Grooming hoopla

So…let’s see if I can get this GoogleChrome setup to work on this computer this morning. Just when I was getting used to the ‘look’ and tab browsing on my computer, my computer seems to be on strike this morning. Don’t know if Rick put it into sleep mode last night – like he’s been talking about – or if the Poor Old Dear has taken the Deep Sleep. I may or may not share Susan’s photos with the entry, depending on my ability to drive Rick’s computer. Or, rather, having the time to learn it before getting my ar$e to work!

After years of keeping her dogs in short hair, several months ago Susan decided to let their hair grow. I’ll just toss out her posts to me and open discussion. As a professional, I’ve got answers and comments, but sometimes you guys have more practical solutions than the top-of-the-line equipment I use at the grooming shop…

Do you have a dryer you can recommend that would make my trying to groom 4 Gompas at home a bit less labor intensive than my current hairdryer? Seems to me that a reasonable outlay of money might be worth it to save me from having to take them to the groomer every 4 weeks at a cost of $45/each. I just washed and dried Pony with my hairdryer, which is why I’m asking….
*Pony is still hiding under the bureau in my office. She’s mad at me for giving her a bath and drying her. Interesting because she doesn’t seem to have any issues with going to the groomer…..

I just ordered this from Amazon.

*”Metro Vacuum AFTD-3 Air Force Commander 4.0-Peak HP Pet Dryer”

This is a very interesting conversation on dematting dogs after bathing them.

I’m about to throw Rinchen in the tub and use the “after bathing” method….


86 Comments on “Grooming hoopla”

  1. I’m definitely all ears!! We’re [rescue] picking up two 8-month old puppies on Saturday and I already know these boys are matted per the owner. Deb … in the grooming blog and related articles, it referenced “HV” dryers. I’m assuming that’s “high volume” … but would that be a stand dryer type (my Edemco) or the K-9 forced air dryer? Given these pups have never been clipped (I’m hoping they have least been bathed) and are matted, I’m would try the method suggested in “Working with Wet Coats,” i.e., bathing, HV dry next to the skin and then cutting the wet coat off.

  2. Susan M says:

    You know, I have very little experience to go on, BUT it definitely felt to me that Rinchen’s not so badly matted hair combed out a whole lot easier (when still wet and with some of that magic detangling mix added) than it ever did when it was dry. The argument in that thread that the dirt itself adds to the glue of the tangles seems to make some sense.

    I am definitely a beginner here, but I am pre-disposed to washing first and detangling after, and my first foray into that was satisfying.

    I can’t wait for my monster dryer to arrive so I can see how that impacts the whole process.

    I’m looking forward to any information anyone can/will share on their favorite tools and sources for those tools.


  3. >>> I’m looking forward to any information anyone can/will share on their favorite tools and sources for those tools

    My favs …

    I’m definitely want to try the wet clip come Saturday … I may have to drag the K9 mini along (we’re grooming at a friends house).

  4. Susan M says:

    PS…..When I tried to buy some thinning scissors, they seem to come in too many configurations for me to know which I need: 30-tooth, 42-tooth, 45-tooth. Can someone advise me on what to look for for the Gompas?


  5. I’m thinking mine are 46-tooth … Fromm

  6. Susan M says:

    Cool….thanks !!

  7. Susan M says:

    Here’s a tip I just learned while researching thinning shears: the more teeth, the less hair is removed. Okay, okay, maybe that’s obvious to someone, but…’s only obvious to me now that I’ve read it and re-typed it. So, if you just want to remove a bit of hair for shaping, more teeth is good. If you’re trying to remove lots and lots of bulk, less teeth….

    I think more better for my needs….

    Learning something every day….


  8. Okay…typing from my new computer – new to me, but it’s recycled and stills runs XP…

    HV stands for high velocity. HV dryers are forced air dryers like the K-9. The Edemco stand dryer is not considered HV. The basic difference is twofold; heat and air velocity.

    We call our HV dryer at the shop the Wind Machine. If it went kaput, we’d have to close shop (which is why I keep a lesser version of the K-9 as back-up). We use the Wind Machine right after the dog is toweled off, to jump start the drying process. It is impossible – yes, impossible – to get a dog totally dry with the use of a HV dryer only. The heat coming out of a HV dryer is warmed by the motor; there is no heating element.

    The Edemco stand dryer dries with heat, along with air. The air flow can be adjusted, using the metal plate. Heat adjustments vary depending on the model; either from 1 to 8 or cold, medium and high. Stand dryers are similar in concept to the blow dryers used on our own hair.

    While I’m giving a brief lesson on dryers, the third basic type is the cage dryer. These are designed to hang on the outside of the crate and consist of a squirrel fan and a heating element. The heat can be adjusted, along with the speed of the fan.

    Variations and combinations of the above three elements come and go on the market. None do the job like each individual purpose dryer.

    Susan, impatient woman that she is, eagerly ordered the Metro. This is not the dryer I would recommend for her purpose. And if an HV dryer was the best dryer for her purpose, I would recommend one of the K-9 dryers. Metros are less expensive and, from my experience, there’s a reason. They don’t last. They can be very whiny, especially with some use. New to this browser…I’m afraid to leave this page and double check the actual dryer she purchased. I will do that and leave another comment.

    Most HV dryers require the use of both of your hands; one to hold the dog, the other to hold the hose and direct the flow of air. You cannot brush the dog as you direct the air on the area being dried. Even worse, they don’t dry the dog ‘bone dry’. This sets the stage for problems with skin and hair. Like matting. And sores due to moisture on the skin.

    At the grooming shop we use various combinations, depending on the breed and the length of the coat. Generally, the drying procedure starts with a good towel drying. Immediately the dog is wind machined, UNLESS it is a drop coated breed. HV dryers create mats when the hair is a certain length…think of a cotton candy machine whipping around…the ends of the hair end up whipped together. Then the dog is either topped off with a cage dryer or fluff-dried by hand with a stand dryer. Both utilize heat to ‘top off’ the dog’s drying process.

