Customer: “Hi there, we’d like to keep Fluffy as long as possible today, maybe just a 1/4 inch off?”
Dog groomer: “I’m sorry ma’am, but Fluffy is extremely matted all over. The best thing to do today would be to shave her down, get rid of all of the mats and start over.”
Customer: “Oh, but I hate it when she’s shaved, and Fluffy doesn’t like it either.”
This is a reoccurring conversation with clients in the dog grooming industry. Everyone likes to keep their dogs fluffy, but no one wants to put in the work between grooms to be able to obtain the look that they want every time, or maybe they truly just aren’t educated about how to maintain their dogs coat between grooms. That’s why I’m here to help today!
First off, you have to brush your dog if you have a dog that gets matted easily. Brush, brush, and brush some more. Now, when I say brush, I don’t just mean brush the back of your dog and you’re good. Brush everywhere.. If you want that long coat every groom, you have to be thorough in your brushing. I’m not saying you have to brush your dog every day; A good brushing once a week should be good. Then, when you think you are done brushing, take a comb through your dogs coat. This is the true key and test of your brushing skills.. Does the comb flow smoothly through your dogs fur? If the answer is yes, congratulations, keep up the good work! However, if you answered no, you need to practice and “brush up” on your brushing skills, (sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
Often times, people swear that they brush their dogs, and they swear that their dog is not matted. And so many times I want to tell people to take a comb and see if it goes through their dogs fur. If you can’t smoothly get a comb through your dogs fur, then don’t expect us groomers to be able to de-mat your dog in an hour to leave them long.
On another note, if you have a dog with a coat that curls up when it gets wet, (Bichons, Poodles, Doodles, etc.) it’s best to not let them go swimming all of the time, unless you want them to sport a nice summer cut. If you want that long coat and your dog insists on swimming all of the time, then I suggest drying your dog and brushing it very thoroughly after every swim. If you don’t, any mats get tighter and tighter every time they get wet. The curlier the coat, the more easily it gets matted.
Now, onto the tools for your dogs coat type:
Short haired dogs: (Labs, German Short Haired Pointers, Pit Bull Terriers, Pugs, Dalmatians, Beagles, short haired Chihuahuas, etc.) :
KONG Zoom Groom Brush works wonders on these kinds of coats!
After using the KONG Zoom Groom, I usually follow up with a normal brush. My favorite is the Mark VI Slicker Brush by Chris Christensen. A cheaper alternative would be something like this. There’s something about the Chris Christensen Mark VI though, I’m telling you, it’s worth the money.
Long haired, double coated dogs and curly haired dogs: (Huskies, German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, Malamutes, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Doodles, Bichons, Pomeranians, etc.) :
Chris Christensen Big K Slicker Brush works great on these coat types.
Chris Christensen Mark VI will also work well on these coat types.
After brushing these coat types very thoroughly I always follow through and comb through the coat with the Chris Christensen Buttercomb. This ensures that there are not any mats in the coat. Now, you can find cheaper alternatives for the comb, but I have been through many combs and the Buttercomb is one of the best. The cheaper alternative combs usually start losing their teeth after a few uses.
So there you have it! If you have a dog breed that I didn’t list and you’re not quite sure what would be best to use on them, leave a comment below and I’ll help you out!
Xo, Jennah Rae
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