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Three types of hair coats have to be considered: (1) short-haired, such as Dalmatian, dachshund, and beagle, which is relatively easy to keep well groomed; (2) longhaired, such as poodle and terrier, which needs trimming often; and (3) heavy-coated or shaggy, such as old English sheep dog and Afghan hound, which requires daily combing and brushing.
The aim of all good grooming is to have a full, glossy coat It is much easier to prevent matted hair by frequent brushing than to try to restore a coat that is full of mats. Unless dogs such as the old English sheep dog and the Afghan hound are brushed and combed diligently, matted hair develops, and in extreme cases combing the mats becomes impossible and a complete clipping is necessary, much to the embarrassment of the dog. Incidentally, there are some excellent shampoos on the market which help untangle matted hair.
In many of the long-haired breeds it is recommended that the thick tufts of hair between the toes be carefully cut away, as is done with the poodle. This hair tends to ball up into felt-like mats, and it is a perfect landing place for burs, stickers, and foxtails, which are all painful and can cause lameness.