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1 1/2 Year Old Kyoto

Revchawls

New member
I’m late. But better late than never.

Got our Cav pup beginning of last year but she’s never stood still/calm enough for proper grooming. Now she’s all matted around the ears and anxious when I pull the clippers out to try to cut the mats out. So want to hit the RESET button and start doing things right. Would appreciate the experience and guidance from all of you.

* All tools I should have
* How often should we use each tool?
* What kind of shampoo and conditioner?
* How size blades for trimming around paws/feet?
* How often to shampoo?
* How to trim nails without hurting her? (Already done that)
* How to keep her holding still while grooming
* other suggestions/tips you might have

Thank you,
 
Hi and welcome! Cavaliers have a fairly high maintenance coat, as you've found, and a dog that doesn't like grooming can quickly form really troublesome mats. I have two like this -- so I know how difficult this can be!

To begin with, I'd take her to a good groomer who can assess her coat and take whatever steps are needed at this point. <ost important, those mats may be too difficult to detangle now and they take a lot of very careful work to remove before any further grooming steps can be taken. They also shouldn't be removed with a clippers -- or only by a professional groomer who even then will try to get them out of the coat with brush and comb first. Using a clippers takes a lot of skill on mats. You might actually consider doing a grooming class if you want to use trimmers on feet etc.

The key to grooming is to train a dog to be comfortable with the tools before you start :). This will involve very slow steps, patience and treats! Here are a couple of good pages of advice.


Tools to have --
a good proper-size nail clippers or something like a Dremel (which files them down, but needs gradual introduction as dogs tend not to like the noise).
stypic powder for any nicks or cuts
A good flat slicker brush with metal tines. If you are trying to introduce a brush to a nervous dog, a brush with covered bristles is be a good start.
A soft brush -- it might help to get a puppy brush (they are really soft) simply to introduce her to a brush. But they don;t really do much on a cavalier coat.
A good grooming comb. I like the ones that are split between narrow and wider teeth. A coating like silicon can be helpful.
A small rounded end scissors for doing feet and trimming out mats.
A mat cutting tool for smaller breeds.
A detangler spray -- I like ones you spray on a dry coat and this helps prevent mats.
I just use whatever shampoo takes my interest and doesn't have a smell I detest! I actually only ever wash mine a couple times a year. Some like to bathe far more often of course but they don't actually need it unless they've gotten into something dirty or smelly. Bathing too often strips protective oils from their coats.
I've never used clippers on body or feet so can't advise there.
I just use whatever shampoo takes my interest and doesn't have a smell I detest! I actually only ever wash mine a couple times a year. Some like to bathe far more often of course but they don't actually need it unless they've gotten into something dirty or smelly. Bathing too often strips protective oils from their coats.

A comb is actually the most helpful tool! Combing out correctly is a skill though. But a comb takes out dead coat really well and gets rid of mats. As I am sure you've discovered, the hair at back of legs and behind ears tends to be the worst for matting. A comb that is small dog size and half narrow and half wider teeth is handy.

Using some baking powder worked into a mat can help you untangle them.

There are good videos out there on working out mats etc (and on grooming cavaliers :) ). I'm going to have a look for one or two of my cavalier books that have advice.
 
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