Grooming for The Cockerpoo, Caviepoo, Poochon, Poodle, Bichon, Shi’s, Lhasa’s double coated breeds
Updated: Jan 19
Every dog molts; the difference lies in the way each breed sheds its hair. All dog breeds, whether they have no hair, short hair, or long scruffy hair, require regular grooming. Regardless of whether their coats require regular visits to a professional groomer, all breeds should be introduced to professional grooming at about 12 to 16 weeks of age. Because youngsters embrace all new experiences at this early ‘learning' period, the timing at that early period is critical. Every dog is in danger of encountering ‘fox poo,' muddy puddles, paint, and other hazards that may necessitate expert assistance!
Breeders and new owners have a misperception that their designer breed does not require professional trimming till it is 9 months old.
Many owners put off their first vacation till then. Because they haven't been shown how to do it by a groomer and haven't been brushing and combing their dogs appropriately, the harm has already been done, and the coat must be cut off.
The breeder is implying that taking a puppy as soon as it is old enough, around 12 weeks, begins the owners' education in dealing with the fur, as well as the dog's education in grooming.
The nails are cut, the hygiene regions are cut, and the pads are cut. Hair is clipped at the ends to eliminate dry ends, especially around the feet and around the eyes. This implies that when the ‘Coat change' occurs at roughly 6 to 11 months, the remaining puppy hair actually dies and falls out during a 4-week period.
Both the owner and the dog are accustomed to the necessities of home hair maintenance and the ease with which this hair may be removed by brushing and combing. Rather than it becoming caught against the skin until it resembles a Knotted fleece that can only be released by clipping it off!
It can truly mean the difference between enjoying a lifetime of grooming or hating being groomed by their owner and groomer because of early memories of pain and discomfort caused by tangles and knots built up due to their owner's lack of understanding of how to maintain their hair, and being afraid it will hurt again.
ALL Dog’s moult and shed their hair, but it is how they shed that hair,
whether it falls to the ground easily, is released by contact with other surfaces, or becomes caught inside the hair structure. There are also additional considerations to be made. Hormones, as well as seasons and sunlight, influence hair cycles. In the spring and autumn, both male and female dogs shed. Hair is lost by both sexes during their sexual cycles. Bitches do it right before they come into season because a sleeker coat can help them flee from the wrong mates, and also flee to safety once they're carrying pups. They shed again right before delivery to line their 'nest' and keep the puppies warm.
Males shed to 'look nice' to the females in their region, as well as during their maturation cycles, and to be able to fend against intruding males!
Because anything mixed between a poodle, Bichon, Shi, or Lhasa has a tight curly coat, and Spaniels, Labs, or retrievers, as well as some lines of Maltese, have a double-layered dense undercoat and top finer wavy silk hair, there will always be coat growth and shedding concerns. Poodles, for example, moult their hair, but because of the curls, the dead hair remains stuck in the coat, causing knots and tangles to form within days, which is why regular brushing and combing to remove this dead hair is so necessary.
With Spaniel breeds because of the two layers, the hair clumps together and travels down the shafts of hair, being caught fast roughly 5-10 cm from the skin when the spaniel breeds moult. Brushing and combing the coat daily prevents this from occurring.
The shedding and moulting concerns are exacerbated when the two coats are combined, and daily coat maintenance is much more vital, without brushing down to the skin to remove as much of the moulting hair as possible. Without this, the breed looks to have a magnificent shaggy ringlet look on the ends of the hair, but when the hair is lifted, it can be seen that each ringlet has a large flat region that is tangled with moulted hair, and behind that is an area of straight, tangle-free hair.
Clipping off matted hair close to the skin surface is the only choice for a dog that hasn't been brushed and combed correctly.
If this is left, each ringlet becomes linked to the one next to it due to body movement or scrunching motion, until it creates a thick blanket straight jacket of hair all over the Dog, similar to the fleece of a sheep.
Although the dog appears wavy and shaggy on the outside, underneath that straight jacket the dog's skin tightens and tightens as it moves, gets wet, wears a jacket, and even incorrect brushing and combing, until the dog avoids too much movement, or being touched, brushed, or combed, because movement pulls its skin all over its body, causing pain. Where the skin has been suffocated by the knots and deprived of sunlight and oxygen, it can become so delicate that it tears with the dog's movement or is injured by our attempts as owners to brush or comb away the tangles and knots.
It's very hard for a Dog Groomer to get a fine clipper blade behind the hair when it's matted so close to the skin. As a result of our negligence as owners, we put our dogs a
t danger of unintentional nicks or cuts, which are not the groomer's responsibility as they try to free the dog from the stifling knots, but our own responsibility for allowing the dog to get into that situation in the first place.
Those knots can sometimes create such a firm, tight mat that circulation to the face, ears, legs, feet, and tail is cut off.
All of these things might be decaying away behind the hair as bacteria infects the skin and tissues.
When this is discovered, either by us as owners or by the Dog Groomer, our only option will be to have our dogs groomed by a veterinarian using a surgical clipper blade in their office in order to remove the hair, treat the infections, and hope and pray that the dog does not lose its tail, ears, toes, or legs.
