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Discussion Starter #1
Tried to comb Wally out again, thinking I could make him look fluffy this time. Oh I made him look fluffy alright...he looked like a polar bear instead of a dog :(

Any tips on how to groom a long(ish) coated dog? His coat isn't very long, but it's getting there (which is desired).

I can get the tangles and old/dead hair out and the coat is nice and loose, but I want to get away from the polar bear effect, especially after he shakes.

I'd show a picture, but 1) it's too horrible, and 2) it's much less fluffy now that he's been walking around. That's the best thing about it - it doesn't last all that long once he gets outside.
 

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I don't think you suck at grooming if you're willing to pick up a comb and actually keep him tangle free ;)

Also, what type of dog is he? Taking him to a professional grooming for a bath and tidy up will make him look better. They will properly fluff dry him and trim up all the loose bits. Fluff drying him after a bath might give him the right kind of fluffy you're looking for.
 

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I agree with KBLover, I think the trick to getting the right kind of fluffy is the dryer that groomers use. But, if it makes you feel any better, I suck at grooming too. I attempted to trim Bella's face and feet with the clippers and, well, lets just say I am going to be calling my groomer in the morning to fix her. She looks like she got in a fight with the weed wacker.
 

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I have to state something here............I am a Professional Groomer and judging by your post,you are a pet owner who grooms their own dog,correct?
Why would you say that about yourself when you are attempting a very difficult strategy with the tools you have at hand? I have two very expensive high velocity driers and one very expensive low velocity,several wonderful shampoos and conditioners for various coat conditions and many years of grooming behind me,every scissor,comb and dematter available and I STILL have problems with some clients. To achieve your goal,you need some basic instruction and the right tools for the trade. Do a little homework with groomers in your area to see how it's done and you'll pat yourself on the back for trying to do what took us years to perfect!
 

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Also, investing in a grooming book like "The theory of Five" by Melissa Verplank, is a good 'introduction'. It gives alot of tips and pointers on how to achieve the look you are after. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Allan - yep, just a pet owner grooming him myself :)

The fluff died down some, so maybe I'll show a picture. Maybe it was the static electricity from all the combing and brushing and his shaking.
 

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I sucked too, a long time ago. I've always groomed any dog I owned that was supposed to get a trim. Over the years I got better at it. I'm still not perfect, but the dogs look like what I want them to look like. Thats good enough for me. Your dog would be a challenge, cause he has long hair. I think like the other posters said> sometimes it takes the exact right equipment to improve things a bit. My dogs have long hair on the legs and fringe and its hard to keep leaves,sticks,twigs,nuts, and dirt out of the hair. I do the best I can and thats all you can do too. You'll get better cause you will learn what NOT to do as well as what TO do. David
 

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Are you brushing/combing him out dry? You may want to try misting his coat with something like Ice on Ice depending on his coat. I know if I try to comb either one of mine out dry it damages their coat and gives them that frizzy fluffy look. I just mist and the brush, then comb.
 

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Great advice, all!

Keep at it, kudos for keeping up with tangles!! Don't expect perfection, it can be very difficult. If you need him to look awesome for a special occasion, bring him to the groomer for a "bath and tidy"
 

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I sucked too, a long time ago. I've always groomed any dog I owned that was supposed to get a trim. Over the years I got better at it. I'm still not perfect, but the dogs look like what I want them to look like. Thats good enough for me. Your dog would be a challenge, cause he has long hair. I think like the other posters said> sometimes it takes the exact right equipment to improve things a bit. My dogs have long hair on the legs and fringe and its hard to keep leaves,sticks,twigs,nuts, and dirt out of the hair. I do the best I can and thats all you can do too. You'll get better cause you will learn what NOT to do as well as what TO do. David
How do you keep your dogs still while you grooming them?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Are you brushing/combing him out dry? You may want to try misting his coat with something like Ice on Ice depending on his coat. I know if I try to comb either one of mine out dry it damages their coat and gives them that frizzy fluffy look. I just mist and the brush, then comb.
Yeah, usually he's dry. Like right now, I'm about to make his day (not!) and get some tangles out I found by his ears. He's gonna just love that...as if.

