Dog Grooming 101: A Beginner’s Guide

dog grooming

We all like to have dogs in our abode. But as we are busy, sometimes it is difficult for us to take proper care of our pets. As a result, their grooming seems like a daunting task. Besides, we assume that grooming them is unnecessary as long as they are in the correct shape. But refining is crucial as it will protect you and your dog from several diseases that you are unaware of. 

So, grooming is essential. You must clip your puppy’s nails, wipe their ears and eyes, brush their teeth, comb, and brush their coat to offer a better shiny look. If you perform these regular cleaning practices, you can provide your dog with a healthy and clean life. For example, cleaning your dog’s eyes with wipers will assist you in wiping away their existing tear stains and removing debris that might lead to duct blockage. Besides, combing will also help you to eliminate small tangles also. 

Many dog owners prefer to go to professional groomers to make their dogs look beautiful. However, you can do this by yourself at your home also. With just a few things in mind, you can groom your dog better and save money also. Therefore, to learn everything about dog grooming, you can read this entire article, and it will cover all the details related to it. So, take a deep breath and begin the review with attention.

dog grooming

What to groom a dog with?

You will need several grooming kits if you want to groom your dog by yourself. Before purchasing or using any, you must consider your dog breed as specific breeds require certain tools. Besides this, you have to keep the must-have refining kits regardless of their breeds. The kits are as follows.

  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Cotton sticks
  • Nail clippers
  • Hair clipper
  • Dog Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • De-matting and deshedding tools
  • High-quality shampoo

How to restrain a dog while grooming?

Proper hygiene is essential for a healthy dog. But most pups hate being groomed, and they create a disturbance. As a result, you have to restrain them. But understanding their behavior is crucial in managing their aggression. As dogs are intelligent pets, forcefully restraining them will lead to disaster, and you have to struggle more for grooming. That is why you need to contemplate the below discussion to get a pleasant dog grooming experience. 

When grooming, proper restraint is imperative for decreasing your pup’s stress. If you reduce stress, the dogs can enable you to groom them safely with no disturbance. So, when it comes to restraint, you will find three variations of it. Below, you will find those and can also learn how to perform such practices efficiently.

  • Standard Hold

The standard hold restraint technique is applicable for all pups, regardless of their breed and size. In this, two people can groom your dog, one restraints the dog, and the other performs all the grooming practices. To apply this holding technique, you need to:

Step 1: Order your pup to sit.

Step 2:  Then, wrap an arm around your dog’s neck without much pressure. You can allow some movement so that dogs can see their surroundings while being refined.

Step 3: After that, wrap your other arm around your dog’s armpit. For this, ensure that your dog gets touched against you.

Step 4: Finally, groom them and frequently rub their belly to calm them down. 

Remember that you can make your dog sit in your lap if they are a small breed. It will help you to clean the dogs easily and quickly. Besides, if they are a massive breed, use a table for grooming.

  • Lateral Hold

Like standard hold, lateral hold also needs two people. If your dog is restless and squirmy, you must apply this method while grooming. For doing this, you must apply the below steps.

Step 1: At first, you need to lay your pup gently on their side. Remember that their back has to face you while doing this.

Step 2: Then, Use an arm and place it over their neck. Never offer extreme pressure in doing this.

Step 3: Next, gently grab your puppy’s paws and ensure that your hand grips both their left and right paws.

Step 4: After that, you have to use your other arm and place your pup’s back near their belly.

Step 5: At last, grasp their bottom legs, and you are ready to groom them. 

Keep in mind that if your pup struggles a lot, you can easily keep their head and legs still by applying this hold with your elbow and arms.

  • Overhead hold

For applying this hold, you will require an overhead restraint collar. However, if you do not have this collar, you can alternatively use two dog nooses. The overhead hold technique is beneficial as you can groom your dog alone. For this, consider the below tricks.

Step 1: You need to place your pup onto a table to apply this grooming technique.

Step 2: Then, take the noose and wrap one around your pup’s neck and the other one around the waist.

Step 3: Next, you must secure the noose with the table above your dog. 

