The number one question I get asked by fellow dog owners is how to I groom Wilma’s coat. With doodles and other fluffy breeds on the rise in the last couple of years, grooming is being talked about an awful lot more in the dog world. The best way to maintain their coat is regular trips to the groomers every 4 – 6 weeks but it’s keeping on top of the coat in between that is important!
There are so many grooming products on the market right now, but you don’t need to spend a lot to keep a fluffy breed. I have drawers full of grooming kit for all the breeds I groom but I recommend just two simple tools for almost every dog.
First up a slicker brush:
This is a great starter brush to fluff up their coat and loosen it for you to brush them thoroughly afterwards. I use the Mikki Pro Slicker and could not be without it. If you hold back the fur in the opposite direction that it naturally falls, use the slicker to then brush it out in the normal direction. If there are any knots or tangles it will loosen them up for later [It will NOT get to the base of their coat, so won’t prevent or remove any knots]. Fluffing up and loosening the fur will make the next step so much easier for you.
I use a grooming table to make it more comfortable for the dogs and I, but you could use a normal table if you just want the extra height, or I have seen people use ironing boards but I’m not sure how safe they are.
If you could only ever have one piece of grooming equipment it just has to be a metal comb. It is the cheapest bit of kit out there & is all you could need. It’s the only thing that will get to the base of their coat every time, preventing all knots and matts. Most pet shops will sell these or you can get them for under £7 on Amazon.
So ideally this should be done every single day to keep them knot free, but so many of us have busy lives. I brush her through every couple of days but to enable me to do it every couple of days rather than every day I keep her coat quite short so it’s easier to maintain.
Cutting their coat:
I groom all my dogs myself, just because I know what I’m doing and I have all the kit; however every so often I send Wilma to my wonderful local groomer for a makeover which is a treat for both her and I! If you feel up to it, learning to trim around their eyes is always useful, but for a full cut always go to your groomer. Your groomer has trained to do exactly this and is experienced in all breed cuts and how to handle different dogs. If you’re worried about how they will look afterwards and if you’ll like it or not then simply find a photo of the same breed with a groom that you like and take it in and talk to your groomer. They can then see what will work with your dog and help achieve the look that you want.
I always advise against shaving a dog, but for Poodle breeds it is ok. Their coats are single coated, not a double coated breed like a Spaniel or Collie. Your groomer will usually shave their body and then scissor their legs to thin out the fur and blend it into their body.
What if they cut them really short?
No groomer enjoys clipping your dog all over, making them look like a super skinny lamb, losing their gorgeous fluff. However the dog’s comfort always comes before how they look. If for whatever reason you haven’t been brushing your dog, or you’ve not been using a comb, meaning when you brush you don’t get to the base of their coat, then your dog will be matted. Every fluffy dog owner will have a stage where this happens and the grooming of their dog has been missed, but the good thing is you’ve taken them to the groomer and it can be sorted. Minor matting can very slowly be brushed out if it doesn’t cause too much discomfort to your dog, otherwise they will be shaved all over which will be so much more comfortable for them. You may be embarrassed or don’t like them looking this short but don’t worry because the magic thing with their fur is that it always grows back! Having them that short means you can start again from scratch and keep on top of the brushing.
How do I find a cheap groomers near me?
You are paying a groomer for their time, so think of it as paying them by the hour plus the expense of all their equipment etc. Prices will vary in different locations across the country but estimate paying at least £20 ish per hour for a good groomer. Doodles and fluffy breeds will take a lot longer to brush, wash, dry and then cut compared to a shorthaired breed like a labrador. So 2 – 3 hours would be normal, but the longer the hair, or any matting will take them longer to work through.
We hope this has helped you learn a little bit more about how I groom Wilma, if you’d like to see how I look after Woody’s Spaniel coat then click here.
Thanks for reading,
Megan, Woody & Wilma
All my grooming knowledge is from working in a groomers. If you have any questions message me or phone up and speak to your groomers, they will be happy to talk through options and help you out.