Your puppy has been fed a premium brand Adult dog food, “Canidae All Life Stages”. We do not use or recommend you use any puppy formulas. Up until now, he has eaten in a litter situation for the most part where he has eaten to his fill. Therefore, it is impossible for me to tell you exactly how much he will eat at a sitting. The following are guidelines only and each puppy needs to be evaluated individually. The best gauge is the puppy. DO NOT LET THE PUPPY GET FAT. We have done our best to breed puppies that lack hip dysplasia in their genetic makeup. However, it is impossible to completely remove all of the dysplasia genes in retrievers given the genetic pool. A dog that maintains an active lifestyle (to develop strong muscles) with no extra weight between the time it is born and two years of age is less likely to acerbate dysplasia if the disease is present. Though dysplasia is most generally genetic, it can also be caused by excess weight. There is a balance in growing puppies that you must carefully observe. They eat, start to get a bit chunky, then have a growth spurt. Don’t let “chunky” become fat. We don’t guarantee hips for fat puppies.
There is some argument about when to change to an adult maintenance or feed puppy food. Although we personally never feed puppy food, we know you may want to. Some premium brands are producing a large breed puppy formula, which may be a good choice, though not our choice or recommendation. The concern regarding the nature of dog food stems from the relationship between speed of growth and hip dysplasia. A puppy that grows too fast will be more likely become dysplastic. Puppy formula food is now thought by many to permit too rapid growth in large breed dogs. Feeding adult maintenance formula will not permit such rapid growth.
Also, impact on joints can have a deleterious effect and allow dysplasia to develop if the predisposition exists, or cause dysplasia through injury. There is evidence to suggest that if a puppy is completely confined to a crate until the growth plates in the bones fuse (about 12 mos.) they cannot become dysplastic no matter how predisposed they are to dysplasia. No one encourages you to confine your puppy in this manner, heaven forbid. Nevertheless, limit jumping and encourage swimming until age two.
If you are planning on changing food, I suggest that you purchase a bag of the food you intend to feed, and, over the course of 3 days, gradually change from our food to the new food. When the puppy first comes home, feed ½ cup of food 3 times per day until 3 mos, then 2 times per day until at least 6 mos. If puppy finishing eating in roughly 10 minutes, increase food SLIGHTLY. After 6 mos, you many continue to feed twice daily, or switch to feeding only once per day. Please, no matter how thin you think your puppy is or what your vet says he is, do not feed more than twice per day after 3 mos. The amount of food will vary from about 2 cups per day to 4 cups per day, depending on the dog and on the level of activity. But 4 cups is max for most altered pets at maturity. A good rule of thumb is from 8 weeks to 10weeks you will probably feed a total of 2 cups per day. Leave the food down for 20 minutes (if it lasts that long). Whatever isn’t eaten, discard.
Bland diet: On occasion you may find the need to feed a bland diet. Puppies often will eat things that upset their systems. When this happens, they get diarrhea and may even throw up. In this case, their system needs a rest but they still need to eat and be hydrated. However, there is a balance application that needs to be followed which includes fasting and withholding and or monitoring water intake. This is done for your puppy’s speedy recovery (24 to 48 hours is a speedy recovery). Very important you keep your cool and do not panic. Your emotions on not feeding and giving water need to be set aside.
If your puppy is sick from eating yard debris and you know this is the cause, he is not sick, running a fever (a fever is anything over 102 for a puppy 10 weeks or older) or has gotten into a toxin and is not lethargic, he probably does not need to go to the vet. He just needs extra rest and a diet change. Withhold food and water for 6 to 8 hours, (he is not going to die, nor will you). At the end of the fasting period offer small sips of water, if puppy holds down water for 30 minutes, offer a small amount of bland diet, ¼ cup at a time, not to exceed 1 cup in 4 hours (see below recipes). Use your common sense if puppy eats and throws up again, go back to just water in a couple of hours, but if puppy is still unable to hold down water in a couple of hours, and has a fever, call me or your vet if I am not available. However, if he’s holding down food and water move forward to offering water at the rate of ¼ cup at a time. Do not give free choice water, sometimes puppies will tank up when they don’t feel well and this is counter productive. Offer food in the same way every couple of hours or every 4 hours or what ever you can do with your schedule. If you need to go longer than 4 to 6 hours, try 1/3 cup at a time.
