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Author Topic: The Right Tools for the Job: a Grooming Tools Reference Guide  (Read 28191 times)
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bluebell
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« on: October 28, 2007, 05:22:03 PM »

As we all know, maintaining our fluffers coats can be quite the challenge. The combination of their corkscrew curls and plush, springy undercoat can create a grooming disaster. I can only imagine the heartbreak in bringing your fluffbaby to the groomers only to have it shaved, or to be lectured on neglecting coat care. In this thread I will discuss the different tools that I use for grooming this breed and how to properly use them. Please remember that these are my opinions based on my experience as a professional groomer and bichon owner. Please feel free to add your own experiences and comments original

The first key to success is making sure you have control over the dog. I recommend using a raised surface, like a grooming table or counter, to place your dog upon. This will help to keep your dog from escaping and give you a more assertive position. Trying to brush them on the floor or on your lap may not always be successful (not to say that it can't be done, but not all fluffs are as relaxed and accustomed to lap grooming as Max Stick Out Tongue). For traction on a slippery surface, you can use a rubber shower mat. This is easily removed and stored for when you are not grooming, and is inexpensive and effective. For dogs who are not tolerant of brushing, it may be a good idea to have some treats at hand to dispense as you go. Remember that you only want to reward them for good behavior i.e. when they are staying still and allowing the brushing, not when they stop bad behaviors like biting or squirming.

So now that we have our grooming area ready to go, lets take a look at the tools.

The first tool in my kit is a slicker brush.  This is a brush with bent bristles and comes in a wide variety of firmness levels, shapes and sizes. A common complaint I have heard is that the dogs do not tolerate this brush, and that it irritates the skin. My guess as to why dogs do not always tolerate this brush is that it is a firm brush and is often used with too much pressure. Cheaper slicker brushes can also have very rough edges on the bristles. If it scratches your skin it can scratch theirs.

I use one of two brands of slicker brushes. The first is by Chris Christiansen (Click Here for Chris's website). These brushes have rounded tips to avoid hair breakage and skin irritation. They are also a finer grade of bristle, making for a soft brush. This brush is excellent for puppies (who have thinner coats), older fluffs whose coats are thinning, and fluffs who are kept in shorter trims. They can be used on longer coats if you employ the line brushing method (for detailed instructions on this brushing method, check this thread). This brush is not good for breaking up mats. It can handle a small tangle, but the fineness of the bristles will be ineffective against solid pieces of any size.

The second line of brushes is by Les Poochs (Click Here for Michel's webpage). These slicker brushes have flexible heads to reduce brushing pressure. They come in varying firmness levels, ranging from soft to very firm. In my experience, the softer bristles of these brushes do not hold up nearly as well as the Chris Christiansen. This is my opinion. I do regularly use the "blue" brushes and the Mat Zapper (red handle). These are excellent for mat work, as the stiffer bristles will break up the mats and the flexible heads will reduce the pressure on the skin. A cheaper version of these brushes has been introduced by Mars and Master Grooming Tools. I have used the latter and they are pretty decent (you can find them Here).

When using this type of brush, you do not want to apply too much pressure. Test it out on your forearm to see that you are not brushing too aggressively (on the same note, you must apply some pressure or else you will not get the bristles through the hair). When dealing with a mat,  I will first spritz the mat with a leave-in conditioner. I love Chris Christiansen's Ice on Ice, as well as Top Performance's GloCoat (click each brand name to go to their respective webpages).  After the mat has been moistened I will grasp in between my fingers and start brushing. I do not like to use mat breakers or other bladed tools as these cut the hair, creating holes in the coat. I will pick apart the mat using the brush and a comb, keeping my fingers between the mat and the skin. Obviously severe or cast matting (pelting/felting) cannot be tackled this way, but hopefully using the right tools the right way will prevent you from seeing those severe types of mats Happy 2
« Last Edit: October 28, 2007, 06:00:43 PM by Bluebell » Logged
bluebell
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2007, 05:22:25 PM »

The next tool in my kit is a pin brush. This brush is similar to many human brushes, with larger, rounded bristles. These brushes are great for longer coats as they have longer bristles and are less damaging to the coat (which when you want to keep them full you want to avoid coat breakage that will cause holes and matting). Again, Chris Christiansen is a brand I recommend (Click Here to check out his pin brushes). They have a few options to choose from, and your choice will be based on the length of your fluffs coat. Again, the length of the coat will require use of the line brushing method. When you start dealing with coats over 2 inches you really need to make sure you are getting all of the coat combed right down to the skin. Otherwise you will only be brushing out the top coat, allowing cast mats to develop below. If you encounter a mat, do not use your pin brush to break it up. Like the softer slicker brushes, you risk damaging the brush and it's bristles.
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bluebell
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2007, 05:22:33 PM »

The third and most important tool in my kit is the comb. It is called by a few names, greyhound comb or poodle comb being most popular. Here is the comb that I use on Bluebell. When choosing a comb, you want to make sure it has fine teeth (or a combo of medium and fine teeth) and that it has smooth edges. If the tips are rough or if is is coated and you can see visible imperfections, you should toss the comb and find a better one. These imperfections will only cause damage to the coat, which is not what we want as coat damage leads to more mats.

