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Advice on maintaining a Bichon in a 'show trim'

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  • Advice on maintaining a Bichon in a 'show trim'

    I groom a Bichon named Lizzy. She comes in ever 5 weeks for the full meal deal. Now that her coat is long and full, I have been finding she is coming in matted. I realize now that the dog either needs to be trimmed into more of a 'pet length' or else, its going to cost the customer more to maintain.
    The matting is mostly in the arch of the neck and head where the hair is really long, although the leg hair was matting as well this last time.
    What kind of scheduel would you put this dog on? The customer says she is brushing, but obviously not well enough or not deep enough.
    We discussed going into more of a 'pet trim' to spare her the added expense, but she really loves the way she looks in full trim.

    I have suggested she come in 3 wk intervals for a brush and comb out, then full groom the next visit. I am not sure if that will be enough though. What do you all recommend?

    I use the term show term loosely. She is not a 'show dog' she just likes her to look like one.
    Also, what blades and/or snap ons do you use? (I have wahl)
    I have been just using 3/4 on the back ect and shape in everything with scissors. I need to save myself some time.. I am slow enough as it is!

  • #2
    At least every 2 weeks, alternating bath/brush and full groom if she wants to save money. Bichons in full coat are a lot of maintenance. I have a toy poo in a bichon trim and I bath and brush her out weekly and trim probably once a month and this keeps her knot free.


    • #3
      Weekly baths with quality shampoo and conditioner and brush out.


      • #4
        The two dogs I compete with (Bichon and Toy Poodle in a Bichon trim) are bathed once a week. If we wait much longer than that, and we get mats in the neck and back legs. And the hair gets damaged and broken when I de-mat. They are maintained for free, as their owners are required to "agree" to pretty much do whatever I do with the dog's coat.
        Last edited by Full_Groom; 02-02-10, 06:13 AM.


        • #5
          Here are a few tricks I use on these Bichons:

          1 Try to get the owner to brush at home (ya right that doesn't work)

          2 Shell out the sides of the head under the ears completely with a 10 blade. Make sure you cannot see this when the ears are lying down. Must be totally hidden.

          3 Shell out the dog completely underneath, with a 7 blade from arm pits to sanitary. Make sure you cannot see it when looking at the dog from above.

          4 I do one that is always matted on the thighs from sitting on carpet. I shave off the thighs with a 4 or 3 in that area to keep it a tad shorter and to prevent matting in that area next groom. If perfectly blended into the rest of the leg, an owner cannot see that this area is slightly shorter.

          5 Suggest that they use a rolled leather collar on the dog to prevent matting on the neck. I will not do a long show trim on a pet Bichon's neck because this is just asking for trouble unless the dog is brought in frequently. Pet owners do not know the difference.

          Shelling out all of the hidden areas gives me a ton less hair and matting to deal with next groom.