Coat Prep Tips For An Outstanding Dog Grooming Finish

When you’re a professional groomer, your grooming finish is key to your success, and those results actually begin way back in your preparation of the coat.

The shampoo and the styling products you use can make all the difference between a poor coat finish and a good one. We’ve rounded up as many examples as we can so you know exactly which shampoo and styling products you should be using for each dog’s grooming needs.

Clip Off

If you’re going to try and save as much coat as possible from a matted dog, you’re going to need the help of products that moisturise intensively. This will help smooth the hair and coat it enough to allow the matt to slide up the existing hair shafts as much as it will allow.

The crucial element to make a matted coat more manageable is to not only use a shampoo that will condition the hair – use conditioner and a detangling spray as well, and then blast like you’ve never blasted before. The blaster will help push the hair out from the bottom of the hair follicle, and although some coats won’t be completely freed of matts, it should give you enough wiggle room to save some.

We recommend:


Hand Strip

Shampooing and hand stripping don’t neccessarily go hand in hand. Hand stripping opens up the hair follicle, and can allow bacteria to enter the skin, which could lead to an infection. Also, washing a dog softens both the hair and the skin, making it more difficult to hand strip. It is very much a decision that each groomer has to make about whether they bathe the dog or not during their grooming session – many would recommend bathing a few days before or after to be on the safe side while others swear by shampooing before a hand strip.

For easy hand stripping, you’ll want a coat that is as coarse and oil-free as possible. This makes the coat really easy to grip and in turn that allows you to use a smoother motion and get a better result faster. Using chalk will soak up excess oils and help you grip better, and using finger condoms and stripping knives can also help add grip. Should you want to bath beforehand, make sure you use an antibacterial shampoo that will also help to strip the oil from the coat for easy grip.

We recommend:



The preparation of the coat is so important for scissored breeds. The hair ideally needs to be absolutely clear of mats and knots, so you can fluff it without any problems. To make it easier to scissor, we recommend using a shampoo that deep cleans and builds volume. Volumising shampoo will lift the coat up so it stands on end, meaning that you won’t need to keep fluffing so much. That will save you precious time in the long run. If you need even more help volumising the coat, a good mousse before drying will help, while a styling spray will cement hair in place for precision trimming.

We recommend:


Bath and Brush Out

Shorter coats or coats that aren’t matted are so easy to maintain, that you don’t really need to do too much prep work. However, if you want those coats to really shine, you’ll want a good moisturising shampoo with added ingredients to smooth the hair. On top of that, why not try another coat conditioning spray or a shine-enhancing spray? To really help bring that coat out, you could also use colour-enhancing shampoos.

We recommend:


Mucky Pup

Whether it’s mud, grease, fox poo or worse, you’ll always want a deep cleaning shampoo with a nice, strong smell to make sure it’s all gone when that dog walks out of the salon. If the dog is really dirty, we recommend washing it twice. The first wash will be a pre-wash, a general rinse down designed to get into the coat and remove all the nasty bits. You can use any general use shampoo for this, though we would recommend a shampoo designed to give an intensive clean, preferably one with antibacterial properties. Don’t forget, if you want the coat to pop, a colour-enhancing shampoo is a good way to go.

The second wash will be designed to go back over the coat, making sure every part is completely dirt-free. You can use the same shampoo, if you want a really deep clean, but we recommend you use a shampoo that will get you the desired results. Degreasing for a hand strip, deep cleaning astringent for a scissored breed, conditioning for a clip-off or bath and brush.

We recommend:


Let us know how you get on after using our tips!

The Groomers Team

Comments are closed here.