Grooming questions

Hi there, Debbie, Susan here. I have a question about grooming my Gompas. My routine has been to send them to the groomer every four weeks and she has cut them SHORT. That makes life very easy. The kids missed their last appointment (story not worth telling), so they are coming up on an appointment after 8 weeks and I’m thinking…..dangerous, I know. Well, what I’m thinking is about how to go somewhere in between my traditional short short cuts and the very formal very long dooos that the show dogs seem to have and which I don’t like at all. Do you by any chance have pictures of dogs whose cuts are somewhere in between so that I might start on a new longer but not too long journey with Raji and Rinchen and Sammy and Pony (whose tail is now full and fluffy as you said it would be). Susan

I keep most of my dogs in the haircut you seem to describe. In the Apsos! Apsos! section of this blogsite, hit the Grooming link. Scroll way down the-in-need-of-editing-page and check out Aaron’s hairdo. The length on the body can be adjusted, depending on the size of the comb-blade used to set the length. Most of my dogs are shorter than Aaron, but the hair still ‘drapes’. This is my favorite Apso hairdo because it retains the look of the breed, yet is manageable. The instructions are detailed, so share them with your groomer should you decide to make the plunge. There is a point in the growing stage where the hair gets ‘snarly’ – usually at about an inch-and-a-half. Once it’s past that point, I’ve found maintenance easier than keeping the coat really short. Given that your dogs are groomed every 4 weeks, I don’t anticipate much of an issue getting them past that stage.

Anyone have photos of their favorite Apso-dos? If so, send them and I’ll share.


17 Comments on “Grooming questions”

  1. susan says:

    Thanks, Debbie. I just left them off with Kathy (groomer) with instructions to leave them pretty much as long as they are now….which is quite lovely and fluffy looking….while shortening their faces, feet, all that stuff.

    While I was there we were discussing Pony’s “stinky eye”. While Sammy’s eyes get smelly after 8 weeks, Pony’s get smelly every day. It’s kind of a moldy smell, and every time I clean out her eyes I have to go and wash my hands.

    Anyway, Kathy suggested a product (expensive !!!!) called Angel Eyes. I am going to research it a bit, and I think I’ve even seen it mentioned here, but if anyone has any additional input on it…..I’m all ears/eyes….

    Off to do all the stuff a mom of 4 dogs can only do when they are all off at the groomers — like shampooing the carpet (how VERY exciting :-)))))))))


  2. lhasalhady says:

    I keep Baby Powder – PURE CORNSTARCH – on hand for odds and ends clean-ups. It’s handy in the Baby Powder shaker, but make sure the product is pure cornstarch, not talcum powder. I also keep some in a small tin, along with a toothbrush. This can be gently brushed under the eyes and combed out several minutes later. Cornstarch acts as a dry shampoo.

  3. Susan says:

    Well, they look just wonderful….I’ll try to take some pictures today. They are just balls of fluff….And I did order some of that Angel Eyes from Amazon.

  4. Susan says:

    Can anyone tell me approximately how long the hair has to get before it starts to part down the middle of their backs?


  5. At my house, they generally start to part when about 2- to 3-inches long.

  6. Susan M says:

    Perfect. And, in fact, that’s just about where my kids’ hair is now and I’m just beginning to see hints of parts on a couple of backs.

    I just love these long fluffy dos. Much to my surprise they don’t really seem to need any closer attention to their tresses than they did when they were cut very short.


  7. >>> I just love these long fluffy dos. Much to my surprise they don’t really seem to need any closer attention to their tresses than they did when they were cut very short.

    LOL … just wait ’til early spring when they start blowing undercoat! And, oddly enough, that starts here in late January. You’ll have to share some photos of your hairy beasts, Susan!

  8. Susan M says:

    “blowing undercoat”??????

    Uh Oh…..Whazzat????
    It sounds menacing.

    Oh, did I mention that I did order the Angel Eye stuff but decided almost immediately NOT to use it. Basically it is a low-level antibiotic and that goes against all of my better judgement. Whatever has been vaguely plaguing their eyes has not been serious enough to dose them with antibiotics, and thereby contributing to the possibility that they won’t react as necessary if/as/when they really really need a good strong dose of an antibiotic.

    It’s very likely not dangerous, but it worried me. How was I going to know if there was something going wrong internally that I was causing by my pursuit of perfectly beautiful eyes….


  9. Susan says:

    Okay, one more question about hair length: how long does it take for the hair to get as long as it’s probably going to get? We’re three months into growing it out from the 3/4″ or so that it always wuz, and I’m curious what the future holds???? Will I hit a huge roadblock when it seems like there’s no way? Is there a length when we are “over the hump” and it doesn’t get any more difficult to deal with even though it’s longer?

    I’m very curious.


  10. lhasalhady says:

    So much of this depends on coat texture. Ponya has excellent, excellent coat texture. Heavy. Drapey. Her hair will grow to the ground with little problem. Hair usually doesn’t grow much beyond that because of friction from the surface walked on. Generally speaking, once hair is past….ummm…four inches in length, care is the same difficulty as a full-length coat. I find the upkeep on Apsos in long hair, with good-to-excellent coat texture, easier and less time consuming that routine hair cuts. I suspect your other dogs have similar coat texture to Ponya’s? That is one of the nice features, overall, of the Gompa dogs.

