How to Groom a Mop Dog

Hard
10 - 20 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

A mop dog, so named because their long dreadlocked fur makes them resemble a mop, is actually called a Komondor. These unique looking dogs were bred to guard sheep and protect them from predators, and are naturally very protective. Ironically, they look a lot like sheep with their thick mop-like coats--they blend right in with the flock!  

Komondor or mop dog coats consist of a course top coat which wraps around a softer undercoat, resulting in what is called cords. As dogs mature out of puppyhood the cords begin to form, as the outer coat wraps around the undercoat resulting in fused cords that are developed by the time the dog is about 2 years old. Their corded coats do not need brushing, but they do need substantial maintenance to keep cords separate, remove dirt and debris, and prevent mats from forming. The base of the cord should be thicker than the ends to support the weight of the cord-- an adult dog can have up to 15 pounds of corded fur! Some mop dog owners opt to clip their dogs to avoid maintaining the corded coat.

Dog's Perspective

Whether you leave your mop dog corded or clip him seems to be of little concern to your dog. If you do not have time to properly form cords and bathe and dry your mop dog, clipping him may be a valid option. To form and maintain cords and bathe a corded dog takes time, so make sure you set aside time and not rush through grooming, if that is the option you choose. That way your dog will appreciate grooming time as a relaxing time he gets to spend with his owner and not a rushed, stressful affair.

The Forming and Maintaining Cords Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Dematter
Step
1
Stop brushing
Puppies can be brushed, however, as soon as your dog's coat starts to form cords, usually around 9 -12 months of age when they begin to lose their puppy fur, stop brushing your dog.
Step
2
Incorporate hair
Start working to form cords. Ensure that the base of the cord is about the thickness of your thumb, take a section of hair and separate it down to the skin. Work with natural cords as they form to ensure all hair gets wrapped into a cord that starts at the skin and winds down so that mats are not formed. You can use your fingers or use scissors or a mat splitter if needed. On a young dog, you may need to work a little at a time.
Step
3
Trim to desired length
Once they are formed and grown, cords can be trimmed with scissors to the desired length. For show purposes they should not be cut at all.
Step
4
Continue to form cords
To maintain cords, every few months you will need to divide new hair growth and ensure that it forms with existing cords.
Step
5
Hand groom daily
To keep your corded dog clean, go through his coat with your fingers and pick out debris daily.
Recommend grooming method?

The Bathing a Mop Dog Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Nail Clipper
Hemostat
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Dilute shampoo
Bathe every few weeks to monthly depending on your dog's activity and needs. Dilute shampoo and work into your dogs cords by hand.
Step
2
Rinse thoroughly
Rinse thoroughly to ensure product does not remain in the coat, rinse until you see no soap coming off the cords. Wring out cords by hand
Step
3
Condition
Apply diluted conditioner and work over cords to loosen any remaining debris. Rinse thoroughly and wring cords with your hands as for shampoo.
Step
4
Dry
Pat dry with an absorbent towel. Then allow to air dry, which can take several hours due to the corded coat, or put your dog in a wire crate and aim large fans at him from all sides, 4 fans in total. You can also use a clean shop vacuum to suck water out of cords or use a professional dog dryer.
Step
5
Remove excess hair
Trim around the belly, genitals and paws. Trim nails, clean ears remove excess hair with hemostats.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Remember forming cords and maintaining them is a daily commitment, so make sure you have the time set aside. Otherwise, clipping may be a good option.
  • Thoroughly dry your mop dog, as a damp mop dog will smell and is prone to skin infections.
  • Purchasing a professional dog dryer may be a good investment if you have a mop dog, as drying time can be excessive for a corded dog.
  • Do not brush a corded dog once cords begin to form.

Conclusion

Mop dogs sure are a conversation starter. They are not very common, although they are increasing in popularity and they are sure to attract attention. Keeping up with daily removal of debris and formation of cords will keep your dog's coat in tip-top shape. Remember that bathing and drying your mop dog is a time-consuming process and will involve some elbow grease and possibly a professional dryer or a rigged dryer with fans and a cage to speed up the process and ensure thorough drying. Grooming a mop dog is not for the faint of heart! But these dogs have big strong lovable hearts themselves and are well worth it.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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