You may be surprised to see that my tool kit only comprises of three tools, but they are the only ones required for grooming these coats nodding  I use the pin brush first (on longer costs), the slicker brush on any mats and for shorter coats (and for fluff drying), and the comb to finish. Bluebell is a large bichon in a full coat and I spend about 2 8 minutes a day getting her all combed out. The amount of work increases exponentially the longer you leave in between. Not all dogs will need daily brushing, but the longer you leave in between, the more undercoat to detangle and the more work for you. If you have any questions or feel I have left something out please let me know thumbsup
« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 01:23:43 PM by Bluebell » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2007, 05:26:57 PM »

That was such an informative post Danielle,thanks for taking the time to post all that info for us.I especially liked your shower mat idea  eyebrows  Laughing and your tip about the treats  thumbup -I was feeding them to Scoob as soon as he stopped eating the brush but he wasnt really accepting it ie keeping his head still.     
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bluebell
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2007, 06:04:31 PM »

Thanks Melissa original It is a common mistake with traeting the wrong behaviors. I'm not a behaviorist or anything like that, but from my experience when you reward them for stopping bad behaviours, they may see it as reward for the bad behavior itself (I bit the brush and when I looked at mom she gave me a treat). The same idea goes for praise, keeping it for good behaviour. thumbsup
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Carol
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2007, 06:34:44 PM »

Wow, Danielle. This is fantastic information. I had been using a good pin brush on Ozzie and nothing else, so this is where I was going wrong. I just bought a Groomax slicker brush - do you have any experience, opinions on this brand? (I still have the receipt and it can go right back  eyebrows)
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bluebell
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2007, 06:41:26 PM »

I don't know this brand. If you run it over your forearm, does it scrape your skin? If the edges are rounded it should not scrape, and should be fine to use on little Ozzie. If it does scrape, you run the risk of coat breakage and skin irritation. Just be sure to get a comb for him too wink1
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Carol
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2007, 06:54:44 PM »

It doesn't scrape my skin, but it does leave little fine white lines (my skin is a bit dry). Maybe I am pressing too hard? It also came with the attached little gadget. No explanation whatever on the package. Do you know what it is?
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bluebell
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2007, 06:57:50 PM »

Ooh that is scary! Laughing My guess is it is for breaking up mats. I would not use it myself.  If it *it being the new slicker brush and not that crazy claw thing!* is not scraping too much it should be okay. Try it on Ozzie for a few days, and see how it does. Moderate pressure being conscious of his skin original

*Edit to specify which tool I would try using on Ozzie  wacko
« Last Edit: October 28, 2007, 09:06:19 PM by Bluebell » Logged
Carol
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2007, 09:01:47 PM »

wacko I don't think I'll use it either. It looks so weird, I thought a picture would be worth a thousand words.
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2007, 09:09:23 PM »

Great thread  thumbsup , I am happy to see the tools and to say I seem to be pretty much on track blush ,  I have to say I have a double sided comb, which I had for my persians, and Riley  manfro has chewed the handle so much I will need a new one soon  nodding , but I have been looking and in fact purchasing for months, and have yet to find one that measures up  Mad , they are just not nice and smooth or comfortable to use.  No  I think I might get Steve to make me a new handle in stead.  Laughing
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bluebell
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2007, 09:15:07 PM »

I don't know how comfortable these are compared to your old kitty comb, but Chris also makes handles that snap over the regular combs to make them easier to hold. Check them out Here.

and one look at Riley is proof that you are "pretty much on track" if not more Stick Out Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2007, 09:43:11 AM »

Thanks Danielle - that was really useful.  One question - I have a matt breaker with blades which I use particularly on Molly, but I have never made any holes in her coat and according to the last groomer her coat was in 'superb' condition, so I am presuming there were no breakages.  Would it depend on how forceful/aggressive someone is whilst using a bladed matt breaker, or maybe the frequency of use ie if it was used every day or something?  I was just wondering because I would hate to think that I was damaging Molly's lovely coat by using it.

Sorry - another question!  You only have to spend about 2 minutes combing Blue out?  That's amazing.  I brush/comb the twins every day but it takes me an awful lot longer than that!  Is that because of the Ice on Ice leave in conditioner, do you think?  That looks like amazing stuff - I will have to see if they ship to the UK.  I use Cowboy Magic and that is very good but it can be a bit oily.
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bluebell
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2007, 10:31:35 AM »

One question - I have a matt breaker with blades which I use particularly on Molly, but I have never made any holes in her coat and according to the last groomer her coat was in 'superb' condition, so I am presuming there were no breakages.

