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Discussion Starter #1
Allison will be 1 year old April 6th. She had a puppy cut in November and we didn't like it at all. So.....I have let her hair grow back and have combed and brushed her every single day and she is still are getting matted up. Especially on her belly and the backs of her legs. She trys to nip me if it hurts when I groom, so I have tried to be very gentle. I have used thinning shears to help, which she doesn't mind at all. Does anyone have any suggestions for me ?? When will the matting slow down ?? She seems to be very tender, so it's upsetting to think that I am hurting her in any way. Thank you for any help provided !
 

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Kimberly
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I'm not sure how much truth is in it, but one pro groomer told me that as long as you have varying lengths of hair, you will continue to get mats. Thinning shears intentionally create varying lengths of hair. She also said that you just have to patiently work out the mats, trying to save as many hairs as possible to not break ends (for the same reason).

At a year old, is it possible that she is also going through her coat change? I've had a few friends that have had to endure several months of keeping on top of every single mat until things settle down. In the meantime, it seems like every time you look at them a new mat has formed.

Make sure you are using a good leave in conditioner and avoid anything with silicone in it (dimethicone and other -ethicone names), which seem to worsen the situation.
 

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Izzy, Doc, and Kai's mom
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I have a frustration as well....I've decided to let Izzy chew on a natural rawhide. When she does, her beard and muzzle get all tangled. I have a flea comb that I've used on her muzzle to help with the tearing gunk, so I tried it on the tangles left by chewing on the rawhide. I end up with her little white hairs in the comb and I wonder if I'm doing more harm than good. The pinbrush I have doesn't seem to have any affect as I think the pins are too long. Am I damaging her muzzle and beard hair with the flea comb? I have a rolling (not sure what it is called) comb, but it doesn't work real well on the little tangles. Thanks for any help....

Oh, also, when I bathe her, I don't seem to get rid of the odors around her muzzle from food, etc. I think I'm afraid of really getting her lathered up on the face and head....what's the best way to really get them clean? I'm using coat handlers conditioner and Pure Paw's reconstructive shampoo, but neither leave much lasting clean odor.

You guys are all great and the help on this forum is undeniably the best!!
 

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Yoda
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Boy can I relate to this. If you looked at yoda he would matt but now since he is shave down completly I dont have no prob LOL The family likes him better with his coat cut short but I dont I love the long coat Yoda is a year old now so I know he is going threw the stage of changing from puppy to adult so I look at it this way its only hair good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The reason I am using the thinning shears is because I had a trainer come to our home to help me train Allison. I explaind how she really tried to bite when I groomed her. She watched me, and said Allison was a tender little girl, and it was hurting her. To cut down on the pulling, she suggested the thinning shears and said that is what many groomers use. I will stop using them if they are doing more harm than good. I can't seem to get throught the matts without a real struggle. She hates it and I feel bad. I do use a leave in conditioner. Thank you !
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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I'd guess that Allison might still be blowing her coat. I've heard it can be from around 7 mths. to 12-14 months. The belly and 'armpits' seem to tangle the most on Ricky as well (8 mths.) and though he's trimmed a little around the penis and hind legs, I'm going to trim his belly hairs even more. They drag in the dirty snow, the sand on the roads and in the mud that seems to be everywhere now. It won't affect his look since it's all underneath and I'm sure it will save me some trouble. :D Since we aren't showing him, I don't mind cutting here and there if it means a more painless grooming.

Sorry I can't help much!
 

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Kimberly
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Judy, I'm a Pure Paws Reconstructive Shampoo & The Coat Handler Conditioner gal and as much as I love the products, I can't say that I use them for fragrance. LOL They are not perfumy and don't seem to leave a scent behind, but they do a great job on the coat!

I avoid rawhide, so I don't have that problem. My dogs do get fish oil, so they have a bit of a salmon scent to their faces, but that's coming from their mouths, not their coat, so I don't know what to tell you. By the way, if the flea comb is ripping hair, then yes, you are doing damage.

Vettech, I'd recommend you get a really good pair of small sharp grooming scissors instead. When you come across a mat that gives Allison trouble for you to brush, take the scissors and just open them up to slip one blade into the open area on the side nearest the skin and work it through the mat, away from the skin towards the free ends of the hairs. This will just slice through it (NOT across the mat) and if the scissors are sharp, it will almost slide through without giving Allison too much distress. You can always hold the hair at the root end, so it doesn't tug on her skin either. If she is at a point of freaking out everytime you groom her, you may need a second person to hold her still a couple of times so she doesn't jump up and get hurt by the scissors in a moment of panic.
 

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Izzy, Doc, and Kai's mom
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Even though the rawhide seems to keep her "busy" while I am "busy", I think I will stop giving them to her. She's only had one for about 5 days now, but the mess on her beard isn't worth it! This would be the obvious solution, wouldn't it!!! Too bad she like it so much....thanks, Kim.
 

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Bessie & Max's Parents
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I guess we've been lucky, at 5-1/2 months I think Max has had only one mat. I do comb him every day and with his puppy cut he just doesn't get the mats....I guess time will tell.
 

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Some Havs have a coat that tangles and some don't. It just depends on the texture. If I had one that tangled badly and I wasn't going to show it, I would certainly cut it back. I think that the "puppy" cut can be done in various ways - some more attractive than others.
Decide what it was about the puppy cut that you didn't like, and ask that the groomer change those things.
I personally like to keep the hair trimmed around my dogs' eyes and to keep the rest of their face longish- the ears, too. I keep the hair short on the underside of my male so I don't have to brush him in sensitive places. I keep the hair on the top and sides a medium length.
Dizzy's coat doesn't tangle much, so I can keep her coat long.
 

