Ask Gold Coast Pets – 9 month old Shi-tzu Toy Poodle Grooming Question

Hi All,
I need some advice. I have a beautiful 9 month old Shi-tzu Toy Poodle and I brush out her knots for about an hour each night. I know the answer would be to clip her, but her coat is magnificent and long and beautifully conditioned. Is there a better way to handle these knots other than having to clip her? Many thanks, Lisa

Lisa asked…  here are the replies (posted with permission) from a selection of local groomers !   Gold Coast Pet Sitting is a resource not just a pet sitting company …. if we do not know the answer personally we can ask locals whom we know … so ask us your pet related questions as we know vets, vet nurses, groomers, dog behaviourist, dog trainers, dog nutritionists, pet loss/grief counsellors and so forth !


The following reply is with thanks to  TLC Mobile Dog Grooming

lot’s of work but you can do it. Try to use “dog” condition to help brush of and proper tool will help a lot

some of this

I have and use this

The following reply is with thanks to Yuppy Puppy Mobile Dog Grooming ( PHONE 0417 763 623 )

Is she matted or is it just a few knots? I need to see her before I can say, but I’d suggest first of all to get a comb and go through the whole coat with fine teeth instead of a slicker brush. I can show her a few techniques to get rid of knots i.e. slicing the mat.
Hope this helps xxx

I can’t really say anything precise if I don’t see the puppydog : )

The following reply is with thanks to Nose2Tail Pet Care

Hi Vanessa, I am assuming this dog has never been clipped? There are a number of factors to consider.
1 – the dog would still have puppy fur which is very wispy and will knot easily, this would be contributing to the knots.
2 – without seeing the coat it is hard to tell whether it is possible to have a long coat without the extra work every day. Some coats – Particularly “oodle” coats are extremely high maintenance coats and require intense grooming once they get to a certain length. With some oodle coats, this is as short as 2cm. Once the coat gets to this length or longer, it will knot and it will need the constant maintenance.
If the dog is wearing a coat or collar or anything that creates fricton, this will also contribute to the knots.
You can get conditioning sprays which may help, but some coats will just not be able to be managed longer.
My advice is to at least clip the dog to remove the puppy fur and see if this helps. There are options for longer length clips for dogs, but it would depend on your groomer if they are able to do this. Another concern I have is this dog doesn’t seem to have been to see a professional groomer and is 9 months of age. This can be a big issue as dogs who need grooming should have been in to a groomer (not just for a clip, but just to become used to it) about 6-8 times by 9 months of age to avoid possible issues with future visits and grooming.

I must congratulate this owner however, for putting in the time and effort needed to maintain a longer coat. This daily brushing and combing is essential for any owner wanting their dog to have a longer coat.


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  1. Hi All,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful advice and professional tips.
    Nose2Tail Pet Care, I thought I’d let you kow that yes, a lot of her coat is still puppy wisp and is rather fine. The coast throws more to the shi-tzu than the poodle. The “knots” aren’t matted and ‘slide out’ relatively easily. It’s more a grooming time issue than anything else.
    I have a wahl trimmer which I use for her nose, ears and paws. I got her used to it by gently running the trimmer over her body until she was totally used to the ‘buzzing’ of it. Then it was easy to trim her.
    I do use “Natural Animal Solutions” herbal conditioner and shampoo which helps somewhat, but I was thinking there may be something that can assist with the undercoat knots.
    Thank you again for all your suggestions.

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