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Old 04-22-2011, 12:44 AM
momomama momomama is offline
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Default Fur matting problem

Hi, I just joined this forum by doing a search on google. My daughter has a shih-poo. He is a mixed breed, shitzu and poodle. Since one parent was a shihpoo, and one a poodle, I guess you could say he is probably 75% poodle, lol.

To get to the point, his fur is very thick, grows very fast, and is kind of curly and fuzzy at the same time. I have had him groomed about 3 times, he is a year old. The last time he was groomed was in late November. At that time, before I took him, I had cut all of his fur off really short myself because of mats. The way those mats happened were really confusing. Before I cut him, he was a big fluffy mop, and no mats. But then my son gave him a bath, and I don't know what happened, if he didn't rinse him well, or if it was because the fur dryed tangled before being brushed or what. But after that bath he ended up immediately covered with mats down to his skin all over his body. I couldn't do anything with it except cut his fur very short all over. I had gotten most of them out, except for some tiny ones here and there, like in his armpits, and maybe some around the neck.

So I took him to the groomers, so that they could straighten him out the best they could, so that he would at least look neater after I had butchered his fur. Because of the tiny mats that were left, the groomer lectured me, and told me that letting my dog get mats was dog abuse. I felt very hurt, because it was never my intention to abuse our dog. I mean, that's why I cut his fur myself to begin with. I was so upset when he was matted down to the skin, and it had happened so fast because of that one bath.

His fur is so strange, and I just don't know how to deal with it. It is getting harder and harder to deal with. After his last cut, I told my teenage daughter to make sure and brush him every day, because I didn't want it to happen again. I work all the time, and don't have time to do it myself all the time. Well, regardless to say, she didn't do it as often as she should. He now needs another cut, which I will probably take him next week as soon as I get paid.
He is a big fluffy mop again, and he has some mats around his neck on each side, and some on his chest. Nothing that feels real close to the skin, but still there.
I tried cutting him tonight, but he won't let me. He is hyper, and he keeps trying to nip at me. he keeps trying to get away, and I'm afraid to cut around his neck in fear of stabbing him with the scissors. I don't know how to keep him still.

But when he is at the groomers, they said he was so good. He stands up there , with a leash attached to the table, and he lets them cut his fur. I try to do it on the bed, but he keeps rolling around. I don't understand why he won't be still for me.

So I can't get the mats out. I wanted to cut those out before taking him to the groomers. Which, by the way, I'm taking him to a new groomer, because I'm afraid the other woman will either lecture me again. I mean, the mats are not anywhere close to an abused abandoned dog, but any mats at all will anger her.

So I guess, the questions I need answered are:

Do all groomers accuse you of abusing your dog if there are a few mats?
Should I try to somehow get the mats out before taking him to be groomed?
If so, how do I get the mats out when he won't be still?
Should I buy a pair of dog clippers to use in between groomings?
Why does he seem to mat up so easy after a bath?

I know I should be taking him every 4 weeks (because that is how fast his fur grows). But I'm a single mom, and $65.00 every month is sometimes not possible.

His fur is really challenging to me, do full breed poodles grow this fast? His fur grows several inches long, and is long, wavy and fuzzy. It is like very long strands of cotton, very hard to describe. When he is groomed short, he looks like a poodle. When he grows out, he looks like a rag mop, lol.

Please don't lecture me, because I am trying to take care of his fur, it is just very hard to manage.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:52 AM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momomama View Post

So I guess, the questions I need answered are:

Do all groomers accuse you of abusing your dog if there are a few mats?
Should I try to somehow get the mats out before taking him to be groomed?
If so, how do I get the mats out when he won't be still?
Should I buy a pair of dog clippers to use in between groomings?
Why does he seem to mat up so easy after a bath?
I get nasty with people when I start removing fur in clumps. A few mats is nothing, they happen. If if looks like I sheared your dog and removed the entire coat in a single piece, we're going to talk.

Yes, you should comb your dog out before you take them to the groomers, it'll save you money, and your groomer time. For the average poodle mix you'll need a steel comb and a slicker brush. These two items are not expensive. You might also want to buy yourself a matt breaker if you feel you're able to use one without cutting your dog.