Unfortunately, as a groomer, I've seen dense matted hair removed only to discover a wound bursting at the seams with maggots, which were mercifully eating away at the infection.
The dog hadn't been brushed or combed in 6 months in that scenario!
If we do not brush or comb our dogs to maintain them knot-free, we are solely responsible for any negative repercussions that result from their removal.
Personally, I choose compassion before appearance, and I will NEVER force a dog to severe de-matting other than clipping the hair off as gently as possible to relieve their pain and suffering.
So, how does one get the scruffy appearance when daily brushing and combing converts the dog into "Puffballs" or makes him appear like a poodle fresh from the show ring?
Brush the coat thoroughly every three days, splitting the hair and brushing from root to tip, going over the entire dog, particularly under the legs, around the feet, and behind the ears. Then, using a comb, go over the entire dog to ensure that all shedding hair is removed from the coat.
If you can't wait for gravity and air moisture to drop the coat and produce the ringlet shaggy appearance, get one of those little fine spray bottles and fill it with boiling bottle water and a spoonful of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is used because it helps the skin maintain the proper pH for beneficial bacteria while repelling harmful germs. It also gives the hair a healthy sheen. Allow the dog to air dry after softly spraying it all over. This will gradually develop the ringlets. When using a hair drier, try to avoid scrunching your hair because this produces tangling.
If you do bathe your dog and dry them with a hairdryer, utilize the time while drying their hair to brush the hair down to the skin, using the drier as a third hand. When the coat is completely dry, comb it through as described above. Then spritz the coat and let it air dry and curl naturally. The same is true for dogs with curly hair, particularly any of the woolly or tight curled breeds; the hair must be cut wet and left to air dry naturally, or blasted dry with a brush to straighten the hair and then trimmed and sculpted into the desired style.If you want waves or ringlets, you may either let nature take its course and let the air gravity and humidity produce the ringlets over the following several days, or you may force the ringlets to develop.
The issue for groomers derives from both the welfare and the Health & Safety and regulatory regulations we must comply with and work by, particularly with relation to The Animal Welfare Act 2006.No one is allowed to give any animal pain, suffering, or discomfort under these conditions.
To keep any of the designer breeds in the shaggy appearance, the owner must put in a lot of effort and attention. The original “designer” of the Labrador-Poodle cross, who thought it would eliminate the need for daily brushing and combing by a disabled person on their assistance dog, didn't realize that it would really need more daily care to avoid knots and tangles.
This is why the breed never took off as an assistance dog once the issues emerged.
Those that are still being used are all in clipped of short styles to help these owners cope.
Many of my clients have their dogs trimmed off in a manageable “puppy style” where the hair is left around one to 2 inches in length. This over the proceeding 6/8weeks allows the hair with home brushing and combing to form the ringlets and shaggy look.
A few have the longer 3inch length, but find it takes them daily combing to keep the coat tangle free and the ringlets from forming into a solid mat.
The majority have their dogs clipped really short, because the dogs being a very active playful loving breed just love life, and want to enjoy it especially any forms of water, (both breeds are water dogs) without worrying about how that active life causes such issues with their hair, and worrying about all the work involved trying to keep it looking good!
After all this, a good Groomer will ask to see your Dog first for an assessment; this allows them to examine your dog, to see what type of coat it has and if the home grooming regime is coping with thee dog’s individual growth pattern. They will work with the owner to provide the best style for both the dog and Owners lifestyle.
It’s not an over night thing either. Sometimes it can take months to find a style that suits both, and requires a partnership between Owner, Dog and Groomer to end up with a style that ultimately works for the dog so it can be happy.
To this end, I cannot stress enough just how important the home grooming, of our dogs by us owners, brushing combing, ear cleaning, excess hair removal, nail examination and cleaning everyday can make both our selves and our dogs happy, by the releasing of those happy hormones, we both release, that de stresses us both. But also alerts us to any issues and gives early warnings, to enable us to seek Veterinary advice, and avoid unnecessary suffering for our dog’s or expense for us.
If a dog presents at ANY Salon for grooming services in a knotted matted condition, the Groomers ONLY option under The Animal Welfare Act is to clip off the hair to release the dog from the pain and distress the dog has been suffering by the neglect.
Groomers may be required to provide evidence of neglect or they too could face prosecution themselves, for not providing evidence that ‘At the time’ they were relieving the dog of its suffering. Sometimes too, for use as possible prosecution by RSPCA or Police under this Act if they have bought the dog to the salon for attention in a possible case. The reason for this is because this evidence may be requested by those Officers for use in possible charges. Sadly too, due to social media and the rise in malicious posts and revues left by some people, Groomers have to protect themselves and provide the evidence that refutes these ‘untrue’ claims, that are simply caused by Owners themselves in either not realising the amount of daily haircare required by these ‘designed’ cross breeds, or from denial it truly is their negligence in that daily care which caused the issue. This is done by taking photographic and physical evidence of a dog's condition, through the taking of photographs BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the groom, and the retaining of examples of hair taken from the dog.