Seconding this! Make sure that if you are bathing him at home, you get any mats out first. Talk to your groomer as well, they may have a product recommendation, or may allow you to bring him in to get a mat here or there clipped out if you run into something you can't brush out between groomings. Other then that, just daily brushing, and you can keep him shorter if you want to avoid the maintenance. I always joke that if I had a "hair" breed, it would be kept naked year roundyou should never bathe/wet a completely matted dog as it makes the matts tighter ! Matts are bad news!!!!
Yes to the question of itching, poodles and bichons both tend to have dry itchy skin. I give Samantha an omega 3 supplement in her food daily, but sometimes that is not enough. Right now, the Vet just started her on a low dose of benzamine (12.5mg) twice a day. I'm only giving her a single does daily, and it does seem to be helping.He's actually a ShihTzu-Bichon mix but even his Groomer said he has the fur of a Bichon. We actually just clip/shave spots at home and every few months or so he gets a complete shave down from the groomer..especially in the summer. We try to keep that area under the legs shaved down.
I actually find the bathing helps with the mats because it makes the fur stick together more and separate which makes it much easier to just chop right off while it's wet. Maybe because it's the start of the clumping stage and not a full blown mess. Maybe that's with the help of the shampoo and conditioner. I've researched those which is why I gave it a try and some people swore the conditioners helped prevent the matting by keeping it smooth. I'm not finding it to make a difference either way..but since my other dog has super sensitive skin when it comes to shampoos..I'm sticking with the Earth Bath brand mostly for him.
Those pin brushes really seem to prick his skin even with trying to keep it away..I feel bad using them.
Do you Bichon owners also have a problem with itching? He does not have parasites, it is not food related nor chemical related. It's not even anything outside since he's indoor trained and in the winter went weeks without being outside and there was no change.