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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I haven't seen a thread on spitz grooming (Elkhound, Husky, Chow, Pom, etc). Thought I'd start one as they all have such specific needs.

Tuva is a mix of spitzy breeds (Elkie or husky and chow) with some ACD. Her coat def comes from the spitzes. Average guard hair is 1.5-2 in long on her body, with longer ones (up to 4 inches) at the ruff. Thick undercoat. People always think she is chubby til they see her in the bath (she looks like a drowned rat, pitiful really). Overall, her coat is soft but strong, repels dirt well and doesn't have much, if any, odor. Sheds like mad.

I furminate her at least once a week (I am working up the frequency as I condition her to like grooming), and til recently I was also bathing her once a week. Recently, though, I read that overbathing can damage spitzy coats by stripping the oils. Am I overbathing? Switching to once every 2 weeks for now. I use Buddy Wash or West Coast Wags, and Dawn liquid if her flea meds wear off early (vet's recommendation, who woulda thunk).

Cheers,
Ellen
 

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For her coat I'd get a good comb, pin brush, and slicker brush. Be careful furminating everyday since it's possible to do that to much and thin out the coat.

When you groom her make sure you get all the undercoat. To do that brush a section till it's knot free, then pull it back and brush the coat underneath that top section. Doing that will make sure you get the whole coat and not just the top layer. I'd start with the pin brush, then use the comb, then finish with the slicker brush.

Once a week is way to much to bathe most dogs unless you have a hairless one. It strips the oils from their coats and dries it out, it can also lead to dry skin. Even bathing every two weeks is unnecessary, and if you bathe that much make sure to use a gentle shampoo, most dogs only need to be bathed once a month and in between baths keep them brushed out.

Before bathing make sure you brush her out really well and remove all tangles or mats. Any mats and tangles that are there when you bathe her will get worse during the bath and tighten up as they dry making them very difficult to get out.
 

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Ditto a pin brush, and I also recommend a rake. I don't personally find a furminator works that well for shedding on that kind of coat.

Does she NEED a bath that often? A good shampoo CAN be used that often with no harm done, but if its the wrong kind (and I'm not familier with those) then yes you could be doing more harm than good to her coat and skin. And it might be part of her shedding. Honestly if she's not dirty and doesn't smell I'd suggest just leaving her unbathed. A wipe down with a damp wash cloth will remove any surface dirt if need be. Apollo gets a bath every 3-4 months or so, and my inlaws chow less often than that, and both have essentially no odor even right before bath time.
 

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Ditto a pin brush, and I also recommend a rake. I don't personally find a furminator works that well for shedding on that kind of coat.

Does she NEED a bath that often? A good shampoo CAN be used that often with no harm done, but if its the wrong kind (and I'm not familier with those) then yes you could be doing more harm than good to her coat and skin. And it might be part of her shedding. Honestly if she's not dirty and doesn't smell I'd suggest just leaving her unbathed. A wipe down with a damp wash cloth will remove any surface dirt if need be. Apollo gets a bath every 3-4 months or so, and my inlaws chow less often than that, and both have essentially no odor even right before bath time.

Shadow I bathed 2 maybe 3 times a year, he never smelled and his coat wasn't oily. Keeping him brushed worked great for him.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the tips, everyone!

She doesn't tend to smell, but she goes to the dog park rather often and gets slobber on her and mud. She always looks spotless the next day, but the water always turns a darker color than I expect at bathtime, so some of the dirt must collect at skin level. I guess doggy wipes right after the dog park are the best bet, just seems to me it would take an entire box of them to get the job done. Dampen a towel and wipe her down, maybe? And have you guys found any benefit from the spray-on coat conditioners for between baths?

The reason I looked into overbathing is that she never ordinarily has a doggy smell, but I noticed a slight one a week and a half after bathing, and wondered if I'd disturbed the balance of oils. Seems I did. I will try giving her a bath-free month to get things back in balance, and go from there. Buddy Wash is a coconut-based soap, and meant to be gentle. Rosemary & Mint Buddy Wash Ingredients:
Coconut shampoo base, aloe vera gel, essence of rosemary, essence of mint, chamomile extract, sage extract, nettles extract, rosemary extract, wheat protein extract (natural deodorizing agent), tea tree oil, vitamin E, vitamin C.
A lot of that stuff is unnecessary I expect, but none of it looks too harsh, I don't think. It does a great job too.

Thanks for the feedback on the furminator! It seems to work pretty well on her mostly, but isn't great for her flanks, chest and ruff where the fur is thicker or longer. Definitely need more grooming options. Great suggestions for daily grooming, I'll be ordering those tools pronto.

You guys rock!
 

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We use a damp hand towel to wipe down Apollo when he's muddy.

I use Chris Christensen's Ice on Ice on Apollo, its a spray on detangler/conditioner/sun protection and it helps ALOT with his tail where he tends towards mats, and helps prevent static in the winter.
 

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Id ditch the furminator. it is just a clipper blade on a handle. it breaks top coats. I wouldnt use it on a long haired dog.