If you feel comfortable clipping your dog by all means get a set of clippers. However unless you're comfortable and understand how to use them safely I'd rather see you not.

Wet warm hair curls into itself. Curls lead to mats. That's why it's so important with a curly coated dog to blow dry them out then brush them.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:58 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Honestly I think it's ridiculous the groomer lectured you - especially if you explained that it happened so quickly. I mean you were going there for HELP. if you wanted to abuse your dog, you wouldn't go to the groomer at all.

I wouldn't worry about getting the mats out before going to the groomer. You're paying the groomer to groom your dog. That should include cutting out a couple mats. Maybe ask them when you go what they recommend for upkeep between grooming visits? Maybe there's a certain cream rinse that will help or something.

The reason he's good at the groomer and not for you can be any nubmer of things. My first guess would be proper restraint at the groomer, and using clippers instead of scissors (clippers are MUCH MUCH safer than scissors, especially on an rowdy dog and when you're not sure what you're doing!).

If you want to learn how to groom him yourself, clippers might be a good investment. I think they're a good thing for any dog owner to have - both my dogs are short-haired and I still own a cheap set of clippers for clipping wounds and stuff. I have only used them maybe once or twice, though. If you can, have someone show you how to do it, and have someone that can help restrain him at least the first few times. A grooming table may be a good investment. I figure for a set of clippers and a grooming table you're looking at around $200 - that's a pretty good deal if you're paying $65 a month for grooming!

You also need to take responsibility for the brushing/combing, unless this is your daughter's dog. Otherwise it's your dog, your responsibility. Make time - it shouldn't take that long. I'm all for teaching kids responsibility and having them help care for the pets, but not at the expense of the animal's welfare. Maybe have him clipped really really short so you don't have to brush as often, at least initially.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:58 AM
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Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
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I do have a couple thoughts for you.

4 weeks is a pretty tight grooming schedule. If you go shorter (but not naked short) you can probably squeeze that out to 6-8 weeks. I like a #5 FC body clip on many poodle coated dogs. You can also extend it by doing drop ins for minor touchups around the poop shoot, the foot pads, and the bridge of the nose. I used to charge $10 for the few minutes it'd take me to trim those without a bath or touching the rest of the body.

You need to take a look at your dog's collar to prevent neck mats. I would suggest going to a rolled leather collar. It should reduce the amount of matting you see. Another option is to go collarless if your have your dog microchipped.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:03 AM
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Try grooming him on your table or countertop instead of the bed. I'm sure he's used to playing on the bed, so he doesn't get that he's supposed to hold still. The leash around their neck also helps, as does the fact that groomers are used to handling dogs and the dogs, in turn, respond well to that.

You might want to buy a pair of clippers with a longer guard so he's not shaved all the way down, but you can keep him shorter and help keep out the mats. He obviously needs to be brushed more often and that's just something you need to get into the habit of doing. Don't worry about the other groomer, they do see a lot of people who just neglect the living daylights out of their dogs and they're jaded. It doesn't sound like you're in that category. But it is something to be very aware of.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:26 AM
Michiyo-Fir Michiyo-Fir is offline
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Also very important, use conditioner after shampooing!! I don't know if you do now but it's very very important to keep fur from matting in poodle type coats!
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:32 AM
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Tankstar Tankstar is offline
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You need to take charge and start brushing the dog. If you are paying for the dogs things, then this is your dog.

he hasnt been groomed now for almost 7 months. Im going to say its safe to assume he IS a major matted mess right now. People tell me all the time over the phone "Or he just has a few small matts" when in turn they show up, and its like shearing a sheep. Im sorry, but i too find it to be dog abuse. its very painful for the dog, causes skin issues, harbours disease. I have seen dogs with ganegreen growing under their mats.

Id take the dog to the groomer, ask for a complete strip, and start fresh, brush him every day, or atleast ever other day. Its a matter of about 15-20mins to do. Or if you dont want to. cant find that small window of time. Take him in every 3 months for a complete strip. that way he wont get all matted and tangled. which is very painful.

if you feel mats on him. DO NOT bathe him. Which I bet you have in 7 months. which is what causes skin issues. since mats do not dry very well, and sit wet on a dogs skin for way to long.
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