Hi Tre_cani, Diva here! lol
I have pet grooming questions! My dog is a little, but FREAKIN POOFY HAIRED DOG! We dont know what she is exactly, but mostly I have heard she looks like she has sheep dog (cuz shes very shaggy) and maybe lapso (im guessin cuz of her size and face) Anywho.. this poor dog has so much hair and its really hard for me to take care of it all... I try to get her groomed but the last time she went they said the mats were so bad they had to shave her almost completely bald!! She was traumatized poor thing.. Well this time the mats arent as bad as the first time and they arent even visible... but I did notice that they are forming under her coat, close to her skin... like all over her body! And im so scared because i DO NOT want her shaved again and the lady today said that they would have to shave her so i took her home... she said that when they groom the dogs they have to be able to pull a comb thru all of the hair evenly like no tangles or nots and if she were to sit and unmat all of them it would take all day and she would charge 150 dollars... she aslo said that she wouldnt put my dog thru that "torture". So i bought a slicker brush and a comb (what she recomended) and have been trying soooo hard to work all of it out under her coat... I asked if I got most of them out could she do the best she can to try to groom her saving as much hair as she possibly can. She said maybe... so now im stuck.. because theres no way I want my doggie shaved again! But i think its important she stay groomed... so i ask... is there anyway she could groom the dog with the mats even if there are very few with out having to shave her hair off?? I mean cant she like cut her hair shorter even and still work with the mats or are they just impossible to deal with? Or did she just not want to fool with it... oh and is there anything i could use along with the slicker like conditioner of some sort to help speed the process?? WOW sorry for the LONG message but I'm just so scared for my dog!! lol Any of you advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!!
thanks so much
I wanted to post your question because this is something that I have run into on a regular basis in my lifetime of grooming and I thought it best to share your question and my answer with others that might be interested.
It seems people were always coming to me with stories of how their other groomer "unnecessarily shaved" their dog. Well, I have been doing this for a long time, and I have never "unnecessarily shaved" anything.
I know we all want our pets to look nice, so shaving them seems such a harsh thing to do, right? Well, it is sometimes the nicest thing we can do for our pets.
Mats are often very painful for the dog and getting them wet with rain or frequent baths just make them worse as the hair expands when wet and then contracts as it dries making the mats tighter. The dog will scratch herself tangling the knots even more.
It's a good idea to brush your dog frequently, especially when you have a "shaggy" dog. The "slicker brush" your groomer recommended sounds like the right tool for the job, as is combing out what you just brushed. This ensures that the knots are gone all the way to the skin. Remember that just because you cannot see the mats, does not mean that your dog is not bothered by them.
These shaggy breeds need certain care and upkeep. I would recommend to you that you get your dog on a regular grooming schedule. It is really important that you keep her brushed in between groomings if you wish to "keep her fluffy". Taking her to the groomer every 6-8 weeks is probably best, but you could talk to your groomer and she can advise you on that particular. Lots of us do in between brush outs too. Check with her, I'm sure she would do it if you asked. It's really not that hard to keep them brushed and mat-free if you start with a clean slate by shaving (which does not mean BALD, but is a very close trim). If you keep her coat a medium to short length, she will be easier to brush in between and loads more comfortable!
Most of us pet groomers agree that some dogs don't look so swell when they're shaved, and so try to save as much hair as possible when they're matted. No groomer wants to make a dog look like a naked baboon, but there are times when you just have to do what makes the pet comfortable. The process of de-matting is long and sometimes quite painful. Lots of us refuse to do it because it is just not in the best interest of the dog. The reason she would charge so much for it is that it is very time-consuming, as I image you've discovered. She cannot physically groom more dogs that day if she is busy with yours and so charges accordingly.
All that said, my suggestion is to have your groomer give her a shave and start from scratch. But if you insist on keeping the hair... the conditioner is a great idea. I do it all the time! Mix it with water and spray it on sections of matted hair and work the brush through it. If your dog sits still for you while pulling out mats, give her a great big kiss because it's a rare dog that will put up with pulling out mats like that! She sounds like a good baby!