OK, I'm reaching WAY back into my archive today, and I have pictures from as far back as 3 years ago, from my last job. I don't remember all the details on every dog, but there are some pretty good before and afters in here.
This first dog is a Yorkie, and they liked to keep her head on the long side. Which was fine...except she always came in with her head a total mess. Here is the before.
And here is the after. Still a longer face than I would normally do, but definitely more reasonable than what she came in with.
Here is a good example of a REALLY matted dog. I saw dogs like this fairly frequently at past jobs and hardly ever see them at my current job. Here is the before.
And here is the after. He was so matted that I couldn't leave a single hair on him, it ALL had to come off. Doing dogs like this makes me very sad that somebody would let their dog get into this sort of shape before getting it groomed. Yes, dog grooming can be expensive, but that's really something you need to factor into your budget before you decide if you can even afford to have a dog. I always feel a little bit good, though, that I can make the dog feel SO much better. Anybody that has ever worn a pony tail knows how bad it can hurt if it's pulled too tightly and how good it feels to take it out. Can you imagine how painful it must be to have every square inch of your skin being pulled like that 24 hours a day? It must be dreadful!
Here is that same dog, me shaving his foot. It's always difficult when the hair is that matted; you sort of have to roll the matted hair down like a sock as you shave. Also, it is REALLY bizarre to see my hand without scars on it.
This is not a before and after, just an after of one of my favorite clients at my last job. She was a full-coated Skye Terrier, and she was beautiful. Sweet as can be, too.
Here's another after without the pig tails (they made the dog unhappy, so we stopped doing them).
As a pet groomer (rather than a show groomer), I have done very few full-coated dogs in my career, so the ones I do have the privilege of doing are very special to me.
Ooh, I forgot I had this series of pics. This shows the entire process of shaving down a SUPER matted Doodle (I think this one was a Goldendoodle). Here is the before: matted, terrified, and she had peed on the table and laid down in it. Yummy. Dogs that are this matted you generally need to shave before the bath; sometimes the velocity dryer can loosen the mats up, but sometimes nothing will help.
Do you see the strange separated lines in the fur on her butt? That's one way you can tell how matted she is; regular hair doesn't do that.
Here you can see that I started at the top of her head - I found one puff of hair that wasn't matted, and that is where I had to start the clippers. I slowly went down and around her neck, and you can see how most of the hair is coming off in one piece.
I've made a little more progress. I'm peeling the matted hair back as it comes off to keep it out of my way.
Almost there! All the hair pooled up behind her? That's all one sheet of matted hair, still attached to her body. If you've ever had a matted dog before and been upset when your dog had to be shaved, this is usually why. There is absolutely no way to brush out a pelt like this, and hopefully this visual helps.
And here is the final (washed and dried) product. You can see that I was able to leave some hair on her ears and the top of her head. I have no idea how those two areas weren't matted and the entire rest of her body was.
By the way, did yo notice how clean and pink her skin was under all that dirty hair? The pelt was so badly matted that it was actually protecting her skin from getting dirty.
OK, one more example of a matted dog "peel." I think this guy was a Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles mixed with Bichon Frise). Here is before.
Here's partway through. Again, you can see the matted hair hanging off the body; also note how clean the hair is right next to the skin. How much air do you think reaches this dogs skin if dirt can't even reach?
This next picture is probably the best demonstration EVER of hair coming off all in one piece.
Almost done. Those legs are going to be a nightmare.
Well, it looks like I forgot to take after pictures, but you get the general idea. I hope these pictures give you an idea about why we groomers get so upset when we see matted dogs. This HAS to be uncomfortable for the dog, so we have to try to educate you while (possibly) suppressing the urge to slap you across the face for neglecting your dog for so long.
Shameless plug - I have always used Andis brand clippers. Well, not always, I tried the Wahl Switchblade for a while but I HATED them. If you do choose to groom your dogs at home, I would definitely recommend spending the extra money on professional clippers versus the cheaper ones they sell for "home use." The longer life span of the professional grade clippers will make back the extra money you pay for them.
And now, since I am suddenly missing him very much, I will leave you with a picture of Dexter's fetch face.