When they are kept shorter it is hard to see the holes it creates (or maybe not at all if the groomer cuts them down to match the shorter lengths), but when you use blades to cut apart a mat it cuts the hair to different lengths.

Sorry - another question!  You only have to spend about 2 minutes combing Blue out?  That's amazing.  I brush/comb the twins every day but it takes me an awful lot longer than that!  Is that because of the Ice on Ice leave in conditioner, do you think?  .


Actually I only use the Ice on Ice on Blue's tail (to make it extra silky). Because I get her combed everyday, and because she has a thinner coat, she never gets more than a small tangle. I do condition her when I bath her to strengthen her hair and keep the cuticles smooth. Plus I fluff dry her so she is super straight. Both will help to prevent matting as well. I will have to see if Bob can video me brushing her out later on.
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« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2007, 01:42:46 PM »

What an informative post, Danielle!  thumbsup ... I just recently "rediscovered" the pin brush (I had used it during puppyhood and stopped when the adult coat came in?  Doh wacko  I'm not sure why?  blink .. anyhoo, like you, I use all three now  nodding , but definately will look for a better slicker brush  nodding ... I think mine are kinda cheap  ashamed hence the reason they aren't tolerated well because they hurt!  crazy

The amount of work increases exponentially the longer you leave in between. Not all dogs will need daily brushing, but the longer you leave in between, the more undercoat to detangle and the more work for you.

Boy! You can say THAT again!  wacko ... Max   manfro has such a thick coat that even at age 4 with his adult coat fully in .. his hair will still matt quite a bit  crazy if I slack off on the brushing  ashamed .... the other day it took me 2 hours  Fainting to brush him out 'cause I had waited so long.  Crying


(not to say that it can't be done, but not all fluffs are as relaxed and accustomed to lap grooming as Max Stick Out Tongue).

Laughing I laughed when I saw that!  Laughing .... actually  whistling I've even turned the Budster  clown hyper into a  eyebrows lap grooming fluff as well!  Stick Out Tongue
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bluebell
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« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2007, 01:56:46 PM »

Thanks for stopping by Susan original

After Carol's latest grooming appointment, Del came up with the idea to post a thread about the different brushes and combs to help out everybody.

I used to buy cheap slicker brushes too Bag Head When I first started grooming I was taught that cheaper tools may not last as long but they are fine. After doing my own research and attending seminars I came to learn that quaility tools not only last longer, but they are better for the coat (meaning less coat damage and less matting).
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bluebell
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2007, 01:59:01 PM »

Hils, I stand corrected. I just took a video of myself combing her out and it was about 8 mintutes long. Somehow it never felt like it took that long wacko Check out her before and after brushing pictures.

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« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 08:43:30 PM by Bluebell » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2007, 02:02:08 PM »

Thank You Danielle for starting this wonderfully informative thread thumbup.
(I'm gonna sorcerer make this thread stick on top. Stick Out Tongue)


maybe Danielle can start a new thread in the GROOMING & CARE board, giving recommendations thumbsup for the best combs (eg: greyhound comb) and brushes (eg: DOGGYMAN brand of slicker brushes) we should be using for our fluffs....
I could do that for you Flex This is a very difficult coat to maintain even when you are using the right tools.
Agreed nodding.... which is why it's all the more important that our members have all the information see they need (like this "right grooming tools" thread, your "fluff-drying" thread, and the "home-grooming: scissoring links" plus "home grooming: scissoring drawings" threads).  Armed with new found knowledge book, they're well on their way to maintaining their fluff's coat better Yeah.


edited to add:- just saw there've been 2 new replies while I was posting Doh.  I'm so slooooow blush2

« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 02:09:57 PM by EDDEL » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2007, 02:23:42 PM »

....quaility tools not only last longer, but they are better for the coat (meaning less coat damage and less matting).
Again, .... from the outset, Ed impressed upon me the importance of buying quality tools (nevermind that it's a bit more expensive... they'll last longer, he said nodding).

Earlier today (just before dinner) when I had a chance to log-on quickly for a peek , I saw you had started the thread Danielle thumbsup, so I took a pic of Bianca's combs & brushes. 

