only for the last 2 weeks. I won't likely keep going, if I can't validate the source/problem area to steer clear of.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 03:52 PM
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Can you brush it out with a furminator? Frisco comes home from doggy daycare sticky(please hold opinions on DD and stay on topic) . I wonder if its really drool and saliva?? I quick brush with the furminator gets it out. I have also tried those dry shampoos not for the sticky stuff but for doggy smell. They don't work that well.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Can you brush it out with a furminator? Frisco comes home from doggy daycare sticky(please hold opinions on DD and stay on topic) . I wonder if its really drool and saliva?? I quick brush with the furminator gets it out. I have also tried those dry shampoos not for the sticky stuff but for doggy smell. They don't work that well.
I've tried furminator-type grooming tools, but it doesn't help (on tail & chest areas). When she has gotten dirty from yard play at home (i.e. digging out water from water bowl & then getting dirt on her legs), I'm able to clean her up with some human wipes.

I'll try the Dawn dish washing soap. I'll likely get her in the bath tub tomorrow & just wash her legs & then continue with some spot cleaning on her chest & tail with some Dawn. She just had a bath on Friday. She appears to be going through a Fall shedding. Her coat has been rather dry, after her bath on Friday & there is a significant amount of shedding. She was a very young puppy last Fall, so she still had her puppy coat & I didn't notice shedding. Cassie is my first long-haired GSD. My prior short-haired GSD's didn't get dirty so easily, but I didn't take them to the dog park.

I don't think it's drool/saliva. This last weekend she went to the park clean on Saturday. Her dog friends weren't there this weekend, so she didn't really engage in any games of chase or wrestling. Most of the activity was greeting & sniffing other dogs & a lot of walking around & sniffing. We didn't have any issues for the first approx 4 weeks. The last 2 weeks have been the problem. The ground is covered mostly in wood chips & bark chunks. Maybe that could be the root cause. I have noticed that lately that the chips need to be raked & that they are spread unevenly with too many mounds.

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