Bland diet recipes: boiled skinned potatoes and full fat 4% cottage cheese and low fat yogurt diet. Boil 6 medium potatoes peeled (no peels to be fed at all). Mash in 1 pound container of full fat 4% cottage cheese and one small 8 ounce container of plain unflavored yogurt with live cultures. Store in fridge and feed as needed.
Rice, broth, cottage cheese, yogurt diet: 2 dry cups of rice, 4 cups of liquid (1 can of chicken broth full fat and the rest water). Add to this 1 pound container of plain unflavored yogurt with live cultures. Store in fridge and feed as needed.
Do not add meat protein such as hamburger or boneless chicken to the above for the first 48 hours and you have had at least 24 hours of keeping food down. After 48 hours you may add meat protein, ½ pound of either lean boiled and rinsed hamburger, ground turkey, or chicken. After normally 3 to 5 days you should be able to go back to your regular diet if this was a bad case of digestive upset. Most light cases only require a day or two of restricted diet. Freeze left over for just in case.
Back to regular feeding: Do not free feed Golden Retrievers. They do not know when to stop eating, and this can create picky eaters or fat dogs. It is just a bad idea for Goldens. Consult me if you have concerns. Take note: Fat puppies are not healthy and will not grow up healthy. There is nothing worse than an obese Golden Retriever.
Learning to Learn
These are some pretty sharp puppies, but you must help them to learn how to learn. Mom started that, we tried to continue, but it is your job. A dog that learns HOW to learn at a young age will maintain that knowledge till they die. You must do it starting now, but you cannot apply pressure to them until they are older. You CAN help them, though. At this age, they are learning so much on their own, including hundreds of bad habits. They are so much easier to teach at this age, too.
No! is the most important command you will ever teach your puppy. No means No. Not “maybe” or “oh, well” or “just this once”. No gray areas! Do not hit my puppies, teach them “no”. Your Golden wants to please you. He lives to please you. He will learn with the proper use of the command “no”. “No” is not just a word. It is a command and the foundation of a loving pet.
Goldens are very oral and relish in a good chew. Puppies don’t know the difference between a discarded tennis shoe and a two hundred dollar pair of boots and will chew on anything they are allowed to. This includes furniture, electrical cords, house plants, etc. Puppies don’t know electrical cords can bite back with a deadly result, or that house plants can be toxic, or that piece of furniture is a 200 year old antique. They are just into oral gratification. Supervision and the “No” command are a must. Make and investment in a few, safe toys. There are many arguments over what are safe toys. Some won’t give rawhide chews; I won’t, nor do I give horse hooves, or cow hooves, which stink and produce sharp edges which, when swallowed, will cut like a razorblade. Large leg bones and knuckle bones (RAW) of cows are good, and keep teeth clean as well as keep the dog happy. Long, thick rope toys are a favorite, but should only be used supervised. Dogs can eat the strings and this can cause intestinal blockage. Natural rubber toys are safe. Kong toys are usually favorites here, as well as tennis balls. However, don't leave them unattended with a tennis ball. Goldens tend to strip the covers off and this will wear their front teeth off to the gums if done often enough.
When (not if) you catch the little guy chewing on something you don’t think should be chewed on, tell him “NO” in no uncertain tone. Immediately remove one of the toys that you have in your pocket at all times and give him the toy. A few times of this and he begins to learn what is chewable and what isn’t. This training combined with house training lets me leave my adult dogs loose in the house for as many as 12 hours with no messes and no chewed furniture, rugs, or whatever. A caution, though, that not all dogs are that trustworthy.
Training you puppy to respond to “No” and the firm tone are the foundation to a well-behaved Golden, as well as a lot of praise. Use common sense with your puppy. There are a number of books on training as well as classes you and the puppy can attend. Go to puppy class once all of the puppy shots are in place. A good book to start with is “How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With”, by Rutherford and Neil. It is easy reading and good, common sense.
Be CONSISTENT with what you will allow and what you will not. That is the basis of all training, and inconsistency on your part is the basis of almost all misbehavior and neurosis in dogs. Praise is equally important. Give him lots of praise when he gets it right, even if it’s something really minor. Set the puppy up to win when he is having “bad” days. It can help to turn him around.
