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Hi all - I have been getting my 20 week year old female spoo professionally groomed every 4 weeks since she was 8 weeks old. (So she have been 3 times so far). In between the professional grooms I will bathe my spoo at home halfway through the month at the two week mark. I would very much understanding if air drying is a "would be preferable" or a "must do". I can't get a straight answer. My Spoo is traumatized by the air drying (I even bought a professional one on line that is known to be extra quiet) and seems perfectly fine with a very good towel dry (I use lots of towels) and a good brush once she is dry. She is much less traumatized and I am less traumatized and in fact she loves her bath. Some groomers insist blow drying is a "must do" but I'm trying to understand what the negative skin ramifications are if I don't. Exactly what kind of skin infection can she get? I make a real effort to brush her out and I definitely don't let her go outside untils she is dry. The one area that gets super curly is under and around her neck and I find that a bit harder to brush. I do have her feet, face and sanitary area shaved as part of her professional groom as I feel it keeps her much cleaner. Please share honest answers not just your preference since I know most members of this forum do a full blow dry. Thank you in advanced!
 

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I would recommend teaching it and desensitizing it if you ever want to groom at home. And also if she is groomed a t a groomers, to make that experience less stressful for her. And as her coat gets curlier (coat change as she gets an adult coat) you will find it useful to remove tangles and mats without as much painful brushing.

At the recommendation of awesome PF members, I stuff cotton balls in Annies ears and cover them with a snood (actually a winter cowl of mine) to keep them from flapping. She likes blow drying a lot better that way.

That being said, especially if Annies hair is very short, I often don't bother to blow dry in the summer. I don't think it's bad for the skin, unless the hair gets matted which is another issue entirely.
 

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I have had 6 toys and 1 mini, and truthfully only 2 needed to be blow dried, mind those have a proper poodle coarse coat. For Want if a poodle is right, matting is a real problem, especially during coat change, the longer the hair is the more likely it is to mat, air drying will make the coat curl more.
I find using cotton balms, a happy hoodie and treats at the end go a long way.
 

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Plugging the ears is super important. Both yours and hers! I would still work on desensitizing to the HV dryer when you can as she will always need it for grooming. Make sure you do it on an elevated surface like a table. Makes a huge difference to them. Natural air drying is okay if you are brushing the hair out thoroughly after the bath (while still wet). And also brushing regularly in between baths. Make sure you use a good conditioner and detangler. When I air dry I like to use a leave in conditioner like Pro Line Pro-Gro. This one is great at not leaving any residue and proper conditioning will reduce chance of mats. If you do start to experience mats, you need to re-evaluate your methods.
 

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I can't get an even cut without blow drying. But you're spot on to avoid any trauma/re-trauma. If you can retrain her, perhaps using cotton balls and a snood as suggested, that's the ideal solution.
 

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I have a SPOO I have always groomed at home, do not own a dryer. He is always air dried. I bathe the day before I clip so that I know he is completely dry. I may not get as even a clip as those who blow dry, but I think he looks pretty good. If you are just going to brush her out (not clip), I wait until he is mostly dry, still a bit damp, and then brush with a slicker or pin brush first and then comb. Areas that are harder to brush you can use a detangling spray and that should help considerably. I use Chris Christiensen Ice on Ice Ultra. There are no skin problems from not using a dryer.

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I've been stuck with balancing a human hair dryer for years, although I might be getting a Shelandy HV dryer this Christmas (super excited). When Fluffy's hair was shorter, I'd let him air dry with some help from patting a towel on him (don't rub! That makes tangles). Never had an issue with infections or anything like that, although sometimes I did have to spend more time working out tangles since without the dryer, it curls much more easily. If you want to go for a long coat look (I'd say longer than an inch of hair), I'd try desensitizing her slowly to the dryer, since the dense, moist environment is what can cause an infection (which is why, I believe, you always blow dry breeds such as Samoyeds, for example).
 

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You don't have to blow dry if you keep your dog in a very short clip and as long as your dog has an opportunity to dry. I've seen poodles kept in this type of clip and they look cute - very practical clip.

It depends on how you want your dog to look. If you want a beautiful polished velvety groom, the kind that a good groomer does, then you need to blow dry to straighten the coat. Without straightening first before clipping, you can not get a beautiful even finish. Running clippers on curly, air dried hair will leave a noticeable uneven appearance. Personally I take my dog lots of places - to classes, competitions and running errands. I enjoy the compliments I get on her grooming and people asking me where I get her groomed. I wouldn't get this attention if I didn't blow dry with a high velocity dryer.

Factor in length - if you keep to a very short clip on the whole body, then natural curly hair won't be a problem. It will be a significant problem if you want nice long pompoms on the legs, long ears or fun grooming like a pony clip with a long "mane" during down the neck and back. If you don't straighten the hair after a bath you're more likely to get mats developing in curly hair. I have fun grooming my dog in different patterns.... modified continental, Miami, pony, lamb etc. These clips depend on neatness; neatness that I can only achieve with hair straightened by drying.
 

