Groomers will either love me or hate me on this one. I've gone into Petsmart where groomers are located in the front with an open view to the outside and I've listened to cats screeching and dogs yelping as the groomers try to untangle testy knots in their coats. Now, I'm not blaming the groomers. Having grown up with a standard poodle who only went to the groomer every 6 months, it fell on my shoulders to get all the knots out of her coat on the evening before the grooming event, lest the groomer turn the poor dog away or shave her down. So I have 55 plus years of experience on this one. The one thing I've learned is that dogs who have hair rather than fur excel at 2 things: 1) matting easily; and 2) picking up burrs in their coat when at off-leash dog parks.
My two Tibetan Terriers have long hair, as you can see if you've viewed any photos on my posts. Their hair is double-coated, meaning that it will tangle and mat very quickly if not attended to on a regular (every few days) basis. The first six months of trying to bathe and groom Dunkie were hell. The combs and brushes I used were tugging at his puppy hair and he would squeal intermittently when the comb hit a tender spot. I knew I needed an answer, so turned to the web to see if there was anything out there that could help me keep from hurting my puppy when I groomed him. eBay was my savior. I found an early version (see featured image) of the Rotating Pins Course Tooth Comb (shown below). If you click on the link, you will see that there are now many others to choose from. I also found the same Rotating Pin Comb on Amazon and most recently saw some at Pet Supplies Plus.
- This is the more modern version of my old comb.
For those of us amateurs who struggle with grooming, this tool has been nothing short of a miracle. Instead of getting stuck in mats where you need to really tug and pull (painful for your dog who will undoubtedly let you know it), the comb tends to glide through and separate mats painlessly for your pet. Work the mat from the outside in, and from the end of the mat towards the skin. Another great feature of this tool is the shape of the tines (the tips). Rather than having a pin-point end, the ends are rounded and are comfortable on the skin of your pet. Dunk and Izzy liked being combed so much that all I have to do is show them the comb and ask them to lay down. They are very quick to comply, even without treats!
I also use this tool as a calming device when my dogs are overtired. I bring them onto the couch and glide the comb through their hair, while we all watch television. Rather than barking incessantly at the images on TV, they become so relaxed that they relinquish their innate need to guard against either images or sounds coming from the television, and simply enjoy the feeling of being combed. I imagine it's like having your back rubbed at night if you are tired.
- Nothing good on TV right now to bark at.
When I first found these special combs, they were pretty rare. Until recently, there was no such tool in major dog and grooming catalogs, such as Pet Edge. Now they are everywhere. I encourage you to try them if you do not already have them in your dog or cat grooming arsenal. They are under $US 10 and the best money I ever spent. You won't regret it.