I usually comb him all over, getting the hair nice and loose and then use the brush to brush against the grain, so to speak, and that gets the hair all standing up. Maybe if he doesn't look too bad (or even if he does) I'll post a picture so you can see the "polar bear effect".

You brush first, then comb? Maybe I have it backwards. I'll check out the Ice on Ice also.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, here it is:
 

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Well, here it is:
He is adorable! You may want to try a leave in conditioner to weigh down his coat a little - a little heavier than the ice on ice. The brush makes a difference to. I use a cc pin brush, but I've heard that the Madan brush is fantastic too. Are you using a slicker on him? That may be contributing to the "fluffiness." I only use a slicker on their legs and sometimes those never ending tangles behind their ears.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
He is adorable! You may want to try a leave in conditioner to weigh down his coat a little - a little heavier than the ice on ice. The brush makes a difference to. I use a cc pin brush, but I've heard that the Madan brush is fantastic too. Are you using a slicker on him? That may be contributing to the "fluffiness." I only use a slicker on their legs and sometimes those never ending tangles behind their ears.
I use a comb (the kind with the wider spaces between teeth on one end and narrow spaces on the other), but I do have a pin brush (which has bristles on the other flip side).

I don't have a slicker - but the comb might be doing the same thing.

I'll check out the conditioner as well. Thanks :)
 

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Well, in all honesty, from seeing his pics, I don't think you are ever going to get his coat to lay flat and smooth like a maltese, shih, lhasa, etc. His coat is wavy, and softer than those breeds, and just isn't going to lay. Even when it gets longer, and has more weight, its going to "poof" out. Its just his coat type. For sure change from using the comb first..Use the brush first, with a misting spray as previously mentioned..THEN comb. When you comb first (especially dry) you are pulling all the tangles, even the small ones, and damaging the coat. The pin brush will gently break up the tangles without damaging the coat. Damaged coat looks frizzy, dry, and makes the coat uneven, all which lead you right to more tangles/matting and poofiness. Even when growing coat, it benefits from a slight trim. This will freshen the damaged ends, and help keep matting at bay. You can also have the feet tidied/pads shaved, potty trail/groin/armpits shaved out, so you have less to keep tangle free, and those sensitive areas aren't being pulled at. If you are keeping his coat matt free, kudos to you! His coat, at that length is NOT an easy job and no pet owner I know can manage what you are! Give yourself a pat on the back. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Yeah, it's not easy keeping the coat nice and loose, but it's not too bad. Wally doesn't see it that way, except when it's over! 30 minutes or so every few days - not too bad :)

I took the brush to him after reading the last few tips and used this scented spray with Aloe in it I got for free from PetCo sometime on the brush.

It worked nicely. I was able to use the brush the whole time and it still took out the old hairs and there were either no tangles today or the brush & spray took them out in the process.

Tried to lay the hair down, and no - it's just not going to lay. This time he looked like his hair was growing out sideways :eek: It was kind of funny, and it stayed that way even after him shaking.

So, yeah, I think I'll just stick with poofy. I looked at some pictures of Coton's and most of them were poofy if they had long coats - so it seems the polar bear effect is closer to the 'proper' groom for them. I guess that makes sense because when his hair is soaked from the rain or something, he looks like a rat.
 

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I agree with KBLover, I think the trick to getting the right kind of fluffy is the dryer that groomers use. But, if it makes you feel any better, I suck at grooming too. I attempted to trim Bella's face and feet with the clippers and, well, lets just say I am going to be calling my groomer in the morning to fix her. She looks like she got in a fight with the weed wacker.
ROFL! Sorry, can't help myself - been there, done that! The "weed wacker" comment is SO accurate! I learned to groom by doing FF&T with the Wahl Arco SE - a cordless trimmer that I will never be without! SO lightweight and easy to handle. Your groomer might be willing to show you how, and let you practice under her/his watchful eye. The trick is keeping it flat as you move along, no scooping allowed! LOL
 
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