No announcement yet.

Grooming Borzoi

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Grooming Borzoi

    I'm looking for a little advice on grooming a pair of Borzois that come into my salon. Owner brings in dogs every 8 weeks. Male is a neutered 5 year old tan, female is a spayed 8 year black. Dogs are both former show dogs, the owner's cousin bred and showed them before selling them at about age 2 to the current owner. The problem is that the dogs have a very very very very VERY low pain tolerance. I cannot stress that enough. The dogs are nice enough to me and generally listen well. They are muzzled (I use basket muzzles) because both have a bite history and a couple of times after hitting a tangle or matt the muzzle has hit my arm!
    When I groom them I start by bathing with shampoo, I use a diluted conditioner to help with tangles. I towel dry carefully, never fluff drying but rather using the towel like a squeegee to prevent further tangles. I use an HV dryer to remove the shedding hair and to dry the coat. Then a use a slicker brush on neck, backend, and over the spine (the areas the dogs seems to have more pain tolerance.) and a comb with rotating teeth on the rest of the body. I scissor out tangles, and shave matts. I am as careful as possible but these dogs are so REACTIVE and just seem to have the worst time being brushed out. The owner admits she doesn't brush often and i think that would help the dogs develop a better pain tolerance. But to be honest when I say pain, I mean slight irritation to having the comb hit a TANGLE not a matt. I don't attempt to brush any matts or tangles out. I am as careful and gentle as possible.

    Does anyone have any hints or insight into this gorgeous breed to make the grooming more tolerable for them! The dogs love seeing me and don't seem afraid to be in the salon, they just act like being brushed is torture. And both were former show dogs for 2 years so I know they were groomed constantly as young dogs. I am there 3rd groomer, the previous 2 were bit (dogs were not muzzled) owner insists on muzzling and puts the muzzle on them even though the dogs let me. She knows they hate being brushed so both of us are open to any tips to help make the grooming go better. It is my understanding this breed is known to have a low pain tolerance, anyone else have this breed in the salon and have the same experience with them?

  • #2
    A few things I would try would be to try a different brush. I have had REALLY good results on the super sensitive dogs w/my wooden pin brush by CC and/or my CC T brush. I don't know if you are brushing them before the bath, but if you are DON'T! Put them directly in the tub for a good wash/condition before you take a brush to them. I would soak any matts that you want to try to save w/a good thick conditioner and brush it while it is soaking. Take this time when they are soaking in the tub to deshed them by using a soft slicker, a rotating tooth comb, a T brush a zoom or curry comb or a combo of all the above.

    Do you have a comb w/rotating teeth? I don't know what they are called, but they are wonderful when you are working on a "sissy" dog or one w/a fragile coat. The ends are blunted which makes the comb more gentle than a SS comb and the rotating action really helps to dematt soft or fragile coats w/ease. This comb is useless on thick coats, but I think it would work wonders on a Borzoi.

    If you use a HV on them be sure that you aren't causing "whip matts" in their whispy coats. I prob wouldn't use a nozzle on the HV on anywhere but their backs. I think we used to mostly sack dry and then finish hand drying w/the stand dryer brush when they were barely damp.

    It's been years since I have had the pleasure of working on one of these beautiful dogs but if memory serves me being sensitive skinned must be a common trait. We had a family of three that used to come in monthly (all also retired show dogs) at the first shop where I woked and learned. Porthos, Cirrus and Nick (we jokingly called them Hughie, Dooie and Hows that for was over 20 yrs ago!

    This owner sounds like a reasonable person. Since she admits she doesn't brush often enough at home see if she won't bring them in to you maybe every 2 weeks or so for a good brush/comb out. If she does this, just don't brush their coats dry. Use a quality "leave on" to spritz them with as you brush.

    If all else fails you can always strip them and rename them Greyhounds ;-]

    Hope this helps and I didn't rack my memory and strain my already strained brain to come up with ideas on things that you are already
    SheilaB from SC


    • #3
      Borzoi are beautiful dogs but their coats can knot up very easily, I had them yrs. ago. The owner isn't maintaining them at home for obvious reasons, she doesn't want to deal with the biting issue. I think you need to se them every 4 weeks NOT every 8 weeks. If the coat is left alone and matts up why should you be forced to deal with it? They should be coming in more often!

      You might want to apply the conditioner undiluted to the badly knotted areas and let it soak for a few minutes. Their coat is so very fine in the underchest, belly and arm pit areas, I'm sure it does hurt to be brushed (tho' I have a hard time thinking it hurts enough to bite.)

      You are very nice to even be thinking this way and not "showing them the door."



      • #4
        thanks for the tips, I do use a comb with rotating teeth that works awesome on their thinner coat, I will try the wooden pin brush instead of the slicker. I haven't tried that yet
        The owner doesn't mind if I have to shave the back feathering off, that's usually where the matts are. I wish I didn't have to use the HV because of those matts but this breed sheds a lot! I am always surprised how much fur comes off those dogs when I dry them, their coat doesn't look thick enough to have that much hair, lol. I don't use the nozzle so I haven't had much of a problem with the drying causing matts.

