Grooming A Pomeranian

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming' started by 648117, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. 648117 Honored Member

    We have a new Pomeranian and he has a rather full coat (although not as bad as some Poms).

    I'm used to grooming Holly but she enjoys being groomed, has never had any tangles or knots and only takes 5 mins. I groom her everyday so regular grooming isn't a problem but I am not used to a Pomeranian coat. I don't know where to start!

    His previous owner said she just gave him a brush about once a month and just trims his feet etc when needed. She said she would give him a brush before we got him.

    I don't think she was grooming him enough or very well because he has come to us with a few knots and a couple of matts (I think she just gave him a surface brushing before we got him yesterday). He has a lot of under coat, especially on his back legs, you have to dig a bit to reach his skin.

    On monday (tomorrow) we are going to ring the groomer that we used to use for our cavaliers. We'll ask if she has groomed Poms before because I have already seen a ton of warnings online about not letting Pom coats get touched with scissors or clippers or it will ruin them. So hopefully the groomer will be able to remove some of the under coat and knots and show me how to do the day-to-day coat maintenance.
    The only problem is that I'm not sure that we will be able to get an appointment before christmas so might have to wait till next year!

    So I'm going to try and groom him a bit so he doesn't end up a total mess if he has to wait to see the groomer (I really don't want his coat to be cut off). But I'm not sure how to start or what brush to use where so some advice would be great.

    With Holly I use a comb.
    Some of the videos of people grooming Poms use these combs but the Poms being groomed in the video seem to have a different coat to our dog. I tried using the comb but it doesn't really work well on the matts, so I tried the old slicker brush we have but I'm not sure if that is the best tool or not, especially for the knots behind his ears and the really thick fur on his back legs.
    He doesn't really like being groomed so I'm trying to take it slow and have only groomed him a very small amount.

    Any tips and advice would be great :)

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  2. MaryK Honored Member

    First, you're right a Pom's coat should never be cut. But if some of the knots are really that bad, there is a way to do so without causing mega damage. First, DO NOT CUT STRAIGHT ACROSS (this is going to be hard to describe) i.e. across the coat but CUT DOWN THROUGH THE KNOT from the bottom of the knot to the skin, in line with the way the coat lies, this way you will not cause much damage. I've had to do it with a badly knotted coat and you will find as you cut in line with the fur the knot will sort of 'crumble' in your hands. I hope you can understand this, it's much easier to demonstrate than explainO_o The result is way less damage, barely noticable, to the coat. It is a last resort though, otherwise try just gentle untangling the knots with your hands.

    Also, you can use, very, very, gently a stripping comb to remove the heavy under coat. As he's not used to this, just do as you propose, a little at a time, with loads of treats, if possible have your Mom offer the treats while you groom. Keep him focused on treats rather than what you're doing. Your Mom needs to become an 'automatic treat dispenser".:)

    With the stripping comb, it may be best to start at the end of the fur, if it's badly knotted or he doesn't like it very much, and gradually work up. Starting at the skin and pulling down may be painful if he's badly knotted or has a mass of under coat. Also hold the fur near the skin, to stop unwanted pulling, a bit tricky again maybe get your Mom to help you by holding the fur while you groom.

    You can also use your hands to 'pluck' the fur, again be especially gentle, only do a weeny bit at a time. And of course, treat like crazy through the entire process.

    Doesn't sound like he's not been properly groomed that's for sure, poor baby.

    Once you've got all the dead coat and knots removed, use a good dog comb and brush, lift the fur up gently and start underneath, working up to the top in layers, like hairdressers do when cutting or blowing drying your hair. You can actually use the clips they use to keep the top hair out of the way when grooming the underneath fur.

    And yes, he'll need grooming every day! And do try to keep him away from burrs, sticky grass seeds etc. they're a total nightmare to remove from long haired dogs or cats!!!!!!!

    And I would also suggest at bath time using a very good dog conditioner as well of course as shampoo.

    If you find the cutting technique too hard to get, I'll try to make a graphic showing how to do it. Sorry it's a hard one to describeO_o
  3. jackienmutts Honored Member

    If he's full of deep mats, you may want to bite the bullet once and have him cut (let the groomer do it). I've got a friend with a Pom and she tends to keep hers clipped - and the coat does grow back out just fine. Esp if he wasn't used to being groomed, brushed, etc, don't put him thru the stress of having his "hair" pulled, combed, etc just to get those tangles out to avoid cutting his fur. It will grow back. Clip him if need be, get him a little jacket for outdoors so he's not cold during the winter (sorry, I don't remember where you are right off, it's winter in the US/Canada), then keep his 'new coat' groomed while it grows back in.

