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Discussion Starter #1
How much grooming do you Lab owners do? As I always say, I'm a total grooming newbie... I did read this page: http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/grooming.html and it says to use a rake, a slicker, a wide-toothed comb and a narrow-toothed comb. And here I was thinking we'd just need to Zoom Groom her once a week...

Questions: how often do you groom? Do you perform the entire routine above, every time? Do you do it year-round? Do you ever bring your Lab to a professional groomer?
 

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I used a short-tooth undercoat rake on Cubby nearly every day. He never really ran out of fur and he enjoyed it so much that it became a bonding time. In fact, he enjoyed it so much that I had to stop brushing him in public. People assumed I must be doing something obscene.

Otherwise, just baths as needed. Typically, immediately after a bath, he would find something disgusting to roll in (e.g. skunk poop or rotten carp.) Nail-trimming and ear-cleaning (important for a floppy-eared dog that spent a lot of time in the water) completed the regular regimen.
 

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I use a shedding blade on Blackie (he never stops shedding!) and I will use a slicker brush on his "longer" fur and to get out the big clumps of molting hair. I used and undercoat rake on him once, but in my experience I get more out with the slicker and shedding blade.

Other than that, a bath once a month, nail trimming every 2-4 weeks, and ear cleaning weekly (his ears are disgusting).
 

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Thanks blackrose. How often do you brush him?
Not as often as I should. He doesn't mat up like Chloe does, so I get lax. I could probably brush him every day and still not control his shedding. I normally give him a good brush out once a month when he gets his bath, but it definitally wouldn't hurt him to get that same brush out once a week.

When we had Sadie, I did use a Zoom Groom on her and it worked pretty well. I just don't like them. lol The shedding blade is more effective, IMO, although the Zoom Groom is nifty to have around when you bath the dog. They help scrub and get dead hair out all at once.
 

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I am a professional groomer and I own seven dogs. That said, I work with dog hair all day so the last thing I want is a house full of hair everywhere. I groom all of my dogs EVERY MONTH, throughout the year. The routine for the Lab/Shepherd, Boxer and Boxer mix (all short-med. hair length, heavy shedders) is always the same:

1. Warm bath with quality shampoo and conditioner

2. Rinse, rinse, rinse,

3. Towel off, air dry a bit, then high velocity dry

4. Zoom Groom

5. Coarse stripping knife

6. Zoom Groom

7. Fine stripping knife

8. Zoom Groom

9. Against the grain combing with a fine tooth greyhound comb

10. High velocity blow off

Every other week I repeat steps 4-10.

The entire process takes about 1 hour per dog, including air drying time. The inbetween job only takes about 30 minutes. I clip nails and clear ears as often as needed, usually every two weeks (and always after a bath). I work alternating the stripping knives and Zoom Groom until I can pull on the coat on the chest, flanks, rear, etc. and only end up with a loose hair or two. I also want to be able to run my hands all over the dog and not end up with shedding hair flying everywhere. I want the coat loose enough to run that fine tooth comb through it against the grain without hurting the dog. You do have to be careful using the stripping knives so as not to rip the coat. And a quality diet is also extremely important.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you.

Your routine looks almost identical to the one I linked in my original post, except instead of the stripping knife, a shedding blade or short-haired rake is used. Can I just ask what the difference is between these three tools?
 

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I reserve rakes for packed coats that aren't gone through as often as my dogs's coats are. Since I keep my dogs so I can run a fine tooth comb against the grain in their coats even between baths, a rake will do nothing. Here's an example of the stripping knives I prefer:

http://www.ccpdogs.ie/images/238-302.jpg

They work like a Furminator, but only cost about $10., not $40.
 

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I bathe my Labs as necessary. Alvin only seems to need one if he gets into something sticky...maybe every few months. Clifford needs one on a much more regular basis, as he is a STANKY boy...every month or so.

I use a Furminator and I should do it every day, but I don't. I probably end up doing each dog once or twice a week. I pay for it in tons of shedding and tons of vacuuming.

Clifford gets his ears cleaned every day because he has chronic infections. Alvin almost never gets his done...he has tiny little ears! I take both dogs to the groomer for nail trims because I'm too much of a wimp to do it at home.
 

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i bathe Rosie every one to two months. after her baths she gets towel dried and brushed. I only brush her after her baths because she absolutely hates being brushed.

in the meantime i use earthbath green tea wipes if she gets a little stank going on. She LOVES them. I probably wipe her down once every week or two.

i swab her ears out once every two weeks because she is v. prone to ear infections, and once she gets one, its a pain in the butt to get rid of them. i use witch hazel, which someone on df recommended and i like it.
 

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For labs

1. Bath

2. Scrub with Zoom groom

3. Rinse

4. Rewash, scrub with zoomie

5. rinse, rinse, rinse

6. Towel Dry as much as I can

7. Dry with High Vo Dryer, while Toweling

8. Zoomgroom while still a bit damp

9. Finish Drying

10. Furminate

11. Comb with steel comb

12. Spritz with Conditioning spray

13. rub with towel

14. out fit with bandanna or bow :D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys!

What is the actual purpose of the stripping blade? The gaps look really shallow, so it looks like it wouldn't do anything besides just run over the uppermost surface of the dog's coat and not grab anything... Is it supposed to go against the grain?

I think I'm going to go with:
(after bath, and every fortnight)
1. Zoom Groom
2. Short-haired rake
3. Zoom Groom
4. Fine-toothed comb

Is conditioning spray really needed?
 

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Thanks guys!

What is the actual purpose of the stripping blade? The gaps look really shallow, so it looks like it wouldn't do anything besides just run over the uppermost surface of the dog's coat and not grab anything... Is it supposed to go against the grain?

I think I'm going to go with:
(after bath, and every fortnight)
1. Zoom Groom
2. Short-haired rake
3. Zoom Groom
4. Fine-toothed comb

Is conditioning spray really needed?

I like using a conditioning spray, especially when brushing 'dry'. For dogs like Labs (short haired double coats) I am a real fan of the Furminator, and 'like' tools; they really do work well, and you can find them for really good prices in e-bay, now that the 'newness' has worn off.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The Furminator is just way too expensive, and I can't find any on eBay here. Shipping one is out of the question. What about shedding blades? I've heard they work just as well.

What's a good brand of conditioning spray to pick up? Bear in mind that my pet shop is pretty limited in grooming supplies, so nothing too high-end or professional...
 
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