Q. I just adopted a 3-year-old Pomeranian. He has so much hair! He is clean, but has some mats that I can feel fairly close to his skin. Should I cut those out? Also, can a Pomeranian have its hair clipped shorter so as to not pick up every leaf from the yard, or will that make him susceptible to cold or otherwise uncomfortable?
A. Congratulations on adopting your little Pom! Yes, your dog is a little fluffball with lots of hair. In fact, he has two coats, a shiny hard coat on top (which comes in many beautiful colors and combinations) and a downy finer undercoat next to the skin.
They have erect ears are known in dog parlance as “prick” ears, pointed muzzles, plush double coats to keep them warm and dry and tails that curl up over their backs. Although all share an independent spirit, they have become wonderful companions to mankind. The Pomeranian still thinks of itself as a big dog as it struts down the street or steps daintily around the show ring with a full-of-itself panache.
The part of your Pom’s coat that is getting matted is his undercoat. This breed requires lots of maintenance to keep those solid tangles from forming next to the skin. I would recommend a thorough brush-out at least once a week using a slicker brush with curved metal bristles. You may use a detangling spray to loosen up those mats as you brush.
Start at one spot and using short strokes, pat and pull one small section at a time from where you can see the skin, a method we call “line brushing.” Do not move to the next section until your brush glides through that particular part of the coat.
If the mats have are really set in tightly, it would be best to have your dog professionally groomed because the dematting process involves the use of tools that have razor-sharp blades to split up those knots and tangles so they can be brushed out. Your groomer should always use a conditioning rinse after the bath to aid in the final blow-dry phase, cutting down on static and adding manageability. To look its best, this breed needs to be blow-dried, the dryer’s airflow directed to the portion being brushed.
I would definitely not recommend trying to cut mats from your pet’s coat with scissors. It would be too dangerous and you could end up injuring him because at this point, they are probably literally stuck to the skin.
If he is severely matted, the grooming process might take more than one visit to complete and you can expect to pay additional fees, but I would advise you do this rather than having your pet shaved down to the skin. With Northern breeds, shaving them down too closely can permanently damage their coats so that what grows back is just the fuzzy undercoat. This gives them an unattractive moth-eaten appearance and removes their protection from the elements, along with their beauty, and can also expose them to sunburn.
However, if yours is not a show dog, your groomer may style him in a clippered pet trim, leaving the coat length you prefer, as long as it isn’t shaved naked. Once the dog is thoroughly brushed out, the groomer will use a snap-on comb to trim the body hair uniformly. Such blade attachments come in a wide variety of sizes, leaving coat length anywhere from ½” to 2” in length.
We usually leave the head with a rounded and blended “collar” to frame that cute little face, leaving the fluffy tail as well. We also “edge” the ears with thinning shears to neaten their appearance. The legs and “pants” are blended and paws trimmed neatly into what we call “cat feet.” The resulting look is absolutely adorable, leaving a fluffy teddy bear appearance and making home care a lot easier for pet owners like you.