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Old 06-18-2009, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Grooming question.

Karloff is the first long-coat I've owned, and due to ignorance I haven't been vigilant enough about brushing certain areas where coaties form wadded hairballs, such as under the ears and on the hindquarters. Yesterday I took him to a professional groomer and told him that he would probably need to cut out the hairballs under the ears, as I had been unable to untangle them.

When my wife picked up Karloff she was shocked to find that the groomer had not only cut out these hairballs (leaving patches of bare skin beneath the ears), but had also trimmed Karloff's entire coat, pretty much the way you would trim a poodle, though maybe not so severely. The most severe trimming is on the belly, the insides of the back legs, the pantaloons, and the tail, though the hair is shorter everywhere, even on top of the head! What used to be a magnificent plume-tail is now ratty looking, with only a few long hairs left.

Obviously this is not proper grooming for a GSD, and now I wonder what to expect. Will the soft undercoat grow out more quickly than the top coat and come poking visibly through the top coat? Will Karloff ever look normal again?

Sorry, I haven't taken any pictures since he was butchered.
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

My sister took her labradoodle to petsmart to be groomed once, she told them just a small trim for the matted areas and when she picked him up he litterally looked like a poodle, tuft on head and ears and all, it was criminal! LOL. Probably best if you keep up on the grooming yourself in the future now that you have a fresh start
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

Yes, it will grow back.

I do not have a coated GSD, but I have a coated mix similar to a GSD. We adopted him when he was 1.5 yrs and he came with the "lion cut" (back end, legs, and tail SHAVED) because his previous owners neglected grooming. He looked ridiculous for so long, but it all grew back.

I have developed my own ways of grooming him because the groomers just want to shave him or cut it all off.

Ears - I trim along the edges to "shape" the ear (note: my dog has floppy ears). Then I use the thinning shears to shorten the hair on and around the ears. I brush REALLY well behind the ears (gets matted there) and sometimes just trim that hair really short. There is so much you cannot tell if I cut a lot out right behind the ears.

Breast - If left alone, he gets a lion's mane, lol! I just use thinning shears until I like the length. He gets a tad bit of a "skirt" towards the lower part of his chest/breast so I may trim that off with a regular scissor and then use thinning shears to blend.

Front legs - He gets LONG feathering on his legs. I like a little bit of it (don't want it shaved right to his leg), so I trim it with a scissor and then use thinning shears to blend/thin out.

Privates (underside) - If I had a shaver, this is the part I would shave. But I don't, so to keep him cool and avoid mats, I roll him on his back and basically hack off all hair from his penis on back. Luckily he is neutered, so I don't have to worry about bumping/cutting anything else! The hair back here is so long, it gets matted and he hates being brushed here. It's easier and cooler to chop it off, and you cannot see it.

"Pants" - the fluff on the butt and the rear legs I call the "Pants". I kind of like the pants, but not when they are out of control! I generally cut off a lot of pants on the inside (around the privates and inner thigh). Then lightly trim the remaining pants and use thinning shears to trim without a "hacked" look.

Tail - Like the pants, I like a fuller tail. I trim it a bit to remove split ends and use the thinning shears to blend the trimming and that's it.

Oh, also, I do somewhat of a "sanitary cut" where I cut the hair around the anus and the underside of the tail near the base VERY short, then just sort of blend the length with thinning shears so it tapers off.

I actually like doing the grooming, it's kind of fun and I can make him look how I want. All I have are a regular hair scissor, thinning shears, rake brush, and pin brush.

Coke when we got him:


Coke fully grown out, yikes!




Coke trimmed (currently trimmed down even a little shorter for the summer, but no pics):


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Old 06-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

Just like it would after an operation where you had to shave the hair, it should all grow back. Can't imagine you let them cut his hair again.
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Old 06-18-2009, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

Thanks for your replies and advice. I'd never thought of using thinning shears. I'll buy a pair.

Since there are so many useful forums here, I'm surprised there isn't a grooming forum. I certainly can use some good grooming advice. My previous GSD, Tuco, didn't need much more than ordinary brushing with a rake or brush, but Karloff seems to require someone with a PH.D. in grooming.

I took him to the park today, and the people who know him had a good laugh at his new 'do.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

I'm sorry about the issues with the groomer! It should grow back okay but it might take a while. Sometimes the undercoat does grow in first/faster so it might look funny for a while.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

I hope you (and your wife) let the groomer know what you thought.

There may have been need to to cut out the hairballs under the ears fairly close to the skin but it is usually able to be done in a way that it is disguised. The rest of the coat should have been salvageable by any reasonable groomer. There are many owners who DO want their coated dogs clipped off (despite any advice to the contrary) but I can't see anything you said could be misinterpreted so, that result (as you have described it) is inexcusable.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

My only advice with using groomers is to *always* bring pictures of what you want. Terms like "short", "long", "shaven", etc are all very subjective and mean different things to different people.
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grooming question.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: LiesjeMy only advice with using groomers is to *always* bring pictures of what you want. Terms like "short", "long", "shaven", etc are all very subjective and mean different things to different people.
Even with pictures they don't always get it right... I printed out a whole tutorial from online once for my groomer, complete with photos demonstrating the technique, on how to groom a Golden's tail. When I got her back, the groomer had cut off most of the feathering on her tail!
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