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Old 04-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Dreadlocks...

Hi everyone,

I have a beautiful black and sable 1 1/5 years old and though we brush her, she has developed some thick dreads behind her ears. We take her hiking everyday, so it is not unusual for her to run through streams, bushes and other debris. She has a semi-long coat, therefore the dampness results in knots behind the ears. I have always had smoother coat GSD's, so this is new to me.

I totally understand that there are ways to prevent this, (i.e. brushing her after each hike), but now that the dreads are there I would like to get them out safely.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-02-2014, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Stosh is long-coated and has serious ear floofies that get matted and stuff gets hidden in there. Since I don't have any clippers I can't cut them out so I got a cool grooming tool. It has teeth that spin so they work through the mats. And I brush him with a slicker brush every day.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I also coat my LH in Show Sheen after each bath. That helps keep the hair slick enough so his coat is easier to maintain.

I don't have as much problem with his ear floofies as I do his butt puffs!
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A good bath and extra conditioner on the ear floofies and butt puffs does the trick! A good blow out with a dryer takes care of all athena's tangles. A daily brush out with her slicker brush helps maintain her coat and reduce problems
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you are very careful, you can cut out the dreadlocks with a pair of scissors. Please do not attempt this unless you are absolutely certain you know where the dreadlock ends and the skin begins.

There are dematting tools available, several different types. Probably the safest one is the "matbreaker". You can do a google search for it.

If you still aren't comfortable trying to do it yourself, take her to a professional groomer; they will know how to safely remove the mats.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The late Barker Sisters were both long coats - with a predilection to matts-behind-the-ears. I have every tool known to this woman for dealing with those -- and the secret ingredient that makes it all easier. The amazing cornstarch cure! This works as a dry lubricant and if worked into the matts before working with a cutter, makes slipping them out pretty easy. It's cheap, it's effective and, unfortunately, I didn't discover it myself or I would go into business packaging this stuff up in smaller quantities with a fancy doggy label & selling it! Darn!
Anyway, work it into the matts. Cut the surface of the matts that are away from the skin with scissors (blunt tipped if you have bouncy dogs). Tease the matts away from the dog's skin. (Fingers, matt splitter, matt cutter, comb, brush - whatever is working). If you keep on top of this (like twice a week) it is very managable.
Try cornstarch. It works. It's cheap. It's readily available and you can use it in cooking too!!!
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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once you get the "dread locks" out, use thinning shears in that area to keep them from forming again.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The cornstarch tip is actually a good one. With it, you can usually comb out the minor tangles and small knots. For dreadlocks, though, pulling them out may hurt. Sometimes you can split a dread lengthwise with a scissors or dematting tool, then comb it out, with less pain.

But it never hurts to sprinkle cornstarch liberally into the fur behind the ears, sort of massage it through, let the dog shake, then do your comb out. You can do this all over the whole dog if you have enough cornstarch and don't mind getting it all over the place.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've used the cornstarch trick with my MIL's border collie. She gets matts in her ear floofies. I can normally brush out the smaller ones after I worked in the cornstarch and for some of the bigger ones if I can cut them out I do but she goes to the groomer every other month so I don't worry about the ones I'm not comfortable cutting out. They need to brush her daily but they don't
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've also used cornstarch on my coatie....it works great and is cheap!
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