For most, owning cavaliers comes with a love and hate relationship for their long silky coats. We all adore looking at beautifully groomed Cavaliers, we love their long ears, flowing tails, and their breed characteristic furry slippers. Its the practicalities of keeping a well groomed cavalier that most find daunting.
I really feel that with the right tools and equipment even the most unskilled can get some control over crazy cavalier coats.
I never have perfectly groomed dogs. They are far too busy being dogs to aim for perfection!
Zoey and Molly have natural affinity to burr bushes, Mylee loves puddles and mud and Sadie’s white legs show everything. That being said, Mylee is a nightly bed hog, Zoey sneaks up in the mornings to act as my alarm clock, and while visiting, Sadie and Molly both enjoy cuddling on the bed too. Nothing grosses me out more than having dirty dogs in my bed, so I have learned some tips and tricks along the way.
Here are some of my favourite tools and tricks:
1. Grooming table: If you don’t own a grooming table, make this the first on your list. Grooming tables provide easy access for grooming your cavalier, and contains them so they can’t escape. Prior to a grooming table I used the bathroom counter, and the top of my washer as alternatives.
2. A rubber curry: This stems from my years experience with horses. They work great on loose dead coat! Zoey is shedding enough for 3 cavaliers right now and every few days I take her on the deck and tri-colour fur starts flying. Pictured is a Kong ZoomGroom
3. Kids detangler spray: I came across this tip largely by chance. My Mom always used detangling spray on our hair when we were little to ease ouchy tangles. When she got Molly she asked if there were any reasons why she couldn’t try it on her. Mom found the cheapest spray she could find to try it out and has never looked back. It has been wonderful and works better than most of the expensive sprays made for dogs. It is especially wonderful at getting burrs out of dry coat…. yes we are unfortunate experts at burrs.
4. A good shampoo: My favourites are Chris Christensen Spectrum 10, and The Original Mane and Tail for a cheaper option. (Its cheaper if bought in the human section of Walmart vs the Pet section, same product)
5. A buttercomb: Perfect for tangles on ears and feathering.
6. A finishing product: This one was recommended to me to give Molly a little bit of extra shine when she went into the ring. The person who suggested it says she uses it on her own hair every day and loves it. I’d say it worked.. she took Winners Bitch that day at the Purina National!
7. A drying coat: I can’t say enough about the importance of owning a drying coat and using it from the start..even when they don’t have much coat yet. A drying coat keeps the coat laying flat while you are drying it or while they air dry. It also helps to train the coat to stay growing in the right direction. Even now that Zoey is spayed she has kept her beautiful straight coat.
8. Yummy treats: Last but not least, don’t forget the most yummy high value treats you can find. You always want the grooming experience to be very wonderful and positive for your dog. The girls love these right now.
Let us know by commenting on this post what your favourite grooming tool, product, or tip is by May 25th at midnight. The furry beast and I (Zoey) will draw two random names to receive a custom made drying coat.
If commenting anonymously make sure your comment includes your name so that I can contact you directly if you win. Our giveaway is for everyone no matter their location.
Good luck and happy grooming!
What a great post. We use the top of our washing machine as we don't have room for a grooming table, it works okay for us but I need to vacuum the whole laundry room after Jaspers bath and groom. I've started getting them clipped now to contain the fur in their heavy shedding periods and it's so hot and tropical here for 9 months of the year. I wish I had known about drying coats. I never knew they would help with keeping their coats flat. Our favourite product here to use is a product called Laser Lites Deodorant made by Laser Lites Hair Care Products, NSW. It smells like coconut and even if I don't get to bathe the dogs for a few weeks or if they get a bit of rain on their fur the lovely coconut smell comes back. All our friends comment that our dogs and house never smell "doggy" or "wet dog" and I'm sure it's because of this great product, well, that and my vacuuming fettish 🙂 Thanks for all the tips
Booster gets brushed out whenever we sit and watch TV, or if he comes home covered in burrs. I'll definitely try the de-tangling spray!
My husband can be of the mind that "the dirtiest dog is the one who had the most fun." Even for royal spaniels. And we have white carpets. I'm glad cavs are small enough to carry to the tub!
The item that made the biggest difference in Boo's coat has been the undercoat rake. It works great to get out the dead fur, and to work out tangles and mats. I'll have to try the zoom groom (the cats love it, never tried it on the dog) to see how it compares!
