General Advice for owners of Puppies that will require Trimming/Stripping: when you get your puppy, don't delay starting daily brushing and regular bathing. You will need a soft pin slicker and a combination comb as your basic equipment. You will also require a good quality shampoo and conditioner like Tropiclean as this will clean the coat of mud but without stripping the natural oils in the dog's skin. The process of teaching the dog to accept brushing is very important in building a relationship with you, which will also enable you to develop a better standard of training (which might prevent accidents or incidents), and it will make the experience your dog has with his groomer less stressful and more pleasurable. When your dog goes for a walk and gets wet, then brush out the coat as it dries - if you leave the coat to dry before brushing then it is much more difficult to remove knots and tangles, and it will make the dog unhappy. All your early grooming sessions should be of short duration, and should involve some tasty treats intermittently. You will find it easier to work on a table using a rubber mat, and get someone to hold the dog gently so that you can work safely and efficiently. The trimmed breeds need regular trips to a groomer in order to stay in healthy, matt-free condition - we would expect to see your dog at roughly every 8 weeks for a bath and trim, and possibly more often than that if you are struggling with the coat. If you find brushing a bit of a chore, and you like the longer look, then book your dog in for an interim bath and brush - if this is done regularly, then you can leave all the brushing to us.
Please don't hesitate to ask us for advice on grooming equipment: the right equipment will make your life a lot easier, and more pleasant for your dog. If we see that you are struggling with brushing, then we will offer suggestions on the most effective equipment for you to buy and use, and will be happy to give a mini tutorial on how the equipment is used.
Cockerpoos/Labradoodles/Poodle/Bichon-crosses - We see loads of Poodle crosses at Canis, so we feel that we can offer useful help and advice to owners with the care and maintenance of these coats. The biggest single factor affecting the health and welfare of these dogs is their beautiful coats, which can be difficult for owners to manage if they have not come across them before or don't have the right equipment to care for them. These coats need professional attention for a bath and trim at least every 8 weeks, and often sooner. We do on occasion deal with seriously matted coats, and there is really only one sensible solution for this in the grooming salon, and that is to shave it off and start again, and teach our customers how to brush and care for the coat properly. When dogs are very matted, shaving a coat off is not an act of vandalism by a groomer, it is a humane response to a major welfare consideration for the dog - it can take hours to brush out matting, and for many dogs they are very sensitive and it hurts and upsets them. If you have a a Doodle or Poo then don't be shy, even if it is matted - we can help you get the coat back into good condition and shape, and we can then direct you to suppliers of professional equipment that will make brushing your dog more of a pleasure than a chore for both parties. We are here to help, and will do all that we can.
Handstripping - this is a traditional method of coat care and is suited to the wire-coated breeds like Border Terriers, and also to the silky-coated gun dogs like Spaniels. These breeds have a double-structured coat (top coat and under coat) - wire coats, we are stripping the primary wire hair and leaving the undercoat, and with the silky coats, we are stripping the secondary hairs or undercoat to reveal a shorter, smooth and shiny top coat. Handstripping is not always straightforward for us as groomers, or for you to know the right time, or suitability of your dog for this method. Handstripping is a lengthy process during which the dog must be physically able to stand on our table. For the majority of dogs, using the correct technique they are perfectly happy for us to pull the hair. There are a number of factors that affect our ability to carry out this type of groom:
Other important factors with handstripping:
The Typical Grooming Session
At our first meeting with you, we will spend some time to find out about your dog and its lifestyle, any health issues or trips to the vet, your dog's likes and dislikes, along with asking about how you would like the dog to be styled. Sometimes owners aren't sure what would suit their dog, so we can often help and advise. Some owners are able to help us by bringing a photograph of how they would like their dog to look. Once we have the brief from you we are able to start. This is the usual sequence of a grooming session:
* visual check of the dog looking for lumps/bumps, skin lesions, parasites, assessing nails, checking ears, identifying any coat problems, noting any problems so that we can feed back to you when you collect the dog
* clean the ears - we only pluck ears if your vet's advice is for us to do so - for the majority of dogs they dislike the process and it is not necessary
* trim and/or grind nails
* rough clip an overgrown coat ready for the bath
* trip to the garden for a comfort break, and a drink of water on the way
* into the bathroom for a thorough bath, and some of the yummy facial scrub
* back to the studio to be dried and brushed out
* pads and sanitary areas clipped out
* reclip the dog to ensure a smooth finish
* scissor work to finish the groom
* a little rest and a titbit whilst the dog awaits collection
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