Brushing your dog to avoid matting
by Melanie Scott Ellis
When you take your dog to a groomers, you naturally expect to return and your dog to be washed, dried and groomed to the specific way you like your dog to look. Some of you like your dog short and others like them fluffy and big. I as a groomer will give your dog the exact look you like. But for this to happen we have to work as a partnership in looking after your dog’s coat.
I have your dogs booked with me for 1.5 to 2 hours each. In this time I will be firstly make your dog feel at ease and comfortable with me to start, by playing etc. I will give them two good washes and conditioner/conditioning spray. Dry them, possibly pluck but clean ears, clip hygiene areas such as underarms, bum, underneath, in front of ears and lip line. I will clip out the hair inside their pads and cut their nails. Before I even start to groom them I have to make sure that I have dried the coat completely straight and brushed and combed them to make sure that there are not any matts which the clippers could catch and hurt them. Only then can I start to clip and scissor the coat. All dogs will get another comfort break after drying and a treat (if you have allowed this)
If your dog come to me matted I can not get the look you want. It will take longer for me to brush out but I am by law only allowed to brush a dog who is matted for 15 minutes due to the animal welfare act and cruelty to animals. Some matts will disburst themselves with the products I use and the drying technique I use but I am not a magician and when a dog is what we call ‘felted’ then the only humane alternative is to clip the coat off and free your dog from its straight jacket. Humanity over vanity.
I want your dog to be happy and if you have trouble brushing your dog, I will be no exception and your dog will not have a happy experience of being at a groomers as they will associate groomers with pain.
You have spent a lot of money getting a dog as you want to give them a good life with love, shelter, water and food. Another part of caring for your dog is to meet their needs with their skin and coat.
This is where I am here to help you in our partnership, so if you do your part then I can do mine without any discomfort to your dog or your pocket as there are extra charges for clipping off a matted dog.
All dogs need to be brushed. Daily for curly coats and three times a week for others. We as humans brush our hair at least once a day and it makes us feel good, can you imagine not brushing your hair for weeks on end and turning up at the hairdressers?
The idea is not to just brush your dogs back. You have to concentrate of every part. Some people I have found, brush certain part but leave the ears and the tail. What then happens is gets matted and its after time, impossible to brush out or will definitely hurt your dog when trying to brush out.
Brushing can be a close bond between you and your dog. Get into a routine, sit in front of the tv with your dog on your lap, and gently brush each leg. My dog loves this and rolls onto her back. The hair has to be brushed from the skin out in the same direction as the hair grows. The areas that get matted quickly are neck, where the collar is and behind ears, where adult tend to rub a dog, feet and ankles, where their hair gets wet from walks and matts up if not brushed out after a walk. Under arms where hair rubs and inside legs. It is just as important that after brushing, you get a metal comb and comb the hair through. Brushing alone does not take out matts.
Brushes we recommend
There are lots of different type brushes on the market but the brushes I love and always recommend are called Simpson flexi brushes. There are 4 different types which I use.
Green – All rounder, good for Yorkies and puppies. Where to buy
Purple – All rounder, good for double coated dogs and Shih tzu type coats. Where to buy
Blue – For Doodles, or any dog with a curly coat. Where to buy
Red – De matting brush (not recommend for use other than by dog groomers)
I love these brushes as they are flexible and will be gentler for your dog when used correctly. Don’t forget the importance of using a metal comb after.
When you come back from a walk with your dog and they get wet, I strongly suggest using a leave in conditioning spray for them before brushing as this will help keep their coat tangle free and they can dry naturally. The conditioning sprays I use are
Julie Harris – Management Spray. Where to buy
DezynaDog Amazing Trix Coat Spray, Where to buy
But there are others on the market.
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