Page 39 - Le Magazine Summer 2014
P. 39
A word about shampoo. There are as many I find a twice a week brushing will do the trick to
tastes and opinions as there are people who bathe avoid mat development. With adolescent coat
dogs. I have found Ivory dish soap & Palmolive dish change, it is useful to brush additionally in the
soap to be terrific. The Palmolive lemon-lime seems most likely mat areas every couple of days. Mats
to produce great results when used very densely most frequently occur in the areas of coat that are
and soapy and allowed to sit on the coat for 5 min- most active and receive the most friction – the
utes to kill fleas. It is much less toxic than some of areas that get engaged with wet and food (muzzle
those “agent-orange” like poisons. & chin); the areas of active friction – between the
After bathing it is helpful to pour over the front legs, between the rear legs, the loins (right in
coat a conditioner as well. It makes the brush slide front of the rear legs and behind the rib cage) and
through the hair and any mats so much more easily the neck. So if every day you lightly brush through
untangled. An inexpensive but good one is UNI- those areas taking only about 20 minutes to do so,
CURE which is a human product easy to find in a your grooming chores will be greatly diminished.
drug store or beauty supply shop. I pour it over the
dog. Usually I leave the conditioner right on the 37
coat, allowing the dog to drip off some. This is an
excellent time to clip nails. The dog is captive in the
tub, and the nails are softened by the soaking up
they’ve gotten. And if you’re anything like me, and
you accidentally make them bleed, it’s easier if they
bleed in the tub!
Bath done, on the grooming table the dog
goes, and I blow dry through the coat as brush. The
blow dryer helps you to get through mats easily
since it participates in the movement of the hair in
the direction you brush. If the dog is not wet, it is still
helpful, used on the cool temperature setting. I start
at the nose and work across the dog to the tail. The
coat is separated in lines or layers and I brush with
the pin brush from the skin out to the tips of the hair.
Never brush over the top since that promotes tan-
gling in the layers beneath. Always brush in layers
from the farthest point away from you in ascending
layers towards the spine. So when you work on the
torso, your left hand pulls the hair up toward you
and right hand brushes inch by inch away from you
with sweeping strokes. If you are left-handed, you
will use the opposite hands.
For mats, you can feather through them with
the gentle slicker. Although it is easiest to pull them
apart with your fingers first, then brush through
them. Some people I know have success putting
some baby powder into them to make them a bit
slippery and easier to pull apart and brush through.
Chris Christiansen Ice On Ice is great for dematting.
However, not getting to the point of having mats is
better! Whatever the system, I speak from experi-
ence when I say it’s easier to prevent mats by inter-
mittent brushing than to undo the mess they make.

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