    All dogs are completely brushed out before being bathed. All dogs are completely brushed out before being bathed. All dogs are completely brushed out before being bather. Now repeat that to yourself! This is imperative for a proper brush and bath. And I don’t care what others groomers say about that!

    The ONLY exception is show coats. They are NEVER brushed before the bath. Show coats shouldn’t be allowed to get tangled. That is the trick. The reason they are NEVER brushed before the bath is because brushing can snap the ends of the hair. With show coats, length is important.

    So, Susan must be wondering…what dryer would I recommend for her. An Edemco stand dryer, the smaller one. Since Susan, impatient woman that she is, has purchased a Metro I recommend that she uses it, as I described above, to start the dryer process. And purchase a stand dryer to complete the drying process. Believe me, it will be worth the money!

  9. Okay, now to Vickie wanting to try ‘working with wet coats’ using her HV dryer on the 8-month old puppies, following up with clipping. Unless you want to trash your blades, scare the puppies and make more work for yourself, don’t do it!!! The vast majority of dogs must be conditioned to tolerate HV dryers (which can take a fair number of grooming experiences, expanding the envelope each time). I suspect the same will be the case with the two puppies. So, even if this method were the method of choice (which it isn’t!!!) it’s probable you’ll have to compromise on an important element – moving the matted hair a bit away from the skin with an HV dryer. Even if the puppies would tolerate the HV dryer, the hair will still be damp (see above comment regarding ‘bone-dry’ hair. Clipping damp hair does a number on your blades, often leaving blades in need of sharpening. Clipper blades are designed to go through clean, dry hair…at least that’s the manufacturer’s ideal situation. This is not always practical, but of the two situations it’s much easier to get blades to go through dirty hair rather than damp hair.

  10. Thinning shears…

    This is a great thinning shear! It’s stainless steel, won’t rust and should last forever. Another one of those items that provides great value, in the long run.

  11. One last comment before getting on with my day….Susan, I think it’s great you want to learn how to groom your dogs. I love that you’re growing their hair a bit. I’m happy to help you learn how to do this. Not only will it be economic for you in the big picture, but it’s a great way to interact with the dogs, strengthening the bond. Bonus! You won’t have to find a groomer in Hawaii!! 🙂

  12. Susan M says:

    Okay, okay, okay….first lesson: I went to Amazon and canceled my order for the dryer…Now back to reading all of the rest of the admonitions…..


  13. Susan M says:

    Well, humph and phooey….that’s a lot of moola, BUT I did the right thing and ordered both the dryer and the thinning shears from Pet Edge.

    Guess that puts the finishing touch on my plan to groom my own dogs…..Now I can’t possibly afford to send them back to Kathy.

    Which of course means I will need even more pointers, like: do you use the dremel on their nails? I’ve already got one of those, so that would be a good plan :-))))))

  14. >>> Unless you want to trash your blades, scare the puppies and make more work for yourself, don’t do it!!!

    Ackkkkkkkkk!!! Guess I’ll be packing my slicker brush and de-matting tools/tricks.

    Susan, you definitely won’t be sorry you spent the extra $$$ on the Edemco … and will quickly recoup your costs with four dogs!

  15. Susan M says:

    Yeah, I’m pretty excited that I had time to cancel my impulse order and get the good dryer.

    One of these days soon I will get up the nerve to call the groomer and cancel my appointments for the next few months…..E E E E K….

    But, I still don’t understand why I can’t wash first IF the doggies are not particularly matted and the only tools being used when they are wet are the stainless steel comb and occasionally the dematting tool. My kids aren’t being clipped, so blades are not at risk…


  16. lhasalhady says:

    Today’s feedback won’t be so expensive. 😉

    While I do use a dremel daily at work, I don’t use it on the Lhasa Apsos. Or any other breed with hairy feet. The spinning mechanism catches the hair. You could use nylon hose – as in pantie hose not garden hose – and poke the nails through, which supposedly eliminates the hazard of catching the hair. I’m comfortable with nail clippers, so haven’t bothered to try this idea. Most dogs object to having their nails done and, again, must be conditioned to accept this. I find it interesting that a fair number of dogs that object to the nail clippers have no objection to the dremel…which seems weird to me. But, hey! Whatever works!

    You might consider canceling your next appointment or two, but keep the next one. It would be a good opportunity to have your work checked, so to speak. Let your groomer know you’re considering spending a fair amount of time in Hawaii and are exploring your own grooming capabilities. She may even volunteer to give you a lesson or some pointers. I would hate to lose a monthly client with four dogs, however I would want those dogs to continue looking nice and would do my part to help that happen. Perhaps your groomer feels the same.

    So….here’s my 2 cents – or make that 10 dollars – on brushing before bathing (pets, not show dogs!!). Bottom line, it will save you time in the long run. The object is to remove the dead, shedding hair, lessening the ability of the hair to create mats. Lhasa Apsos are (generally) double coated, meaning there’s soft undercoat along with crisper guard hairs. Brushing the hair before the bath removes more undercoat, simply because the coat is dry. The brush catches the hair, rather than sliding through the hair as it does when the hair is wet and/or clean. As an aside, this is another reason show coats *are not* brushed before bath. The object with a show coat is to save every – well, almost every – darn hair on the dog. This is not the object with a pet coat.

    Over the years, believe me, I’ve experimented with this. Time, use of time, is top priority in a grooming shop. Time is, literally, money. With my show dog background, it was common for me to have certain dogs bathed before I brushed and dried them. It’s not that it can’t be done. It can. But! What I discovered was those dogs that I always brushed before the bath, those dogs’ coats I ‘worked’ before the bath, exhibited better coat texture. The the guard hairs were in a better proportion to the undercoat because the slicker brush removes more hair when the dog is brushed prior to being bathed. The crisper the coat, the easier it is to maintain.

