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I had no idea the tips of Peggy's ears were matting. I actually thought what I was feeling was part of the ear.

Doing some research now, if I'm understanding correctly, I believe this is likely because she dips her ears in her water bowl, which causes even minor tangles to tighten up when they dry.

I'm in discussion now with our groomer, deciding how best to proceed. And I'm feeling like a terrible dog owner. I finger comb her silky ears every evening. The hair there always seemed so manageable to me, relative to the curls on her body. Holy oblivious!

So my advice to you, fellow new poodle owners: Keep a close eye on this area!!
 

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Is Peggy going through her puppy-to-big-girl coat change? As the shorter puppy hairs fall out and the longer hairs grow in, the baby fur kind of clumps around the base of the longer fur and makes mats that are tight to the skin. It's a stage that will pass. Regular mats start out further from the skin and are easier to remove. During the change, you need to feel along the edges of the ears pretty carefully to find the mats.

My current spoo is number four for me, so I knew what would happen, but I still found myself thinking about shaving those ears! When you brush out the mats and then find new ones the next morning, it's pretty frustrating. He's nine months old now and I've been brushing the difficult areas at least once and often twice per day for the last few weeks.

I kind of liked those short puppy ears, though, the new, long fur, big boy ears aren't nearly as cute.
 

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I made the mistake too with Willard, as he was my first poodle. I was not paying attention, and did not realize how matted his ears got when his coat was changing.

I felt so bad for failing and neglecting my poodle.

He got the shave down of shame.

Ultimately, all was ok.




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Haha that happened to one of mine during coat change too. I shaved her ears and she had a big topknot, shaved ears kind of elfen look for a while. On the upside, you may be shocked at how clean and sassy it makes them look!

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Misha is in the coat change and if he goes unbrushed for a single day he will mat. It's crazy. Don't beat yourself up. Worst case scenario, you will find out how dashing she is in a German clip.
 

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Renn went thru the same thing but the hair on his ears is pretty thick, I do have to comb them everyday and kinda line brush too. I have my groomer keep them on the shorter side, His are not silky like my neighbors poodles ears but thick thick.
 

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Also armpits. They are often forgotten when combing and can Matt horribly in time i find it's best to just clip the area clean to prevent it.

Only a comb can keeps Matt's away. Smaller Matt's that will simply slip through your fingers. I keep my comb close to where I sit at night giving strokes and give a quick comb through too. her ears are shorter ATM I still comb them because I know them Matt's can creep up on you! ? Even with a daily comb they still appear at the coat change stage.

Ears are one of the easiest places for matts and the most common I see. The worst Matt's I've had to remove have been on ears. Most can be removed or trimmed out discreetly.

Remember a comb a day keeps the Matt's away ?

Hope you remove them easily. ?
 

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Don't forget behind the ears, that's where my pups hair tends to pill
 

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Thank you, everyone!

In all my dogs (two of which were poodle mixes), I've never seen mats like this before, along the bottom edge of the ear. I always found under the ear and in the armpits to be the worst.

Wish Peggy didn't have to suffer while I learn this lesson!

Our groomer said to leave them until we see her on Saturday. She said she has some tricks to salvage the ear hair, but I'd prefer she just shave them down if there's any chance of it causing pain. I'll miss Peggy's pretty spaniel ears, but oh well.
 

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Is Peggy going through her puppy-to-big-girl coat change? As the shorter puppy hairs fall out and the longer hairs grow in, the baby fur kind of clumps around the base of the longer fur and makes mats that are tight to the skin. It's a stage that will pass. Regular mats start out further from the skin and are easier to remove. During the change, you need to feel along the edges of the ears pretty carefully to find the mats.

My current spoo is number four for me, so I knew what would happen, but I still found myself thinking about shaving those ears! When you brush out the mats and then find new ones the next morning, it's pretty frustrating. He's nine months old now and I've been brushing the difficult areas at least once and often twice per day for the last few weeks.

I kind of liked those short puppy ears, though, the new, long fur, big boy ears aren't nearly as cute.
Her coat is changing on her back. It's thick, curly, and a bit wiry. But the rest is still silky puppy hair and doesn't mat at all....except for the darn edge of her ears.

I'm hoping I like the short ears on Peggy. Her big floppy ears are such a part of her personality, but I loved my mini mix's ears clipped short. They were so animated.
 

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You may be surprised how easily your groomer can remove them. There are a few things that can be done. I don't brush out Matt's that are going cause distress or take to long. "Humanity before vanity". Matts can be blasted out with conditioner or tougher ones at least away from the skin without causing discomfort.

Short ears are cute and they will grow back before you know it :)
 

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I'm hoping I like the short ears on Peggy. Her big floppy ears are such a part of her personality, but I loved my mini mix's ears clipped short. They were so animated.
I'm sure Peggy's personality will shine through even if you decide short ears are the way to go :) Jessie started getting ear mats (and the arm pit mats too), so in the short 6 months I've owned her she's had many different haircuts and ear lengths. I agree with Vee- humanity before vanity. Do what is best for both you and Peggy!

Ears.jpg
 

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A short coat during the long "coat change" process is the way to go IMO. Once Peggy has a full adult coat, it will be much easier to keep her floofy.
 

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Annie also gets ear mats at the bottom of her ears - I have to remember to deliberately brush that area from the back, front, and with the comb perpendicular to her ear leather. I usually kept her ears blunted <1 cm below the ear leather as I hate ear hair dragging in the water.

I have a wooden comb with metal tines I bought for less than $10 on Amazon that I highly recommend for long ears/long head/long tail/long anything. It has 2.5" long widely spaced tines and allows me to actually penetrate to the base of her hair and cut my brushing time in half.

Still, shaving them with a 1" comb was probably one of the smartest things I've done for dealing with coat change - still a bit fluffy and endearingly curly, but so much less combing. I like the less combing so much that I'm debating if her next groom, I will shave all the remains of her topknot and tail, too!
 

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I'm a low maintenance girl myself - no makeup, no fuss. So it makes sense I should keep my poodle girl low maintenance, too!

I don't personally love the look of short ears with a topknot, but I can't find any photos of a no (or very short) topknot/shaved face combo. Or even a very short all-over clip with shaved feet.

I'm still so new to this poodle stuff! Forgive my lack of proper terminology.
 

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I'm a low maintenance girl myself - no makeup, no fuss. So it makes sense I should keep my poodle girl low maintenance, too!

I don't personally love the look of short ears with a topknot, but I can't find any photos of a no (or very short) topknot/shaved face combo. Or even a very short all-over clip with shaved feet.

I'm still so new to this poodle stuff! Forgive my lack of proper terminology.
Lol Raffi is definitely higher maintenance than me! So far I like his hair long but I'm well aware the dreaded coat change is a few months off...
I did actually like rkj's picture of Willard farther up this thread, although the feet aren't shaved. Are you thinking of something like this?
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This one is really short! He does have shaved face and feet too. Tail is too short for me though.
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I'd love to see Peggy in a clip like this with a mohawk!! ?
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