The former are quality stainless steel from Japan.  Come to think of it thinking, most of what I have are from Japan (DOGGYMAN is a Japanese brand).  I don't think any of our petstores carry the CHRIS CHRISTIANSEN tools sad (I love their range of shampoo though thumbsup, treatment or otherwise).  The LES POOCH slicker brushes look "awesome" scared ..... kinda like a double-edge/sided unsure blush.  I'm gonna have to visit the local distributor here and check it out Yeah.



edited to add:- earlier I didn't see Doh your attachments.  Bluebell fluff sure looks fluffed! Stick Out Tongue

« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 02:35:23 PM by EDDEL » Logged

bluebell
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2007, 03:00:20 PM »

Thanks for sharing Bianca's tool kit with us. I don't have experience with the Doggyman brand name myself, but it is good to have another quality option to choose from (especially international members). I Love word my Les Poochs brushes and I hope you are able to check them out.
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« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2007, 06:15:57 PM »

 Thank You for all the great info.

Mitsy has only got a puppy coat  Pacifier so I have bookmarked this thread for later on, it's great and I am going to order the right brushes.

We are going to the groomers this week to have a wash, blow dry  manfro & nail clipping and get used to the new noises and smells. I was hoping he would show me the best ways to brush & comb.

Carol, could the mystery tool be for cleaning the brush out ?

Lainey & Mitsy xxx

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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2007, 06:33:12 PM »

Thanks for the videos Danielle - I can't believe how fluffy Blue is!  I also can't believe it only takes you 8 minutes - amazing!  She's such a good girl to stand so well for you, even though she was a bit sleepy.  original

Del, thanks for the photo of your grooming tools too.  thumbsup
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bluebell
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2007, 07:04:21 PM »

We are going to the groomers this week to have a wash, blow dry  manfro & nail clipping and get used to the new noises and smells. I was hoping he would show me the best ways to brush & comb.

That is a great idea thumbsup The groomer will be able to see if there are any trouble areas in your routine and help you to keep her maintained in between. Her puppy coat is a lot easier to work with, so getting the routine down pat before the dreaded change will be great for the both of you nodding

Thanks for the videos Danielle - I can't believe how fluffy Blue is!  I also can't believe it only takes you 8 minutes - amazing!  She's such a good girl to stand so well for you, even though she was a bit sleepy.  original

She is my fluffy girl fluff-girl I was surprised when I took the video and realized how long it took me (much longer than I had originally thought blush). Hopefully your routine will become easier for you; Bluebell is a lot of work and I only have one.

I would want to go back to napping if it were me so I can't blame her Laughing She is a true pleasure to groom Happy 2
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2007, 07:08:50 PM »

flowers I'll hafta come back and watch the video tonight!  Yeah

... and thanks for sharing the princesses' vain beauty kit with us Del!  blush bouquet
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« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2007, 09:08:26 PM »

Thank you so much Danielle for showing us your grooming session with Bluebell, she is amazing (you too). I have never seen a Bichon groomed before. So the only experience I have is my own which is pretty poor. My Bichons wriggle and try and get away and it takes along time. They hate there legs and feets being down and Maddy squawks like a stick pig when I go near her tummy or underpits.
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bluebell
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« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2007, 09:18:38 PM »

You're welcome Claire. I can't take all the credit for Blue's behaviour; most of that goes to the breeder for teaching her to be so accepting. Maybe the next time they are at the groomer you could ask her for any tips on how to get them to be more cooperative (it's hard to give advice when I don't know myself exactly what they are doing). Part of it is just having a calm, assertive demeanor that lets them know that they are getting brushed now..period. Another is giving praise/treats at the right times to teach them what is expected of them during grooming. I love your description of Maddy's protests however Laughing She is such a cutie I would be hard presesd to upset her by brushing her tootsies.
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2007, 09:59:48 PM »

Well that has answered one thing for me  blush ...Riley is a sooky  Pacifier  for sure.  Laughing  I could never brush or comb Riley like you do Blue  No , for one he wouldn't stay still  Kicking  and then he would scream blue murder  crybaby if I was as forceful assertive when brushing him.  nodding  Riley sits the minute you go near his rear end. Laughing   I find I do his head  manfro area on the grooming table, the rest is done on my knee with him sitting like a baby.  Pacifier  I think possibly the difference in coats comes in to it too.  Riley's coat is so dense you can't just rip the comb through  noway , Blue's coat looks so fine and fluffy. She must be a dream to groom  innocent 
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« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2007, 10:12:10 PM »

Ok, I just watched the video  thumbsup (were you wearing your new sweater?   eyebrows )... like Rae, I could probably never comb out Max  manfro like that .. his hair doesn't  No comb through that easy  blink and he would never be that compliant about having his gams brushed!  crazy Laughing

But I found it fascinating thinking to watch someone else grooming their bichon  nodding ... idea  maybe we can have a members grooming their bichons thread!  flowers ... thinking .. but I'd hafta do some editing otherwise mine would be an hour long  crazy  Laughing
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bluebell
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« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2007, 10:13:55 PM »

... I could never brush or comb Riley like you do Blue  No , for one he wouldn't stay still  Kicking  and then he would scream blue murder  crybaby if I was as forceful assertive when brushing him.  nodding  ...  I think possibly the difference in coats comes in to it too.  Riley's coat is so dense you can't just rip the comb through  noway , Blue's coat looks so fine and fluffy. She must be a dream to groom  innocent 

Laughing Blue is very used to getting groomed so I can get it done at my own pace and she lets me. Not all of my clients are as tolerant of things, so I generally have to go a bit slower and work through behavioral problems with them (i.e. waiting for them to settle while I hold their feet and praising them for allowing the brushing when they do). Blue gets a "good girl" here and there, but as you've seen she doesn't need mollycoddling.

