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I recently got 2 maltipoos from a previous owner who couldn't take care of them due to her personal circumstances. 1 male & 1 female - they are both 4 years old.

The boy's fur is badly matted and a groomer says he will need to be shaved. Lucy's fur is also matted but not nearly as severe as the boy. Instead of paying the groomer $140, I thought this might be something I can do myself. My next door neighbor who has a dog says she's willing to let me borrow her dog clippers. Do you guys have any tips on how to correctly shave a dog?

Oh & 1 more thing:
After I shave these guys, I'll need a good brush to maintain their fur. What type of brush is recommended for maltipoos?
 

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I think if their fur is badly matted, you might be best off just paying the money to have the groomer do it. Matted fur can be uncomfortable for the dog, and doing it wrong may cause pain or skin injuries if you attempt to do it yourself without knowing what you're doing. They also have the correct tools to restrain the dog, and they're likely going to do it more quickly to minimize stress to the dog, whereas someone who doesn't know what they're doing are going to take longer and draw out the process, which might make an already uncomfortable dog grumpy.

Once the mats are taken care of and you can take your time practicing without worrying about the comfort of your dogs, grooming your own dog can certainly be done. It won't look as good as a professional groomer can do it (at least not at first), but if you're just worried about maintenance, it's fine. We do have some members who groom their own poodle-type coated dogs, so perhaps they can offer some resources on tools and how they learned to do it.
 

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As someone who grooms my own curly-coated dogs: if the matting is very bad, let a professional take care of it the first time. Mats pull the skin in strange ways, cause pain that can make a dog extra squirmy, and just generally make it much, much more likely that an inexperienced groomer will accidentally cut the dog. It's even challenging for experienced groomers, but they'll be able to do the job much more safely and quickly than you can at home. That will make it an overall better experience for the dog, as well, which will make your job easier going forward. Severe matting is just not where you want to start learning how to groom.

I learned how to groom and shave my dogs mostly through watching video tutorials. Youtube has tons of great information, just don't limit yourself to maltipoo videos only! Seeing other breeds and mixes get trimmed will help you learn a lot, too. If your new pups aren't used to being groomed and shaved, you may have to start slowly and only get a little bit done at a time as both of you learn how the process works.

My two favorite tools for my boys are a slicker brush - these have lots of thin, bent pins and are great for opening up the coat before mats have a chance to form - and a metal greyhound comb. This is a basic comb with wider teeth on one end and narrower teeth on the other, and it's what I primarily use to get deep into the coat and make sure there's no tangles all the way to the skin. You'll also want a decent quality shampoo and conditioner for dogs - don't underestimate the importance of conditioning, because it will make the coat so much easier to keep combed out and mat free between clips! I also recommend a small pair of blunt-nosed grooming scissors, for cleaning up any areas the clippers can't reach (think ear canal) and for snipping out any mats that sneak by you too long to be easily combed out.
 
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Slicker brush:


Greyhound comb:


Blunt grooming scissors:


These are just examples - all three of these come in all different brands, and with the slickers especially you'll find different sizes and shapes. I'd recommend starting with something relatively inexpensive and so you can experiment and find out what style of slicker works best for you. There isn't as much variation in the combs and scissors, so it can be worth dropping a little more money on those so they'll last you a good long while - my combs are going on a decade!
 

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I'm a poodle and schnauzer owner and I do my own clipping sometimes. I third the recommendations above to let a pro deal with the mats, then start working with a clean slate yourself. Matting is really uncomfortable for the dog and so is removing it. Not how you want to get off on the right foot with the pups. Plus it's really hard on clippers...amateur equipment might not be up for the job.

YouTube is a great resource for learning how to do a clip safely and attractively. My best advice re: grooming is behavioral, not technical. Make it super fun and pleasant and upbeat for the dog, and they will be so much easier to groom in the long run. If the dog is stressed by it, breaking the job into multiple little short sessions is best. You don't have to complete a haircut in one sitting or do all four paws at once when clipping nails.
 
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