My Very Best Grooming Tip Ever! (From the Expert Amateur)

My Very Best Grooming Tip Ever!  (From the Expert Amateur)
A very old and much used version of the Rotating Detangler Comb

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.

Dunk and Izzy
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 EdgeNow 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.





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  • Awesome! My dog is a rugged little 8 pound poodle, who loves outdoor adventure. I just purchased one of these combs on ebay. A mat is so painful to dogs, they will chew and eat anything creating it just to remove the bugger. So many pet owners will reluctantly let mats go for fear of injuring their pet or causing them pain, thus resulting in days or weeks without pet hygiene. A comb such as this could help tremendously.Thanks for the tip! WithSuccessBeBlessed

  • Hi, am guessing you saw my comment on my other post about rotating combs. They are indeed awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience. Sue

  • Your comments about pet owners not wanting to hurt their pets is right on the spot, not knowing that if they feel uncomfortable trying themselves, the best thing to do is to take their dog to a professional groomer who knows what to do and how to do it so their dog is not harmed. I had a giant LOL experience when I last took my dogs for professional grooming. They had a 'new' (never groomed them before) groomer who actually came out when I was picking them up and thanked me for taking such good care of their coat. What a great feeling!!!!

  • Pets need to be groomed regularly to avoid tangles on their fur, among other things. However, it doesn't mean we can snatch any pet supply out there and use it on them. I agree that we should ensure that our pets are comfortable while we are on the process of grooming our them, in this case, our dogs. What you have suggested seems like a really good idea and may work well on a lot of dogs.

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    I know this article is a few years old but I recently rescued a Labradoodle and had no idea how to groom his mostly poodle hair. I hate using the wire brush and the last time I had him groomed they had to completely shave him due to matting. Thank you so much for this helpful tip on rotating comb. Max the Doodle will thank you. :)

  • Am so happy that you found this. My Tibetan Terriers loathe wire brushes. They do much better with a poodle comb (metal, long tines, blunted tip). BTW, I finally cut them down to a long "pet trim." Their hair is about 2 inches long. We all are much happier. Best of luck.

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