Her coat is very thin compared to some which it makes brushing easier, but is a stinker to scissor and get to stand on her crown. Generally I would use a leave-in conditioner to brsuh but I don't want to add more weight to her coat as it already flops on its own (even using bodifiers). Thanks for checking out her video flowers
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« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2007, 10:19:01 PM »

Ok, I just watched the video  thumbsup (were you wearing your new sweater?   eyebrows )... like Rae, I could probably never comb out Max  manfro like that .. his hair doesn't  No comb through that easy  blink and he would never be that compliant about having his gams brushed!  crazy Laughing

Thanks for checking out her video (yes that was the new sweater eyebrows). Blue's coat is pretty thin compared to some, but the comb will go through his coat with enough brushing nodding Of course it may take you a lot longer to get him brushed enough for the comb due to the density of his coat.

But I found it fascinating thinking to watch someone else grooming their bichon  nodding ... idea  maybe we can have a members grooming their bichons thread!  flowers ... thinking .. but I'd hafta do some editing otherwise mine would be an hour long  crazy  Laughing[/size]

It may only take me 8 minutes to brush her, but it takes a whole lot longer to scissor her. I don't know if I could get the camera angled properly to show the scissoring but now I am interested to try thinking
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« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2007, 10:37:31 PM »

Yeah I'd love to see video of scissoringclapping
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« Reply #31 on: October 29, 2007, 11:04:04 PM »

Yeah I'd love to see video of scissoringclapping

Me too  Clap
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« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2007, 11:43:22 PM »

I might have to strap the camera to my forehead to get this to work...we shall see Laughing She is due for a trim this upcoming Monday so I will try to figure it all out for then.
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« Reply #33 on: October 29, 2007, 11:47:04 PM »

I might have to strap the camera to my forehead to get this to work...

rock Now that would be dedication!  thumbsup Laughing
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« Reply #34 on: October 30, 2007, 09:30:54 AM »

I don't know if I could get the camera angled properly to show the scissoring but now I am interested to try thinking
Yeah I'd love to see video of scissoringclapping
Me too  Clap
Me three!! Yeah


Speaking of videos TV1 Danielle, your brushing video wasn't "up" last night when I posted blush.  It was great clapping to see your 8-minute-brushing (WOW that's quick)! Stick Out Tongue

Like Susan sillybounce, I take much longer than that.... an hour usually blush.  Then again, it's because I do it at a very leisurely pace whistling, always after we've both had lunch hungry, and I'm watching TV TV2.  Needless to say, Bianca lays down on her side.... ack blink, even for scissoring, she's laying down crazy Laughing.

Bluebell fluff is so cooperative nodding & tolerant thumbsup.... to be standing there for the whole brushing.  The wonderful advantage clapping of owning a showdog Kicking who's so used to being groomed (and I mean prepped for show etc), and who will stand stack for inspection etc. thumbup

PS: I don't suppose it was Bob that 'filmed' the brushing right?  You placed the camera on a table or something? original

PS: And how is Lucia vain to recognize you when all you've shown is a long green arm?! Laughing


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« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2007, 12:12:53 PM »

 Thank You so much Danielle, for the great grooming help.  thumbsup  Lacey was being grown out to be shown also, so was already very accustomed to being groomed when I got her at 5 months old.  I've tried to brush her everyday, or at least often enough to keep her used to it,  whistling and she is professionally groomed every six weeks.  I really appreciated knowing the tools you use, so, I tried the scratch test with mine-- Looks like I'm going to have to do some online shopping.  Something I hate to do wink1 Laughing   

Also love Belle's froufy legs.  Those big round legs are my favorite part of the bichon.  She sure is a love,  Wub while  being groomed. flowers


Count Me in as another who would love to see the scissoring video cheerleader
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« Reply #36 on: October 30, 2007, 12:50:35 PM »

Thanks so much for the informative post Danielle thumbsup

Thankfully, I've been just about using the correct tools so far, although I do have two bladed matt-breakers and I stopped using my pin brush when the adult coat started coming through (the breeder told me it was only good for the puppy hair and not for the curly adult coat).  I'll be getting another one of those now though and making the matt-breakers redundant! innocent  I think I'll invest in one of those slicker brushes with a flexible head too.  The one I have is good and
Barnaby doesn't mind being brushed anymore (thankfully he's come around really quickly with lots of gentle brushing and lots of treats along the way since his grooming episode), but anything that gives me piece of mind that he's not being brushed too hard etc is a bonus. blush