Training starts on day one, with the crate and learning quiet time. The foundation of learning to learn has begun. Young puppies have very short memories. When a puppy does something wrong (wets, chews, retrieves wrong items, etc.) pick him up and tell him “no” firmly. If this is a first offense, it will be repeated. It takes time to learn and your firm and CONSISTENT guidance is the key. A good example of consistency is don’t let your puppy jump up on you now, and then expect him to stop when he’s an adult. Don’t let him on the furniture now, and expect him to stay off later.
Paint rollers make great retrieving objects. Retrievers are genetically predisposed to carry things in their mouths, not to retrieve per se. You must train your puppy to bring back whatever you have thrown. Using a hallway, so that there is no chance for the puppy to run off, is a great place to start. Otherwise, use a 20 ft. check cord. Don’t let him get away and chase him - chase can be much more fun than retrieving, and you want a retriever, not a criminal. When he returns, don’t take it out of his mouth immediately! Let him savor the possession, make him happy he brought it to you to see. Tell him he is wonderful. After a bit, take it and throw it again. A puppy should never have more than 2-4 retrieves in a row, lest he get bored. Boredom with retrieving make for a lackluster retriever, and retrieving is excellent exercise and great fun. Retrieving will get the dog exercise when you don’t want to walk 3 miles. When he’s older, a tennis racket really helps save the arm.
Collars and Leashes: Adjustable nylon collars are great. You can buy one collar that will fit your puppy for six months. Simply secure the long end with a small piece of tape. Just be sure to check it frequently and let it out as the puppy grows. Then purchase a larger one that he can wear out. Lease - I only buy leather, never nylon or chain. Six feet is the proper length for training, and no thicker that ¾”, I prefer ½”. Leather will not burn your hand if the dog pulls hard. Buy a sewn leash, or a braided leash, not riveted. The sewn or braided ones are much stronger. Walk your puppy with your thumb through the loop, not your wrist. Gather up the excess leash in your hand. This prevents escapes and chewing on the leash, but if you need to let go, all you have to do is open your hand. If the leash is around your wrist, you will need two hands to free yourself and act.
We strongly urge you to get involved in a group class. Why group classes over private? Simple: Socialization. The socialization with other dogs and people is training in and of itself. Classes are everywhere, starting all the time. Puppy Kindergarten begins usually at 12 weeks. Distemper and Parvo are incredibly common, and final puppy shots have not been given until 16 to 18 weeks of age so be cautious coming and going to and from class with the younger puppies. Often dog training facilities have special areas just for puppies and you should try to find a center that follows this rule. In fact, keep you dog away from parks, campgrounds, and other places where there is a possibility of contacting fecal matter from other dogs. Vaccinated adult dogs won’t get sick, but they can pass on diseases through their fecal matter. The backyard of a friends house where you are sure the dogs have been vaccinated is fine. You don’t need to do puppy in a bubble and you do have to socialize. Just be careful and follow some general guidelines of watching your puppy closely when not at home. You must balance the need for socialization with dogs and people- very, very critical and best accomplished prior to 16 weeks of age - with the need to limit contact with infected materials or animals.
These puppies have received human interaction on at least a daily basis since they can out of the womb, even on day one. Further, they have had the opportunity to interact with our adult dogs. Nevertheless, exposing them to as many kinds, shapes, and appearances of people is critical, as it is to as many different environments as possible, and interactions with other canines. However, never leave a puppy under 4 months old supervised with an adult dog. The puppies do not have their social repertoire of behaviors solidly in place until after 4 months, and the adult dog could hurt them, mistaking ignorance for aggression.
How well you accomplish the necessary exposure to other people, dogs, and situations BEFORE THEY ARE 4 MONTHS OLD will be reflected in the mental health and temperament of your dog forever. How you do this without exposing them to infection is not an easy task. We have tried to see that this exposure happened while they lived here.
At 6 months hit the real books with formal classes. Beginning obedience is a lot of fun. It’s how we started in formal dog events.
Obedience does three extremely important thing - it teaches you how to communicate with your dog, it builds a bond between you and your dog that you will never, ever experience if you do not train, and it gives your dog the skills to be the dog everyone likes you to bring. It is not easy to learn how to communicate your desires to another species, and learning how to perform obedience tasks will teach you. Training together makes the two of you a team in ways that non-trainers can never experience, and builds a closeness that can never be felt otherwise. You are shortchanging yourself in ways you can’t understand unless you have trained a dog. Goldens are wonderful, anxious to please dogs that dote on your every mood. This relationship is enhanced geometrically if you train. Finally, few people appreciate a poorly behaved dog, and restrictions on where dogs can go and where you can even have a dog are added to our regulatory existence every day. Your obedient dog is welcome in hundreds of places that a poorly behaved dog is not, serves as a ambassador of dogs in general and goldens in particular, and will be invited back to places that you may find amazing.