Step 4: Now, you can properly restrain your dog and prevent sitting down. You can groom your pup easily by acquiring complete access to its body.

Things to contemplate before applying restraint techniques

Before executing the above holding techniques, you must consider several aspects. It is true that while grooming, restraining dogs are necessary as they constantly snarl, wriggling, pulling away, and the worst biting. But you also have to understand that restraining is like a punishment for them. That is why you must contemplate the below things while refining your dog.  

  • Offer comfort

Your dog is like your family members, right? As a result, you offer your pup her favorite foods and all the comfort. Similarly, give comfort while grooming them. According to experts, it is always better to refine dogs on a table or non-slip mat to block accidental slipping. Besides, never force them to stay still or apply pressure on their body. Also, allow some movement so that they can see the surrounding environment while refining.  

  • Use specific restraining tools.

If you are utilizing restraining tools, always look for a product specifically for grooming pups while purchasing. You need to search for goods that will easily loop around their neck, and the material must not cause any bruises and burns to their body. If your dog bites while refining, you can use a quality muzzle while restraining. 

  • Be considerate but strong.

People make the grooming sessions regular if their dogs display aggression. But this approach is wrong as you will give your dogs free license to do whatever they want whenever you try to groom them. If you allow this, they will continue making such behavior, and you can never clean them perfectly. Therefore, you need to stay firm but considerate in the grooming sessions. You also need to shorten the session to avoid complications. Remember that if your pup realizes that you will not harm them while refining, they will show you a better attitude.

  • Learn what triggers your pup

During the grooming sessions, you must understand what triggers your dogs and why they are struggling so much. Are they feeling any discomfort and pain? Is there anything that is traumatizing them while grooming? You need to identify and tackle these issues tactfully. For example, look for stairs or ramps if your pups are afraid to lift onto the table. Besides, you can place a towel or anti-slip mats if the grooming table is wet, cold, or slippery. You can even check out if your dog is afraid of running water. In such cases, you can utilize facial wipes or dampened towels to clean them. If you can identify their problems, it will be effortless to groom them.

  • Offer rewards

Everybody likes to get rewards. Similarly, your dogs also love them. Therefore, you can offer treats to your dogs after the grooming sessions. You will see your pups enjoy the sessions whenever you wish to groom them. But never give them rewards if they behave aggressively or run away.

  • Ask for Help

If you cannot manage the grooming session alone, always look for help to avoid complications. Alternatively, you can go to professional groomers, and they will help you learn some fundamental grooming methods so that you can refine your dog yourself next time.

How to keep your dog standing?

Keeping your dog standing during grooming is essential to clean them properly. But you might face difficulty as your pups will never follow your command and make your task complicated. That is why training them to stand on dictation is necessary. You have to teach them to stand up on their four paws without any movement. It will not only help you to refine your dogs, but professional groomers can also take advantage. The command is to teach, as dogs are intelligent pets, they can adopt them quickly. So, if you wish to do this, follow the below tips. 

  • Prepare for training

Dogs dislike surprises. Therefore, you must prepare them for training sessions so that they can attend them without any hesitation. You only need to teach your dog to stand. If you are employing clicker training, you will require the clicker. Besides, you will also need to locate a distraction-free place so that your pup can focus on the sessions. For this, you can take them to your backyard first, and after completing a few sessions, you can go to a public park to notice how your dog is reacting to your stand command. If you see your dog is enjoying all the training sessions, offer some treats. It will motivate them, and they will learn to take the command better in the future. 

  • Train your dog to sit and down

Before teaching them to stand on command, you must help them learn the basics like sit-down commands. It will assist them to grasp the training sessions quickly and reinforce the other commands as well. In the end, you will see that your dog will stand still without any movement while attending refining sessions. 

  • Introduce stand command

After introducing the above two steps, your precious dogs are now ready to learn the stand command. Ask your dogs to sit or lie down in front of you. After that, give the stand command by holding the favorite food. As an instinct, the food catches your attention, and your pups should stand up. At that moment, appreciate the effort and click the clicker to motivate them. Besides, give the treat as a reward. 

