Your poodle's coat has a cottony, dense undercoat and wiry outer hair that continues to grow until it's cut. Shed hair remains in his coat and must be removed by brushing at least twice a week to prevent large mats from forming. Specific brushes help remove loose hair, detangle mats and knots, and remove debris from the coat.
The slicker brush has short, fine wires located close together on a flat brush surface. These fine wires allow you to detangle small mats that develop on the coat. Hold the mat in one hand so it doesn't pull on the dog's skin as you try to break up the mat. Brush it out, starting at the tip and working your way to the base, never letting the bristles touch your dog's skin. Carefully brush your dog's mat using light pressure; harsh pressure can hurt your dog and make your next hair-brushing session more difficult. Large mats require more attention, often with the help of a professional groomer to remove them. Many types of slicker brushes exist, so choose one that has a comfortable grip to give you better control as you brush your poodle.
The pin brush is oval-shaped with flexible wires that have pins on top. A poodle's hair sheds but doesn't fall in most cases, so frequent brushing helps remove the loose hair and prevent mats. The pin brush is a useful brush especially for the topknot, ears or any other areas you allow to grow long on your dog.
The rake brush is designed to reach into a dog's thick coat and remove dead hairs from the undercoat that is located nearest to the skin. The rake brush resembles the look of a razor. It has up to two rows of tightly spaced pins and only requires minimal pressure during use. The bristles should be long enough to penetrate the outer coat. Use the brush gently to avoid scratching your poodle's skin. Also use the rake brush to see through your poodle's coat to the skin and check for sores, rashes, infections or inflammation.
Slide a metal-toothed comb through your poodle's coat to detect snags or tangles. As soon as you find them, brush through the tangles with a pin or rake brush, depending on whether they're in the long hair or undercoat. Detangling mats with a slicker brush as soon as they appear helps keep them from becoming so large they require help from a professional groomer.
- Hartz: Choosing the Right Brush for Your Dog
- The Poodle Club of British Columbia: Grooming
- Doctors Foster and Smith: Brushes and Combs for Dogs: How to Choose the Right One
- Pedigree: Poodle Hair Care 101
- Andrea Arden Dog Training: How to Remove Mats from Your Dog's Coat
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Poodle
- Animal Planet: Poodle Guide
- The Poodle Club of America: All About Poodles