I take a lot longer than 8 minutes to brush him, but then I'm a real softie and am so careful when brushing not to pull his skin in any way blush  I could never do it as quickly as you do or lift his legs at such angles scared but I was pleased to find out that I'm at least doing it the right way. yahoo  I just read the information on line brushing, having never heard of it, only to realise that's what I do already (just because it's easier to see if there are any tangled bits that I might otherwise miss). Laughing  I do that pretty much every time I brush him though.  Do you only line brush when you give
Bluebell a bath? thinking

I'm not sure I could ever brush
Barnaby through in the way you do Bluebell without missing bits.  Then again, he has a much thicker coat by the look of it, which probably makes a big difference. nodding  Those thinner coats do have their upsides! eyebrows
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« Reply #37 on: October 30, 2007, 07:18:53 PM »

A lot of questions so I will just dive in...

Del I did place the camera on a table to film myself. I had forgotten Bob was working late and I knew I would forget to have him do it if I didn't do it yesterday. and we get our brushing done quickly so we can go for our walk and come home to watch tv after eyebrows

Natalie part of the reason it is so easy to brush her out is definitely her thin coat. nodding She gets bathed/fluff dried once a week with conditioners so that also helps to prevent any tangling during the week. I sure hope you don't think that the angles I hold her legs are uncomfortable or unnatural. sad And healthy dog (no joint disease, arthritis etc.) can comfortably hold their legs as such...think of how high the boys lift to pee on trees. fluffpee I guess it is hard to see in the video, but I did part her hocks and her crest while I was brushing (which are the longest bits of hair on her). Due to the thinness of her coat and having the amount of practice I do, I don't have to sit there and part every bit to know I am getting everything. One of the few upsides to a thin coat Yeah

Glad to know this info is helpful original

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« Reply #38 on: October 30, 2007, 07:26:44 PM »

I loved watching your videos Danielle.I was in a trance watching how angelic Bluebell was during grooming she even tolerated it when you lifted her to stand!  thumbup   Is that from her show days-she has become very well accustomed to handling/grooming?  thinking I too love her fluffy legs,she looks great so fluffalicious  Stick Out Tongue I cant wait till Scoob gets his fluffy legs back I loved them,he seems to have grown his hair back really thick and fluffy on his body but his legs seem to be more curly and not as much hair?  confused
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« Reply #39 on: October 30, 2007, 07:32:34 PM »

Thanks Melissa original She is a very good girl. I think showing definitely helped train her to tolerate grooming and handling, but she is a very passive dog anyway. Very easy (and pleasurable) to groom and live with Wub
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« Reply #40 on: October 30, 2007, 07:34:39 PM »

Aw shes such a perfect angel,you are blessed with you little girl Danielle!  Wub Off topic but a quikc question for ya as a groomer....Scoob was cut very short 3 months ago roughly so would it generally take a bit longer for his legs to become as fluffy as his body is?
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« Reply #41 on: October 30, 2007, 07:55:35 PM »

His hair should grow at the same rate all over. Their legs are a bit stickly underneath the hair, so maybe it appears shorter than it is? thinking There is also the chance it is breaking...have you ever seen him chew on his fur? Without seeing it I can't really say what is happening. Now you have me wondering.
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« Reply #42 on: October 30, 2007, 07:57:30 PM »

Haha sorry to make you wonder  Laughing  come to think of it he does lick his paws alot..........maybe it is just that they appear shorter they were cut very short when he was last groomed.  thinking And they used to be so fluffy   crybaby Maybe the more he licks his paws they appear curlier and look more flattened down cause of the damp  confused I fluffed him out yesterday with the drier and his coat is getting so thick and spongy  thumbup Feels like stroking air when its all poofed out  Stick Out Tongue 
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« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2007, 07:59:17 PM »

If you look at Belle's old photos (Terri's Belle) she used to like defuzzing her legs a lot (and even her dad's arm!). Some dogs do it out of habit.
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« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2007, 08:35:24 PM »

Natalie part of the reason it is so easy to brush her out is definitely her thin coat. nodding She gets bathed/fluff dried once a week with conditioners so that also helps to prevent any tangling during the week. I sure hope you don't think that the angles I hold her legs are uncomfortable or unnatural. sad And healthy dog (no joint disease, arthritis etc.) can comfortably hold their legs as such...think of how high the boys lift to pee on trees. fluffpee I guess it is hard to see in the video, but I did part her hocks and her crest while I was brushing (which are the longest bits of hair on her). Due to the thinness of her coat and having the amount of practice I do, I don't have to sit there and part every bit to know I am getting everything. One of the few upsides to a thin coat Yeah