    Make sense?

  17. rose says:

    This has been a great issue. I just received my Edemco dryer (it came really fast) only disapointment is that I have to assemble it. (will have to wait the weekend when i have a full fledged brain).
    I agree about not cancelling your groomer. I recently found someone who works out of his house, did a great job and saved me some money. My fear is that he may pick up and leave and then i’m stuck. I had been using the same groomer, my only issue is leaving them all day. The new guy has them both done and out in about 3 hours, they are private clients for the day and only does it on a Saturday. Im still going to bring them periodically to the original groomers, ya never know. Susan, you may want to only bring 1 a month and tell her you’ve started grooming yourself, etc…or just plain old, need to save a few bucks.
    My biggest problem is the actual bath — do not have a tub and the shower is too much of a struggle, which leaves the kitchen sink. So, off to the groomer for that, in between i try to keep them in top condition and have only once been charged xtra for a mat issue (damn that puppy coat.
    Deb, keep the tips coming.

  18. Susan M says:

    Ah, such good advice all around. I’ve been fretting big time about canceling Kathy since she has been so good and so reliable. I will try to figure out a good way to do it, and maybe rotating one dog a month through her as a check would be a good solution. That way she would see each dog every 4 months and keep me on the straight and narrow.

    And, I will try to make myself do the brushing before the bathing. The explanation of why it is better makes perfect sense. My body is still rebelling against the idea, I guess just because I can procrastinate brushing them, but once I have thrown them into the bath and washed them, I’m… it for the long haul. I think the brushing first puts me off starting….Hmmmm….psychology 101 for fledgling groomers….:-))))

    Over the past few days Pony and then Rinchen and then Raji have been bathed and combed. Today is Sammy’s turn….

    They all thank you

  19. Susan M says:

    Okay, I have a question about PetEdge. My experience to date with them is that they are inflexible and unhelpful. Anyone else?

    Twice I have ordered from them. The first time my order was under minimum (which I did not realize) and they refused to let me add to the order.

    The second time (just now), one of my items — the thinning shears — were backordered and I emailed to ask if I could add a few small items to the remaining order and they refused.

    I think that is unforgiveablly bad customer service.

    Anyone have another perspective on this????? Is there a good reason to keep doing business with them? Or are there just no better alternatives???? Or, am I simply expecting too much????


  20. Susan M says:

    Okay, okay, okay, I gotta say that PetEdge did do something right: my dryer just arrived….I mean, that is FAST. Now to put it together and put it to work on my first victim….I mean….doggie (Sammy).

  21. Susan M says:

    And, Rose, just FYI, it goes together quick !!!! The hardest part is the rubber extension on the dryer itself…..just loosen the fastener and rub a bit of oil (canola worked fine) on the inside of the rubber sleeve, and it goes on….easy peasy….

    Now to find Sammy….

  22. I’ve never had any issues with PetEdge and have been ordering from them for years. Once the order hits the warehouse, it would be difficult to put a hold on it and then add extra items (having worked in a warehouse picking orders before). And PetEdge has items I can’t get elsewhere as economically.

    At least your thinning shears are more than $15 so they won’t cancel the backorder 😉

  23. Susan M says:

    Thanks…..I can get pretty crabby sometimes, and it’s good to get a perspective other than my own. I don’t really enjoy it much when I’m holding a grudge, so…..I’m done with this one now….


  24. I hear ya. I’m not particularly fond of PetEdge’s small order charge or the backorder policy (if the item backordered is less than $15, they cancel the item) but I know that going in.

    So ….. how’d the Edemco work, Susan?

  25. lhasalhady says:

    My experience with PetEdge has been great. There are other alternatives, but PetEdge carries most of the things I need at a decent price. Things arrive quickly, rarely back-ordered.

    A comment on leaving dogs at a grooming shop all day versus 3 hours. At my shop clients are required to bring dogs in between 8AM and 9AM. Pick-up time is between 2PM and 5PM, depending on the client. Standing appointments are almost mandatory. The criteria is for the benefit of the groomers and efficiency within the shop. The dogs benefit from a nice stretch of time where no one is coming or going, settling into the routine.

    Grooming is a three-step process. Rough-in work. Bathing and drying. Finish work. Carol and I groom an average of 18 – 20 dogs per day. Mornings find us roughing-in, along with bathing and drying. Finish work is done in the afternoon. I like to think of it as preparing the canvas in the morning. Creating the art in the afternoon.

    The trickiest part is coordinating drying the various breeds appropriately. We have one large Wind Machine, 4 cage dryers, 2 stand dryers and my Special Drying Table. One person, watching Carol and I work together, said it’s like watching ballet. We’ve worked together for almost 20 years (!!!!!) Speaking about the next move isn’t necessary.

    On occasion I groom a dog from start to finish, in one-fell swoop. I remain unconvinced a dog is better off with this procedure. The dog must remain still the entire time…with little opportunity to rest.

    I understand owners appreciation for dogs being at the groomer for a shorter period of time, but…is that for the owner’s benefit? Our grooming clients settle right into the routine, resting in crates in between the steps of the three part process. It’s actually humans coming and going that disrupt this weird Zen. The five hours – between 9AM and 2PM – is when the majority of our work gets done…. uninterrupted. And, yes, that’s for our benefit. When we benefit, when we’re running like well-oiled machinery, the dogs benefit.

  26. Susan says:

    The Edemco is great. At first it seemed a bit underpowered in terms of both heat and strength of the air flow, but I soon got into it’s rhythm and enjoyed it a lot. I still had to bodycheck Sammy who’s primary interest is in hurling himself off of the table altogether, so we’re hugging and drying and brushing all at the same time. Rather cozy….

