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Let's Brush up on Brushing!

Do you have a pup with long hair that gets tangled or matted? We're going to go over some equipment and techniques to keep your pup's coat looking good and mat-free.

There are many different coat types and each one has its own specific requirements for brushing frequency. Some dogs need brushing every day, some every couple of days. For most, a quick Google search can tell you how often to brush your dog based on breed and coat type. But for others, those with mixed breeds, the answer may not be as easy to find. That's okay, your groomer will know! Just ask us and we will be happy to tell you what coat type your dog has and how to care for it.

One thing is for sure though; if your dog is getting matted, they need to be brushed more.

A slicker brush and a comb are the most important tools for brushing your dog at home. There are many different tools and products you can use but these two are a groomers best friends aside from their shears and clippers, obviously. Slicker brushes have many thin metal bristles that are bent at an angle and a comb is just that, a comb! Both are easy enough to find and don't have to be very pricey.

Now the technique: It IS possible to brush your dog wrong. Two techniques are essential for maintaining your dog; line brushing, and the pat-and-pull method. They go hand in hand really.

Check out how your dog's fur grows, for some it's more obvious than others, but generally it grows and lays away from the face, and down on the legs.

You want to start with the legs and use your comb to separate the hair, leaving a small section. Take your slicker brush, and you will pat-and-pull the hair to brush it out. This means you'll pat the slicker brush onto the skin below where you've separated the sections, and pull the brush away from the skin through the hair, at an angle. You don't want to rake the brush against their skin, those bristles could be painful and can irritate the skin if not used properly.

Do this a couple of times, patting the brush to the skin and then pulling through the hair, and then move up the leg or towards the head, depending on where you're currently working, to lay a bit more hair over where you were just brushing so you can work that section. This is called line brushing; moving in a line in the opposite direction of which the hair grows.

If the hair is tangled and the brush gets stuck or pulls the skin, start at the end of the tangle and make small strokes. As you work out the tangle you can start moving the beginning of each stroke closer to the skin and eventually you'll have worked it out and can move on to the next section. Always use your comb after brushing to ensure all of the tangles are out. Never pull out a tangle with a comb, instead, continue brushing in small strokes and keep checking with your comb. Once the comb glides through the coat from the skin to the tips, you're tangle free!

Mats are a bit more tricky. If your dog is matted it may take a while to work that out with a brush and your dog can become stressed, agitated and the skin may become irritated as you try to work that out. If it comes to this it's better to bring your dog to your groomer and let them handle it. Your dog may have to be shaved if the matting is too much to work out with a brush. If you're brushing your dog frequently enough, however, matting shouldn't be an issue.

We understand fully that sometimes it's hard to get a good idea of what someone means solely based on written word, so if this quick blurb didn't really help, that's okay!

We're more than happy to show you in person next time you're in the shop, just ask us!

We'll see you soon!

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