Comments for Should I shave my Coton de Tulear if he's matted?

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Jul 25, 2015
Less stress for your pup
by: Bentley's Mom

If your Coton is at the weird in between stage of puppy coat to adult coat this seems to be the biggest struggle with matting. If mats are really bad, shaving down is easier on the dog, but once done get a good detangler product...I use Quicker Slicker and good needle brushes/comb to work with your dog daily. Once the adult coat comes in it gets easier to manage. Age will be on your side also as your Coton will get used to the grooming routine without all the wrestling that goes on. Grooming is needed evey 4 to 6 wks to maintain, but if you get good you can get your own tools and save at least 50 dollars a trip. Always keep the eyes, ears and rectal area trimmed up to keep infections and smells away. I use puppy shampoo or baby shampoo to keep the look going between groomer visits. Don't give up...the coat and their patience improves with age.

Jan 18, 2014
Shaving matted hair
by: Iris

Our Coton's start out with soft silky hair similar to maltese, then they get the soft cottony Coton adult hair that matts and tangles if not combed and brushed daily. Even so, any moisture or if the dog scratches,and that spot gets matted.It can be frustrating. My dog Tuffy is six years old and has been shaved down five times, about once a year.Mainly, because Groomers cannot/will not, spend the time to remove each one individually.I now groom Tuffy myself so we can avoid the stress and discomfort of being shaved. It is not a good thing to shave them in winter for obvious reasons, they are mostly skin and bones under all that hair. In summer they are light skinned and if shaved close to the skin can get sunburned and heatstroke. The hair acts as an insulator in all seasons. There is a Veterinarian online that has a video showing how she finds and carefully removes the matted areas with dog clippers. There are also videos of how you can do this yourself with scissors, cutting into the mat,be sure to use blunt edge scissors, holding the hair near the root to comb and brush,just as if you'd detangle a child's hair. Pulling the hair hurts!Cut through the matt always out and away from the skin to make it easier to brush or comb out. The matt can easily be separated by your fingers to make it easier to comb out.Be gentle and take your time.It takes me three or four days to groom my dog.He is good about it but he will start to pant and get fidgity so I stop and calm him with a hug and reassurance, give him a good boy treat and a walk or play and try again another day. I tried the detangle spray and found it made it more difficult because of the cottony hair, it tangles more. I saw something on tv I'm going to try, rubbing talcum powder into the matt and then brush it out. I hope it works! hugs, Tuffy and mommy

Jan 17, 2014
yes shave
by: Vicky. & Jonah

Shave him down. Do not put him through pulling the hair to get the mats out. Then start fresh. From the slumping. This also cuts down on itching.

If you don't get the gentle combing of y ur Coton shave again.The groomer will give u pointers on how to take a little at a time.

U will need a dog comb w/regular teeth & wide teeth. My wide one I found at dollar store & works fine.

Jonah just turned 6, I now can comb him Out wet after bath in a little over an hour & I keep his hair medium.

It took 6 yrs to get this good since when starting out it takes a long time to make sure u do not pull hair anymore then necessary.

A Coton that does not like to b combed out will be a pain for life. If your working alot & don't have time daily & mats form take blunt scissors & cut vertically towards u to loosen mat.

If u think the mat will pull to much cut it out & keep practicing, u will do fine. Treat on breaks since you'll need to walk away when frustrated. Stretch it out over a couple days. It does not have to b perfect the point is that your pup does not learn to hate it then they trust u & will lay there to help u out.

The hair grows back fast & if u have to cut one out once u comb around it & loosen hair you'll hardly see it.Again if u start to get frustrated walk away & finish later or tomorrow. You will find the technique that works for you. Remember it's just like combing out your hair if u have medium to long length. Just as when u pull on yours & it hurts it hurts them to.

Every time u comb or brush you will learn what works & what doesn't so I can't say enough GO slow but start fresh & let them shave him his fur will grow back out soft & cotton.

Go to u tube their r lots of free videos to help out. (-:

Mar 30, 2010
dealing with matted Coton hair
by: Moxamomma Iris

My dog Tuffy had to be shaved down at six month of age, He and I were both distressed over it. I was unaware of the matting issue and was brushing him from the outside, unaware of any matted hair underneath.It was almost as if it all came upon him suddenly. He originally had spots of color in his hair and after the shaved hair grew back months later, he was completely white with some black grey hair on his ears. We live in the New England USA area and after all the snow and rain Tuffy got matted again. I tried to save his long hair from again being shaved off. I followed all the online advice, but it seemed the more matted hair I removed the worse it got. We ended up back at the groomers for another clipping. This time I am COMBING and wire brushing him. I hope now that he is two years old we can manage his coat better. I have photos of my dog showing he loves his long hair and pictures of how depressed and upset he was after the first time he was shaved.
Love my Coton.

Mar 27, 2010
To Shave or Not to Shave
by: Gale

This is a tough one. I think this is going to be much harder on you than your dog. Cotons are known for their coats so it can be very upsetting to see them when they're all shaved.

Pros of shaving:

You won't be putting your dog under stress and pain trying to get mats out of his hair. If you try to de-mat him and he's stressed out you may have trouble grooming him in the future.

Cons of shaving:

There's no real con for your dog - his coat will grow back eventually just as beautiful as before. You will have to brace yourself because it's quite shocking to see a "shaggy dog" without the shag. It can take many months for his hair to grow back, but many Cotons are kept in puppy cuts with short hair and they look very cute.

Do you trust that the groomer has done everything possible to get the mats out without harming your dog? How severe are the mats? If they're not too bad, watch the video on this page that shows how to remove matted fur.

Learn more about preventing and dealing with matting here.

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