    I have written a letter to my groomer asking her to schedule the dogs in again in August and in December. Hopefully she will agree. She is not someone who is likely to agree to help me learn the tricks at her side; in fact I’m putting the information into a letter so she can think before she barks at me…..:-))))

    Question: do you groomers lie the dogs on their sides when you are working on them? I’ve seen a few references to doing this, and my kids seem loathe to lie down when they are up on that table. Even at their best they are not relaxed enough to want to be lying down….What say you????

  27. lhasalhady says:

    Are you using a regular grooming table? Does it have a grooming arm?

    A dog, relaxed on its side, is a breeze to groom. However, getting said dog to that point is a whole ‘nother story! I rarely bother to teach this to grooming client dogs. Because I’m comfortable either way – drying a dog standing up or on its side – often I don’t teach this to my show dogs.

  28. Susan M says:

    What I’m grooming them on is the top of a bureau with a grooming table pad on it….the height is great….and I can get to three sides….not bad. Maybe they will capitulate to lying on the table….after a while….

    I just found these videos. I think they are good, but would appreciate anyone else’s input.


  29. Susan M says:

    It’s me…..again….with….another grooming question.

    I’ve spent so much money on new toys — I mean tools — for grooming the kids that now I’m balking a bit. So… I really need an electric clipper? In the scheme of things it’s not a huge amount more, and if I am really going to need one I might as well just get it over with and get it now, but…..I’m at that stage when I want to make sure I’m just not buying more because I’m having so much fun with the shopping part of the project….

    Looks to me as if an Andis is a good choice if I do need one, but I’m all ears as usual.

  30. *Love* my Andis cordless … did a right spiffy job on our foster, Dawa, with a #30 blade and a 3/4 comb. Also good for clipping the hair that grows between the pads (just scoop ’em out). Great for doing the bellies on the males and hygiene cut on the females, inside of legs, etc.

  31. Susan M says:

    The UPS man just delivered my Christensen brushes, and…..WOW….wht a difference from anything I have ever used before. I’m delighted !!!!!

    That’s all I have time to say. Gotta get back to brushing Rinchen…..

  32. Whew … glad you like ’em, Susan! They really *are* nice brushes.

  33. Susan M says:

    Even more important.
    The doggies like them !!!!!

  34. Susan M says:

    This morning after looking at the YouTube videos of Josie, I looked at a few others, and this one of a dog by the name of Toby is what I think I am aiming at for the regular length of my Gompas’ hair. Actually they are getting pretty close to this look right now, so my job is going to be to learn how to keep it that way. To date all I’ve done is let it grow. Soon I will have to figure out how to shape it….


  35. Susan M says:

    Oops, forgot the link:

  36. Susan M says:

    My groomer — Kathy — agreed to the plan to see the dogs at 4-month intervals, with the perfectly reasonable caveat that she couldn’t tell me beforehand how much she would charge me because essentially by then they would be “new dogs” to her, and she had no idea what shape they’d be in. That sounded just right to me. She did, however, go on to share every horror story she knew about stuff that happened to dogs whose owners thought they could groom them….

    And then….A A A A K…..I set out to trim Rinchen’s nails yesterday and quicked the second one. Fretted all night. Am I really cut out for this????? E E E E E K….

    By the way, when I ordered my Andis, it came with a 10 blade and I ordered a 30 and some of the long plastic clip-ons. Kathy says I should return the 30 and get a 40 and a 15. She says the 40 needs to go under the plastic clip-ons and the 15 is (maybe) for the area between their eyes….

    And….do you all keep your own Lhasas/Gompas clipped clean around their bellies in what I think is called a “sanitary”????

    ‘nuf said for this morning. I already need a nap.

  37. The number 40 tends to work better under plastic combs; however, I recently picked up the full set of Wahl snap-on metal combs which require a #30 blade. And I definitely prefer the metal combs as they tend to feed better. Another blade I really like … the Andis 3/4 HT … works great for a puppy cut at 3/4″.

    Sanitary cuts are the norm around here for dogs and bitches alike … including Dante who is in full show coat. For that, I tend to use a #10.

    Quicking happens … the more you do, the better you can gauge how much to take off. I use QuikStop, but flour or cornstarch will also work.

  38. Susan M says:

    Me again….surprise, surprise.
    This afternoon everyone got brushed, slickered, combed….
    Pony is the most cooperative (thank you Debbie); then Raji; then Rinchen who twitches at the lightest snag; and then (drum roll) Sammy the he-devil !!!!! He is a screaming terror, and although I was absolutely firm with him and didn’t let him get away with anything, it seems to me that I need a muzzle for him until we make some progress. He really does bite, and I’m sure the neighbors all think I must have been killing him. I just let him out of the bathroom where I tossed him when I’d really had enough and he was being thoroughly horrid. I still haven’t talked to him….

    So…question is: what do you know about soft muzzles? It would be easier to deal with Sammy if he really couldn’t bite me while he’s learning that I really am going to win this particular battle of wills.

  39. Susan M says:

    I guess I could try this:
    How to make an emergency soft muzzle:

    1. Use a roll or strip of gauze, nylon stocking, necktie, bandana, rope or cloth.
    2. Make a large loop in center and slip quickly over animal’s nose.
    3. Bring ends under chin and behind ears, fasten securely with a bow knot for quick release.

    It’s extremely important to make sure that your dog can breathe freely through his nose and mouth with the emergency muzzle.

    Now you can handle your dog safely and with confidence. Make sure to not leave this emergency muzzle on any longer than necessary because a dog perspires through his tongue. About 10 -15 minutes should be OK. Dogs also perspire through their feet, but you have no worries about his feet biting you!

  40. Frankers gets a muzzle from time to time, when the little shit gets snappy … a Guardian Gear #1 …

    Have also used it on a foster or two … once they figure out they can’t bite — and I won’t back off — the behavior pretty much stops.

  41. lhasalhady says:

    Nylon stocking is a staple in my grooming shop. Unlike sizing for humans, one size fits all! The fabric is soft, more flexible that gauze or a necktie. You don’t have to tie the muzzle extremely tight. A dog has 10 times more power in the muscles that close his mouth, compared to the muscles that open his mouth.

