Caring For Your Dogs Coat

For Full Coated Dogs

So, you want to grow your dogs hair longer. I hear this a lot. Dogs are beautiful with long flowing coats. That natural, scruffy, shaggy, puppy look is adorable. You try to keep the hair brushed, you really honestly do.

But your dog is young. She needs to learn. She doesn’t like it, That’s okay, that’s what a professional is for, right? Wrong! Pet groomers are actually pet stylists. The one responsible for caring for the condition of the dog is the owners of the dog. The reason for this is that the maintenance of the coat is a constant routine. The level of difficulty depends upon the length of the coat, and other factors such as:

1. Do you wash the dog?

2. Does the dog swim or go into a wading pool?

3. Do you leave a harness on the dog?

4. Does the dog wear clothing?

5. If the dog is in full coat, or has a lot of hair around the neck, does she wear a collar?

6. If you wash your dog, do you that very same day, thoroughly brush and comb that dog over every inch of it’s body?

All of these factors determine the amount of work necessary to maintain the coat. I specialize in maintaining a full coat. My own dogs, and many of my clients dogs have had coats in amazing condition.

It is a labor of love. The secret is dedication. It is not a chore, it’s actually a bonding time for you and your pets IF and only IF both of you enjoy it.

Sometimes it can become frustrating, the dog fights the brush, or you give the dog a quick bath with no brushing only to later realize that was a disastrous decision. Or you leave the cute Christmas sweater on for 3 days while we have freezing temperatures, only to end up with a completely shaved down dog.

Sometimes, clients think, no worries, the groomer has special techniques, special tools, and wonderful conditioning treatments that they are trained to use in the event that your dog gets a few little mats. And to an extent, this is true.

The problem is, when we brush out matted hair, it hurts. And when the dog already hates the brush, it can be traumatizing. Sometimes I can do it once, to save the dogs coat, but the next time, the dog says NO.I often have clients prefer for me to save the coat, to please keep the hair that I trimmed short underneath the last time, and to let the coat grow. But if the coat is matting at this shorter length, why should we grow it longer?

The dogs owner must listen to the pet. If the pet cannot tolerate the brush, then keep the hair shorter until the training and routine are established.

The routine and tools depend on the desired length of coat and the type of coat that the dog has. Long flowing silky coats benefit from the use of an Artero or Chris Christensen Pin Brush, an Artero Comb, a Chris Christensen Poodle comb, and a Chris Christensen Face Comb.

Curly bushy coats benefit from the use of the Artero slicker brushes and the Chris Christensen Poodle Combs, and Artero Combs. The type of pins on the slicker depend on the depth of coat and the area you are brushing. I use both and go back and forth using both brushes on each dog, using the stiffer shorter pins on mats, the legs, and sometimes under the arms, and the longer pins in the areas where the hair is longer and thicker.

Oh, the dog won’t let you brush and comb??? Okay, let’s cut the hair shorter for now. We can ease the dog into the routine, or change the game plan all together.

Like for instance, my dog, Ammo. He is a Champion Poodle. He is gorgeous in a traditional style. But he hates having his feet shaved which is necessary to create that style. No amount of conditioning or training helped him to accept it. So I changed my expectation of what I wanted. He is adorable in his custom style, and best of all he is happy.

People often ask, “Should I brush every day ?” Or “How often should I brush?”. The answer is different in each situation.For me personally, If I am in charge of keeping a long flowing coat, such as the one on my Cocker Spaniel pictured below, I would wash, blow dry, brush and thoroughly comb every 5 days. That is a general rule for me, even my Poodles in show coat were done every 5 days.

Some will argue that point, but the proof is in the result.

Most people don’t want to pay the groomers for this time this often, so that is why, if it’s important to you, that you must learn to do that part at home.

I will add some how to articles to help you.

I often will refuse service if I feel that a dog will be traumatized as I am trying to help a client get through the learning curve. This does not mean that I am unhappy with you, or that I think that you are a bad pet parent. It is to help you move towards learning to do the work needed, or to help you to come to the decision to change your game plan.

