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  • question for those who never clip befor the bath

    I understand that a lot of you do not preclip your dogs befor tubing them and that it saves a lot of time. If a dog comes in with a a lot of hair or if it is matted, I will clip first.
    I don't pre clip my regulars.
    My question is, why would I want to wash and blow dry all that matted hair? If the coat has some mats wouldn't they just get tighter? I would think that It would take me longer to fluff dry a coat that is to be clipped with say... a 3/4 with matts here and there through it if its 4 inches long!
    How about the dog I did today? It was very matted. I had to work to get my 5 through befor the bath. but afterwards it was dry in like 2 minutes and ready to finish.
    If I bathed befor, I would have taken a lot longer blowing on this rug of a coat to get it dry enough to even clip damp.
    I am just wondering what you all do that works. I can't get my brain around washing all that hair that is just going to be buzzed off.
    Also do you have to have a recirc to do that? Do you always wet clip the longer haired ones that have some matts? I dont have a GFCI ( not sure of the letters..LOL)

  • #2
    When I learned years ago it was always rough in first then bath then finish. Now it's rare that I clip first, even if they have a ton of hair or matting. If the matting is horrible then maybe but typically I'll bath then wet shave. When the matting isn't that bad the HV after a bath helps loosen it up. Plus it saves on the wear on the blades. It really can make a difference in how much hair you can leave on a matted pet.
    "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
    and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck
    www.wagmoresalon.com

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Integrity36 View Post
      My question is, why would I want to wash and blow dry all that matted hair? If the coat has some mats wouldn't they just get tighter? I would think that It would take me longer to fluff dry a coat that is to be clipped with say... a 3/4 with matts here and there through it if its 4 inches long!
      How about the dog I did today? It was very matted. I had to work to get my 5 through befor the bath. but afterwards it was dry in like 2 minutes and ready to finish.
      If I bathed befor, I would have taken a lot longer blowing on this rug of a coat to get it dry enough to even clip damp.
      I am just wondering what you all do that works. I can't get my brain around washing all that hair that is just going to be buzzed off.
      Also do you have to have a recirc to do that? Do you always wet clip the longer haired ones that have some matts? I dont have a GFCI ( not sure of the letters..LOL)
      Because clipping clean, dry hair not only looks better but saves your equip, time, and energy. I will bathe in a conditioning shampoo, apply Nature's Specialties EZ Demat, let it soak and brush it through. Then, I will THOROUGHLY towel dry and spray the hell out of 'em with The Stuff. After all that, about 98% of mats break up and away from the dryer if you do it right.

      Not only is it way easier to get your blade under all of it, but i often am able to leave the dog longer. Say, a #4 instead of a #7, and this makes for happier clients because fluffy isn't completely bald.

      For me, it's a case by case basis on what exactly I do, but instead of grooming the same dog twice, I'm only doing it once. That's where your time saving comes in. If you can break up the mats they really don't take all that much longer to dry, for me anyways.

      I don't have a recirc and I don't wet clip. I might in the future, but for now how I already groom works for me
      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.

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      • #4
        You are going to find that a fair majority here prefer to never preclip. I used to go along with them until I started my own little experiments. The faster I got at buzzing that dirty hair off first, the more time I learned to save overall.

        Still, most of the time I prefer to put them right into the tub. But if it's really matted/ dirty and long, I get rid of it first and the rest is so much more pleasant. And fast. And I don't waste time and shampoo cleaning all that dirty hair and never really feeling like I'm cleaning down into the pores properly.

        But do your own experiments, take into account what makes your day roll more smoothly and do what works best for you.
        The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson

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        • #5
          There is matting and there is matting. For me I don't know whether they can be combed out until they are wet, clean and conditioned. Sometimes, that alone helps me to comb them out. I also use the HV as a tool for dematting. If it turns out they can't be combed out, I then wet shave. Still wet hair is a lot less damaging to blades than dirty gritty hair.

          Personally I just don't like working with dirty hair. I don't want to subject my blades or any of my tools to it.

          The only exception are short haired dogs that I am buzzing (labs and what-not) with a #10 or #7 reverse. Thankfully I don't have many of them.
          "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

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          • #6
            I almost always bathe before clipping. The once a year super hairy shave down I'll pre clip, but mostly because it is a waste of shampoo to bathe the extra hair and you can get them cleaner by pre clipping. I have one 7 blade that I set aside for dirty dogs, and I also have a pair of horse clippers that I use to pre clip the OAY hairys. Horse clippers aren't for everyone though...you have to know what you're doing. You can really do some damage if you don't know how to use them properly.