  42. lhasalhady says:

    Susan, regarding keeping your dogs’ coats about the length they are right now, visit the grooming page in the Apsos! Apsos! section of this website. I give detailed instructions. Now I’d better go see if that’s one of the pages I still need to edit/clean-up!

  43. Susan M says:

    Nylon stockings? Nylon stockings? They still make those????
    LOL…..Sure, I know they do. I had to buy some last year to use to felt soap….:-))))

    Thanks, and I think that grooming page at Apsos Apsos says it’s “being edited”, so I will wait a bit and go check it out.

    One thing I noticed about the dogs and my new grooming regime is that although it’s now been a month since their last bath, they still haven’t even begun to smell doggie. I attribute that to the more regular brushings and combings they are getting. When their hair was short I could get away with being lazy with them. Now it’s not an option and whereas I was afraid they would suffer, I think they are thriving….:-)))))

  44. lhasalhady says:

    It is in the edit process, but the info is there…just not as precise as I’d like it to look. Pay close attention to how I groomed Aaron.

  45. Susan M says:

    Well, duh…..I see it’s right there. I just didn’t scroll down far enough when I saw it said it was “being edited” and when I couldn’t click on the green titles…..Off I go to read….

  46. Susan M says:

    My thinning shears arrived a bit ago, and so I tossed a very compliant Pony up on the table, followed the directions for that V pattern over her eyes, and voila….she has eyes again. Very very cool….

  47. Susan M says:

    I’m thinking about keeping their faces shorter than the rest of them. Any thoughts?

    I love their long bouncy flowing coats, but I’m not so fond of seeing the wet beards, watching the bowl of drinking water get murky from their beards hanging into it, and having the hair on their chins be discolored. How do you think they’d look if I left them long except for more like a “puppy cut” under their chins????


  48. lhasalhady says:

    Give it a try. It’s hair. It will grow back if you don’t like it. To avoid a chopped look, use the thinning shears!

  49. Susan M says:

    Good points….
    Will just do it and see….

    Hawaii plans are materializing….



  50. Susan M says:

    Me, the grooming wannabee…..back to ask more questions.
    My Hawaii fantasy bubble burst under the weight of reality, so I’m spending my time and money and energy on the dogs. Agility training, more grooming, etc.

    Having just re-read this entire thread (except my own posts, which cut down a lot on the volume), I have a couple of questions.

    Are Lhasas “double coated” or “drop coated”. I’ve seen them labeled both ways, and it seems to make a difference in the tools recommended.

    Are there Lhasas whose coats really really really aren’t going to be able to kept de-tangled? I’m wondering if they can ALL be managed long or???? And is the de-matting tool likely to create breaks that then increase matting? Is extra conditioning going to keep the hair from matting as easily — by sealing the hair shafts so they are smoother and don’t catch? What’s the best conditioner you’ve found for keeping them from tangling????

    Has anyone used the wooden pin brushes? They look like they would feel really good to the dogs and increase their interest in being brushed regularly. Not necessarily for the grooming factor but for the getting pleasure out of being brushed factor.

    Okay, all the other questions will have to wait because I’ve typed for so long that I’ve forgotten them…..

  51. lhasalhady says:

    Lhasas are both double-coated and drop-coated. The hair does have to be a certain length for it to ‘drop’. The length varies, depending on the texture of the coat.

    It is possible to keep each and every Lhasa coat de-tangled. Some just require more time than others. Which de=matting tool are you talking about? I suggest you purchase these:

    For the last – the extra course 6 tooth

    In my climate conditioner helps with dryness. I wouldn’t say it helps keeps the hair from matting. For your situation, I’d buy either Fresh and Clean. Or go the to grocery store and purchase an inexpensive brand of what scent you’d like to smell. The first is a dog product. The second, a human product.

    Wooden pin brushes are good for long show coats, but not pet coats. If you’re looking for a brush that increases the pleasure, get a bore bristle brush.

  52. Susan M says:

    Aha, from the descriptions of those I didn’t get that they would be good for the Lhasas. I’m so glad I asked you. I have been using this

    and was wondering about this from Chris Christensen

    Today I finished this months’ round of baths. I took Rose’s suggestion to heart and just did one a day. Sammy still bites, but he looks great. Pony is a treat to work on but I see this morning that her hair is definitely dry. I will start doing more moisturizing.

    Thanks for all the help.
    II did buy something called a Calming Cap to try on Sammy next time.
    (I’m not giving up yet !!!!)

    I just love their long hair !!!!!! Although I think anyone who is recommending grooming equipment needs to add a dedicated vacuum cleaner to the list. The hair is EVERYWHERE !!!!!



  53. lhasalhady says:

    You might want to begin conditioning Sammy to the Calming Cap before upping the ante and grooming him at the same time. I will be curious to know how you like it. Covering the eyes works wonders on cats.

    The rake you’ve been using is designed to cut through the mats, not remove undercoat. There’s a difference. There are two fundamental principles in ‘easy maintenance’. Reduce the amount of undercoat. And, groom the dogs before matting occurs. My dogs are groomed every other week. (Show dogs are a different story and done weekly.) The two rakes I recommended address the undercoat issue. I cannot comment on the staggered tooth comb. I haven’t used one. I refer you to fundamental principle #2 – groom them before the tangles have taken over.

  54. Susan M says:

    I can hardly wait for the new undercoat rake to arrive — probably today. Our wet wet wet winter weather here and the prevalence of “grass” that comes up to MY knees, makes the reappearance of mats a constant. I can hardly wait for the ground to dry up so we can all enjoy a period of time when going out doesn’t equal tangles and mats. Maybe (?) the future will look like puppy cuts in the winter and full coats in the summer ???(hmmmmm…..leave it to me to do things backwards….)

  55. >>> I think anyone who is recommending grooming equipment needs to add a dedicated vacuum cleaner to the list. The hair is EVERYWHERE !!!!!

