About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I Groomed a Bear

Okay, so I am exaggerating.....a little.

It was really a dog that looked like a bear.

I had groomed her 5 months ago.

So, even though it had been 5 months, I was still surprised at the amount of undercoat that she had.

She was packed!

I was really counting on my shampoo and conditioner to loosen up her under coat.

I was also really counting on my HV dryer to blow out all of that packed undercoat.

 Her undercoat was so thick and tight that you could not see her skin.

I started drying her.

Her coat was drying pretty quickly.

There was only one problem.....the undercoat was not blowing out.

So, I figured that this would be a good post.
(I am always thinking about what would make an interesting post. lol)

 I figured, since I am always pushing bathing a dog before brushing it out, (groomers only) that I should also show what to do when the undercoat doesn't easily blow out with the dryer.

And let me tell you, most of her undercoat was not budging.

At most the HV dryer was loosening the undercoat up and pushing it away from the skin a little bit.

 What did I do?

I would dry a section at a time like I normally do.
I put the wide mouth of the hose right up to the skin and dried the coat, undercoat and all.

Then I got my brush, pulled back on the dryer hose and started brushing out the undercoat.

 I kept the dryer blowing on the area that I was brushing.

This would help remove the undercoat that the brush was loosening up.

Short quick strokes of the brush, in the direction that the hair is blowing gets the undercoat out.

The  short video clip below shows what I am describing.

I know that removing the undercoat this way has the hair blowing all around the room.
You might be thinking 'it would have been better to brush the dog out before the bath'.

I respectfully disagree.
You never know for sure whether undercoat will easily blow out with the HV dryer until you try.
I have to say after spending years brushing double coated dogs out before the bath, it is much easier to brush out clean undercoat then dirty undercoat.

Your brush will fill fast and have to be emptied often.

The clean undercoat comes out quickly.

One Tip:
The reason that I dry the coat before I start to brush, is because the skin is tender when wet.

I am careful not to brush too hard, or brush the skin.

The undercoat also comes out much more easily when it is dry.

 This was the bathing-room floor after brushing out just one side of the bear dog.

Of course that is just the hair on the floor.

I don't have pictures of the undercoat that floated in the tub, on the towel shelf, in my hair....everywhere.

I was able to remove more than 95% of the undercoat before we left the bathing room.

This comb full of hair was all the undercoat that was still in her coat when I got her to my grooming table to do the finish trim.

 It took me about an hour to dry her and remove all of that packed undercoat.

Isn't she a pretty bear?

Sorry....isn't she a pretty dog?

I know that she feels so much better with all of that undercoat out.

She is so sweet.

I am sure that she went home a slept the rest of the day.

We spent the rest of the day cleaning up her hair.

And, combing her hair out of my hair!

✂ Happy Grooming ✂


  1. I agree with you Lisa that a bear (dog) with this much packed undercoat is much easier to do when bathing first. I only bathe first on dogs like this as well. A clean, dry undercoat comes out so much easier than trying to pull it through a dirty top coat. Much kinder to the dog as well. She looks great. Nice job...and I'm sure it took you about an hour to clean your shop after you were done!!! Karen in NJ

  2. Love your blog! I read it all the time and as a groomer who has recently started I used your technique of removing the undercoat from a rough collie and it worked wonders!! All your posts are great o and I share the same opinion on Shih Tzu's. Here in India they all have the crazy eyes :) Looking forward to more posts - Sadhwi (New Delhi, India)

    1. Hi Sadhwi,
      I am so glad that I could help. It feels good not to have to kill your hands with all of that brushing, and let the dryer do the work for you. Nice to know that dogs all around the world are the same. :)
      Thanks for reading my blog.
      Lisa, MFF

    2. Thanks Lisa! Looking forward to more of your posts!!
      - Sadhwi