            As far as matted dogs, you can always de-matt a clean dog easier than a dirty dog. I know that people tell you that the matts get tighter when you get them wet, but it's so much easier to de-matt a dog when it's clean. You just scrub the heck out of them, apply conditioner, or whatever de-matting solution you like (I personally use THE STUFF) and then when you HV them most of the matts break up. I typically use the HV dryer til the dog is mostly dry and break up all the matts I can, then I go ove the dog with a regular human hair dryer and a slicker brush and finish drying and dematting. You'd be surprised how easily a dog will de-matt if you know what tools and products to use. I never wet shave! Tried it a few times and hated it. It's not for me. Plus I find that if you bathe and HV a dog, you can almost always leave them a littler long than if you clipped them before the bath.

            I agree with Keyray...I HATE working on dirty hair. I avoid it whenever I can.

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            • #7
              If you are using an HV dryer with a lot of power you can actually lift and spread some of those matts apart from the skin therefore being able to perhaps leave that dog a little longer than what you would if you roughed it in. I bathe and lightly condition (I mix both together to save me a step) once I rinse them I wrap them in a towel for 10 mintues to help me absorb water and then I start blowing out. I do not use a bathing system. I am old fashioned when it comes to that and I prefer to hand scrub all my dogs. The only dogs I do not do this process to is a dog that is a matted pelt, the ones I know no matter how much I use my HV it isn't going anywhere. I will also wet shave my dogs, this way to 90% of the time I can use either a longer blade or even a snap on. When you are working on clean or even wet hair it makes it more plyable and easier to do. Not to mention you are not getting your blades all full of dirt particles and going through them faster. One product I ahve found that works the best for helping to spread apart mats is Bark to Basics demat. I add a large blop to my gallon of shampoo, if the matt is pretty tight I will add a little extra to the mat itself and find that it will break apart easier.
              If you are preclipping and then you bathe your dogs coat is not going to lay the same as it did before the bath. Sometimes then your coat will cut down differently. when I get scissored dogs ready for a show, I would groom them out and two days later rebathe them and rescissor them because I will get a different lay of the coat and make it easier to get all my "stickey-outies"

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              • #8
                I bath before clipping.
                First and fourmost reason for me is my health. I am allergic to dogs and have allergy triggered asthma. When I started grooming and was pre clipping dogs I had to use my meds all the time. People who have pet allergies are not allergic to hair itself. It is dandruff, saliva and dust, polen and other protein particles that pet hair collects. When you pre clip or brush dirty hair you release all of that junk into the air around you and breath it in. My body is very sensetive to this stuff and I get a reaction. Yours might not be reacting to forein proteins in such a way but you are still breath it in and it is collected in you lungs.

                Bathing before clipping or brushing does not slow me down and in some instances actually saves time.
                I use Bathing Beauty to apply shampoo and conditioner. I actually timed myself how long it takes me to bath, dry and brush and clip every dog. The lengh of coat does not make any difference in ammount of time it takes me to bath the dog. I concentrate on applying shampoo to the skin and areas that are soiled and rest of teh coat gets washed along the way.
                If I have the dog that is overgrown and matted and needs to be shaved down, I wash it and wet shave it.
                If it needs to be de-matted I spend little bit more time on making sure that whole coat is washed well, however I do not srub or rub the coat, because that makes it mat and felt.
                I use conditioner, rinse it off, put on detangler and brush tangles out while blow drying.

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                • #9
                  I've heard "Why would I want to wash and dry all that hair that I'm going to cut off?" many times.

                  "My question to you is this. "Why do you want to put your hands and equipment into filthy hair? Do you have any idea of what could be lurking in there?"

                  Seriously, you could be exposing yourself to worm eggs, soil contaminants, including anthrax (there's a reason anthrax is called 'wool sorter's disease'), toxic chemicals like fertilizer and heavy duty pesticides. I'd prefer to work on clean hair, thank you very much.

                  Clipping dirty coats not only dulls your blades, it makes your clippers work harder. And clipping twice shortens the lifespan of your clippers. They aren't indestructible. Neither are our bodies, and once they wear out we can't buy new ones. Doing your work twice not only wastes time, it puts unnecessary wear and tear on your body.

                  I'm pretty fast. I can groom a Yorkie in half an hour, 20 minutes if it's on a two week schedule. And I've never found that preclipping is any quicker than bathing first. If dogs are really overgrown, or very matted, I bathe, then wet shave, then dry.