Honestly, my favorite grooming product is a detachable shower head. Putting the head directly to Elsa's fur (on low, of course) helps rinse out ALL the shampoo, where previously I would have to rinse her with a cup in the bath which took FOREVER.
I couldn't live without my Booster Bath!! With 3 dogs to wash, it's a must. All set up in the garage with warm water running from the washer so I don't have to worry about dog hair flying around the house. My 2nd favorite is my slicker brush. I don't know I lived without it before. It's itchy scratchy time right now and the slicker brush (doggie man from PetEdge) slicks the knots right now. You've listed some great items, gonna give them a try. I've never used a curry brush before. Gonna have to give that a try!
Three faves. My 1st favourite item right now is a big, open baby bathtub. I do my grooming on the kitchen table because it is nice and high and with a big towel around it, it's so easy to quickly give her a muddy foot bath or even a total bath. My second fave is a small pair of cutting scissors. She's a pet, not a show, so I trim her in certain places, but I had really long scissors and found it so awkward. Now, with a sharp, small pair, I can really quickly cut where I want (always putting the hair between my fingers so I block her skin). My third fave is grooming videos on youtube. I have really perfected my technique, particularly under her paws, from watching professional groomers on youtube!
Really nice site, great information. Unfortunately, I can't offer any grooming tips as my Cavaliers are two little grubs that I get shaved down every eight weeks. I always admired those beautiful coats, but my girls lead such an active life and are either in the woods or at the beach almost every day. The drying coat thing sounds interesting.
My six cavs have access to the outdoors all day and know how to get dirty! I have recently started using Panagenics–I love the result after just 1 use. I was previously using Isle of Dog, which is good, but I never realized until changing how much it strips the coat. One of my cavs is a therapy dog, so she has to be bathed frequently. I use a wire brush I got at WM along with a buttercomb and just brush whenever we watch TV. I have used a furminator and will continue with it at certain times of the year. I never knew a cavalier could shed so much. I will also have to try the zoom groom–actually I had never heard of it!
My favorite is the JW’s Gripsoft Flea Comb. I use it to get out snarls in the cavaliers hair. With the long teeth on the comb, you can work gently to get out the mats. I think I bought mine at WalMart. It's very comfortable in the hand too. http://www.petsupplies99.com/jw_gripsoft_flea_comb/
I wouldn't be without snoods. They save ears from needing grooming after every meal and also from becoming part of the meal!
Wow what a timely discussion for me. I have a girl with loads of coat and will now start using the drying coat every other night. We have poplars in our yard and in the spring it is the tree that sheds and sticky things attach to their coat and the pads of their feet. It is atrocious because it also causes a yellow stain.. My vet says to use 'skin so soft' to get those sticky things off their feet and coat… i would assume it would also apply to sticky sap… My dogs, like your dogs play hard in the yard. Maybe the skin so soft will keep the mosquitoes from biting them as well Anita Alexander
Where oh where is Lucy's drying coat? In our travels between shows and other visits it has gone missing and there nothing…NOT A THING…that can replace it. Even patiently blowing her coat dry, gently combing, doesn't give that same shiny result! But we found the proper fit of the coat makes all the difference. I bought another one online and the slides drooped down her legs. Poor Lucy couldn't even walk in it. So a drying coat that is the right fit is essential.
Hi Mary Beth
I have everything you do LOL!!! However my newest and most indispensable grooming aid is my Kool Pup Dryer from Chris Christiansen. It is small and powerful. Definitely a must-have for multi-cavalier households!
I love my wooden pin brush by Chris Christensen. I use before baths for any tangles and of course while drying them. From Janet Hubert firstname.lastname@example.org
Contest closed. Thank you so much for all the wonderful tips, tricks and products! There is some great advice in these comments. Zoey will help me draw our two drying coat winners tonight and I will announce it in a new post.
I don't think Freya Rose Blossom would mind your contest being closed too much, such a wealth of information to be had in this post… think I will always have a sand loving, mud loving sticky paws. 🙂 Although she doesn't mind a brush and dries quickly 🙂 X X X
Good day. I came across your website after doing a search for grooming coats for my little tri-color Cavalier that I adopted late last year. She had been trimmed with clippers for some reason when I adopted her, and now her hair has grown out to be long and beautiful, and I think that a grooming coat would make her coat beautiful. She is the fifth Cavalier that I have owned and the first tri-color. She has a lovely personality and very typical of the breed. Could you please let me know where to purchase a grooming coat? We live in Lexington, Kentucky. My email address is email@example.com.