Recommended Tools

For long , silky coats, these tools are best:

For Fluffy coated dogs:

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Is it safe to groom my dog?

Watch the video to hear the discussion

As a groomer, I have seen and groomed many dogs through all life stages. Towards the end, grooming may become very risky.

I often times will discuss these issues in a very blunt, matter of fact tone. I will tell a client that grooming can in fact kill their dog. Most clients state that the dog still needs to be clean and cared for, and this is true. But is it really worth the risk?

I want to care for a dog throughout it’s life and be there every step of the way for my clients, however, at some point, the grooming is best done at an animal hospital, where the pet can be monitored.

Read more:

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Our Vaccination Policy

Please ask your Vet which shots are best for your dog.

By law, all dogs are required to be up-to-date on Rabies. Other vaccinations may be recommended by your veterinarian, including Canine Flu.

What is the Bordetella Vaccine?

At Grande Style Pet, we take every precaution in creating a safe environment for our furry friends, and this includes minimizing the chances of them contracting Bordetella, one of the causes of Canine Cough. Canine Cough is a contagious, respiratory illness similar to the common cold. The Bordetella vaccination is important for dogs who attend day care or boarding facilities, visit dog parks or spend time in places where they interact frequently with other dogs. The Bordetella vaccine only protects against certain strains of the disease.

What is Our Bordetella Vaccine Policy?

Grande Style recommends that all dogs receive either an injectable or intranasal Bordetella vaccine every 12 months. The oral Bordetella vaccination is only accepted if given within the last 6 months. This is in alignment with the latest scientific data provided by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and VCA’s chief medical team. Both the injectable and intranasal format of the Bordetella vaccine have proven efficacy for 12 months, whereas the oral format lacks sufficient evidence that it is effective after 6 months.


All puppies must have had 3 series of puppy shots prior to their first appointment, after the 3rd series of puppy shots, boosters must be given at one year old to complete the puppies core vaccines. We only accept puppies that can show proof of vaccines given by a veterinarian.

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Brushing Tips for your Pet

How to demat your silky coated dog. Do this before a grooming appointment.
How to demat your thick curly dogs coat. Do this before your dogs appointment.
For the average Poodle, Bichon, or any curly or fluffy coat
Great for any long hair Doodle, Coton, Havanese, etc…
Show Poodle Brushing
For Shelties, Collies, Australian Shepherds, Poms or any double coated breed.
Daily Routine to keep your long hair dog tangle free.
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Our Favorite Dog Grooming Tools & Products

Click on the name of each product for a link on where to find it.

Soon we will link “How To” videos with instructions for using  many of the tools listed.

Artero Pin Brush available in our salon!

Wood Pin Brushes

Available at Wood Pin Brushes are great for sensitive dogs!
Available in our Salon! These are great for getting out knots and hitchhikers in the dogs hair!

Artero Slicker

Great for dematting and detangling
Available in our Salon! These combs are a great investment! You can not maintain a coated dog without one!
Available in our Salon!
Available in our Salon!
Available in our Salon!

Latex Bands for tying up top knots

Available in our Salon. Styles change frequently.

Rat Tail Combs

A must if you need to tie up a top knot.

Vetoquinol Ear Cleansing Solution

Using this after every bath or swim will help to prevent ear infections!

Thinning Shears

These will help to gently remove matted hair, and can be used to trim around the eyes.

Slicker Brush

Show Premium Pet Grooming Products

The Best of the Best!

Zymox Products

We use this in the salon for dogs with allergies and sensitive skin !

Heavy Duty Nail Grooming Tool

Diamond Wheel for Dremel

Gives a really smooth finish to the nail, more comfortable for the dog!

Ultra Quiet Nail Filing Tool

Great for dogs sensitive to loud tools.

Stripping Stone

Stripping Knife

Used for Carding a coat

Rubber Finger Covers

Used for removing dead hair on wire coated breeds

Doodle and Heavy Coated Dog Brush

Great for extra deep thick coats!

Exercise Pen

Great for puppies and seniors

Potty Pads, washable

These are the best, I use these in the salon.

Small dog Tabletop Grooming Table


Used for keeping long ears out of food and wet grass!
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