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  • Split ends on a dog?

    Hey everyone!

    I love this forum - so many tips and tricks that have helped me out immensely in the world of pet owner grooming. So I've lurked for a while, but now I have a question that not even the archives can answer.

    I have 3 miniature schnauzers who all suffer from split ends (well, maybe I'm the one suffering from looking it it, haha). They are not-so wirey coated - more like a range of super soft (or like a "mega" or "super" coat if we're talking breeder lingo) to wavey/thin (poor Hans).

    Their skirts seem to be fine, but their beards and whiskers are split like crazy, or they had these white ends which look like split ends or an end that is about to split.

    I use Chris Christensen spectrum 10 shampoo, conditioner and after spray (I have to thank the forum for the tip). Although I have been using this only since December. They get towel dried and then I brush/dry their fur (regular human hair dryer)I have been using a slicker (Tuffer than Tangles - again, thank you for the recommendation!) to brush as I dry, and then a pin brush once it's dry/mostly dry. I use both on their beards as well.

    I also brush their coats (dry) between baths with a slicker and pin brush.

    I thought maybe the slicker/hair dryer combo might be the problem? The setting is "warm" not "hot". I do have the option of "cool", but I don't normally use it because it takes so long.

    I'm attaching a photo of one of my dog's beard, hopefully you can see what I'm talking about.



    If anyone is interested to to see what they look like (full beards and all) we're on Instagram @drei_schnauzer

  • #2
    It looks like a lot of breakage on the beard. You could trim off just the damaged ends. I would reverse your brushing, too. Use the pin brush on the beard first (less damaging than a slicker), and brush the ends first. Moisten the beard a little-just a mist to dampen-instead of brushing dry hair. Dry hair is more apt to break. Hope this helps.
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!

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    • #3
      What do you feed them also. Quality coat starts from the inside also.
      Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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      • #4
        Dry brushing is your problem. Breaks hair like crazy. If you must do it, use conditioning spray first

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        • #5
          I agree with the above posts about coat breakage. Firstly, be careful how you towel them off. A back and forth or circular rubbing motion can break hair. Try and towel with the lay of the coat only, then spray and brush or comb lightly. A slicker brush is the most damaging of the brushes to their coat, so try to only use that for tangles. A pin brush will be the least damaging. If you can use your metal comb instead of a brush at all, even better. Cockerlvr is right on point about dry brushing. You should always mist your coat lightly with a conditioning spray before any brushing. My favorites for this are Eqyss Avocado or Stazko., These may be used on a wet or dry coat, and are both "weightless" and don't leave a thick residue or buildup of product on the coat. There are many conditioning sprays suggested in other posts about products that other groomers may prefer.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KarlaSnyder View Post
            It looks like a lot of breakage on the beard. You could trim off just the damaged ends. I would reverse your brushing, too. Use the pin brush on the beard first (less damaging than a slicker), and brush the ends first. Moisten the beard a little-just a mist to dampen-instead of brushing dry hair. Dry hair is more apt to break. Hope this helps.
            Yes it is The other two have it as well, but not as bad as this guy. Thank you so much for your advice -- I will make sure not to brush while dry! I'm not sure why, but I always worried about brushing wet, so I tried to avoid it. I'm so glad to know to stop!

            All of your comments are so helpful. Thank you!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by stacie-gotg View Post
              What do you feed them also. Quality coat starts from the inside also.
              Good point! They all eat Purina Pro-plan, sensitive skin and stomach. Are there foods I could add to their diet to improve coat health?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cockerlvr View Post
                Dry brushing is your problem. Breaks hair like crazy. If you must do it, use conditioning spray first
                Thank you! I have some that came with the spectrum ten, but I never knew exactly how to use it.

                Originally posted by wild4westies View Post
                I agree with the above posts about coat breakage. Firstly, be careful how you towel them off. A back and forth or circular rubbing motion can break hair. Try and towel with the lay of the coat only, then spray and brush or comb lightly. A slicker brush is the most damaging of the brushes to their coat, so try to only use that for tangles. A pin brush will be the least damaging. If you can use your metal comb instead of a brush at all, even better. Cockerlvr is right on point about dry brushing. You should always mist your coat lightly with a conditioning spray before any brushing. My favorites for this are Eqyss Avocado or Stazko., These may be used on a wet or dry coat, and are both "weightless" and don't leave a thick residue or buildup of product on the coat. There are many conditioning sprays suggested in other posts about products that other groomers may prefer.
                Lots of great tips! Thank you SO much!! The specific details are wonderful. I feel so bad because it looks like I've literally been doing it wrong for 3 years (including the towel drying method). Their poor coats!!! I'll look into the Eqyss and Stazko. The spray I have is a little heavy, which is maybe why I thought I might need to use it only when their coats were already wet? I'm not 100% on my logic now that I'm looking back on it.

                Thank you to everyone for your quick and thorough comments. I feel so much better now that I haw something of a plan to implement, and I hope to post an "after" pic, if I can manage to get their coats back to normal!

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                • #9
                  Oh yes, clean conditioned coat, that has had the cuticle smoothed out is far less likely to break. I literally NEVER, like never ever EVER take a brush to my show dogs when they haven't been washed first. The one exception is at shows, but even then, they aren't running around much and I wash their feet every morning, and the rest of them gets sprayed with conditioner, then blown out.

                  I think you will find this makes a HUGE difference. On those beards that really get dirty, you may even want to get a waterless shampoo like Self Rinse to clean them before brushing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cockerlvr View Post
                    Oh yes, clean conditioned coat, that has had the cuticle smoothed out is far less likely to break. I literally NEVER, like never ever EVER take a brush to my show dogs when they haven't been washed first. The one exception is at shows, but even then, they aren't running around much and I wash their feet every morning, and the rest of them gets sprayed with conditioner, then blown out.

                    I think you will find this makes a HUGE difference. On those beards that really get dirty, you may even want to get a waterless shampoo like Self Rinse to clean them before brushing.
                    I'm not 100% on cuticle smoothing - is this the result of conditioning, or an entirely separate step? Please excuse my ignorance.

                    Omg waterless shampoo. I'm getting this. Yes, my problem with their beards is that they need/get brushed more often than they receive baths. But now I'll be sure to moisten/condition their beards and skirts before doing any brushing!!

                    Thank you again! Great insight

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by e2d2 View Post
                      I'm not 100% on cuticle smoothing - is this the result of conditioning, or an entirely separate step? Please excuse my ignorance.

                      Omg waterless shampoo. I'm getting this. Yes, my problem with their beards is that they need/get brushed more often than they receive baths. But now I'll be sure to moisten/condition their beards and skirts before doing any brushing!!

                      Thank you again! Great insight
                      Yes, that basically is conditioning sorry. Shampoos rough up the cuticle to clean and conditioner smooths it back down.

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                      • #12
                        How timely I need this info for a groom coming up.

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