I’ve been a dog groomer for a while now and I love every minute of it. Although the biggest challenge I regularly come across is the expectation of the perfect cut/style on your pup without realising the hard work behind it. The introduction of the “Doodles and Poos” i.e Labradoodles, Cockapoos, Shipoos, Cavapoo, Cavachons, Poochons etc is a blessing and I love them all with their great temperament and their willingness to please, however there becomes a “problem” when it comes to their coats.
Doodles and Poos have a double coat (mainly) with a thick undercoat that usually doesn’t moult, this is what makes these breeds appealing to many people. However, what happens to the hair if they don’t moult?… It grows longer and the thick fluffy undercoat becomes matted up if it’s not removed by brushing and combing regularly. By that I mean 1 – 2 times a day.
Many customers do what we call “top-brushing” & this means they attempt to brush the coat but with a nice gentle brush which just glides over the top of the coat and doesn’t get to the bottom coat. This will not do. You need a good slicker brush to start off brushing with and against the lay of the coat. Once happy the coat is fairly knot-free, you need to bring in a fine long tooth metal comb, making sure you comb right down to the skin. You need to see the pink of the skin and separate in lines/sections of the coat when brushing to ensure you don’t miss any parts of the dog. Should you find a matt, use a de-matting spray solution to help comb it out. This is a somewhat laborious task and one to be given a great deal of thought before you even purchase your little fluff ball.
“But my dog doesn’t like being brushed!”
“My dog won’t sit still and runs away!”
“He nips at me when I try to brush him!”
It’s your responsibility as an owner to ensure you desensitise your dog to this. Start them from a young age and have a set time each night that you brush them. Give them lots of praise and treats throughout and your pup will soon begin to see it as a good thing and accept it. (Side note – It sometimes helps little dogs to pop them up on a kitchen table or ironing board when it comes to set brushing time each night. It enables you to get a full view of them and you can brush legs and feet easier. It also helps us groomers as they are learning to stand still on a table for their grooms.)
Now, this is where I come in. Your curly-coated pup needs to visit a professional groomer at LEAST every 8 weeks, preferably every 6 to make sure their coat is in tip-top condition. The coat usually needs to be shortened down to make it more manageable for you and more comfortable for your doggy. Now, if your dog hasn’t seen a brush in that time, other than just to admire it from afar, he is likely to be knotty and matted. It is unkind to try and de-matt these coats as it is painful and uncomfortable for animals and I will not cause any pain or suffering as I abide by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Therefore the only humane thing to do is clip the coat short. I need to be able to get underneath the matting which often entails using a very short blade. I will do my best for your dog but if you haven’t put the time in at home for over 8 weeks, I can’t rectify it in 2 hours. Please be assured I always do my utmost to send home a beautiful little furball but I always put humanity before vanity. Your dog is my main concern.
Thank you for reading this far. I hope what I’ve said makes sense and I’d love to see you all and your furry friend every 6 weeks to make your four-legged friends visit more pleasant and fun.
If you would like any help or advice with brushing and combing, just pop me a message and I’ll be happy to help.
Also, if you don’t know how to line brush your dog and would like a demonstration please let me know at their next grooming appointment.