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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! We have a 1 year old papillon female who we lovingly call "Fuzz." Or Lucy when people want to know her "real" name. Fuzz has been to the groomer a few times and luckily ours is smart enough to know that you DON'T cut off the ear fringe. That makes us happy. :) Lol
My question is - we only ever have her nails clipped, toe hair trimmed and a sanitary strip trimmed and that's it. I'm scared to have them do much more. Her hair is long and silky but quite thin, and no matter how much we brush and condition, it still looks a little (for lack of a better word) ratty. There's no tangles or anything, but she just looks a bit shaggy and unkept even after coming home. What options do I have? Can we trim everything up shorter so it will grow out in a thicker coat? Is there a way to get her fringe to grow longer into that "butterfly" look? I said on another post that we used to breed shelties and we sold them as show quality dogs. I knew exactly what to look for and how to keep them trimmed and things, but I'm having issues with Lucy. Any DOs and DON'Ts for me???
 

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I have two paps. My oldest is 3 and her fringe will not get that long. It has been trimmed, let to grow out and it will only get sort of long. My other is 2 and he has fringe only at the bottom of his ear..it will not get full and look like a butterfly. I think the length of the fringe is genetic. I also had them cut down this summer for the first time. It did grow back fuller.
 

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So I could probably have everything trimmed down except her ears and be good? I still like the LONG silky hair they get, but I would love it to be a bit thicker. She is extremely petite so the lack of thick hair just kind of makes her look sickly. Doc keeps saying she's in great shape but I'd like to give a fuller impression. Lol
 

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I love the long coat also! The shedding from my two was more then I could handle this summer so I had them cut down quite a bit..all except their fringe and tail. I thought they looked goofy but still adorable. And they do look fuller now that it has all grown back to their normal length. If she's not a show dog ( which i'm guessing shes not) It cant hurt! But I will warn you she will look sooo tiny to you at first! Everyone but me thought they looked so cute when they first got done. It did grow on me cause they have these tiny bodies with these HUGH Ears!! BTW Lucy looks just like my oldest Libby!
 

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Papillons don't really get their full coats until they're almost two. Coat thickness and ear fringe length also vary a lot by lines. Some paps will never have thick coats or a lot of fringe.
 

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I have two paps. My oldest is 3 and her fringe will not get that long. It has been trimmed, let to grow out and it will only get sort of long. My other is 2 and he has fringe only at the bottom of his ear..it will not get full and look like a butterfly. I think the length of the fringe is genetic. I also had them cut down this summer for the first time. It did grow back fuller.
One of my paps is 10 years old, and he's never grown much ear fringe. He has plenty of coat, but ears more like a pom:


My younger pap has longer ears, but his coat isn't that thick. He's 2 1/2.
Examine her diet. Is she eating a decent quality food? A good coat starts with genetics of course, but feeding a good diet (and possible a skin/coat supplement) will bring her coat to its fullest genetic potential. Another option would have the groomer lightly scissor up the underline, chest, and feathers so the dead ends and really thin coat that hangs is gone. She might look a bit shorter coated, but fuller. The picture I posted of my older dog is when his coat looks good, however he's gone through allergy phases where his coat was crap and I did opt to hand-scissor some of the dead coat off to keep what he had as healthy as possible.

After a trim. I took his feet, hocks, and feathering shorter and removed all the dead ends and stick-like single hairs that stick out everywhere, and I liked the result :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the good advice! I definitely think I'm going to have her shortened up to see if it will thicken a bit. Even if it's not really long, I'd rather have a thicker healthy coat. She eats very well. Good all natural foods.... It costs me a small fortune but considering I only have to buy food every 6 months or so it's not a huge deal. :)
LazyG - Is your little one a service dog??? What does he do? How did you get him certified? I would love to train our little one for service! I want details. :)
Libbyanddarcy - I so want to see pics of Libby now! :) I see a lot of brown and white, but i haven't seen many black and white paps. And there is NONE in my town that I'm aware of. I've had no less than a dozen people claim pups if/when she ever has any. Lol They're such fun little things. I don't know why more people don't have them!
 

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The problem with cutting or clipping a Pap coat is that when it grows back, it tends to grow back a bit more wooly and not as straight so that it gets tangled easily. When the coat comes back wooly, it actually mats quite easily so it's a hassle to deal with.

I personally wouldn't ever trim a Pap other than the regular potty trim, and feet and like Crantastic said, it takes sometimes 2-3 years for a Pap to grow their full adult coat. Some lines don't have as much coat and honestly it's easier to take care of than the lines that have extreme coats flowing all over the ground.
 

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Thank you all for the good advice! I definitely think I'm going to have her shortened up to see if it will thicken a bit. Even if it's not really long, I'd rather have a thicker healthy coat. She eats very well. Good all natural foods.... It costs me a small fortune but considering I only have to buy food every 6 months or so it's not a huge deal. :)
LazyG - Is your little one a service dog??? What does he do? How did you get him certified? I would love to train our little one for service! I want details. :)
Libbyanddarcy - I so want to see pics of Libby now! :) I see a lot of brown and white, but i haven't seen many black and white paps. And there is NONE in my town that I'm aware of. I've had no less than a dozen people claim pups if/when she ever has any. Lol They're such fun little things. I don't know why more people don't have them!
Not for service but he's certified through TDI as a therapy dog. He no longer does any real therapy work, because of some health issues he has. Neither one of my dogs are trained for service, but the younger one has some little odd jobs I taught him to do (pick up that sock I dropped out of the laundry basket and bring it to me, etc). He'll never be certified because I don't need a service dog, but teaching some helpful tasks around the house never hurts (and papillons are bright little dogs)! :)
 

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The problem with cutting or clipping a Pap coat is that when it grows back, it tends to grow back a bit more wooly and not as straight so that it gets tangled easily. When the coat comes back wooly, it actually mats quite easily so it's a hassle to deal with.

