Your bichon frise's coarse outer coat is supported by a softer undercoat. He doesn't shed either coat, so his fur requires more care than that of a shedding breed to prevent knots and matting. Daily brushing removes dead hair and dead skin cells, which lead to tangles and painful mats.
Place your bichon on his side so he's comfortable and contained. Begin at his neck, using firm, gentle brush strokes with a pin brush. The pins have rounded tops that let them capture and remove dead hair without scratching your bichon's sensitive skin. Always brush his coat up and away from his body instead of flat against the skin. Brushing up and away will catch more dead hair while distributing oils and improving air circulation to his skin.
Use a greyhound comb to loosen any tangles or knots you find while brushing your bichon's coat. Massage a few drops of dog conditioner into the knot to make the untangling process easier. Start at the end of the knot, and untangle one section at a time as you move closer to the skin. Resume your firm, upward brushing with the pin brush once you've successfully removed the knot.
Fluff up your bichon's coat with a slicker brush once he is shampooed and toweled off. If you spray a light leave-in conditioner over his coat after he's towel-dried, it will help the slicker brush glide smoothly through your pup's fur. Short, teasing brush strokes with the slicker brush needles will enhance the curl and volume of your bichon's coat. Use a slicker brush only to fluff up your bichon's fur, never to remove mats or knots.
- Brushing and combing your bichon daily will save time and money at the groomers later.
- Give your bichon a treat after each brushing session so he will cooperate gladly in the future.
- Never try to untangle, brush or comb any solid mats you find in your bichon's fur. Solidly matted fur is a coalesced chunk of dead hair, dirt and oil. Solid mats can be extremely painful; they require prompt assistance from a professional groomer.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.