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What happens if you bathe your poodle every 3 to 4 weeks but you never brush before or after bathing? What are the long term issues and consequences?
 

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Fine with a very short cut; on longer hair it will lead to matted fur, pain, skin disease, and eventually needing a full shave down and veterinary treatment.
 

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FJM is right. No brushing = mats and problems. Unless the dogs hair is cut very short.

Curious why you ask? BTW, most poodles enjoy being brushed gently.
 

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Yep. The hair mats. As the mats get tighter they pull on the hair, which isn't comfortable for the dog. Eventually the mats get so dense they turn into felt. At that point they hold moisture and fungus against the skin, possibly leading to skin irritation and infections.

Once mats get established it's really kinder to the dog to shave down and start over.
 

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Yep. The hair mats. As the mats get tighter they pull on the hair, which isn't comfortable for the dog. Eventually the mats get so dense they turn into felt. At that point they hold moisture and fungus against the skin, possibly leading to skin irritation and infections.

Once mats get established it's really kinder to the dog to shave down and start over.
So the mats develop and get more dense even though the dog gets bathed regularly every 3 to 4 weeks?
 

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the bathing makes the mats even worse, too. There is no way to avoid a matted poodle unless its cut short, or you brush it daily.
 

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So the mats develop and get more dense even though the dog gets bathed regularly every 3 to 4 weeks?
Yes, exactly. It's because of the type of coat a poodle has. Poodles have curly hair that grows continuously. A wild type dog coat would be straight and would stop growing when it reached an inch or two. The wild type dog would also blow its coat seasonally. Poodles don't have these natural coat maintenance mechanisms, so we need to step in with regular bushing and trimming.
 

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A badly matted coat means a shave down to the skin with a #10 blade. Poodles need to be brushed and combed regularly.
 

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As poodles are water dogs, my daughter thought our standard poodle would enjoy swimming in the lake. He did. He also enjoyed rolling in the dead fish that were washed to shore. From experience, I can tell you that not combing out a dog before getting the fur wet is a nightmare. A 60 pound dog with a long poodle coat. And she took him swimming again. o_O
 

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Anatomy of a Mat
Before you can cope with Poodle mats it is necessary to understand how it is that these tangles form in the first place. All types of hairs (both human and canine) have 2 basic parts: the root and the shaft.

The root is implanted in the skin and the shaft is the part that projects from the surface. The Poodle's hair is made out of 3 separate layers:
  • The cuticle (outer layer)
  • The Cortex (middle layer)
  • The Medulla (inner layer)
The cuticle is formed by overlapping, hard and flat scales (similar to roof shingles or fish scales). These scales project upward and outward like barbs in the direction of the Poodle's hair growth. On healthy hair ( that is brushed regularly and correctly ) these scales lie flat and reflect light. However, they tend to attract dirt, debris and foreign matter. If the hair is neglected the scales become uneven, raised and very dry.

Then, when there is a lack of oil on this dry hair shaft, the ragged edges of the barbs interlock with those of other hairs...like Velcro grabs onto itself...and this is how the Poodle's tangles form. The longer the dog's coat is ignored, the more extensive the tangles area becomes. It will never fix itself! If the coat is continuously neglected, one solid mat will eventually result.


The coat can literally become like a thick felted fabric and the only solution is to shave it off. You'll see that the coat is coming off like one solid piece, because it is.

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If the poodle is regularly and frequently combed and brushed so that a comb can be drawn easily from the skin outward, this won't happen.

If the poodle is regularly combed and brushed, bathing at two week intervals is more usual for poodles.
 

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Remember that you can keep your poodle in low maintenance trims like this one:

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(Not my poodle)

You can imagine how easy it is to brush 8 little poof balls with a short cut all over the body. You could even do shaved german trim styled ears. There's options!

Less surface area to line brush = less time = easier = still being a good furparent.

Keep your poodle in a trim that balances with your level of brushing effort, ez pz.
 

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Questions were being asked to try to clarify the situation. No reason for bad feelings when information is sought. OP has been thanked several times over several threads for trying to help that little poodle.
 
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