  • Repeat the command

Repeat the same thing over and over again to teach them accurately. You need to praise and offer reward any time to follow your command and stand up, even if the dogs move a bit. Do this continuously until they directly stand up without moving.

  • Increase the time and distance

When you reach a satisfactory situation, you can increase the time your pups stand with no movement. For this, you can pause for a few seconds and then wait for 30-60 seconds more. After that, you can give them a treat. This process is a proven way to teach self-control to your dog. Apart from that time, you can also expand the distance between you and your dogs while teaching them the stand command. If you notice your dogs are not moving, you need to take a step back and treat them for not moving. You need to repeat the same procedure until you back away a few steps. 

  • Offer some additional encouragement.

If you notice your dogs are not getting what you taught, you must offer them some additional encouragement. For this, you can use a toy and shake it in front of them to talk in an excited voice. Besides, if your pups understand your command, you must vary the starting position. If you have started with your dogs sitting, exercise the stand-up dictation from the down position, and it will assist them to comprehend that standing is not only about sitting.

Dog grooming coat types

There are various dog breeds out there, and as a result, knowing your dogs’ coat type will assist you if you wish to groom them. To help you learn about the dog grooming coat types, we have put down the top 10 dog coat types with the breeds.

  1. Short coat 

The short coat remains adjacent to the body but firm. You can maintain it with ease. But you have to shed it, as it is short and has rapid growth. You must shed it for everyone for twelve weeks based on weather. When shedding, you can use normal shampoo for cleaning the dog well and offer a pleasant, fresh smell. But remember that some dog breeds might face difficulty in a short coat if they have sensitive skin. In such cases, you must utilize some products that cause no harm to their skin.

Breeds Include

Labrador Retriever, Pug, English Foxhound, American Foxhound, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Curly-Coated Retriever, Bloodhound, Harrier, Chinese Shar-Pei, Parsons Russel, Belgian Malinois, Canaan Dog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Bullmastiff, Basset Hound, Beagle, Australian Cattle Dog, Mastiff, Fox Terrier, Rottweiler, and Black and Tan Coonhound.

2. Long coat or drop coat

Long coats or drop coats are growing coat types. Some even say that it is non-shedding. You only need to comb or brush it at least three times a week. If not performing this, you will see mats, knots, and tangles forming. Besides, if you do not brush or comb it frequently, you will notice that the coat will cause inadequate air circulation to the dogs’ skin. As a result, they might face difficulty and get infected by insects and parasites. Remember that you have to use conditioner for this coat type. Besides, shampoo and cologne coat is also necessary to offer a fresh, shiny, and pleasant appearance.

Breeds Include

Silky Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Skye Terrier, Tibetan Terrier, Hairless Chinese Crested, Havanese, Afghan Hound, Bearded Collie, Briard, Old English Sheepdog, Chinese Crested – powderpuff, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Lowchen.  

3. Double coat

Dogs with double coat types comprise straight and slight to moderate, long hair. They have a flat outer protector coat and a soft undercoat that is dense and compact, and it safeguards them in extreme climate conditions. Regular body oils can generate a doggie odor in some breeds with double coat types. Therefore, seasonal shedding is essential to avoid the smell. Besides, daily to weekly brushing and combing is necessary to help them in eliminating the undercoat. But when shedding, use deshedding shampoo for deep cleansing and degreasing your dogs. But if the coat leads to a knot, mat, or tangle, you can apply an anti-static detangler product to eliminate these issues. In addition, you will find several products that will help you keep the coat smelling good and fresh. 

Breeds Include

Siberian Husky, German Shepherd, Norwegian Elkhound, Finnish Spitz, Schipperke, Alaskan Malamute, Anatolian Shepherd, Smooth-coated Collie, ShibaInu, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Akita, Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  

4. Curly, fleece, and wavy coat

It is soft and non-shedding. You need to bathe your dog with this coat type regularly and trim the coat to keep it healthy. Besides, for brushing and combing, you need to use shampoo and conditioners like other coat types.

Breeds Include

Old English Sheepdog, Portuguese Water Dog, Portuguese Water Dog, Kerry Blue Terrier, Bedlington, Yorkshire Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Yorkshire Terrier, Bouvier des Flandres, Maltese, and others.

