PUT THE WHISK DOWN.
A whisk is NOT a comb nor a brush. It is also not a cute and clever hack.
As a professional, I absolutely do not condone this practice but I am I’m here to help.
This article is not to shame. This is to help educate and make things easier for you
When snowball season is upon us, it can be a bit of a headache for our curly coated friends that get them stuck in their fur.
Whatever you do; for their sake and yours do not use the whisk hack. While it seems funny and time efficient it’s actually not pleasant for your pup.
1) The whisk can catch in their curls causing it to rip hair out
2) The Whisk can cause mats
3) It can be painful for your pup (even if they’re not whining or pulling away). Need a comparison? Think of having your most sensitive hairs plucked or waxed out
4) Cumulative damage to the skin and permanent damage could occur.
5) This technique is damagging especially for a pup that doesn't enjoy being brushed or handled. This technique can reverse any progress made around brushing/combing etc. with you and with your groomer. Their trust could/would start to waiver.
If you want to get those pesky snow balls out: try these techniques instead:
1) Pat Towel Dry or "Squeegee" motion the towel from top to tail. (A scrubbing motion will help contribute or amplify matting)
2) If they’re quite stuck, use a comb to gently and patiently pick out the snowballs. You can always use warm water or a WARM or DAMP towelette to help speed up the process.
3) Let them melt naturally and then towel dry (again pat or squeegee).
The whisk technique can't be that bad, right?
Let me ask you this as a trained pet professional: Would you go to your hairdresser and say "I use my potato masher to brush my hair from all my knots"? Would you go to your mechanic and say that you filled your car up with regular gas when your car runs on diesel.?No. What would happen to your car ? It would be ruined. The same applies to your dog's coat and skin if you use the wrong tools.
I've been doing this for years, I'm very gentle, etc., are excuses. Yep that's right I said it; Excuses. This is cutting corners with no thought of longterm consequences. You know & have been told after you seak out your groomer's help, that there are more effective solutions. A warm cloth, a bowl with warm water to help loosen the curls and a proper dog comb (Don't use human hair tools on pets) is the most effective& humane way to deal with this.
But my dog doesn't like it when I comb them.
Why doesn't your dog like it? How are you handling them? Did you train them properly as puppies or adult dogs?
Are you being gentle and calm or are you annoyed and agitated while working on them because they played happily in the snow and it's now dripping on your front mat? Their adverse response is not a "them" issue. They are reacting to your behaviour.
I may be striking a few nerves here and that's okay.
Groomers much like hairdressers are trained to see the damage (skin, coat, emotional etc.) that can happen. We may not say it right away but we do prompt you with subtle questions such as, Little Shirley looks like they've got some patching on their legs& a dew nail looks ripped. or Little Leviathan seems to be extra sensitive in some areas.
Trying to argue with a groomer that this a good hack won't get you far. Any groomer worth their salt won't condone it. Your dog doesn't like combing; that was your responsability to train them. Groomers assist you with tips, tricks and words of encouragement but training is maintained by you at home. We are here to guide you.
Your dog isn't Ariel of The Little Mermaid.
Forks, spoons, spatulas, whisks, lemon zester...etc. do not replace combs or brushes, detangler spray etc.
Treat your baby the way you would want yourself to be treated.
Groomers have a vast amount of knowledge. If you ask us for our help, please know it's not coming from air. Our knowledge and help are coming from experience and education. When you ask us for our help it is up to you to take it.
Just know, we won't waste our energy going forward on how to effectively keep your pupper's coat mat-free after countless explanations, tutorials, links for products etc.
When you come to us in disapointment after we've shared our knowledge on effective ways on how to help you help your pup and they are not taken, ignored or we are blamed for their matting...it devalues us.
It devalues our experience and overtime, the feeling is as if we are speaking to a brick wall. Groomers are here to help you, not to solve the issue.
Please put the whisk back in the kitchen and arm yourself with these tools:
Your pet will be grateful to be respected as an entity and your groomer won't have to shave your dog from the mats you caused.
When in doubt, speak to your groomer but properly heed their advice, resepct their experience and help, otherwise, what is the point?
Remember most if not all pet professionals are coming from a place of love, care and safety of your pets' well being.
Put the whisk away. Ignore the next hack or question it. Saving time doesn't mean safe.