    Indeed, and here’s just the thing … a small ShopVac that hangs on the wall or can sit on its own. What I like is the compact canister and the smaller diameter hose, making it easy to use/store. Mine will have a closet of its own in the DogRoom when we finish the basement.

  56. Susan M says:

    Oh my.
    The undercoat rake got here, and I am very impressed !!!!
    Now I see how much easier my job can be….

    Now if I can just get myself to start working on their nails.
    I’ve got the Dremel here; I’m just ….nervous nellie…..

  57. Susan M says:

    Oh my my my my MY….

    Every Gompa should arrive with a Coat King….no one would ever fret again….


  58. Susan M says:

    Me again.
    Do I/should I/must I
    use the trimmer on the area between their eyes? My groomer always did this; I haven’t yet, and am wondering if it’s necessary.

    And is there any trick to the growing out of the hair over the muzzle. Right now it isn’t heavy enough to “fall” and tends to stick up in front of their eyes.

  59. >>> Do I/should I/must I use the trimmer on the area between their eyes?

    Definitely not … grow it out once and be done with it. 😉

    >>> And is there any trick to the growing out of the hair over the muzzle.

    Yes … time lol. If it gets really tiresome, you might try a bit of light hair gel or KY Jelly to slick it down on the ends. Which means you’ll have to wash the face more often to keep it clean.

  60. Susan M says:

    Whew !!! Thank goodness for that.

    I’m getting the hang of using the Andis clippers to get in between the pads of their feet, but zooming in between their eyes ???? eeeeeek…..

  61. >>> but zooming in between their eyes ????

    Not me … I could see the dog jerking and then I’d end up with one side of the muzzle shaved!! Kind of a Boy George look lolol

  62. Susan M says:

    Okay, good, so I don’t have to worry about poking their eyes out, I just have to worry about them going blind until that hair gets some more weight and falls down instead of sticking up.

    So, on to the next thing I’m worrying about (if there were an Olympic category for worrying, I’d win hands down)…..their nails.

    Ooops. While the hair on their feet has been getting long, it has been hiding the fact that their nails are getting waaaaaaay long. I’ve got the dremel here, but I’m a worried chicken and the nails seem to have gotten. Well, you get it…they are L O N G. So, that means the quicks will have grown way out too, right? How do I start? Little bits at a time?

    I see that Raji’s nails (or maybe that was Rinchen’s) seem to be black on the top and bone colored on the bottom.

    Since my groomer has now lost her lease and can’t bail me out on April 13th as I had expected her to do, I am now completely on my own with this stuff, and …. I am getting better, but still fret that I may not get caught up enough with all the stuff I need to know before my dogs end up suffering for it.

  63. Susan M says:

    “Definitely not … grow it out once and be done with it. ;)”

    It sure is taking F O R E V E R ! ! ! All four of the Gompas look like they’ve had fans installed where their lower eye lids should be….Or like they are wild animals peering through the tall grasses…..

    I can hardly wait for that hair to get long enough and heavy enough to lie down so I can see eyes again….


  64. katy says:

    I just re-read through all these postings on grooming, too. Thanks, Susan, for asking a lot of good questions, and thanks to Debbie, et al for the great answers. I’ve been keeping my Apsos a bit longer in the coat, too. And just decided to let their “nose hairs” grow out, as well. Actually, Wyatt’s always had longer nose hairs, cuz he won’t allow them to be cut, but Zeke and Sadie have allowed me to zip their noses, so they are the ones who will be peering through tall grasses very soon!
    I looked at the videos on u-Tube that Susan posted, and found some help there, but I have always made the trip back to Debbie’s grooming site for the type of cuts I am trying to accomplish. Somehow or other I managed to buy a few good pieces of equipment and have upgraded when possible, and it does make a world of difference to have the right stuff! I still don’t have a dryer, so my plan has been to bathe them one day and clip the next, with lots of brushing in between.

    The one question I still have involves that inverted “V” cut in between their eyes. I find it hard to lay the scissors at the right angle, especially on the dog’s right side. And how far down are you supposed to come on the bridge of the nose, and how far up, between their eyes? My guess has been just enough to cut that hair that would normally slide right into their eyes, but seems like it ends up being longer and longer.

    Thanks for all the great info! Very helpful!
    PS Zeke’s hair has all grown back, thick and silky, and he looks great! That’s one reason I can’t bear to cut them short again.

  65. SusanM says:

    You only have one question? HA!!!! I still have dozens and dozens of them. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have someone else on this thread with me so that I can get at least a few more answers without having to be quite so greedy about it all.

    I read and re-read this thread pretty regularly going back for tips that I heard but didn’t quite ingest at the time. Yesterday’s gem was Debby’s comment a ways back that the whole key to keeping them groomed is “managing the undercoat”. Yeah….I so see that now.

    I will look forward to answers to your question about that V between the eyes. I found it fairly easy to do by laying the scissors point down when I was doing over their left eye and point up when I was doing over their right eye, and just clipping and slipping the thinners a bit farther out and a bit farther out and a bit farther out. Of course it’s time to do it again before they completely disappear behind the high grasses growing up from their noses….


  66. Katy says:

    I think that’s how I was doing it, too: only, point up on their left eye (I’m right handed) and point down on their right eye. And, I wasn’t using the thinning shears. ( I was used to clipping poodles, who have the inverted V clipped right between their eyes and am probably confusing that with this, or something.)
    So I’m still not sure if I’m doing it right, getting it in the right place. Tried the thinning shears yesterday, and it looks better than it previously did. I’m just trying to keep the hair outa their eyes! I have tons of questions, too. Some, I didn’t know I wanted to ask until I read your questions, Susan!
    what I would give to spend a week watching Debbie clip apsos in her shop.
    What I am utterly amazed at, is that she said she and her assistant do up to 20 dogs a day!!! Takes me two days to do three!
    Right now, and until they get all this nose hair grown out, I’m not sure I’ll want to admit to clipping them myself. My vet saw them recently and asked who groomed them. I do, says I, a little sheepishly. You do a pretty good job, she said. Most home groomers just shave ’em down to the skin! You at least leave enough hair on them to make them look like lhasa apsos. (I’m not sure if that was a compliment,or not.)
    Debbie, we really appreciate all the help!