5. Heavy coat

Again this coat type is also an amalgamation of short, smooth, long, and thick hair. As the name indicates, it is heavier than other coat types. Besides, unlike several coat types, it is more prone to tangles, mats, and knots. As a result, you need to brush or comb it daily to weekly. You also require it to be shed depending on the climate. When shedding, you can use deshedding shampoo and spray anti-static detangler products when combing and brushing. As the coat is heavy, it is prone to stain, and it will make your dog look dirty and unhygienic. Therefore, you can apply some stain removal products especially, if your dog breed has a white coat. Besides, you will find other goods that shine the coat and offer a fresh smell.

Breeds Include

Golden Retriever, American Water Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Papillion, Border Collie, Kuvasz, Brittany, Flat-Coated Retriever, Belgian Tervuren, English Toy Spaniel, Tibetan Spaniel, Long-haired Dachshund, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Australian Shepherd, Long-haired Chihuahua, Saluki, Belgian Sheepdog, and Borzoi.

6. Smooth coat

Like a short coat, a smooth one is also short and confined to the body. It is smooth, shiny, and devoid of any texture, as it lies even to the dogs’ skin. The soft coat is almost similar to a short coat as you will be required to shed it in a week to twelve weeks. But the shedding process is as simple as a short coat. Breeds with smooth coats have soft and sensitive skin. As a result, you must use products safely and cause no harm to your precious pups. You can purchase some super-sensitive, non-irritating, hypo-allergenic, and chemical-free shampoo for shedding. Besides, remember, in warmer conditions, dogs with this coat type are prone to insect bites. Therefore, you need to take proper care of them and keep the insects at bay.

Breeds Include

Vizsla, Boxer, Bulldog, Pointer, German Shorthaired Pointer, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Whippet, Dalmatian, French BullDog, Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Dachshund, Greyhound, Short-haired Chihuahua, Pharaoh Hound, Italian Greyhound, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Basenji, Boston Terrier, Weimaraner, Miniature Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Ibizan Hound, and Bull Terrier.

7. Silky coat

Breeds with silky coats have a blend of long, short, silky, and smooth coats. The silky coat is very tiny, and as a result, it sits tightly around the face, body, rear, and front legs. Like other coat types, it is also susceptible to knot, mat, and tangle if not groomed correctly. Therefore, you need to groom your dog daily or weekly and shed, based on the climate avoiding such issues. For brushing and combing, it is advisable to use shampoo and conditioner. Besides, deshedding shampoo can be your dog’s ideal friend during the process. 

Breeds Include

English Springer Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter, Gordon Setter, and English Setter.

8. Wire coat

Breeds with this coat type have a dense and soft undercoat over their body. You have to shed it in the winter season only. You can skip using conditioner if you do not want to soften the coat. Like others, it also forms knots, tangles, and mats. So, you need to brush or comb it every 4-8 weeks. 

Breeds Include

West Highland White, Affenpinscher, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Spinone Italiano, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Airedale Terrier, Australian Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Parsons Russel, and others.

9. Combination coat

As the name suggests, this coat type is a mixture of long, short, smooth, and silky. The coat is tiny around the face, the front side of the dogs’ legs and body. But the interesting fact is it is longer on the tail, rear sides of legs, undercarriage, and ears of some dog breeds. Like other coat types, it also requires seasonal shedding with quality products. 

You need to use the products wisely as combination coat type demands products that will assist you in laying the coats flat. You can utilize shampoo and conditioner for this. Besides, you will also be required to brush or comb daily to weekly to block forming of knots, mats, and tangles. In addition, you can apply cologne glosses to offer your dog a pleasant smell and shiny coat.

Breeds Include

American Eskimo, Pomeranian, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland, Chow Chow, Keeshond, Bernese Mountain Dog, Samoyed, Shetland Sheepdog, Rough-coated Collie, Saint Bernard, and Pekingese.

10. Hairless coat

Dogs having hairless coats require sensitive skin products while combing and brushing. So, you can use shampoo and protein conditioner accordingly. 