  11. Susan M says:

    I just got them back from the groomer yesterday. We still haven’t reached the 4″ length, but I’d say it’s about 3″, which makes me think they acquire about an inch a month????

    I got a good picture of Raji and an okay picture of Rinchen, and I will load them up on my Facebook page as soon as I finish this post.

    See y’all there.

  12. Susan M says:

    So, more grooming questions. I’ve been reading around this morning and have come upon some statements about Lhasa grooming that I would like to check with the rest of you.

    One statement I read is that shortening their hair in summer isn’t necessarily a good thing because they don’t use their skin for cooling the way we do and that their hair is actually a good insulator. Never occurred to me. What think you?

    And, how often do you bathe your dogs? Mine go to the groomer once a month, and I haven’t been bathing them in between those baths. Is that often enough? My sister has a Sheltie and was actually told by the breeder that the dog should NOT be bathed more than once a month because it would dry the skin. What think you?

    And, has anyone tried a tool called a detangler?

    And, is it right that I should brush the underneath hair first, working my way from the underneath stuff to the outer coat? What about spraying those underneath layers with “detangler”????

    Okay, that’s enough for now.

  13. While the coat does have insulating properties, I notice my dogs seem to be cooler in a shorter coat. But, “shorter” for me is at least an inch or longer.

    Dante is bathed every 7-10 days with no dry skin issues. The others get bathed as needed, generally every two to three weeks.

    What you are describing is “line brushing,” i.e., starting at the bottom of the coat and working your way up in a line. From a grooming website: Brush your Lhasa’s coat in layers. Lay the dog on his back or side, push the coat the wrong way and, starting with the undercoat, brush down one layer at a time as you work your way to the top. Use an anti-static spray, a detangler, or some creme rinse mixed with water and lightly mist each layer before you brush it. Begin with the stomach; move to the insides of the front legs, the insides of the back legs, then the outsides of the legs, working your way to the top. Turn the dog over and repeat the process on the other side. Don’t forget the chest, neck, ears (and behind the ears). Finish with the top of the head and face.

    Debby can probably expound on this further.

  14. Susan says:

    And, again, thanks.
    That confirms my suspicion that I am letting the dogs go too long between baths. I’m not altogether sure that understanding that fact is going to change it, since the laundering of four apsos is a day I tend to dread, but….I can try to work in that direction and maybe they will get a home bath in between their grooming baths….


  15. rose says:

    Willis and Tango usually go to the groomer every 4-5 weeks, depending on the season/weather (more so if raining alot). In between they get a full brushing every 3-4 days or so, but i do do their face/headpiece pretty much on a daily basis, spending a quick 5 minutes to clean the eyes and fix their braid. I only recently (if once counts) decided to start bathing them in between because it seems as the closer we get to their due date for grooming, the coat does seem to mat up a bit more. I dont think i could bathe both in 1 day. More like 1 a weekend for me; and then hoping the groomer will be every 6 weeks to save a few $’s.

    Anyways, thanks to Ginny, she passed on Shirley’s Magic which i’ve used for the last year or so. it works really well and doesn’t leave any residual like some of the store bought stuff (once that builds up, they mat more). So, here it is —

    1-2 tsp Cowboy Magic Detangler (found in Agway or stores like that, think its used mostly for horses!)
    4 oz Infusion 23 Leave in Conditioner
    6-8 oz water
    Combine all and shake well. Pour into spray bottle. I spray/mist them everytime. If there are mats, spray them well, work with fingers and brush out with the MasonPearson brush or comb.
    Thanks Shirley — it really works well.

    My guys actually like the grooming, so when one gets the full treament, i make sure to pop the other guy up there for 5 minutes and make a big fuss on how handsome he is and they don’t notice that they got the short side…..R

  16. Susan says:

    Thanks, Rose.
    Just this week I ordered two new grooming tools that have made a difference. I ordered from PetEdge (which I wouldn’t do again because they charged me $7.00 for an under-minimum order and then wouldn’t let me cancel my order when I noticed it), but the two tools are great. One is a flexible and narrow slicker brush. It is so much nicer than the wide, rigid one I have been using on them. And the other is a detangling comb….also quite narrow….that seems to edge the mats out without the pulling that used to happen when I tried to engage them with a pin brush. Sammy still wants to kill me if I try to brush him and screams like a banshee throughout; and Rinchen snaps every time I hit a small snarl; Pony just submits to anything I want to do to her (Debby raised her right), and Raji’s hair just plain doesn’t snarl, so she loves getting brushed.


  17. Susan says:

    Hmmmmph. Today I took all the kids in for their monthly grooming, and David (Kathy’s husband) grumphed a bunch. Apparently without my taking notice, the dogs have gotten a lot of mats on the insides of their legs….from going out into the wet grasses etc., and not getting stopped and fully brushed out before the hair there dries. I’m in big doodooo.

    So….today I set up a grooming station on the top of a bureau in the office. We will see if putting them all the way up at face level to work on them gets them a better grade next time they go back to the official groomer.

    I’m just hoping when I go to pick them up this afternoon I don’t get charged a whole lot more than usual for the additional grief….

    Oh, and by the way…..Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to ALL…:-))))))


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