What to expect from your visit and how to maintain at home
Wool coated breeds are very popular for many dog owners thanks to their soft texture and endless styling opportunities. However, due to the nature of the coat it requires a large amount of grooming and maintenance to keep the coat in good condition and free of matts.
In this blog we tell you all you need to know about wool coat grooming so that you know what to expect from your visit to The Pet Retreat and to help keep your pet’s coat in check at home.
- What is a wool coat?
- What dog breeds have a wool coat?
- What are the benefits of a wool coat?
- About wool coat grooming
- What is required to maintain a wool coat at home?
- What our groomers say
What is a wool coat?
Also known as a ‘Poodle’ coat, the wool coat is very thick, curly and has lots of volume, with a cotton wool like texture. A wool coat can grow quickly and will have continuous growth throughout the year. It is one of the hardest coats to maintain and requires daily grooming to avoid matts.
This is a functional coat type, and the poodle has a wool coat because they were originally water dogs, and the thick coat would protect them from the cold water. Also, the curly coat helps them to be more buoyant and helps the water bead off more easily.
What breeds have a wool coat?
Breeds with this coat include:
- Bichon Frise
- Other poodle cross breeds
Benefits and drawbacks of a wool coat
A dog’s coat type can have a large effect on their suitability for you as an owner, so it is important you understand the benefits and negatives of a wool coat. Remember, we’re owned and run by vets here at The Pet Retreat, so we know a thing or two about this kind of thing.
A wool coat is considered to be somewhat hypoallergenic thanks to its soft texture, non-shedding nature and lack of moulting. This makes it a popular choice for anyone who commonly suffers from pet and dog allergies.
Difficult to maintain
The wool coat is one of the hardest to maintain, as it is prone to matting. As it is also continuously growing, you will also need to take your dog for regular appointments at the groomer to trim the coat. Professional grooming is highly recommended for dogs with a wool coat
Great to look at and feel
A wool coat is very attractive and can be styled by a professional groomer to make your dog look even smarter. Their coat is also soft to the touch, which is never a bad thing!
If you leave your dog’s coat unclipped in the winter, their thick, dense fur will always keep them warm. On the other hand, in the summer months, things can get too warm. Your dog can quickly tire on long walks and it can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
About wool coat grooming
To do wool grooming the correct way, you’ll want regular visits to the groomers backed up by a solid and consistent home grooming routine. Here’s what you can expect on your visit to The Pet Retreat:
The groomer will use a shampoo with no added conditioners as this would weigh the coat down and makes it more difficult to scissor or clip. The shampoo is massaged into your dog’s coat, creating a lather over all parts of the body. Particular areas of attention include under the front legs, around the back of the ears, back legs and groin, and along the stomach.
Your groomer will use the line brushing method, which ensures they get right down to the base of the coat. This involves lifting the bottom of the coat up so that the groomer can see the base of the coat.
They’ll brush from the skin, to the end of the hair removing any mats before moving on to the next section. The groomer will focus on the feet first, moving up the legs, before moving on to the body.
Finally, they will go through the coat with a fine-tooth comb to remove any remaining small knots
The cutting of a wool dog’s coat can be done in a number of ways to suit your dog’s lifestyle and personality, as well as your requirements as the owner.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors with your dog, walking through undergrowth, they’ll be susceptible to picking up debris. It might be most sensible to clip your dog’s hair quite short to avoid unwelcome matts and tangles. If you like to show off your dog’s magnificent coat, you might want to leave their fur a little longer.
There are a number of styles available for your wool coated dog so speak to your groomer to decide which is best for your dog.
The groomer will also conduct a number of important body checks during your appointment, as outlined below:
- Feet – we will check the nails and condition of pads, clearing dirt from between the claws. We can also offer pawdicures to help maintain their foot and nail health.
- Lumps and bumps – when we groom your pet, the groomer will be vigilant for any lumps or bumps within their fur or skin issues
- Teeth – checking the teeth and gums for tartar or inflammation
- Ears – overhanging ears will be folded back and checked for wax. Wool coated breeds such as Poodles can be prone to ear infections. This is because they do not shed and hair can grow and become trapped in the ear. Your groomer will pay particular attention to the ears to help avoid ear infections.
- Eyes – the groomer will check the eyes and clean out any sticky deposits using warm water on a cotton pad.
Bands and clips can be useful for keeping hair out of your dog’s eyes, and will also help your dog to feel cooler on hot days. Upon your visit to the Pet Retreat we’ll also finish most grooms with some shining spray and doggy cologne.
What is required to maintain a wool coat at home?
We recommend visiting The Pet Retreat every 6 weeks with a wool coated dog. In the meantime, you’ll also need to maintain a strict home grooming regime to keep your dog’s hair mat free and healthy.
We recommend you buy a curved slicker and a pin brush for everyday grooming – choose a soft slicker for puppies or dogs with finer wool coats or firm for very thick and matted coats. The slicker brush will not hurt your dog as long as you don’t brush too hard or stay on one spot for too long.
Matt splitters or dematting combs may be required to help remove mats if they have occurred, but we advise you to consult your groomer before using these tools.
Latex bands and clips are really useful to help keep hair out of the eyes.
We recommend using Groomers Performance Intense Detangle Spray just before brushing. This will help you to keep the knots away and help you to brush them out.
As described earlier, it is very important that you get right to the base of the coat when grooming your wool coat dog. If the coat is very long you could use a hairdryer to help move the hair so you can see the base of the coat and where you need to brush. The video below provides a step-by-step guide on how to brush your wool coat dog.
How to brush wool coated breeds at home
Watch this video from our groomer, Jen as she brushes her miniature poodle at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. You can use this as a guide to help brush your wool coated breeds.