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  • Difficult Hair

    I'm having a few problems maintaining my Abby's hair and seeking any tips of the trade as I grow her out.
    A little back ground first....she's a rescue Shih Tzu, very badly bred that originated in a puppy mill....I was her 5 owner when I got her at a year old....she's now 2. When I got her the hair was cut shortish and in bad shape...her nutrition was so poor her rear quarters looked like dryer lint. Happy to say she blew out all the old hair and now has a gorgeous coat but it's cottony in many places which is a problem in itself at time.
    She's fine for about a week after her bath.....then the hair on her legs, shoulders and tail starts "waving" like it was crimped with a woman's hair iron. When it begins this cycle she tangles and matt's like a puppy would going through the " blow"......very tangled...... Very flustrating to bath every week when she's a house dog and doesn't get dirty.
    To condition her hair trying to make it relax and smooth I've used alternatively different products with varying degrees of success..... Conditioners: Vellus, AllSystem Protein, Coat Handlers, Ring 5 Untangle, tangle remover, Groom Professional Revitilize, CC Hydro Pack.
    She gets line brushed and combed out twice a day with Crown Royal Magic Touch either Water with 1 tbs. Vellus Conditioner. I did stop using CC ice on ice on both mine...was not comparable with either of their hair.
    Given this lengthy history ( sorry about being long winded) ......Is there anything else I could use to calm down this difficult hair.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I'm nowhere near an expert in this field, but have some experience with **** sues from puppy mills.
    First, she has an absolutely adorable face. And then I think I would try going a different route and her styling. I'm throwing this out here for debate and discussion. I'm thinking that if there is some type of Asian styling that it might helps resolve the issue. In other words, take the body tight and leave the legs long. I know that sounds counterintuitive but the links on the legs will add weight and may help straighten look and keep it easier to maintain. Since she is so cute this might be a style that works for both of you. I get online and check out some images and see if you could come up with something.

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    • #3
      Unfortunately with that amount of hair weekly baths and blow outs are necessary. She is awfully cute!

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      • #4
        Thank you for for kind replies.....
        I have actually considered a Asian on her....Rambling thoughts on it please help me along deciding....
        Her body hair that if cut short isn't the problem hair...it's the legs from socket joints down to the toe...Is there such a thing of a Asian style where the body is kept longer and the legs and underbelly kept shorter....Or is that just crazy thinking
        I have Notes From The Grooming Table but I haven't seen any styles suggesting that option.....
        Anyway, thanks again and I'll keep at it till I make my mind up.

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        • #5
          I'm not sure why a little wavy hair is bothering you so much, but since it is, take her to your groomer and have an overall 1/2" cut......that way, you don't need the weekly baths, you are put out of your misery, and the little doggie can get in some extra sleep.

          Happy loving it just the way Nature wanted it

          Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

          www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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          • #6
            I'm a cat groomer, not a dog groomer, but I'm confused by something. You comb her out twice a day, but still gets mats? I groom some animals with cottony fur, but twice a day combing would certainly stop the matting.
            What type of comb do you use?

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            • #7
              I use a greyhound comb for the final comb through.
              Her brush out went well this morning...slicker brush, Bass pin brush then comb out...

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              • #8
                Okay. I know I'm not a dog groomer, but this sounds an awful lot like some cats I've groomed, so I'm going to stick my nose in, for what it's worth. If it were my dog, I would bathe no more than once a month. I would stop with all the products, except for a basic pet shampoo. Make sure you rinse it out completely. Dry thoroughly.What dryer do you use?
                You write that the problem areas are the legs, tail and shoulders.
                You don't mention if the mats are big or small. Sometimes I see what I think of as "pin mats". These are a bunch of little teeny mats. To deal with them, I use a 4-1/2-Inch Fine Pet Grooming Comb Face/Finishing. I don't see how you could wind up with mats if you were to comb out the legs, shoulders and tail with this comb once a day or even a few times a week. If you are getting mats, my guess is that you're not getting down to the skin when you comb. A little trick I use to see if mats are developing is to direct my blow dryer at the problem areas. When the air moves the hair/fur, you can see right down to the skin. If a mat is developing, you can see it and immediately comb it out. Good luck!

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                • #9
                  Yes I use a HV dryer and yes some are small pin mats, majority are from rough play with my male. They both have to be calmed down from being to mouthy....scratching and licking are another tangle maker...I do line brush her often insuring I get to the skin.
                  Her hair is one that once washed and conditioned carefully not to create and tangles once she's on the table.....being wet I have to be extremely careful combing out do not the break the hair...... it wants to bind to itself ......since its fine white hair that makes even more fragile. It's genetic's I firmly believe.
                  I've got two more products to try on her, thanks to a friend here....If it's not any better by spring I'll just cut her down. By then I'll tire of trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear

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                  • #10
                    The reality is, some dogs just do better with shorter hair. She may be one of those. This doesn't mean she needs a shave down. A cute asain style or lamb cut would be cute. Some dogs can be helped by products, some by a food change, spaying a dog can even change coat quality. Hard to pinpoint the problem. I have Airedales for a good reason. They get groomed once a month and I don't have to brush/comb them out in between
                    I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
                    -Michelangelo

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                    • #11
                      I have to agree with others in that she might just be better in a cute shorter clip. If she's not being shown there's really no need for all there hair besides mere esthetics. I say go for a easy to maintain cute Asian style groom.
                      One of the reasons why I have only ever owned short coated breeds. It's like a maid going and cleaning everyone else's house all day then has to come home and clean her own.
                      It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
                      Henry David Thoreau

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                      • #12
                        I was thinking the lamb too.

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                        • #13
                          I do tones of Asian ish styles with varying degrees of length on legs. I also don't usually clip the body's crazy short either, typically a #2 or #1 wahl ss guard comb. And skim the shape. Your girls hair isn't bad at all. I do agree that product can cause mats. My preference would be to clip the body in 3/8" (#2) comb, unless she's chubby.

                          Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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                          • #14
                            I strongly strongly disagree with Emma on this one. First off, I would get a stand dryer if you can afford it.

                            Do not brush unless she has been washed and conditioned first. Brushing dirty and/or dry coat breaks it, causing more mats. If you are brushing every day that is probably your problem. And if you are brushing every day, than what does throwing a bath in there hurt time wise? It's SO much easier to brush out a clean conditioned dog. And I would only use a pin brush unless you have a mat to get out.

                            I would try Coat Handler 15-1 shampoo and their original conditioner. Don't spray it on, pour it on and leave it on. It does not build up. But first, I would also rinse her in a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water after washing to get rid of the build up of the products you have been using for a couple of baths.

                            With my show dogs, the rule is when they start to mat they get a bath. If it's a week, then it's weekly, if it's two then it's two. My cockers and my Lhasa's before that all had good coats so I didn't have to do them any more than once a week, and those were usually friction mats from running around, armpits, testicle area on my boys. Some people have to do it every three days.

                            My dogs are very competitive, and run around like real dogs with a dog door, on grass, carpet, gravel and dirt, and their coats rival any show dog kept in a run or on wire. I have always followed the no brushing unless freshly bathed rule I was taught over 30 years ago by my Lhasa mentor and it has never failed me.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ItzaClip! View Post
                              I do tones of Asian ish styles with varying degrees of length on legs. I also don't usually clip the body's crazy short either, typically a #2 or #1 wahl ss guard comb. And skim the shape. Your girls hair isn't bad at all. I do agree that product can cause mats. My preference would be to clip the body in 3/8" (#2) comb, unless she's chubby.

                              Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
                              Wow! That is one beautiful cut ❤️

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