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I recently adopted a 9 mo poodle terrier mix whose coat needs more attention than I'm used to giving. She has a medium length single coat that I'd prefer not to clip. Like a poodle she has hair rather than fur which is wavy and cottony and tends to mat if she is not combed regularly. Unfortunately I am not very experienced at this and between her squirming and my being afraid to pull her hair she is not getting brushed every day.

I have on hand the following tools:

Chris Christensen Ice on Ice leave in conditioner and detangler
An oval CC pin brush with longish pins
A t-shaped CC pin brush with shortish pins
A Oscar Frank Universal Slicker
A six inch comb with medium spaced rotating teeth
A Safari comb with alternating medium and short teeth
A Furminator (not that I'm thinking of using it)

I'm guessing that I should use the conditioner to saturate a portion of the coat and then line brush it. She mats more on her hind legs. Any tool I use encounters resistance from the many minor tangles. She's not all that treat oriented so I don't know how to keep her distracted and comfortable.

Any pointers are appreciated and don't hesitate to explain to me like I'm five.

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For our dachshund poodle mix we actually just use one comb! I bought a old brush similar to an actual hairbrush with shorter closer together pins and he seems to do fine on it. It's easiest for us to groom him when his hair is wet even though is curls super tight if we let him air dry. Typically we'll bathe him and comb out all his tangles, and the trick to getting fluffy hair is combing in the opposite direction as afterwords. After he's brushed out we blow dry him(also backwards, it makes him super fluffy!! :D ) Then take a break to brush and repeat until he's all brushed out and fluffed. After he is fluffed and a little less curly it is super easy to maintain his coat and it tends to mat a lot less as long as we give him a quick brush over every other day. If your dog seems to be uncomfortable definitely try a brush with rounder pins in it, it might not be a brush issue it could be your dog not used to being groomed. If it's not the brush I'd try out giving them treats and re-socializing them for grooming first. If they're already matted it'd probably be best you take them into a groomer to just get them professionally taken out before you start off grooming your dog yourself.
 

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Also, forgot to mention, go easy with the slicker and wire brushes, they are more for very gently getting out mats and tangles in specific areas rather then brushing them over, and if you are too rough it'll scratch their skin. Also, have you tried higher value treats like hot dog pieces?
 
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