Also, goldens are smart dogs. If you don’t give them a job, they will find one. The job they find may entail excavating your foundation, eating all of your roses, or chewing a hole in your fence. At six months a Golden can be a total Bozo, but in a short six to eight week basis class with daily work, you can turn things around. Don’t be surprised if you end up with a high score and a trophy at graduation. Goldens, because of their inherent nature to please, do very well in obedience. You might even find yourself interested in competition in obedience trials. At the very least make it a goal to obtain the dog’s CGC (Canine Good Citizen Certification). Many obedience trainers offer CGC testing at the end of their classes. If you can’t find one, contact us and we will do our best to find one. I will find you a test when you are ready. Visit the AKC site on line and check out the CGC program.
Goldens, by nature, need a lot of exercise, put puppies should not be pushed beyond their limits. It is very important not to let your puppy jog or run for too long, especially on pavement, until they reach at least 18 mos. Of age. If you are a runner or jogger and want a companion, use grass or dirt surfaces when ever you can and so not start training your puppy until he is at least 18 mos. No exceptions. Work up starting with walks to jogging. Do not flat out start jogging any dog no matter the age. You are asking for orthopedic problems if you are not moderate with your puppy. Running and playing at their own pace is fine on their terms of when it’s time to stop. Walking is great. The pressure that is put on the skeleton in repetitive movement such as running or jogging can be really hard on any immature skeleton. Jumping is very destructive of joints in young dogs. Once they have reached close to adult size, they can run on dirt at the level to which they are conditioned. Some of our dogs hunt, and the adults can run for hours. But, like humans, a dog must be conditioned before they can work that hard. Goldens love to work, and they will literally work themselves to death if you let them.
Work in progress, some of this will be beyond you with puppies under a year, but good still to go over this and understand what goes into grooming a goldens and keeping him up.
Are Golden Retrievers a grooming breed? Absolutely!
Golden Retrievers require regular maintenance grooming to keep looking their best. As a professional groomer and a breeder of show lines, I have always recommended that anyone looking to this breed learn how to properly brush and if possible, learn how to scissor their own dog. Most pet groomers, unless they have apprenticed under someone who show this breed, does not know the finer points to grooming a golden and generally leave ears and feet untidy. Most breeders are willing to teach anyone how to groom a golden, pass on tips they have acquired over the years that can make coat maintenance and trimming less of a chore, and your dog looking smart. This offer is usually extended not only to the client, but to the client’s groomer.
How often should a golden be professionally groomed? What should a professional groom include?
This again depends on the dog, however going over you dog thoroughly, weekly with a brush and medium spaced greyhound style comb will hold down on loose hair in the house. Plucking or carding out dry coat - see below spay/alter coats. Check ears and clean only when necessary. Nails should be checked weekly and either ground with a dremel tool or cut with nail trimmers, also see below for instructions on how to trim nails.
When the dog is blowing coat or rolling out undercoat, preventing matting and dust bunnies in your house is best served by using an undercoat rake and going over the entire dog in an organized fashion. This is sometimes left up to the professional, but there is no reason an owner can not successfully roll a coat. See below list of tools and use. Keeping your dog brushed out is the most important role and owner can have in grooming.
List of tools and use:
Ever Gentle Slicker: This tool is used to brush the top coat and to aid in the removal of loose undercoat. Must be used in a gentle manner as not to rake the skin and irritate, “brush burn”. May be used in the same manner as the undercoat rake or can be gently pulled over the top coat but will be more effective if used in the same manner as the undercoat rake.
Medium spaced Greyhound style comb: this tool is used to check your brushing. If you can easily get a medium spaced comb through the dogs coat you are matt free and have done a good job.