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I agree. Some coat types tangle more than others. I have to constantly brush Kodi. His coat is wavy and tends to mat easily. I'm sure if I let it, he could be corded. But, I prefr his coat longer, so I just keep brushing. I don't think he has completely gotten his adult coat yet, and his color is changing again.

Shelby has a silky, straight coat and hardly mats at all. I dont' have to brush her more than once a week.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone for all the great advice. I am going to try everything. When I had Allison cut in a puppy cut, she looked like a poodle and I wasn't happy. However, her comfort is most important. Today she let me comb her for quite awhile, so maybe things are getting better,. She's so much fun and has a wonderful personality. She makes us laugh every day. Even my old labs are happy with her. She cuddles with my 10 year old yellow male. She cuddles up against his belly and he puts his leg across her to get her closer. I think he's in love.
 

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vettech
The other thing I find is if Kodi is not happy being groomed, I just let it go for the day. I try to catch him at a better time, and we make it like a "Mommy and me" time. I just put him in my lap and get him to relax, then start gently brushing. Once he is OK with this, then we can start working on the mats. Also, I only do a little at a time, not all in one session.
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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Rick, I had the same ease as you have with Max. Ricky's coat was a dream to comb through every day... no mats ever! He got his first couple of tangles 2 weeks ago at the age of 8 mths. No big deal. Then last weekend, after plowing through tons and tons of snow and going in and out of the house at our friends' a dozen times, we had a huge mess on our hands the next day! omg, it was something!!

I think Ricky's coat is changing and so the tendency to mat seems to have finally arrived. Lovely! :( With the mess of spring and us wanting to walk him out in the neighborhood more often, therefore him getting even dirtier, I'm going to have to start cutting in places under him, the 'armpits', belly and all that just so I don't have to feel aggravated over mats. With #2 arriving tomorrow, I'm not sure how much time I'll want to spend dealing with them!

Good luck Vettech!
 

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I have to admit- some times if they are too bad I cut Jassy's mats off. He has very fine wavy hair so it blends in. I also find that the ice on ice works well- but I just got and tried "the stuff" and that seems to work better for Jas's coat. It has a bit slicker/oiler texture than the ice on ice. Good luck with Alison. Do you call her Ally?
 

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Cooper,Emma,Lily,Winston
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Vettech, Cooper is also very sensitive during brushings. I don't think I could possibly do it alone. My husband holds him and I comb and brush him so I can use one hand to hold the hair close to the skin, rather than just tug on it.
This afternoon I picked up a tool that I love, maybe i should even post it on a seperate thread, it's made by Evolution and is called a "V" rake with rotating pins. It's a great size, comfortable to use and only cost 8$. I definately recommend it.
Beverly
 

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I know a lot of you people groom your own dogs .
As I have posted before I take Cosmo and Ahnold to Auntie Lois for grooming . I feeel so lucky to have found her as she is the best and the dogs adore here . I am toast when Auntie Lois is around ..
I do not know if you can find a Master groomer but if you have one nearby highly recommend them or maybe if you are handy with the grooming tools you can do this yourself .
Lois shaves or closely clips their abdomen and leaves the side hairs longer and you have no idea that their belly is shaved . It helps prevent the matting and also keeps the burrs and fox tails and other things they pick up on their belly to a minimum .
She uses a wide toothed comb for their beards and their mats .. I do not know what products she uses but I am sure it is a commercial product .
Now I know this cut would not work for people who show their dogs as they have to be immaculate and no shortcuts in grooming are allowed in grooming I am sure :) but it sure helps people like me .
I am at a loss when I am in the desert so Lois cuts them a little shorter on their back and then I let it grow out into a longer cut and when I get back home I take them back to her and Lois gets them back in tip top shape .
 

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Hi
Me again I do not want you to think I do not bath , brush the dogs and groom them I do .
I just wanted you to know they are cut a certain way that makes the brushing and grooming easier for me .
I would also like to thenk whoever recommended Ice On Ice .
I also use bully bones (Small ) as chewies . They smell a little but the dogs seem to like them
 

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Kimberly
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Cosmosmom, you do such a great job with your boys. The only reason I can imagine you don't have a groomer in the desert is that none have lived up to your high standards yet.

You probably haven't found any "Auntie Lois" down there yet! :D
 

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Mom to Ricky and Sammy
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I agree, Cosmosmom, about keeping the belly hair short. Ricky has been proff'ly groomed twice now because I can never dry him well enough (we both lose patience with the blow dryer! :rolleyes: ) and Jan. and Feb. were very cold months. She recommended shaving a little there and now I can see that I'm going to either shave more myself or ask her to do it when I bring Ricky in for his nail trimming. With this messy spring weather, it's a mess down there! :eek: I'm also going to cut away some hair in his 'armpits' as they seem to be matting quite a bit lately.

Hubby and I had tried to trim Ricky's nails from day one, but I was always scared to hurt him and it took us his first week to do all the nails! lol By the time he was due again, I just couldn't handle the tension. Terribly weak of me, I know. :p When I heard the closest groomer to me did nails for $5, that was it! It gives me a chance to take Ricky out in the van (and he really needs to get used to that) and well worth the little time it took as well as the $5. He's been getting them done ever since.

Sammy got his nail trimmed at home by his previous owners, but I suppose I'll either attempt it myself :eek: or not even bother.

I have to say that my hat is off to those who show Havs! It's a lot of work to keep them clean and tangle-free this time of year.
 
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