Breeds Include

Peruvian Hairless Dog, American Hairless Terrier, Mexican Hairless Dogs, Chinese Crested Dog, and Ecuadorian Hairless Dogs.

Dog Grooming for Beginners at Home

You might have problems going to a dog groomer, or do you think it is safer to groom them at home? After the Covid-19 outbreak, more people preferred to do this by themselves. But can you shape the long fur and worn-out coat of the puppy? Do you know how to brush their teeth correctly or cut their nails in a beautiful shape? All these things will hover in your mind if you wish to refine them in your abode. 

Well, not to worry, as you can do several grooming tasks without any problem in the comfort of your house. You can save a few bucks also as you do not have to purchase sophisticated kits for brushing the teeth or trimming the nails of the dog. But the question is how to groom the dog like a pro by yourself, right? Well, to help you with this answer, we have shortlisted below several tips and tricks. If you follow these steps, you can groom your precious dog like a professional pup groomer. Though you might face some difficulty in the first place, you will get more experienced and enjoy the task after completing a few grooming sessions. So, read the section below and perform the job yourself.

  • Clean their face first

Before you start grooming other body parts, you need to start with the face of your dog. For doing this, you have to follow the below things.

  • Ears

While grooming, you need to clean the ears of the dog first. For this, take a soft and damp towel and gently wipe the flaps and folds of their ears. If you do not prefer to use a towel or cloth, you can use cotton balls also. Do this once a month. But if your pup generates a lot of wax, you will require doing this once every two weeks.

  • Eyes

You need to take a damp cloth or towel and wipe the eyes of your dog with it. By doing this, you can remove dirt from their eyes that might lead to infection. You also look at their eyes to verify whether there is any swelling and reddening or not. Remember that while cleaning their eyes, the eyes must be moist as dry eyes might affect their capability to see or cause irritation. You can use artificial tear drop products to moisten their eyes.

  • Nose

As you might know, a healthy dog always has a moist noise. So, if you feel the nose of your dog is dry, work on it. Dry air, sunburn, dehydration, and other reasons cause this issue. So, you need to give your precious dog sufficient water and offer proper humidity in the room. Alternatively, you can use high-quality balm to keep the nose of your dog moist.

  1. Brush their teeth and coat

As dogs produce bad breath, you must brush their teeth regularly. Like humans, they are also prone to plaque and tartar if not taken care of properly. Therefore, brush your pup regularly, and if possible, try to do it a couple of times a week. Remember to never apply human toothpaste on their teeth as it might cause reactions. According to vets, dog owners can use high-quality chew toys and canine dental chews for cleaning their teeth. Besides, you can also buy bone by determining the best size and dietary restrictions and offering it to your dog. It will automatically clean their teeth.

Apart from brushing their teeth, you will also require them to brush their coat. Doing this will offer them a beautiful look and protect them from insects as well. Too much fur prevents air circulation, and as a result, your pup might encounter several health complications like skin irritation, strangulating wounds, and inadequate blood supply. Therefore, brushing your puppy’s coat frequently will assist you in removing the dirt and damaged or loose hair. Not only this but your dog can get rid of tangles and get a shiny and smooth coat also. For brushing their coat, you can use a metal comb if your dog has long hair. Besides, if you have short hair, you can utilize a glove brush or grooming kit. Remember that you must brush their coat several times a week. But if your pup has curly hair, you need to perform this grooming practice regularly as it is more susceptible to matting and tangling. 

  1. Trim their coat

Trimming the coat of the pup is crucial and needs extra patience. You will require hair clippers and straight and curved scissors to cut the hair of the dog neatly. For trimming, you need to begin with the neck and gradually move down to their tail. If you have short-haired pups, you have to use scissors first to trim the coat and for long-haired ones, use clippers first and then finish trimming with scissors.

  1. Cut their nails

To cut their nails in perfect shape, you need to place your dog first on your lap or at a table. After that, you need to locate the nail quickly. Nail quick is nothing but a nail part that has blood capillaries. If you do not find this, your pup might bleed if you accidentally cut this part. If your dog has white nails, you will notice the quick pinkish color. Dark nails dogs have this that looks like a black spot.

