Drying to save time
Drying dogs can sometimes take more time that the groom itself depending on coat type. You could be fluff drying, straightening or volumising as well as checking for knots/matts, skin irritations, lumps and bumps as well as removing undercoat and undesirables such as burrs, twigs etc that may have been missed in the bath. It all takes time.
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So how do you save time?
1. A Clean Dog!
Firstly, you must have a squeaky-clean dog. The cleaner the dog, the faster the coat dries. Brush through a dog if he is a bit dirty and knotty as tight knots can hold on to the dirt no matter how many times you wash him. Give him at least two washes as dirt and grease will slow the drying process, this includes too much conditioner or the wrong type. (You may find it quicker to use a spray conditioner whilst blasting instead.)
2. Remove Excess Moisture
Once bathed, use a squeegee cloth or magic towel to get rid of excess moisture and then give a good rub (or a good squeeze on long coated dogs so you don’t make it knotty). If your salon is prone to condensation a good quality de-humidifier or an extractor fan will help reduce the amount of excess moisture in the air – especially useful if you are working in an enclosed space such as a shed or garage – and speed up the drying time.
Go through the dog thoroughly and evenly with the blaster keeping the nozzle far enough away from the dog’s skin to allow the hair to be blown straight. If the nozzle is too close to the skin the ends of the coat will whip around and cause tangling. You can use the blaster instead of your brush to straighten the coat. Have your stand dryer on at the same time. You should use your stand dryer in the usual way, pointing at the place that you are working on.
- Short or Curly Coats: keep the nozzle about a centimetre away from the skin – you must keep the nozzle moving in short sharp strokes or you will burn the skin as the air flow gets hotter. Make sure you blast the shorter areas of coat first as these will dry quicker and start to curl if you do not deal with them first.
- Long Coats: angle the nozzle in the direction of the coat growth . . . on very long coats if you keep the nozzle almost parallel to the coat it will not tangle.
- Double-Coated breeds: dry the same as for curly coated but move in circles – as the coat starts to whip round slowly move the nozzle away still moving in circles. This is the most efficient way of removing dead coat.
- This is a good time to use spray conditioners. Hold the spray bottle alongside the blaster nozzle and pull the trigger. The blaster will force the product into the coat. I start at the rear of the dog and blast over every inch, saving the head for last, where I remove the nozzle or use the stand dryer.
If you don’t have the luxury of a helper or a cabinet dryer pop the dog back in his/her pen and start on the next one. Do any heavy double-coats or short coats at the end. This will allow the most time to air dry. Once all your dogs have been bathed and rough-dried go back to the first one and finish off with the stand dryer and warm air. Then brush the dog out. Now the pet is ready to style!