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Old 02-06-2014, 08:56 PM
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Southpaw Southpaw is offline
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Default Unruly undercoat

It became apparent to me today that I have really been slacking on Happy's grooming upkeep. Apparently, just using a slicker brush on her just makes her LOOK well kept. =P

Basically her undercoat is just.... super thick and tangly and kind of begging to come out. Here are the "tools" I have: a bathtub. A regular hair dryer. A slicker brush. An undercoat rake.

Any tips on how to tackle this? I'm def a little clueless. When I adopted her, I brought her to the groomer a couple days later and she did it for me lol and I just maintained after that. But I don't really want to bring her in unless I have to. Do I just keep tackling her with the undercoat rake and eventually it will be tame again?
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:18 PM
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Honestly, if it were me and her coat is as bad as I'm envisioning it...then I'd take her to a groomer and then start maintaining from scratch. But then, I'm lazy and wouldn't want to fight with doing it myself.

If I did want to fight with it, I'd take her to a self service groom place and give her a very good wash/conditioner and blow out with a force drier. You'd be amazed at what a proper blow out will do for an undercoat. Then I'd attack with an undercoat rake. Work in sections and take breaks if she gets antsy. If she's at all matted you may need to get a dematting tool to help you break through them.

Once she gets to the point where her coat is back to good condition, I'd do all brushing with the rake. Honestly, just don't use the slicker brush except on feathers. It won't do a thing for her undercoat, like you've noticed. Lol
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:18 PM
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I really really like my undercoat rake. I would imagine with a dog like Happy who has tons of coat, you're going to need to be very thorough and lift up the layers to brush them.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:57 PM
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I used to be so good about using the undercoat rake every week! And then it got cold and let's face it, it sucks to clean up all that hair in the house lol. So this winter has been lacking. Her coat isnt HORRIBLE it's just worse than I'd like! I'll see what I can accomplish with the rake myself. Then call the groomer when I'm sick of it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:40 PM
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Start with a warm bath yourself and see what you can get loose just from the bath. Until I got my force air dryer, I dried Happy and Kota and even baby Auggie with a regular hair dryer, so feel free to use it. It probably won't go super far in blasting any hair out, but it will help her dry out faster so you can get to the brushing part.
Then you'll need to start line brushing with the undercoat rake. Have her laying on her side and start at the belly. Do the entire side, shoulder to thigh. Then do the legs themselves. Flip her over and do the other side the same way, just her side from shoulder to thigh and then each leg. Then have her stand up and start at her tail, then work your way up to her shoulders along the back. Finally, you can do her chest and neck. On my guys the ruff is usually the most complicated because it's all white... so you can't see what's loose undercoat and what's not. =P

Basically you line brush each section until no more hair is coming out and then keep going. It can be time-consuming, I recommend doing it while sitting on the floor with the TV on so you can have some interesting background noise while you work. But absolutely you can do it yourself... no groomer necessary. Just lots of time!

Oh yeah... and be prepared to change after you're done because you'll probably be covered in dog hair, and you'll need to vacuum too LOL.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:49 PM
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Just a thought, if her coat is super thick and a regular hair dryer isn't enough or too hot. Use a shop vac. Thats what I have used on Peewee in the past. It works much faster than the "pet" hair dryer I have and its cooler for him than my regular hair dyer.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:31 AM
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Thanks for the tips! She's going to love me for all this. Not.
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