I personally wouldn't ever trim a Pap other than the regular potty trim, and feet and like Crantastic said, it takes sometimes 2-3 years for a Pap to grow their full adult coat. Some lines don't have as much coat and honestly it's easier to take care of than the lines that have extreme coats flowing all over the ground.
My moms Jazz has a non-extreme coat, but it's not a proper pap coat. It's thicker, not silky, and "poufs" everywhere. That is the worst kind of pap coat to deal with IMO, and in many ways his coat makes me think he's been clipped in the past. Some dogs grow their coat in just fine after clipping, but many don't. If Jazz was cut down, he never grew his coat back in right. My moms Pride (who is loosely related to the dog I posted pics of earlier in the thread) has a very long, very thick coat and it looks extreme. It's silky, yet there's something about it that keeps mats at bay. For as much coat as he has, he's very easy to take care of.

 

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Nia has an average (maybe a little shorter than avg) coat but it's the correct type. It almost never mats, mud dries and falls off and it's really easy to clean. Literally we brush 1-2 times a week and wash every month and she stays really clean. I haven't seen it myself as I've never shaved or clipped my Pap but I always hear from professional groomers that shaving or clipping it makes it grow back rough and wooly.

Here's 2 pics of Nia's coat for reference..It really does take about 2-3 years for a dog to Papillon to grow their full coat so I would really really recommend waiting it out.


DSC_4693_1 by blahbloo, on Flickr


DSC_4610_1 by blahbloo, on Flickr
 

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Oh Nia is BEAUTIFUL!!! How I wish she was a stud and we'd make babies. :) Her coat looks really similar to what Lucy's is trying to be. It's not terribly long but shorter around the back legs like that. We never have problems with rats and tangles at all, it just LOOKS "ratty" as in, not soft and pretty. Her fringe almost has a greasy look to it, even after shampoo and conditioner. It's just hard to keep it brushed out and looking that way. Oh if they only had a flat-iron for dogs! Lol I definitely need to get some more pictures of her on here. I will try today!
 

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Oh Nia is BEAUTIFUL!!! How I wish she was a stud and we'd make babies. :) Her coat looks really similar to what Lucy's is trying to be. It's not terribly long but shorter around the back legs like that. We never have problems with rats and tangles at all, it just LOOKS "ratty" as in, not soft and pretty. Her fringe almost has a greasy look to it, even after shampoo and conditioner. It's just hard to keep it brushed out and looking that way. Oh if they only had a flat-iron for dogs! Lol I definitely need to get some more pictures of her on here. I will try today!
A word about conditioner--a little bit goes a long, long way and it's awful stuff to rinse out. I tell people when you use conditioner to rinse until you think it's completely rinsed out, then rinse another 10-15 minutes. If there's any conditioner residue left, it's guaranteed to look greasy and stringy. That might be part of the problem. If her ears are just plain greasy, make sure she doesn't have an ear infection going on. If one of my dogs has super greasy ears, I use a bit of baking soda with the shampoo; it works as an excellent degreaser although it's almost as hard to rinse as conditioner is, so rinse rinse rinse rinse until your hands look prune-y :) I very very rarely condition my papillons, I usually use a high quality shampoo and nothing else, and it leaves the coat less stringy and gives it more body.
 

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Oh the other thing is as for shampoo and conditioner you want to use a lanolin free shampoo because otherwise it's heavy on the coat and the coat looks greasy.

Also I shampoo and condition coat but only shampoo the ear fringe (no conditioner). I end up shampooing ear fringe twice as well because of it's tendency of getting disgustingly greasy.

The shampoo/conditioner I like the best is Vellus you might want to check it out.
 

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Crystal has a nice correct coat and a good amount of fringe:


DSCF3353 by cran_b, on Flickr


DSCF3338 by cran_b, on Flickr

I don't trim anything but her feet and hocks, and occasionally the very tip of her tail (with shears) as it can get ratty. She never mats. I brush her once a week and bathe once a month, with shampoo and conditioner. I do actually condition her fringe, but I don't leave it on the fringe as long as I do on the rest of her body. I make sure to rinse her very well.

One note about breeding - we tend to be opposed to breeding dogs just because they're pretty around here. Most of us like to see only the best dogs bred, usually ones that have proven themselves in show or in herding trials or the like. We like to see breeders who health test (which is much more in depth than a vet appointment) and who carefully select a stud that complements their bitch, with the intention of producing pups that are better than either parent. (Obviously I can't speak for the entire forum, but if you start a thread about breeding your pet dog, that is the sort of thing you are going to hear most. It will not be a fun thread for you.)
 
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