Undercoat rake: Pins should be no longer than ¼ inch in height. This tool is used to aid in rolling out undercoat and is used only to remove unwanted, loose, ready to roll undercoat. Must be used correctly. Never rake over the dog with this tool, it can irritate the skin easily. To properly use and undercoat rake, start at the rear leg, just above the hock. Lift the guard hairs with one hand, placing the edge of the rake with teeth facing down towards the ground and rake away from the skin. Continue in this pattern until you have reached the spine. Move over a section and rake in the same fashion, brisket to spine. This tool can also be used effectively on the pants and ruff in the same manner. Always start from the underside of a section, lifting the hair and pulling your rake away from the body.
Nail trimmers or Dremel tool: To maintain nails at a proper length, Dremel tools are great, and most dogs will get used to them quickly. Please be sure to have someone show you how to use this tool and be extra careful not to get your hair of the dogs coat caught in the tool. Grinding is not hard but it is hard to explain. With nail trimmers, just tipping the ends is usually sufficient if you are tipping weekly. If you tip off about 1/8 of an inch weekly, you will keep the quick worked back and there is less chance of nicking the quick. However, if you do nick the quick, do not be alarmed. Use Quick Stop by wetting your index finger or use a damp Q-tip and apply pressure to the tip of the nail where the bleeding is. Generally the nail will stop bleeding right away, but on occasion they con open back up. In this case, crate rest for 30 minutes after you are finished grooming. Tip nails before bathing.
Quick Stop: To be kept on hand if a toenail is taken too short. This product is styptic powder and will stop most nails from bleeding.
Ear Cleaner: 50% white distilled vinegar and 50% 91 proof alcohol (rubbing alcohol at 50 or 70 proof has too much water in it to be used for ear cleaner). Or buy a good commercial product that includes a drying agent, usually a two step process, a cleansing agent and a drying agent. Check ears for debris. If they are clean, leave them be, or just wipe. If there is debris or an odor, clean the ears by flooding the ear with cleansing solution. Vigorously massage the ear canal from the base if the canal to the opening of the ear, expelling debris and cleaner. Wipe ear out with 100% cotton balls or 100% cotton cosmetic pads or a towel. Do not use cosmetic puffs that have fibers in them that can irritate the sensitive ear canal. Allow the dog to shake head and re dry ears either with the drying agent or cotton/towel.
Thinning Shears: need to be fairly good ones. Fromm 44-20 are popular and not that expensive. Check catalogs. Thinners are used on ears and feet. See below.
Scissors: again fairly good scissors are a plus but even throw away scissors that you can buy at a Beauty Supply Store will work. 4 inch to 7 inch in length seems to be what works best for multi purpose trimming of feet.
Miscellaneous trimming questions:
To trim the feathers or not, pro’s and cons.
The only “pro” that I can come up with is less debris tracked into the house and in my opinion that is what woman made vacuums for.
The cons: The dog will still shed since it’s mainly undercoat that goldens shed, guard hairs are rarely shed in abundance. If you opt to shorten your goldens feathering, you will have to brush more often as hair that is trimmed tends to matt with new hair growth. This is particularly the case with pants and ruff that have been thinned, as well as underbellies that have been shaved or shortened. No matter if you groom or not, it’s natural for a golden coat to roll itself from season to season. Hair growth is perpetual. The best way to maintain these heavily coated areas of your golden is to brush and check comb regularly (see equipment and uses).
To shave the body or not: Never!
The Golden Retriever is a double coated dog for a reason. The soft undercoat help insulate year round and the outer coat, guard hairs, protect as well. Goldens will normally blow coat in late spring/early summer, leaving less undercoat that in the fall and winter months, though they do shed year round. In the summer months, what is left by nature acts as protection against the elements; sun, wind, rain, terrain, dry brush, etc. By shaving or clipping down the body coat, you are leaving the dog open to a wide variety of possible problems. Sunburn, skin infection, injury to name three and matting as the hair grows out as noted previously. It is never recommended to shave a golden. If a professional suggests you do, please reconsider and look to another professional or ask your breeder for help getting the dog back in shape. Clipping does not prevent shedding, you will just have shorter hairs to vacuum up.
How do I neatly trim my Goldens ears and feet?