  1. Clean and moisturize their paws.

Brushing, trimming, and cutting never make the grooming task complete. You must clean and moisturize your dog’s paws with a damp cloth to protect them against cracked paws. After cleaning, you can apply paw balm especially, if you live in a dry and wintry climate, and it will protect their paws from cracking and irritations by retaining moisture.  

  1. Bathe, dry, and style their coat

If you have dogs that shed a lot, you need to bathe them once a week to remove damaged hair and pet dander. So, bathe them, dry them with a towel, and style their coat as you want. You can use a blow dryer to dry them quickly, especially if you have a long-haired dog.

Dog grooming tricks of the trade

Though dog grooming seems like a troublesome task in the initial days, you will enjoy it after completing some grooming sessions. You will see it as a fun task if you know some essential tricks of the trade that professional pup groomers employ. For this, all you need is to take some time to review the below segment. So, let us begin acquiring these dog grooming tricks. 

  • Look for parasites

Professional dog groomers first check whether your dog has existing parasites or not before beginning the grooming process. As these tiny little insects play havoc, removing them is necessary to execute the refining session correctly. You might not believe that a female flea can lay many eggs within a short time. So, if you groom your dog by yourself, always start the session by looking at the parasites. 

  • Remove loose hair

Before bathing your dog, find and remove the loose hair. It is crucial if you have dog breeds like Labradors and others who shed a lot. Warm water causes them to shed more hair, and as a result, you must eliminate these before you bathe your pup in warm water. 

  • Look at the body shape and breed.

When you style your dog, always begin the styling with the eye. The professional dog groomer first looks at the body and then determines which style suits them to offer a better appearance. Besides, you also require looking at the breed so that you can style it adequately.

  • Never wash or scrub knots.

Some people wash the knots without trimming. But according to professional dog groomers, it is a mistake as knots hold soap and chemicals, and it causes skin irritation, especially if the dog has sensitive skin. To avoid this problem, the groomers suggest you chop off the knots to enable the new hair to grow freely.

  • Think the lifestyle of the dog

The dog groomers say when you create a style, you must contemplate the lifestyle of the puppy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the FAQs that you need to know related to dog grooming.

  1. Why is dog grooming significantly? 

Dog grooming offers multiple advantages, and that is why professional pup groomers always suggest doing this frequently. When you brush your dog, it ventilates or frees its coat. The process helps in developing healthy, strong coats and removes the old loose hair also. Proper grooming also ensures that your dog can breathe easily and keeps the right amount of grease in its coat. After all, grooming removes excess grease and protects your pup from blocked pores and skin irritation-related hindrances. Besides, running a brush also offers better blood circulation. Therefore, the importance of dog grooming is immense, and you should refine your pup frequently to get these benefits.

  1. Why are dog grooming scissors curved?

When grooming your dog, you might wonder why use a curved scissor rather than a straight one. Well, have you found any straight lines in your dogs? If you locate any, will these be straight? No, right? That is why trim the areas, and you will need a curved scissor. This versatile grooming tool offers flexibility when you trim your dog’s hair. You can easily trim their thigh muscle curves, chest area, front legs, eyebrows, and other places. That is why the manufacturers made curved scissors so that you can groom the tricky areas with ease.

  1. How long does dog grooming take?

On average, proper dog grooming will require at least 1 hour. If your dog has a short and no-shed coat, you can complete the grooming session in less than 20 minutes. But if you have a dog with a heavy and more difficult coat type, you can expect that the refining session will take a minimum of 2 hours. Besides, the timing also depends on who grooms your pup. For instance, if you do this yourself, it will take a lot of time if you are inexperienced. 

 Final Thoughts

So, acquiring knowledge on how to properly groom your precious dog needs patience. With some understanding and practice, you can do this like a pro. When someone checks out your dog, they will exclaim in wonder and ask you about the groomer. You can perform the task yourself, do not need to go to a professional groomer, and spend a few bucks. By doing this, you can spend some quality and fun time with your pup as well. Therefore, consider everything written in this article and offer your dog a healthy life by grooming adequately.

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Ankurman Handique

A wildlife lover loves to spend time with nature.

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