Glad to know this info is helpful original


Thanks Danielle - I don't for a minute think you're pulling Bluebell at angles that would be bad for her in any way! No  Barnaby gets himself in some right funny positions, but I would never put him in them myself - I'm too much of a worry-wart! Laughing

I meant to say in my post that it also makes a huge difference that you've been doing it for so long - I've only had
Barnaby for a year and I've never had another before him so I'm not exactly a dab-hand at it yet blush

I do have one question (although I'm sure it will sound ridiculous Bag Head )...I just brushed
Barnaby out and realised that, although I do line brush, I do it from his left side to his right side rather than from head to tail (if you see what I mean unsure ).  Does it make any difference? confused  I don't imagine that it would, but I'm a curious being Laughing
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« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2007, 09:08:58 PM »

Barnaby gets himself in some right funny positions, but I would never put him in them myself - I'm too much of a worry-wart! Laughing

I understand flowers I just didn't want you (or non-members reading this thread) to think I would do anything to hurt a dog.

I meant to say in my post that it also makes a huge difference that you've been doing it for so long - I've only had Barnaby for a year and I've never had another before him so I'm not exactly a dab-hand at it yet blush

Laughing I remember when I first started. I used to treat them all like Waterford Crystal nodding Not that I' m not gentle now but I was SO afraid of hurting them that I was afraid to do anything!

I do have one question (although I'm sure it will sound ridiculous Bag Head )...I just brushed Barnaby out and realised that, although I do line brush, I do it from his left side to his right side rather than from head to tail (if you see what I mean unsure ).  Does it make any difference? confused  I don't imagine that it would, but I'm a curious being Laughing

As long as you have a pattern that is consistent it shouldn't matter from what direction you start. It is important to get into all of the nooks and crannies and the method is just a guide to get you in the practice of getting the comb through all of the coat thumbsup
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« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2007, 11:59:31 AM »

I saw this ad on TV and was curious about it so I checked out their website.
It's a contraption that clips the dogs nails with no chance of hurting them.
There's a little video too.
Let me know what you think, it's very interesting. Here's the link. (OMG! Thay so totally RHYMED)  Laugh Hysterical

PEDICURE.COM
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« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2008, 06:48:24 PM »

If you keep the fluff very short, what kind of brush or comb do you need to brush it daily?
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« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2008, 07:02:15 PM »

Hi Susy


Here is the first post on this thread which should help. As far as I know will still need a Pin & a Slicker brush, i am sure you will get more advice from a more experienced member soon.


Lets take a look at the tools.

The first tool in my kit is a slicker brush.  This is a brush with bent bristles and comes in a wide variety of firmness levels, shapes and sizes. A common complaint I have heard is that the dogs do not tolerate this brush, and that it irritates the skin. My guess as to why dogs do not always tolerate this brush is that it is a firm brush and is often used with too much pressure. Cheaper slicker brushes can also have very rough edges on the bristles. If it scratches your skin it can scratch theirs.

I use one of two brands of slicker brushes. The first is by Chris Christiansen (Click Here for Chris's website). These brushes have rounded tips to avoid hair breakage and skin irritation. They are also a finer grade of bristle, making for a soft brush. This brush is excellent for puppies (who have thinner coats), older fluffs whose coats are thinning, and fluffs who are kept in shorter trims. They can be used on longer coats if you employ the line brushing method (for detailed instructions on this brushing method, check this thread). This brush is not good for breaking up mats. It can handle a small tangle, but the fineness of the bristles will be ineffective against solid pieces of any size.

The second line of brushes is by Les Poochs (Click Here for Michel's webpage). These slicker brushes have flexible heads to reduce brushing pressure. They come in varying firmness levels, ranging from soft to very firm. In my experience, the softer bristles of these brushes do not hold up nearly as well as the Chris Christiansen. This is my opinion. I do regularly use the "blue" brushes and the Mat Zapper (red handle). These are excellent for mat work, as the stiffer bristles will break up the mats and the flexible heads will reduce the pressure on the skin. A cheaper version of these brushes has been introduced by Mars and Master Grooming Tools. I have used the latter and they are pretty decent (you can find them Here).

