This isn’t a BRUSH YOUR DOGS post (but please, do brush your dogs), this is an attempt to explain the circle of matted shave downs that many owners and dogs get stuck in.
[Week 1] So here’s the story so far. You’ve taken your dog to the groomer and Fido has had to be shaved down completely due to matting. How or why they’re matted isn’t important at this point. Your groomer has explained why this needs doing and that you need to be on top of brushing and make regular appointments from now on to stop this happening again. You may even book Fido back in for 6-8 weeks time. Fido goes home, you are upset with his new look and can’t wait for your fluffy dog to be back.
[Week 8] 6/8 weeks go by and it’s the time your groomer told you to come back. Fido is a nice length now. Maybe he’s the length that you like him. Because he’s been too short to get knotty you haven’t brushed him yet but he still looks great. You cancel your grooming appointment as your dog “isn’t long enough yet” and you’ll “call when he’s longer”.
[Week 12] A month or so goes by and Fido is looking like an extra Ewok from Starwars. You call your groomer who is booked up for another three weeks. You take the soonest appointment. You haven’t brushed Fido as much as you could have and he’s starting to get knotty and he’s not happy being brushed because he remembers that it hurt last time when he was matted.
[Week 15] It’s appointment day! Fido is looking like a ball of fluff with legs and has resisted most brushing attempts. You’ve spent time chasing him around the house the night before the groom because you realized you’d forgotten to do it regularly; life was busy and you don’t want your groomer to tell you off. You turn up, your groomer can see you’ve tried brushing Fido but not often enough. He needs another shave down.
And so it begins again.
If your dog is shaved, please don’t avoid going back to the groomer until they’re a hairy bear again. After shaving down a dog, the next groom is essential to ensure they learn that grooming is a comfortable, happy, experience. It allows them to begin to associate it with fun rather than uncomfortable mat removal. It also allows the groomer to ensure the coat is growing back well, to clean up any areas that may be growing back unevenly and to ensure they are maintaining a knot free coat. We may just bathe, blow dry and tidy them up if needed.
Too often we don’t see dogs again until they are back in the same state and the circle begins again. This is unfair on the dogs, who spend their time uncomfortable due to matting. It is unfair on groomers who’s equipment takes a beating from matted shave downs, eats into our time as they often take longer and we don’t enjoy having to shave your furry friends. Owners are also left disappointed and unhappy.
We understand life is busy and brushing may take a back seat but if that is the case, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog is kept comfortable with regular trips to the groomer. Depending on breed, this should be every 4-8 weeks. REMEMBER.. Your groomer will be happy to help you choose a style that’s practical for your lifestyle as well as show you how to maintain your pooch at home.
(published with permission from Ellie Stanford,an accomplished fellow groomer at Little Black Dog Pet Salon in Coleford, Gloucestershire, UK )
You can reach our Dunwoody location at 404 596-4333 or our Cumming location at 678 455-9199. Make an appointment today and see for yourself what makes us a cut above the rest!
Dee, Scott, Katie, Erika, and Cassidy