                  Oh yeah. One last thing. Bathing doesn't cause mats to get any tighter. It's letting them dry without brushing that does that. Clean, wet hair is easier to demat than dirty, dry hair.

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                  • #10
                    With the exception of pelted dogs, I have bathed before clipping for 30 years.

                    For the first 20 years of my career I groomed in a rural area w/ alot of "farm dogs".
                    Even the little Poo types, OES's, Shag-a-Mutts...they all came in in disgusting condition.
                    Tractor grease down the middle of their backs, crusted deer poo and dead animal guts all rubbed into their collars, necks, ears, etc. It was GROSS!
                    I couldn't even think about touching these guys, much less putting my equipment on them so I just got in the habit of bathing first.

                    Even my once or twice a year clipdowns...I would bathe and blow out as much coat as was practical, because for me...it still gives a nicer finish.

                    Even though my clientele has changed over the past ten years...my habit has not.

                    Besides feeling like I still get a nicer finish....I like the advantage that having my hands over every inch of that soapy dog gives me when it comes to locating warts, lumps, bumps and things that might accidentally get lopped off if I wasn't aware of their presence....which I might not be if I just initially jumped in w/ clippers.
                    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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                    • #11
                      Pre clipping horrible coats is faster for me than washing and drying all that hair that is coming off anyways, because I work alone w no bather.

                      I simply zip off most of the coat with a skip blade in 5 minutes. It saves me tons of time washing all that filthy coat, and tons of time and electricity not having to dry all that wasted coat.

                      If the coat is coming off anyways, I do not have time to hang out in the drying/bathing room washing and drying hair that is going to get shaved off anyways. I can have that dog finished and in a cage dryer while work on another dog. Yes, I mostly fluff dry by hand, but don't waste my time on shave downs.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Helly View Post
                        "My question to you is this. "Why do you want to put your hands and equipment into filthy hair? Do you have any idea of what could be lurking in there?"
                        I don't. I wear medical type gloves when handling dogs before they're clean.
                        The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson

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                        • #13
                          I even wash the pelted dogs first. I find it easier to get a blade through a wet coat with conditioner still in it. Then back to the bath for a second bath.

                          I never EVER EVER touch my equipment to dirty hair. My sharpener has even remarked how nicely taken care of my stuff is.

                          And, of course, I charge for my time with these dogs. They are charged for the second bath.

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                          • #14
                            The only time I pre-cut is when they are so matted I can't get shampoo through the coat properly, or as some say-its pelted. Many wet shave at this point. As long as you are using a hv dryer, you are not making the knots tighter, you are blowing them apart and away from the skin. When you bathe first and use the hv you make mats easier to get out, if you plan on working them out. If you are just shaving, it makes it possible to get a longer cut. On a dog I would normally shave down w/ a #7, I can generally get a #4 or #3 through after. Sure you are thinking, why give those customers any length at all when they brought me a matted mess? Well, quite frankly it isn't so much for the customers, but for the dogs and me. If you don't have to shave so close, you run less risk of irritating the skin. The skin has had a little time to settle back down after being loosened up after the bath and dry. Plus in the winter even a #4 is better than a #7. Lastly, just for me, I am not sending out pink little rats. I personally hate the look of a maltese or bichon shaved down that close. When you shave first then dry you can't get the hair straight enough on a curly coated breed, and will end up w/ waves. So again, for me it is a matter of pride on my part of turning out a dog that just looks a little better. And no, it doesn't take me any longer. Do it how ever works best for you, but until you have really tried the other way, you just may not understand. I'm not talking about just one day, try it for a week, see if it makes you any faster, slower, better, if not, don't do it. I can tell you from experience that bathing first has made it possible for me to do 1-2 dogs more a day. That translates into $100-$200 extra a week, no small change.
                            I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
                            -Michelangelo

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                            • #15
                              I find that I can stretch the knots better if they are bathed first. I get my bather to blow the roots dry and stretch with the blower and I can get a longer blade under the matts. I also find with my regulars that with the extra weight of the coat, I can get a straighter dry....now I have to admit though that after 21 years of grooming I refuse to fluff dry anything anymore and my flat hi v attatchment gets a great finish. I find that when I shave first, the coat gets a bit of a curl to it and I have to fluff.....and I'm lazy LOL Oh and yes it is much nicer on my blades to work with clean hair......

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