When using this type of brush, you do not want to apply too much pressure. Test it out on your forearm to see that you are not brushing too aggressively (on the same note, you must apply some pressure or else you will not get the bristles through the hair). When dealing with a mat,  I will first spritz the mat with a leave-in conditioner. I love Chris Christiansen's Ice on Ice, as well as Top Performance's GloCoat (click each brand name to go to their respective webpages).  After the mat has been moistened I will grasp in between my fingers and start brushing. I do not like to use mat breakers or other bladed tools as these cut the hair, creating holes in the coat. I will pick apart the mat using the brush and a comb, keeping my fingers between the mat and the skin. Obviously severe or cast matting (pelting/felting) cannot be tackled this way, but hopefully using the right tools the right way will prevent you from seeing those severe types of mats Happy 2

Lainey & Mitsy  flowers
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« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2008, 04:36:07 PM »

I shouldn't have read this thread Laugh Hysterical I now have decided that I need a new teflon comb (I have several combs but with those retractable teeth and they are metal).  And obviousl I need a new brush.  I have looked at the Chris Christiansen ones - and am trying to recover from the price!  Ah well - what is wrong with debt in the present economic climate!

Thanks Danielle
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« Reply #50 on: April 03, 2008, 06:49:49 PM »

Pam you can never have enough fancy things No Laughing I just got the new CherryBrook catalogue today (a dog show/retail supplier) and of course there are a bunch of new items to splurge on (particularly some new nylon leads!). Cereal for me again tonight! Laugh Hysterical
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« Reply #51 on: April 03, 2008, 07:54:59 PM »

The 3 prong item in Carol's post from Oct 28, 2007, (page 1, post #7) is used to clean off the pin brush.  It is not to be used on the dog!

Now I have something to add.

I have made an amazing discovery in clipping!  You see, about Feb 2007, I bought an electric clipper for my (at that time) one bichon.  Since then, I have used it on 1, 2 and then 4 dogs, on an almost biweekly basis.  The odd thing was, as much as I read and practiced, my skills never seemed to improve.   No   Rather frustrating.   Don't Get It

Then I had an idea:  yesterday, I put in NEW BLADES.   IT REALLY DOES MATTER.   Laugh and Bounce 

I actually DO know a bit about how to clip these lovely dogs.  WOW!  Yesterday I went zip zip zip over Marlin (my BIG BICHON) and almost got him done before he had enough.  I finished up today.  So keep in mind to check and replace your blades or get them sharpened.   Rolled Eyes


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« Reply #52 on: April 03, 2008, 08:49:03 PM »

The 3 prong item in Carol's post from Oct 28, 2007, (page 1, post #7) is used to clean off the pin brush.  It is not to be used on the dog!

  :laughing:I remember that thing. Trust me, it was never used on my Ozzie!   No Good to know what it is used for though.  Clap
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« Reply #53 on: September 21, 2008, 12:42:14 PM »

i would love the grey tool to scratch my back!!! And Daisy would run when she sees the first bruch because I push to hard ans shes a wous!
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« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2008, 11:53:46 AM »

Wow, I just got though this thread, EXCELLENT! Thank you, I just wish the videos had not been removed. Sad
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Thank you Alison!
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« Reply #55 on: April 20, 2013, 11:04:55 AM »

I was just looking through this thread and just as luck would have it, I seem to have come up with the right tools for the job. What I'd still like to know is, how many of you clip your dog yourself? Is it difficult? If you do, what clippers do you use? Do you have some sort of chain with a clip to connect to the collar like the groomer's tables have or do you find it easy enough to just hold your dog?

I once had a set of barber's clippers, basically an electric clipper with some combs you snapped on one end. Each comb had sort of a bumper that allowed you to only cut the hair down to a certain point. Having thrown it away some years ago, I don't have it to measure, but I'd say the deepest comb was about 3/4"... Certainly deep enough to clip my Hogan without him looking too shaved.

We currently take him to one of the local PetSmart stores. They do a nice job and the young people working there are very sweet. It's obvious Hogan likes them from the way he acts when we get there and they tell me he behaves very well when he is bathed and clipped. My only problem is that they often clip him somewhat shorter than I'd like.

Since I bathe him about once a week, I do know he actually seems to like playing in the water. I've brushed his teeth about every third day or so and he's OK for that. I just started thinking if he holds still for all I do, maybe he would let me clip him if I could learn how.

So, what do you folks do?

Thanks,
Dennis
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« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2013, 02:30:38 PM »

I think quite a lot of us home groom.I use a clippers with a comb like you describe for Abby's body and scissor her head and legs.It isn't hard,but some grooms are better than others and after all it soon grows and you learn as you go.Alison
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« Reply #57 on: April 07, 2014, 05:42:23 PM »

My Toby loves to be groomed, he is great for clipping nails too. He looks like the Lion King when he stands to be brushed everyday. I do all his grooming.
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« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2014, 06:48:30 PM »

I like the small Wahl clipper I just bring up his hair by comb and clip off as much as I want. I feel in better control than the bigger clipper plus it's quieter.
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« Reply #59 on: April 30, 2014, 11:29:41 AM »

Hi from Sweden! What kind of nail-clippers would you recommend, if any? Our Joysee hates getting nails clipped, and I wonder if there are clippers that these dogs don't mind?
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