  67. lhasalhady says:

    Want to write…WRITE…this morning! Alas. I must get moving. There’s a…ummmm…shall I say…difficult to handle Lhasa Apso scheduled this morning. I’d like to be at the shop before he arrives. This time I’m going to ask his owner to put him on the table. Last time went okay (given that he’s been booted from two grooming shops and two vet clinics. Got the doggie crack (braunschweiger) packed, along with some yummy chicken. Hard to believe, but he takes food from me..which opens the doors of communication.

  68. SusanM says:

    “Hard to believe, but he takes food from me..which opens the doors of communication”

    This so reminds me of my taking Sammy to have his nails clipped. Sammy, who screams and bites and howls whenever I so much as touch him with the grooming tools, right? You remember him? Well, I took one dog a day over to PetSmart just to have their nails trimmed back far enough that I could start grinding them back the rest of the way. Pony on day 1, Rinchen on day 2, and then Sammy. I handed Sammy over to Felicia and told her she should be aware that he was a tyrant, might need a collar or a muzzle, or….and then watched as Sammy stood calmly on the table and let her clip every one of his 18 nails…..Not a whimper, not a wail…… I considered murdering him on the spot, but….I resisted the urge…..:-))))))


  69. Katy says:

    We just clipped Hunter’s nails for about the second or third time in his (8 month old) life the other day. Before we even got the clippers close to his foot, he started crying, whimpering,howling! We’ve never clipped the quick, just taken the tips off, so this is a new behaviour! He sounded like he thought we were going to cut his toes off!
    But he sort of settled down a bit as the clipping continued with no ill effects, no lost toes, no pain.
    Sammy reminds me of the kids who howl when mom leaves them at daycare, but immediately settle down to play as soon as she’s gone. The stinker!

  70. SusanM says:

    Well, I know you are too busy, but I do have yet another grooming question.

    This is about the in-between groomings, the one that don’t come with baths. When you just grab a dog and put it up on the table for a good brushing and combing. For us this happens a few times a week for each dog.

    Question is: what tool do you start with? What is the order of sorting through what needs to be done.

    Seems my first instinct is to grab the pin brush. Then I use the comb (about 10 pins/inch) to see what may catch. If I’m lucky those two will do the job. More usually then I grab the dematting tool and/or the Coat King for patches of snarlies. Interestingly enough the slicker brush was the first tool the groomer told me I needed, but….I never seem to use it….

    The kids are looking good. I think I understand controlling the undercoat a bit better now. Yesterday I used the Coat King on Pony; she still looks the same and there is a pile of undercoat that stands just about as tall as she does sitting on the grooming table….:-)))))))

  71. lhasalhady says:

    Skimming this (useful) thread, with the exception of the last post all questions have been answered. Right? If not, please ask again! I appreciate everyone’s input, particularly if you have the answer to another’s question.

    When I brush in between baths (not show coats!!! – this is for pets) I start with a slicker brush, followed with combing to double check that all tangles have been removed. If undercoat needs addressing, then I’ll use the Coat King to remove – or thin – it.

    Glad you have a better understanding of undercoat and how it’s removal makes life easier for everyone! Your description of the pile of undercoat sitting next to Ponya is great! I got a similar pile out of a Tibetan Terrier yesterday. Regular use of the Coat King keeps this under control. And it’s easy, right Susan?

    Vickie, if this isn’t in your tool box, you’ll need one for Dante and his upcoming new ‘do’. Ah! Life’s little pleasures!

  72. SusanM says:

    It really is soooo much easier than I thought it was going to be.

    I still haven’t gotten into a good enough routine for cleaning their faces or keeping their nails trimmed, but they seem to be thriving and I just love watching their long hair fly when they run or play.

    I guess I’ll try the slicker brush first next time; it feels so inadequate in relation to the length and depth of their coats, but counterintuitive is often the way.

    So when is the pin brush the tool of choice?


  73. >>> Vickie, if this isn’t in your tool box, you’ll need one for Dante and his upcoming new ‘do’. Ah! Life’s little pleasures!

    I actually don’t have a Coat King … hard to believe with all the other tools/equipment I have (hubby fondly calls it my “dog crap”)! Concrete for hair … check. Brushes/combs … out the wazoo. Sprays and potions … check. Parting needle … at least two. Not sure what I’m going part with the needles now, however. Since I’m loath to pay the small order charge at PetEdge, I guess I’ll have to find something else to order! Hmmm, wonder what else I need … maybe some new collars/leashes to send home with the foster dogs.

  74. lhasalhady says:

    Pin brushes are used on long, long hair (think show coats). A pin brush is gentler on the hair, particularly the ends of each hair. This is important for maintaining that all important length on show coats. Slicker brushes can ‘snap’ the ends of hair, which is not a problem on pet coats. In fact, it’s a benefit. Slicker brushes also dig out some of that undercoat. Pin brushes don’t do that nearly as well. I never use a pin brush on pet coats.

    I love the flowing hair too. Especially if it’s 3-4 inches long. Enough to flow, but not heavy duty maintenance like show coats.