    If he's not that matted, then just work on little bits each day so he doesn't get stressed at being groomed. Maybe find something he enjoys and after a short brushing session, play with his favorite toy for a few min so he knows that's coming immed when you're finished.

    Mary gave all fabulous advice above - if you bathe and groom him yourself, also get a detangler, it will really help. I've never had to use one myself (love my short-haired dogs!) but have helped a friend bathe her poofy, very long-haired Golden (with that long show-coat) and a good de-tangler makes all the difference.
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  4. MaryK Honored Member

    And I forgot to add, with the scissors if you have to use them, try to get hairdresser ones they make life a LOT easier. Or use fine scissors, not big cluncky ones.
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  5. 648117 Honored Member

    We rang all the groomers in our city and all are booked till next year, when we asked for an exact date most were booked till late January :(
    We knew it would be a long shot to find a groomer before christmas, with our Cavs we had to book really early to make sure we got them in before christmas. But because we just got him it's too late, even a week ago when we first contacted his people it would have been too late to get a groomer.

    I don't think it's so bad that he will need to be shaved. He doesn't like being brushed but he isn't a mess about it. I just have to watch his face to make sure he isn't going to snap at me. I don't think he will (he hasn't growled yet but he is obviously very anxious and shakes the entire time) but I don't trust him completely so I'm leaving a leash on him that someone else holds while I've been brushing his back legs.
    I've just been grooming him for 5 mins per day (and because of that I don't think he really likes me :( - but it's for his own good) , so far I've removed a matt from behind one of his ears and half of the big one on his right back leg. I've been mainly focusing on trying to get some of the undercoat out of his right back leg where it shouldn't hurt so he learns that I'm not trying to hurt him when I groom him. Then Im going to do his left leg and then get the knots around his neck and remove the undercoat from his chest and back.

    We went and spoke to a groomer today (they don't have space till the 25th of January) and she said that most of the knots will be undercoat and that if I can get it out it should be ok (although we didn't actually have the dog with us). She said that with a Pom they would normally just give them a bath and HV dry (high velocity) and brush to get the undercoat out and trim up the feet and sanitary areas which seems to be whats recommended on most sites, so he will probably go there every 6-8 weeks once we can get an appointment next year. She also said they run grooming lessons that will start in February if I want to learn how to do everything myself. I asked if they had anything that would help with the knots and she said she could sell me something but it wouldn't really help (she was honest :) ) and that with matts and knots you just have to gently keep working at them and then just prevent them forming again by grooming him every 1-3 days.

    Yeah, this is the plan. The problem is he doesn't seem to have any interest in toys and he is still very anxious.
    I normally give Holly her evening chew or kong after her groom but Lewis isn't used to having chews (he has stinky breath - already has tartar on his teeth and he's only 2! - his ex-owners gave him choc-drops as treats), he had one of Holly's dried deer ribs last night but it took him ages (two sessions) to eat it and today he didn't want one and wouldn't take any food (his food) while I groomed him (too anxious I think) and I can't give him too many treats because he has a bit of an upset tummy from all the changes and refuses to eat his crappy super-market food that he came with (he wants Holly's food so I was using it for his treat until today). I think this is going to be very slow and take a lot of time but hopefully he will eventually start to enjoy being groomed and will ask me to groom him like Holly does :) .
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  6. MaryK Honored Member

    Harder to get into dog groomers this time of the year than hairdressers!:rolleyes:

    What you're doing is fantastic and he'll forgive you:) When you've finished grooming, maybe play with him a little, that way he'll think you're the tops not the worst person around.

    Change his diet over very s-l-o-w-l-y as he will get an upset tum if changed over too quickly. I know it's hard, as he's had crappy food and you want him to have the best, but in the long term it's better to take it slowly.

    His diet must have been ghastly, so young to have tartar on his teeth. Maybe you could try giving him a doggy denture chew?

    Poor little chap, too anxious to even take a treat when you're grooming him and probably doesn't know what toys are all about.