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I enjoy the compliments I get on her grooming and people asking me where I get her groomed. I wouldn't get this attention if I didn't blow dry with a high velocity dryer.
Not so! I get tons of the same compliments and people asking where I get Zephyr groomed, and double the compliments when I tell them I groom him myself. The smooth velvety look only lasts a couple of days anyway, and then the coat curls up again and looks the same as if the dog had been air dried to start with. Probably the look is not quite as neat and precise, but after a couple of days and the coat curling again, I really don't think there's a noticeable difference.
 

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Not so! I get tons of the same compliments and people asking where I get Zephyr groomed, and double the compliments when I tell them I groom him myself. The smooth velvety look only lasts a couple of days anyway, and then the coat curls up again and looks the same as if the dog had been air dried to start with. Probably the look is not quite as neat and precise, but after a couple of days and the coat curling again, I really don't think there's a noticeable difference.
I should clarify. I need the hair blown straight to clip her neatly. If she was air dried the coat would get clipped unevenly. If the groom is uneven then no one would compliment me. Once she’s groomed, if she gets wet in the rain and dries curly it doesn’t matter, that doesn’t affect clipping.
 

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Not so! I get tons of the same compliments and people asking where I get Zephyr groomed, and double the compliments when I tell them I groom him myself. The smooth velvety look only lasts a couple of days anyway, and then the coat curls up again and looks the same as if the dog had been air dried to start with. Probably the look is not quite as neat and precise, but after a couple of days and the coat curling again, I really don't think there's a noticeable difference.
Lol I have to disagree here because when I air dry, people comment that Misha doesn't look as perfectly groomed as normal. But I bathe and HV dry at least once a week and Misha almost always looks like he is freshly groomed. It might not look perfect after a couple days but it is still different than air dried. The air dried look is fine, but the perfectionist in me isn't great at dealing with it lol. I adore the plush blown out look.

I really can't take the groom-while-air-dried though. I used a human hair dryer when he was little and that still drove me nuts. Can't seem to ever get it even.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would recommend teaching it and desensitizing it if you ever want to groom at home. And also if she is groomed a t a groomers, to make that experience less stressful for her. And as her coat gets curlier (coat change as she gets an adult coat) you will find it useful to remove tangles and mats without as much painful brushing.

At the recommendation of awesome PF members, I stuff cotton balls in Annies ears and cover them with a snood (actually a winter cowl of mine) to keep them from flapping. She likes blow drying a lot better that way.

That being said, especially if Annies hair is very short, I often don't bother to blow dry in the summer. I don't think it's bad for the skin, unless the hair gets matted which is another issue entirely.
Thank you for your reply. I guess there is no way around needing to blow dry her. I will have to hold her very tight which is another challenge as she gets extremely squirmish. What about using a dog shampoo with conditioner - will that help make brushing less painful?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would recommend teaching it and desensitizing it if you ever want to groom at home. And also if she is groomed a t a groomers, to make that experience less stressful for her. And as her coat gets curlier (coat change as she gets an adult coat) you will find it useful to remove tangles and mats without as much painful brushing.

At the recommendation of awesome PF members, I stuff cotton balls in Annies ears and cover them with a snood (actually a winter cowl of mine) to keep them from flapping. She likes blow drying a lot better that way.

That being said, especially if Annies hair is very short, I often don't bother to blow dry in the summer. I don't think it's bad for the skin, unless the hair gets matted which is another issue entirely.
Plugging the ears is super important. Both yours and hers! I would still work on desensitizing to the HV dryer when you can as she will always need it for grooming. Make sure you do it on an elevated surface like a table. Makes a huge difference to them. Natural air drying is okay if you are brushing the hair out thoroughly after the bath (while still wet). And also brushing regularly in between baths. Make sure you use a good conditioner and detangler. When I air dry I like to use a leave in conditioner like Pro Line Pro-Gro. This one is great at not leaving any residue and proper conditioning will reduce chance of mats. If you do start to experience mats, you need to re-evaluate your methods.
This is very helpful. Thank you. In addition to the leave-in conditioner, do you use the combined shampoo-conditioner products?
 

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Thank you all for the speedy and fantastic replies. I'm trying to absorb them all. Sounds like I need to experiment with the cotton balls (wonder how far I need to stick them in- this is a small fear of mine) as well as with the right conditioners & detanglers. You are right that shorter clips don't require blow drying as much. We have winters and very hot summers and growing up my Mother always gave our family poodle a shorter clip in the summer for the heat but now I am focused on the winter... FYI I don't ever plan to show my poodle - she is our wonderful family pet and queen of the house so less interested in the "perfect blow dry" (I will leave that for the real grooming experts on this thread ) but having a very clean, well groomed dog is nonetheless important for me so at the very least want to do the basics right. Thanks again!
 

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You don’t put the cotton ball very deep in the ear, just the opening that you see. I have noticed cotton balls can be different sizes. For my minipoo I use half a small cotton ball for each ear. I then cover my dog with a happy hoodie snood. I do this just before blow her coat dry. I dry the front of her topknot and ears last, that’s when I remove the snood and turn down the dryer to a very low power. For a puppy you want to use lower power for the whole drying session. Very gentle drying to start.

 

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This is very helpful. Thank you. In addition to the leave-in conditioner, do you use the combined shampoo-conditioner products?
Yes, because I am lazy I prefer to use 2in1s. The two I have used and really like are MinkSheen and Pro Line Fair Advantage. But you can use a separate conditioner if you are not so lazy. Plenty of good ones.
 
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