Id get a slicker, a grey hound comb and a couple rakes.

Id line brush and rake her, if the comb can go through with out much effort you have got the under coat out.

If you dont have one. id invest in a HV dryer.

problems with bathing a dog. is people leave shampoo in and dont dilute it enough, dont rinse enough and a major thing is leaving a dog wet to dry on their own. a dog with such a thick coat will take a long time to dry and can result in hot spots.

Both of my dogs get a bath 2-3 times a month. both are done by a pro. (eithe rme as a groomer or my bather) so we know how to bath rinse and dry properly. Ive never had a issue with my dogs skin, coats are soft, shiny and healthy. with minimal shedding (beagle and collie) due to all the bathing Im sure lol, which is why I do it so often (plus I like clean dogs. and when my profession is dog grooming, my dogs have to look the part too)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
problems with bathing a dog. is people leave shampoo in and dont dilute it enough, dont rinse enough and a major thing is leaving a dog wet to dry on their own. a dog with such a thick coat will take a long time to dry and can result in hot spots.
How much does one have to "dilute" the shampoo? Never been told to do that before. Does one need to dilute all shampoos, or do some come at the proper concentration right out of the bottle? Again, I use either Buddy Wash or West Coast Wags. I wet the coat down thoroughly, use minimal shampoo and spread widely, and the rinsing is the most time consuming part of the bath. I make sure to get all the soap off. I spend a lot of time toweling off, and she tends to be dry to the skin in 3 hours or so. Never noticed hot-spots post bath; only get those when I don't brush her enough, bath or no.

HV dryers look great, but I had better spend my very limited $ on agility classes and vet care, and the hand-grooming tools suggested in this thread, and dry/deshed by hand for now. I do have a hairdryer, so I'll try turning it on low around her and see how she reacts to the sound, then the sensation. Should speed things up a bit at least. Is a hairdryer on low safe for dogs? Looks from Google results as though it is.

Thanks for the tips!

Will be getting ice-on-ice, sounds wonderful.
 

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I always dilute Storms shampoo... If I don't he needs too much shampoo to lather his hair, and it's nearly impossible to get it all out...

I just put a little/fair amount of shampoo in a bowl and mix with warm water... use a sponge to distribute over the dogs coat and then massage in... Rinse..

I do the same with the conditioner...
 

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I like bathing every few weeks and have not found that it's been damaging in and of itself, as long as diet is solid and shampoo is rinsed well.

Layla has quite a thick coat but it's extremely soft so she just starts looking a bit flat and greasy if she isn't bathed. And like others have said, it reduces shedding and plus you have a clean dog which is wonderful.

We haven't needed a hair dryer (her coat is thick but not that long, so it seems to dry quite well on its own).

I've recently started using Naked Care which is a conditioner for dogs and it's awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are a couple suggestions here for conditioners (Naked and Ice on Ice), but what are the best shampoos? Buddy wash gets my dog clean, but she is always rubbing her face on the carpet and running around like mad post-bath. I need to rub her off vigorously with a towel for sometimes half an hour to calm her down. Wondering if this is due to the shampoo I used, as after using Dawn last time she got fleas (Advantix wore off early) there was no such behavior. I mean, she zoomed a bit, but no face-rubbing. Also, the face-rubbing happens even when I don't wet her face in the bath, as I sometimes do the face separately.
 

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get a old ketchup bottle. clean well. put a bit of shampoo in it, fill rest with water. easy squirt bottle. this way you can lather the dog easily, with out wasting so much shampoo. Used to do this before I started working at a grooming shop. Now that i work at one, they very very rarley get bathed at home

i like tropicclean products.
 

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Crown Royale formula3 did an awesome job on Apollo's coat but I couldn't stand the scent: Crown Royale Biovite Formula 3 Shampoo - Cherrybrook

I may have a partial bottle left I could send you if you want to try it.

We currently use Chris Christensens Spectrum 1: http://www.cherrybrook.com/index.cf.../vname/Crown_Royale_Biovite_Formula_3_Shampoo. That site sells a sample pack you can buy to try it: http://www.cherrybrook.com/index.cf...catid/215/vname/Chris_Christensen_System_Kits

They're not cheap, but once you dilute them a bit the bottles last a while!
 

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get a old ketchup bottle. clean well. put a bit of shampoo in it, fill rest with water. easy squirt bottle. this way you can lather the dog easily, with out wasting so much shampoo. Used to do this before I started working at a grooming shop. Now that i work at one, they very very rarley get bathed at home

i like tropicclean products.
I recently switched to the tropicclean products, I'm really happy with them. They have a ton of different scents and types, so that's always a plus.

