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Thread: How to brush out undercoat?!

  1. #11
    Senior Dog Member+ Lyzelle's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree with what has already been posted. I use a combination of a metal comb, a plastic slicker(not the thin wire ones, it can cut the skin), and just a regular plastic brush like we humans use. Every now and then I'll use a shedder blade, but it is usually a disaster unless I'm trying to get out undercoat knots/mats.

    I usually either do all of this with a bone-dry coat or with a spritz bottle of vinegar nearby. It repels most bugs, gives a nice shine to the coat, deodorizes, and gets it just wet enough to wet down the hair without having it soaked, matted, and sticking to everything. It depends on the dog and the type of hair, I think, when you're talking about bathing before grooming. I typically do it after when there isn't as much undercoat and I can get to the skin with a bristle slicker and sensitive/oatmeal skin shampoo. Zander's fur seems to tangle/mat when I try to bathe him first, but every dog is different.

    I personally take the rubber brush and work it all over the body just to loosen things up and get the dog used to the idea of having a brush on them. The plastic tips are nice and comfy on the skin too, wide enough to loosen things up, but not get tangled unless your dog has LONG hair. I then go over the hot/friction spots like the shoulders, hips, and down those areas along the belly line. Once you have those cleared out, it is just patience from there. I use both SevenSin's way with the slicker and borsiomom's with the rake. It depends where you are on the dog, and the coat you are working with. Zander's coat took me three days, but he was blowing.

    After that, a nice warm bath with oatmeal shampoo. It'll loosen up what you didn't catch and soothe the skin. Go over again with a metal comb with thick teeth, wooden/bristle slicker brush, then dry them out with a dryer so they don't develop skin problems from long-termed soaked skin. A rough towel dry and run around the yard in the sun works too, though. As long as the skin isn't very wet for a long amount of time.

    My way is long, boring, and mostly REALLY OCD, but I like the quiet-time grooming and the dogs love it too. The metal comb is the longest part for me. I have to make sure I don't brush straight across, either, or the hair will mat wherever you are ending your stroke.

    Good luck!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by groominglady View Post
    Four has the technique well illustrated.

    I will add: Show Sheen is your friend. Pick it up at a feed store/horse supply store - it comes in a quart spray bottle - and take your dog OUTSIDE and spray him down. (IF you try inside on a slick floor, it will make your floor slippery enough to cause you to wipe out and break your neck!) Proceed brushing as described. I use a slicker and a wooden-backed "poodle comb" to get out undercoat, and believe me, you can get out all undercoat.

    If you have a spare couple hundred dollars, a "force dryer" will do much of the work for you after a bath, but I do recommend that kind of drying be done in a place easily cleaned and that you wear ear protection (I leave cotton balls in the dog's ears) because they are quite loud. They do the job well, though.
    Show sheen!!! No way!! I have used it for YEARS on horses, never for a minute thought to spray a dog down with it! GREAT idea, thanks!!

    I'm just excited that you guys say it IS possible to get out all the undercoat. This poor dog is 10 years old, and he's never had his undercoat completely taken out. (Even on one disasterous attempt at proffessional grooming - ugh, NEVER again!) I'm now a woman on a mission
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  3. #13
    Bewunderer der Hunde Dog Moderator FourIsCompany's Avatar
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    You'll probably want to take several sessions to tackle it. I have found that a bully stick keeps even the most resistant dog from squirming, as long as I'm gentle.

    I lie the dog down and work on small sections at a time while he chews away.


  4. #14
    AWESOME! ADCH Devlin Senior Dog Member+ bdrcol22's Avatar
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    I go the show sheen force dryer route... Works very very well...

    Darkwind Dizzy Miss Lizzy "Lizzy", Rav'nLeigh's Seize the Day "Devlin", Terbo Knew Her as Nancy of Rav'nLeigh "Lil", Centaurea's Rainy Day Remedy "Remi"
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  5. #15
    Bite Me. Senior Dog Member+ Maliraptor's Avatar
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    I use seven's method also, but prefer to use a metal comb. Of course, at most I was dealing with GSDs, so not TONS of undercoat. But I liked the simplicity of the comb over the rake or slicker brush, to deal with that particular line of coat.

    I also second the force air dryer. After a brush out, and a bath, AND CONDITIONER to help the hair come out, a force air can really push the last of the undercoat out.

    A word of warning- IMO bathing before brushing the undercoat can just cause you more problems and tangles. Always brush first.
    "Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too." --Voltaire


  6. #16
    Count the Cotons Senior Dog Moderator Moo's Avatar
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    I'd go with a good bath, and a force blower if possible.
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  7. #17
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    Thank you guys SOOO MUCH! I read the post about not shaving my saint bernard and now tonight I've spent over an hour trying to rid her of her undercoat. I was using a rake and she loves but it's taking FOREVER! It's nice to know that there is hope and that it will eventually all come out. The yard looks like I've massacred a small village of furry creatures and I'm covered in hair but she's happier. Tomorrow I will try the slicker and the show sheen plus my rake. I don't think I'll bathe her first, with her super long hair it would mat up and be a mess to work with.
    One does not know what it is like to be truly loved until one has been loved by an animal that has been rescued. RMT 2005

  8. #18
    Boober Butt Fan! Senior Dog Member nana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crestedrescuer View Post
    Thank you guys SOOO MUCH! I read the post about not shaving my saint bernard and now tonight I've spent over an hour trying to rid her of her undercoat. I was using a rake and she loves but it's taking FOREVER! It's nice to know that there is hope and that it will eventually all come out. The yard looks like I've massacred a small village of furry creatures and I'm covered in hair but she's happier. Tomorrow I will try the slicker and the show sheen plus my rake. I don't think I'll bathe her first, with her super long hair it would mat up and be a mess to work with.

    Good for you!!! I can't count how many dog's it's taken me 1 1/2-2 hrs to get brushed out and that's before the bath and the blow out and the after bath brush and comb out.


  9. #19
    Senior Dog Member+ groominglady's Avatar
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    If you folks have a brave heart and a good force dryer (you fear that a small dog might be blown off the table) you can bathe the dog first with warm water - don't use conditioner. Then just towel dry, Show Sheen, and turn on the dryer (best done in the tub!) and blow perpendicular to the body.

    I like to start at the rib cage - where the undercoat is thinnest - and work my way around. You will be able to see a ring of loose undercoat and be able to watch it lose its grip and blow out. Don't be tempted to wind the nozzle in circles, just sweep very slowly in the direction of hair growth. You can "wiggle" the nozzle to encourage the undercoat to give up, and grab a rake when necessary. Usually you only have extra work in the deepest part of the "pants" and up by the ears, of course.

    This method is a heck of a lot of fun and not very much work....until you have to clean up the bathroom.

  10. #20
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    Good idea! Thanks.

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