    You'll get there with him, as you say, it's going to take a while, but he'll be asking for his grooming time just like Holly.:)
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  7. sara Moderator

    Well, I've been boning up on grooming poms for the last little while (I'm doing a friends 2 poms while she recovers from a knee replacement) the one pom was clipped into a teddy bear clip last summer, and while most of his coat grew back, the really long, coarse guard hairs have not grown back at all, and are easily felt about an inch from his body. This has made his coat very fly away, and a completely different texture to what it should be. So we put him in a teddy bear again. the long coat is impractible for him anyway, and he is not a show dog, and though I used to be a purist (Sacrelage to clip their coat!) I really like the teddy bear, he freaking adorable!!! (think Boo the cutest dog in the world...)

    As to brushing, I ise a rake and slicker and comb. I rake first, then use the slicker, and last the comb, but I do sections ie. rake, then slicker, then comb a leg, then a shoulder then a side then the back etc, and finish with a final all over brush with a pin brush, just to smoth the hair and get it to lie properly.

    Also you need to push the hair up against the way it lies with one hand, then brush the way the hair lies, so you're parting the hair and getting down to the skin visually, otherwise, you'll never get all the fluff out :)
  8. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Not to hijack - but hooray Sara, you're back!!!! Party time!!!! We've all missed you!!!! :cool:

    It sounds like you're gonna do great with him, you're taking time, not rushing him, etc. Since you're going to be brushing him so much, he won't be getting any new tangles or mats, and little by little you'll work those old ones out. Maybe right now since he's not keen on toys or treats yet, if he does like pets and love, let him see you put that brush/comb/etc down and away from you two (when you're finished), say "all done" (or something), then just sit and cuddle him for a few min - maybe that would help ease him into this.

    I think just in the handful of days he's been with you, you're doing a great job! (y)
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  9. 648117 Honored Member

    We've had Lewis for one week now and he has settled in pretty well. I've been grooming him twice a day and he puts up with reasonably long sessions, especially if someone distracts his head for me. And he will now take treats if they are really good treats.
    He hasn't growled or snapped at me at all (although I still leash him - just in case), and he doesn't shake anymore. Just looks sad while being groomed but is instantly happy when I'm finished and put him on the ground because he gets a treat! (he's figured out how to eat dried deer ribs now)

    I think I've gotten all the knots and matts out, the knots around his neck and ears came out surprisingly easily. The back of his hind legs and butt were the worst. There is just soo much fur back there, but I think I've got all the matts out and a lot of the undercoat. He doesn't look as bottom heavy as when we got him.
    The only knots I ended up cutting out were the really tight ones around his "boy bits", I didn't think he would let be brush around that area and those knots were only attached by a few hairs anyway.
    He will still go to the groomers next year for a bath and proper brush though (there is no way that I'm going to bath him with all that fur!).

    Today I cut his nails. I was only going to cut one nail but he was so good that I got all of them done. They were extremely long. He kept scratching me with them but I didn't want to try to cut them before he trusted me a bit. They are still a bit long but I removed at least 1/2cm from each nail, I'm not that confident in nail clipping yet so I didn't want to cut them too much. I'll cut some more off next week.
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  10. MaryK Honored Member

    Congratulations on the work you've done with Lewis!!!!!!!!!!!!:D(y) He's obviously learning to trust you and LOL he sounds just like Zeus when he has a bath (grooming is fine but a bath oh boy) very woebegone until it's all over:D. I'm sure with time Lewis will realize that grooming is not only fun but also makes him feel so much better. Good idea to still keep him leashed and have someone distract him while you're grooming him.(y):)

    So glad all the knots came out quite easily and amazed he didn't get upset about you doing his 'boy bit's, a lot of dogs are quite adverse to having that area touched at all, let alone knots cut out.

    I don't think I'd want to bath him either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know you know the groomers, so you'll know he will be in safe hands there. His new year present, a good bath and spruce up!.

    Good idea to take it easy with nail clipping, I don't like doing that either always afraid I'll cut too much. Sounds like you really did take off quite a bit and now he won't scratch you anymore.

    I'm thinking Lewis is loving his new home and again, kudos for such a grand job!:love:(y) Thank you for letting us know how he's progressing.:)
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  11. Dogster Honored Member

    Yay!!!!! Glad to know he's adjusted to his new home and that he's happy. :D
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  12. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job with this little guy! So glad he's home safe with you now - keep up the good work!
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