I bathe both dogs once every week or two, depending on how dirty they are (during monsoon season [AKA muddy puddle play time season] they get bathed multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day :eek:). They are both long haired, Rhea's coat is much thicker though, reminds me of a belgian shepherd's fur; long (couple inches, thick undercoat, and when it gets wet it's hard to get every layer completely wet without really rubbing it in). Flynn has a fairly thin coat, even though it's long. Anyways, diluting the shampoo really helps on their coats and to get a good lather. Otherwise you end up using tons of shampoo and it's hard to rinse out. I like to use a wash cloth to rub it on their fur too, helps to get a good lather and all the dirt out (they roll in the mud/dirt daily :eyeroll: lol). Flynn dries pretty fast with a good towel rub, but Rhea I like to use a dryer on when she lets me. Her coat is just horribly thick.

I also like the suggestions of ditching the furminator. That thing looked scary when I was shopping for some new brushes. I found a regular pin brush, a rake, and a comb work best: especially with dogs that slobber on each other and are prone to matting. Combs are a MUST! haha. I also just have to say that I love the rake on Rhea. It helps so much with her excessive shedding in the summer.

I haven't had to use conditioners yet, but I may try the tropicclean conditioner this week or next. Whenever I get a chance to go to the pet shop. Okay, done rambling. Hope there was some useful opinions in there somewhere lol. :ponder:
 

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I use Christensen's Day to Day shampoo, diluted the bottle lasts forever! It's oatmeal based and thus is fine for more frequent bathing if needed. Generally my crew get a bath about every 2 weeks if they need it. Sometimes they go longer, depends. I use the line brushing method with a pin brush, comb, and slicker. Do NOT like the firminator for dogs of this style coat as it does snap the guard hairs. I do have a HF dryer and LOVE it due to the fact that it frees up the shedding undercoat making the brush out at the end soooo much easier! So far as anti-shedding tools go the dryer is my best tool!
 

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I use Christensen's Day to Day shampoo, diluted the bottle lasts forever! It's oatmeal based and thus is fine for more frequent bathing if needed. Generally my crew get a bath about every 2 weeks if they need it. Sometimes they go longer, depends. I use the line brushing method with a pin brush, comb, and slicker. Do NOT like the firminator for dogs of this style coat as it does snap the guard hairs. I do have a HF dryer and LOVE it due to the fact that it frees up the shedding undercoat making the brush out at the end soooo much easier! So far as anti-shedding tools go the dryer is my best tool!
So I have Christensen products in my Amazon cart, and I'm ready to go, except ... I can't find the full ingredients anywhere. When you go to his site and look at product info, there's a page of testimonials but nary an ingredients list in sight. I find this iffy. The best I've gotten is a list of ingredients for white on white shampoo including sodium lauryl sulfate and "acid colorants" (bleaching agents for white dogs, I assume), and for all other products an 800# to call for info. Even that wasn't on the Chris website, but on Dogwise. Called the 800# and found an exceedingly corporate maze of extensions.

Not saying it's not great stuff, I just like to know what I'm putting on my pet. Would consider it a favor if you could shoot me over the ingredients for Ice on Ice and Day to Day! Thanks for the pointers!
 

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So I have Christensen products in my Amazon cart, and I'm ready to go, except ... I can't find the full ingredients anywhere. When you go to his site and look at product info, there's a page of testimonials but nary an ingredients list in sight. I find this iffy. The best I've gotten is a list of ingredients for white on white shampoo including sodium lauryl sulfate and "acid colorants" (bleaching agents for white dogs, I assume), and for all other products an 800# to call for info. Even that wasn't on the Chris website, but on Dogwise. Called the 800# and found an exceedingly corporate maze of extensions.

Not saying it's not great stuff, I just like to know what I'm putting on my pet. Would consider it a favor if you could shoot me over the ingredients for Ice on Ice and Day to Day! Thanks for the pointers!

I'm headed for bed, but if I don't post the Ice on Ice info tomorrow remind me!

Their site does kinda suck.....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just placed an Amazon order for:

-Safari 7 1/4" stainless steel comb.
-Safari large pin brush, wooden handle
-Evolution Med-Lg self-cleaning slicker brush
-Evolution W6110 Undercoat Rake with Rotating Teeth, Double Row.

Sound like a good list? New shampoos & conditioners (and any other grooming tools) next paycheck, as she's not bathing this month anyway.

Has anyone had any experience with coconut oil for coats? I tried some on a thinner patch where she was biting, and her response was "om nom nom yummy coconut nom." Of course. So then I tried again and took her out to distract her. Coat's just greasier thus far, but it's only been one application. I have also been adding a bit to her food, and it really has seemed to help her digestion and I think her coat seems a little healthier. I've been adding olive oil occasionally too, though, so it could be either or neither.
 

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you dont add the cocnut oil direcrtly to the coat. or as you see you get a greasy, very very hard to get rid of grease. to her coat. you feed it to the dogs.

I had a client think you actually put it on the dog. took me 6 or 7 baths of dish soap and still couldnt get the grease out with the dish soap and the regular dog soap. it was a very difficult and hard groom to do (he is a shih tzu, has the worst skin ever too, the poor owners have worked with so many vets, spent 100's upon 1000's and still had no results. but after explaining to feed it to him, not apply it to him. his coat is now coming in better. I cant wait to see him this saturday to see how nice his coat is.
 
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