It is imperative that your dog be brushed AND combed completely, as any mats or snarls left in will only get worse after the bathing.
On pet trims, I find it easiest to divide the dog into sections when working. I will brush and comb one leg at a time, then go and brush the tail, topknot and ears. The biggest problem I have as a groomer are owners that do brush their dogs, but do not comb them. It is very easy to think that you are doing a proper job, but unless you run a comb through, you can never be sure that you have brushed all the way to the skin, and removed every knot and tangle.
If you are trying to grow a long coat, remember to never brush a coat dry, as the static can cause the ends to break.
Also, try not to brush a dirty coat. If you stay on top of things, and brush every couple of days (as needed) if your dog gets dirty - just put straight into the bath and brush carefully as you are drying.
When brushing a long coat/show coat, always start from the tips and work towards the skin in smooth motions. Learn not to flick your wrist as you near the ends, as this will break the ends off the coat. By working from the ends to the skin, you will lose less coat if you come across a tangle. If you start at the skin and pull up towards the ends, when you come across a knot, you will drag it through the whole length of the coat and cause more damage to the coat.
I only use a pin brush on the long coat, as it is softer and easier on long hair than a slicker brush. I use a technique called LINE BRUSHING when working on long coats. My dogs lay on their side, and I part the hair from head to tail, and brush and comb this area, and then bring down a little more hair from above the part (moving the part from the spine to the belly). Each section is brushed and then combed before moving to the next section. Before I start brushing, I give a quick, LIGHT mist of conditioner over the coat.
This helps to keep the static down, and helps give the coat a little protection while brushing. I spray each section as I work on it. It is a VERY light mist, and the coat is NOT wet, only slightly damp. It dries very quickly - long before moving to the next section. In the winter, when there is more static in the air, I might have to spritz a second time to keep the static down.
Make sure your brush is in good condition - broken, bent or missing pins can damage the coat.
a damaged pin brush
a new brush in good condition
If you are not going to be able to brush the coat for more than a few days, and you are concerned about matting, brush an oil spray into the coat - make sure that you completely coat the hair all the way down to the skin.
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