Ears can be difficult for the novice and it’s best to have an experienced person show you how to trim ears. There is a lot of sculpting that goes into making the appearance of the ears look natural, yet tidy. But, here is a stab at trying to explain. Following the ear leather with thinning shears, trim close to the leather from the back of the ear at the head across to the tip but not into the front of the ear, leave that natural. You will have to make several passes since the thinning shears are not a straight edged shear, they have teeth on one side which leaves a broken look, rough edge, which is desired. When you are satisfied with the look, stop. For thinning out the long hair that lays on top of the ear flap, with your slicker, brush the hair straight out. With your thinning shears, sculpt by starting at the bottom of the fluff that is standing straight out and round to the top of the ear. Brush down and look to identify what else needs to come off , repeating the sculpting till you have a tidy ear. The hair closest to the skull should be shorter and the finished look should look layered. In a week, the trimmed look will be less obvious.
Feet are easy! With the slicker, brush up the hair that grows between the toes. With your thinners lightly resting on the foot, follow the line of the top of the foot from the nail toward the leg. Remove all the excess hair. Brush hair down and back up again. Repeat until neat, being careful not to get into the guard hairs on the top of the foot for the most natural of appearances.
To neaten strays around the foot, use your straight scissors, and on a 45 degree angle, follow the foot around. This takes practice, but in time, like ears, you will be a pro. For cleaning out the under sides, do this last, simply angle your scissors between the big pad and each toe. Use the middles of your blade, not the points, to scissor out the pad hair. You may need to repeat this several times, too. Pastern are done with thinning scissors. Brush the hair up and with your trimmers parallel with the back of the pastern, lightly remove the hair, leaving a fullness, about ¼ inch of pastern hair. Neatening with straight scissors as you see fit. Hocks are a bit more difficult for a novice. Like ears, there is a fair amount of sculpting. Brush the hair up so is stands straight out from the back of the hock. With your thinning shears, neaten up stray hairs. Bevel the sides so the appearance is more round than square.
Why does my altered dog have a different coat than an intact dog? What do I need to pay close attention to?
Altered dogs have a different coat type because of the removal of hormones. They grow a longer guard hair and often almost appear to have a triple coat with extra down type coat that grows on the legs and on some dogs, the body. This hair is like undercoat, but is present year round and is always very loose. This hair is not live rooted so pulling it out is not painful. Carding it out with a fine tooth comb, or simply plucking it out with your fingers is effective, Also brushing against the grain (against the way the hair naturally falls) with your slicker can be helpful.
A tool I use to remove this coat is a greyhound style comb with a very small groomers rubber band intertwined between the teeth, laced between each tooth. The rubber band catches on the hair and pulls it out. These are the rubber bands used to put bows in dogs or by poodle groomers in top knots.
What about if I want to bathe my own dog? What do I need?
Find a public dog wash or;
Please purchase dog shampoo, do not use human shampoo on your dog as a steady diet. A lot of people will say using baby shampoo or dish washing liquid is ok, but it’s not. Baby shampoo is very drying and the PH is not correct for a dog, same with dish washing liquid. Both are ok in a pinch, however. Dogs should be showered, not bathed and rinsing is of the utmost importance. Do not wash you dog with cold water only, use warm water. In most homes, the best place to wash a dog is in the bathtub or shower where you may have a hand held shower head. Before wrestling dog into the tub or shower, premix your shampoo. Using an empty squirt bottle works best. You can then apply the shampoo when needed and it won’t just run down the drain. Follow the mixing directions on your shampoo. Most dog shampoos are concentrated and will give mixing directions. Those that do not should still be diluted. With dog in place, wet dog with warm water all over, using the hand held sprayer or a sponge. Massage and scrub the shampoo mix all over the dog. Rinse with clear water. To check to see if you have rinsed well enough, squeeze behind the ears. If the water is cloudy, re rinse. Also, be particular attention to the arm pits and between the hind legs. Any shampoo left in will cause the dog to itch. A nice rinse that can be left on or rinsed out is ½ cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water. Best to have this standing by premixed, also. With a clean soap free sponge, apply this mix over the entire dog. This will leave the coat soft to the touch and help t ears, in s that the area around the ears and inside the flaps is well dry. Goldens are prone to ear infections and water left in the ears can aid in the formation of yeast (yeast infection). A tip there is to clean the ears before the bath or to put several drops of 90% alcohol in each ear prior to bathing. If behind the ears is left damp too long heat will build and you may end up with a hot spot from the heat and moisture irritating the dog to the point that they scratch. You can also use your hair dryer behind the ears to help dry them.
All in all, the most important role an owner can play in grooming is to keep their dog brushed out and free of matts and debris that can cause matting.