6 ways to keep a black, woolly coat tangle-free
In the context of "Every coat colour and coat type has its own specific style of maintenance": this time we cover the black curly fleece and wool coats.
Doodles born with a beautiful, glossy, pitch-black coat, don't usually stay that way.
In time, most black coats either turn greyish or brownish, or its black surface gets disrupted by coarse, white hairs.
This will often happen before the shedding season or even within the first three years, and the colour development strongly depends on the parent and ancestor genes.
The changing coat colour in the predominantly black coat, noticeable after a few months, usually has a different, softer coat structure, more porous than the smooth, black hairs.
Many curly fleece and wool coats also develop a lighter, fuzzier, soft undercoat.
This undercoat traps a lot of dust and dirt, recognised by the grey, dull hints on the coat, and it's extremely sensitive to tangling.
In moist periods especially, felt can be your enemy.
How do you prevent this?
1. Wash the coat monthly or bi-monthly (no more than that!) as efficiently and effectively as possible
Use a generous amount of dog shampoo and soap up the coat while your fingertips firmly massage the coat and skin. That way, you'll know for sure that the soap penetrates the coat and really gives it a thorough clean. Keep massaging the coat like you did, while you rinse out the soap to avoid leaving any residue behind (it can cause irritation and skin problems)
2. Use a pet dryer to dry the coat.
When woolly, porous hair gets wet and is air-dried, it becomes akin to a woollen sweater that you put in the washing machine: the wool sticks together and turns into felt in no time at all. That's why it's crucial to separate the coat whilst drying. You can do this by brushing the coat as you dry it with a regular blow dryer, but by using a dog dryer you'll kill two birds with one stone and you'll be done much faster. The dryer's warm setting will dry the hair and the force behind it separates the hair, so it takes no time at all and the coat will be kept tangle-free much better
3. Use a pet dryer to expel grime, dirt, sand and moisture from the coat.
A pet dryer isn't just a great tool to dry the coat after washing it. It also helps to keep the coat clean and tangle-free on a daily basis. By regularly blowing the coat clean, you'll prevent dust and grime from accumulating and developing into tangle and felt.
4. Use the right brush
The thicker and woollier the coat, the coarser the brush surface has to be to penetrate the coat and reach the skin. The more bristles, the more you maintain a grip on the coat, and the more grip, the more effective you'll be able to brush.
Any other brush apart from the ActiVet brush lacks the coarseness to brush effectively, and you'll pretty much only 'glaze' over the tangles, dust and grime. The more resistance you feel when brushing, the more effective the brush is, as you'll feel it actually brushing through the coat instead of it just skimming the surface. Effective weekly brushing with the wide Duo ActiVet brush keeps the coat clean, refreshed and saves you a lot of tangles
5. Regularly thin out the coat
It's difficult to brush out your Doodle's woolly sub coat, as it doesn't shed. Thick, densely packed hair will tangle a lot faster than loose, light hair. By regularly thinning out the coat with rugged thinning scissors, you'll keep the hair light, loose and clean, with tangles nowhere to be seen.
6. Trim the coat down to a nice, practical mid-length
The longer the coat, the more dust and grime it retains and the faster it will tangle. Because longer coats are usually thicker and firmer, a shorter coat style wouldn't be out of place. Opt for a practical mid-length that adds 'body' to your Doodle, leaving him looking youthful and playful. Most black, curly fleece and woolly coats are excellent for this. Just keep in mind that it's important to 'maintain' the length by regularly (max. every 8 weeks) trimming it down to the same length again.
Use these six techniques together and success is assured!
Now you know the "what" of basic coat care.
Do you want to know "how" you can apply these techniques yourself?
Then please consider purchasing my online Doodle grooming program: http://www.fromscruffytolovely.com/professional-doodle-home-grooming-programs
Have fun grooming and I'd love to hear from you if you have a black Labradoodle or Goldendoodle, or if you recognise any of what I said in this article,
Please leave a reaction below and I'll reply as soon as possible.
By the way, do you want to know more about Doodle coat care?
Then download my FREE e-book "The 6 Secrets to keep your Doodle tangle-free" on the left side on this website and also get my weekly newsletter full of Doodle coat care tips and tricks.
Lots of Doodle love, Wanda and Joy