  75. Katy says:

    Here’s another question: How and when do you use the Coat King? I’ve been using a double-toothed rake and it does a good job getting tangles and undercoat out, much better than either a slicker or oval pin brush (which I do use on them, because that’s what I bought early on and I brush them in layers with it -seems to work for us). Will the Coat King strip out all the thick undercoat on Sadie and Wyatt and enable me to let them grow their coats a little longer? Right now, Zeke is about 2-3 inches and looks good. I’ve kept Sadie and Wyatt a bit shorter, because their hair (undercoat) is so thick, and they are “curlier” than Zeke. But they are both pretty “fluffy” right now and I either need to cut it – or let it grow!
    Second question: we’re having trouble with the plastic combs. I didn’t even know they had stainless steel combs, but will order them from Pet Edge when I get the Coat King. What size to keep them about 3″ long? the longest one? I don’t want to order a whole set. I’ll have to get a #30 blade, as well, as I have been using a #40 with the plastic combs.

  76. SusanM says:

    Hi Katy. The Coat King is a revelation. It doesn’t just de-tangle, it cuts out the undercoat while leaving the overcoat intact…..dunno how, but it does. It grabs all that fluff underneath and hauls it off, leaving the outer layers to lie closer to the body. I am going to use in on Pony again this week because she’s obviously still got a lot of insulation going on underneath that she doesn’t need. Sammy, on the other hand, seems now to not have any particular accumulation and probably won’t get the Coat King used on him for a while. The Coat King Debbie suggested seems to have a fail-safe mechanism. The teeth actually get clogged up and I have to pull the hairs out of it and start over with enough regularity that I don’t run the risk of balding anyone.

    I still haven’t used any of the long extension combs on my kids. I have the plastic set, but haven’t used them yet since there hasn’t seemed to be any need to shorten any coats yet. I think if you get the undercoat out (with the Coat King) that the length of the outer coat will probably not be an issue.

    Now listen to me….you’d think I had a clue….but Debbie will correct any mis-information I have posted here, so I’m not really worried.


  77. >>> … we’re having trouble with the plastic combs. I didn’t even know they had stainless steel combs, but will order them from Pet Edge when I get the Coat King. What size to keep them about 3″ long?

    The longest snap-on comb you can get is a plastic 2 inch … and I’m not seeing it on PetEdge any longer (which is where I got all my long combs some years back, i.e., 1″, 1.25″, 1.5″, 1.75″ and 2″). I’ll check the boxes to find the brand so a search can be done.

    Deb … why would snapping the ends of the nair with a slicker brush be beneficial for a pet coat?

  78. Katy says:

    Thanks, Susan. I’m definitely going to get a 12 blade Coat King. If I can get all that undercoat fluff out of Sadie and Wyatt, their hair, like you say, will probably lay a lot flatter and be more managable. Zeke is looking pretty good these days (except for the nose hairs growing out, but, we’ll just soldier on until they’re grown out, like I just did with my own bangs!).
    The pin brush I bought was an “expensive” one, with beveled pins, and it has worked better for me than the two slickers I have. The main place we get mats is under their armpits, which is the place they least like to be brushed, of course. I’ve been trying to keep their armpit hair shorter to prevent that.
    I’ll get the longest stainless steel comb that Pet Edge has…..
    Many thanks,

  79. lhasalhady says:

    Wait, don’t get the 12 blade!

  80. SusanM says:

    Katy: when that Coat King that Debbie recommended comes, you will be totally amazed at what it can do. You can use it to reach underneath and just whip those under-arm snarls right out !!!! And “flatter and more manageable” is exactly exactly exactly what it will give you in their overall coat situation. Once the piles and piles of undercoat are gone, the top coat just hardly snarls. It gets messy (just like our hair), and looks better brushed, but it doesn’t continually get matted. Mats seem to be entirely an undercoat issue….

    Enjoy !!!

  81. lhasalhady says:

    Okay, let’s have a Coat King lesson. In about 2 hours I’m meeting Vickie at the grooming shop. Dante is getting a haircut so he can join the rest of the family in fun activities, like a canoe trip. Coat Kings come in different sizes. I’ve got two at the shop and they function differently on different hair. I’ll take photos today, using Dante as Exhibit A. More teeth in a Coat King does not equate to getting more undercoat out of the coat.

    Susan’s revelation description of the Coat King is perfect!

    I will also take photos of the comb blade attachments. The metal ones work best, but I’ve got both. And the comb I use, which is a greyhound style comb (medium/coarse).

    I’ll also demonstrate how I use the comb attachments to set the length of the belly coat.

    Vickie, there’s no reason to go to extra lengths to keep length on a pet coat, which is why I don’t worry about snapping ends with a slicker brush on a pet coat. The ‘benefit’ is having less hair to deal with.

    Stay tuned!

  82. SusanM says:

    Oh yeah, Katy, the Coat King you want is the 6-tooth, extra coarse….

    I have no idea how the other ones work, but everything I have mentioned is true of the 6-tooth extra-coarse.


  83. Katy says:

    Glad I was “smart” enough to check back on the blog for further info before I ordered…I was thinking the 12 blade Coat King was the one to get solely on the description on the PetEdge site. I’ll hold off ordering until I see Debbie’s pictures and descriptions. Maybe we won’t need the stainless steel blades, after all, once I get the undercoat thnned, as it was the thick undercoat that was clogging up and catching in the plastic combs. Can’t wait to get the CK and get started!!!
    Thanks for the tutorial, Debbie, and good advice from everyone.

  84. SusanM says:

    Katy, I can’t wait to hear what you think when you’ve had that Coat King for a bit. I used it three days in a row on Ponya, and she’s ….. getting there. I am a slow learner, but I’m getting the feel of how their bodies feel when there isn’t an excess of undercoat. Their coats look just as lovely and they float in the breeze when they run, but there isn’t that huge bunch of muffly stuff between the hair that you see and the body beneath. I have no idea how to ‘splain it, but I think you will find this tool to be a real treasure and worth every penny of its cost.

  85. Katy says:

    OK, I just ordered my Coat King, slicker brush, greyhound comb and face brush and a stainless steel comb and new #30 blade, all from PetsEdge (had to meet the minimun $60 purchase!) should get it in a week, and we do need that Coat King ASAP.
    Can’t wait! Will let you know! Thanks!

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