        To be honest I haven't thought about sending them to another groomer because 1. it is so cool to be able to groom a breed that isn't seen very often and 2. the dogs are very sweet and fun before and after the groom so it makes up for their antics during the groom. And even though they do yelp and snap they stand so well on the table and barely resist for nail trims or ear cleanings, if it wasn't for that I don't think I could groom them.


        • #5
          Borzois are just wimps. Looking at a brush hurts them I grew up with them and my parents showed them. They know how to train their people.

          If they are always matted on the belly and armpits, then clip those area shorter. The longer hair on the sides will disguise the lack of belly hair. And like a previous post mentioned, use lots of conditioner and be careful with the HV.


          • #6
            Wimpy borzoi

            Borzoi are beautiful, but terribly wimpy. These dogs being spayed and neutered will grow a thicker, woolier coat than an intact dog. This means that yes, you should be seeing these dogs every 4 weeks, especially since the owner doesn't brush. When you do groom them, use a CC T-handle pin brush, they are great. Then be careful with dryer so you don't cause whip knots, use a thick creme rinse after bath and use a leave-in detangler. My male terv is very wimpy about knots on his belly and groin, so I lay him down and really examine him visually for knots before brushing that area. If I see any knots, I cut or trim them out before attempting to brush him. Borzoi also have a real good sense on how to play us humans. They will get absolutely ridiculous about the wimpiness if they know they can get a rise out of you or make you jump with their cries.
            Lisa VanVleet, RVT


            • #7
              They are ultra-sensitive!

              Borzoi are very sensitive. They are "thin-skinned", like a lot of Yorkies and Maltese, which means that their central nervous system processes things pretty well all on a "10" on a scale of 1-10, lol.

              I personally like to use a slicker brush SLOWLY to try to do some of the tangles. Everything has to be SLOW so that there is not a sudden pull. You have to ease over stuff and keep the dogs steady. Scold as necessary so that they start to inhibit themselves a bit and give you a teensy bit of leeway. Also, Show Seasons detangling spray is great - put it in after the bath and let it sit while they start to dry. It is a leave-in product and works great, helping tangles to slide apart rather than fight you.

              Good luck - they don't sound really bad, but they require extra time due to their reactions. PLUS you can thin the heck out of the tangly areas and try some Isle of Dog Heavy conditioner - WOW!


              • #8
                "Borzois are just wimps. Looking at a brush hurts them"
                lol that describes them perfectly! And now that people have mentioned how they train the owners that sounds just like those two as well! Last time I groomed them I commented how they must just hate the vet, and owner said surprising they don't even flinch for shots, blood draws, etc. But if a brush touches them they jump. I'll talk to the owner and let her know what I learned here, and emphasize the bring them in every 4 weeks part.


                • #9
                  I have one borzoi that comes in once a year. It is like a wild gazelle! absolutely can not do its nails. If it is startled or irritated in the least it bucks and leaps in the air. When it used to come into the kennel where I was working, we had to groom it out in the yard. It would not tollerate being put in a tub and would climb the walls.

                  I had to do everything very...very ...slowly and quietly. It was almost like I wasn't even grooming a dog. Although it was not a pleasant experience, I found myself incredibly intrigued by this breed and went home and read up lots on them.

                  I don't have any special grooming advice, but I can surely empathize with the level of difficulty on these guys.


                  • #10
                    I know this has already been touched on a little, and I can't see them personally so I don't know if this is for sure the case, but it sounds like they may have a touch of "screamer" in them as well! I don't doubt that tangles hurt and that they are sensitive, but a lot of dogs learn that if they scream, you stop. So they scream non stop. I have Yorkies that will screech like you're killin' em if you pick up a foot. Haha!

                    So if you are doing something that know can't possibly hurt them, or hurt them that badly, and they are still having a row, just wait for them to calm down and keep doing it. I'd bet that they do this for "mom" and she stops immediately, so you may need to let her know about this so they can behave better for you.
                    There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.


                    • #11
                      nope they aren't screamers, even when they yelp its a pretty quiet yelp, and they don't carry on, its more of a jump, sometimes a yelp or a snap and then back to standing still. these two just have legitimate sensitive skin.


                      • #12
                        Hi. My ex-groomer loved our two Borzoi. They didn't snap but they do react verbally to anything that hurts them. She loved their gentle and funny ways. But wimps they are not. Ours have visited the vets, one for an operation after bloat and the other for back pain and they take the numerous blood sampling and investigations stoically. I think it is that they learn to 'yelp' loudly when they do not wish you to carry on. But I do supect that they have a higher sensitivity level for some things than other dogs. We have bred our dogs for a myriad uses and they all suffer from various ailments and weaknesses that we have bred into them. Hunting wolves and pinning them down and surviving the Russian kennels could not have bred a 'wimpy' dog. Thanks for the tip on the 'rotating teeth' comb. Will try it.