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Next month we are going to be gone for over two weeks. Our regular pet sitter will be here with the dogs. The last time she took care of them Zoe did not have all that much topknot so I just showed her how to put it in a scrunchy. Now, however, Zoe has about six inches of topknot.

I plan to show her how to use the special scissors for cutting rubber bands and how to brush and spray with conditioner. That said, I'm not at all sure that's likely to go well, Furthermore, I don't think I can ask her to line brush Zoe. I was hoping that Zoe would be finished with conformation by the time of this trip, but, alas, that's not the case.

I'll bathe her the day before we leave (or maybe even the morning of the day we leave) and use lots of conditioner.

Do any of you who have maintained a long topknot have any suggestions?
 

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Drats that is a dilemma for sure. Is there a decent groomer that the sitter could take her to? If nothing happens for those two weeks we both know that will be a hot mess.
 

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WOW! two weeks of improper brushing could be REALLY bad! Lily's idea of having her take Zoe to a groomer just for a good brush out twice a week could help! Maybe you can make an arrangement with one close to home! Otherwise I think I might invite the sitter over before you leave and try letting her groom/brush Zoe in front of you to see if she can do it!
 

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Does your dog matt easily?
If your dog doesn't matt easily, I would almost be tempted to just tell her to leave it alone. bad brushing combing (especially of the topknot coat) may be worse for it than leaving it alone.
I left my dog in coat but only for a week with someone. I gave her/showed her 'emergency' info (in case his ear wrap got caught and completely came off, or he caught his topknot and yank chunks out that could reach his mouth) but otherwise she was to leave him alone (and make sure to not pet the banded areas!
I would take everything as short as you could while still being able to be show ready for your next show, then just plan on your first day home to make time to have a longer than normal bathing drying brush out session.

The other thing you could do is see if there is a poodle show groomer in your pet sitters city that may be able to do a maintenance bath band right in the middle of your trip.
 

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Could the sitter take your dog to a professional groomer for a comb out and banding at the end of each week? I have read on PF of the owner of a show poodle returning from an extended trip to find her dog was one huge mat.
 
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