What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

I am going nuts with this! Ranger is a long coat...and not just a long coat....a very long, very thick coat. I have been brushing him daily with an undecoat rake and then a slicker brush, along with combing around his ears. And he's still getting matted up His hair just tangles and clumps so bad. Most of his matts form close to his skin in his undercoat. 2 of them have even caused hotspots we've had to treat. I brush him daily for 15-20 minutes, plus he gets a bath every 1-2 weeks and usually a hose down daily right now with plain water (we have terrible mud in our yard). What else can I do? I resorted to cutting a few of the matts out.

Do they make a doggie detangler spray? Would that help to spray him daily before brushing.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 04:05 PM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair m

how is the condition of his coat? and why is he bathed so often?

i'd try a different shampoo, a conditioner perhaps, and yes - they make detangling sprays for dogs.

i'm not nearly as consistent as you are when it comes to grooming and i very rarely have matt issues with tilden. maybe he's getting matted during the drying process and you'll have to start blow drying him... and use a comb on his feather/tufts.

the hot spots are leading me to believe that he isn't drying completely in between the water "baths" [this could also lead to yeast infections]. is there any way to get around them?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 04:08 PM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

First step - STOP BATHING HIM DO MUCH!

Seriously - if he HAS mats and you get him wet it causes two problems. One - the existing mats get worse. They tighten up. Two - the skin under the mats tends to stay damp and that causes his hot spots.

You need to use something like this:



Make sure you are getting down to the skin when you comb the dog - especially in the areas where mats develop.

There are sprays you can use but if you use them every day it will create buildup and cause more mats down the road.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 04:23 PM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

I agree, try not washing him so much. Mine get covered in mud as well, I let it dry and it comes right off. I should add that I'm not te type that worries about having dirt in the house (some people do and I respect that, for me its part of my life). I have three Long Coats and they all are different. It sounds like Ranger is much like my little Eli. I use a comb much like Lauri suggested and you do have to get all the way to the skin.

I seperate the hair and work in small sections-it takes about two hours to complete Eli's weekly deep grooming. This is on top of the daily grooming I do. The trick is to go over each area many times before you move on...you'll be amazed when you think your done you will still find little hairs that matt. This is especially true in the area around his hips, back end and be sure to check his bottom (under his tail). Since it does take so long and I'm sure its not always comfortable I make sure he's in a comfortable position and that I have treats to give him from time to time.

If something looks bad or is in a tender spot (his belly or between his legs) I don't hesitate to use the clippers.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

Our mud issue is huge right now. The county owns an easement on our property for road drainage...problem is, it does not drain...it stands in our yard. If Ranger gets in it, it is mud with grease mixed in and I have to wash him with Dawn dish detergent to get it off him. Yes, it is nasty and not good. We are working on building a temporary barrier around it until we can get it fixed permanently. So that is why he has so many baths.

We have already clipped his legs and belly to help. And I used blunt scissors and trimmed around his ears (he wouldnt tolerate clippers near his head). Most of his matts occur on his hips and haunches. His undercoat there is wooly like lambs wool.

If you blow dry, do you use just a regular human hair dryer? I tried it a few times, but it took forever and overheated my hair dryer!

Thanks for the tips.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 05:03 PM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

Yep, I also have a coated dog and it's almost 100% definite that the bathing/rinsing is causing the hot spots and repeated mats.

Nico gets almost matted in the rear like you describe if I don't brush him after a bath. The best thing for it is a brush like Lauri posted or a rake with narrow teeth to break up large sections, then a very stiff slicker or even furminator type to pull out dead hair. You could also thin the hair significantly with the furminator.

Try using a detangling cream rinse on those areas during baths, and something for brushing (there are a lot to choose from, I like Miracle Coat products).

The best blow dryers are the forced air grooming dryers, they blow loose undercoat right out. Only problem is they're very expensive. I use the one at the grooming salon at the dog daycare whenever I can.

Some shampoo/conditioners supposedly help the dog dry more quickly. I've used a conditioner from this line and it did seem to help him dry more quickly when I didn't have access to the big dryer:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...&lmdn=Category

For stretching the time between baths a waterless spray shampoo for spot cleaning might be a good idea. Bed Head makes a neat line of dog products which smell heavenly, called Pet Head. Petsmart carries it.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2010, 09:15 PM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

OK here's my approach from 26 "dog years" (as in FTE type stuff for employees)-
Brush before getting wet if possible, before a bath for sure.
Use cornstarch worked into the fur to help ease the matts out. It makes a big difference and I can work out most matts with it.

My routine - corn starch, mat splitter, rake, then top brush. then bath & top brush again when dry. Undercoat didn't matt given this treatment.


Brushing alone will take off a lot of dried mud.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 07:30 AM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Lauri & The GangFirst step - STOP BATHING HIM DO MUCH!

Seriously - if he HAS mats and you get him wet it causes two problems. One - the existing mats get worse. They tighten up. Two - the skin under the mats tends to stay damp and that causes his hot spots.

You need to use something like this:



Make sure you are getting down to the skin when you comb the dog - especially in the areas where mats develop.

There are sprays you can use but if you use them every day it will create buildup and cause more mats down the road.
As a former groomer this is great advice. As far as the mud, if you let a dog dry properly after being in the mud, most of the dirt will either drop out by itself or can be brushed out especially if the coat is in good condition. Adding additional water (as in a bath) to an already matted dog is just making the situation worse.

You may need to get the dog professionally groomed at this point (even if only once), as I can guarantee you are not getting down to the skin - simply due to the description you have given as to what is happening. Hacking and cutting the coat as you are now doing will cause other problems down the track.

Good luck and best wishes.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 02:08 PM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

I bathe my coaties every month or two (or three), and they tend to blow a lot of coat after baths so I brush them thoroughly BEFORE to get as much excess undercoat off as possible. I only brush mine every couple of weeks, if that, and don't have much trouble with mats. Sometimes I get little snarls that are easier to snip out than untangle. Mostly I use an undercoat rake, which works the best of anything I've ever tried.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 06:51 PM
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Re: What am I doing wrong? (long coat and hair matts

Lauri I can see where you have more than the usual need to bathe Ranger and some of that must be a concern for his safety if there is grease in the mud.

For my dogs, a barrier is a barrier. It doesn't matter if its a six foot fence or a four foot cheapo wire barrier. Once I've taught them not to go past it they won't and will play elsewhere in the yard. There is wire 'fencing' people sometimes use in the garden. Its really cheap and a wee bit tacky, but its done the job for me. They sell it in six foot lengths and you just poke it in the groud. You might want to try something like this or make something yourself that will block off the bad part of the property. This way it wouldn't cost a lot now but will still serve its purpose and Ranger will be kept from the mud/grease.

Good luck with your grooming and let us know how it goes.

Now that MON mentioned it, I've heard about cornstarch too, I've just never tried it.

Rosa

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