About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Puppy Cut...on a Cocker!

I went to Grooming School (100 years ago), no not really, it was just 26 years ago.
Boy, a lot has changed.
Like the fact that I would have never even have thought of doing a puppy cut on a Cocker Spaniel back then, and for a long time after.

When I went to grooming school, I was taught that a Cocker only got one of two cuts.
A Cocker Style or a #7 strip.
With a #7 skip tooth blade!
Uhg! It makes my blood run cold.

My grooming kit came with a #15, #10, #7skip tooth, a brush, a comb, and one pair of scissors. (right handed shears, I am left handed)
Oh, and the guillotine nail clippers.
As far as I knew, they were the only blades that existed.

After school, I discover the other blades.
And F blades!
I have never gone back to the skip tooth.

Anyway, for years, if a customer asked for their cocker to have a longer 'Puppy Cut' I would immediately tell them it was not possible.
"Your dog will look choppy and awful."
"Their hair was not made for that type of cut."
"You can only get a Cocker cut or a #7 strip."

Of course, back then I only cage dried dogs. 
Cage dries coats do not scissor well.
Another of my Grooming School lessons.
I really can't say when my attitude changed.
I am pretty sure it changed after I attened an all day seminar at Hershey.

It was a seminar given by Marlene Romani (Clipper Vac)
It was one of the best all day seminars I had ever attened.

Now,please understand, I had been grooming around 10 or more years by then.
I knew everything.
I had my own shop.
I was booking out a few months in advance.
I did not have time for seminars.
They cost too much.

Why did I go to her seminar?
Well, I was going to go Mobile.
I wanted to see if there was a faster way to dry dogs.
Without cage dryers.

No, I did not have a HV dryer.
I had seen one once.
At Intergroom.
I had only been grooming for a year.
A man at one of the booths showed me 'The New Way to Dry'
A High Velocity  Dryer.
He told me to put my had in front of the hose and he turned it on.
OMG, there was no way I was going to use THAT on a dog.
It would blow them off the table.

That was the end of that!
My narrow mind was never going to use THAT dryer.

Oh what a fool I was.
10 or so years of cage drying, using a stand dryer, and destroying my hands and wrists.

Marlene's Seminar changed that.
I started drying all of my dogs straight from the tub.
I stopped clipping before the bath.
I started using clip combs, scissoring more and more.
I loved the new way I was grooming.
I always did the best I could on every dog, but now they looked BETTER.

Now I scissor 'Puppy Cuts' on Cockers.

This is 'Dasie"
She has been bathed and HV dried.

Mom's instructions:
I like her the way she looks now.
Just shorten her a little. Not quite half off.
No cocker ears.
Smooth on top of her head.
Clip her face.

I choose to Hand Scissor her.
I could have used a clip comb, but Hand Scissoring for me is faster.

She has great hair for scissoring.
(After I HV it!) LOL

To think, years ago, I would not even have considered doing this cut on a Cocker.

I first clipped her face and cheeks with a #7F in reverse.
I have found, that for me, the #7F in reverse leaves a smoother finish.

I then touch the face up with the Cordless Chromado, set on #15.

I also clip out the inside of the ears with the #15.

Before and After
What a sweet girl!
What a joy to groom.
I could do 10 of her in a day.

Keep your mind open to new things.
Try them out before you dismiss them.
Go to Educational Seminars.
There are always NEW things to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming, or how much you think you know!

'Dasie's' Grooming:
Body & Legs: Hand Scissor a little less then half off
Ears: Blend into head, clip inside of ears with #15 blade, scissor to neaten
Head: #4F blade, blend into ears and neck
Face: clip clean with #7F in reverse, neaten with #15

Oh and...

Leave the curl on the tail!



Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I think I have been grooming as long as you, I started in 1989 .I have had the same experiences, GROOM a dog after the bath unheard off .I just started my mobile business it is going VERY slow but I enjoy the freedom I have now .Keep up the good work

  2. Which breeds get cut lashes?? Of course if the owner doesnt mind!! :)

  3. Hi,
    A lot of long haired breeds grow long lashes. I cut them off of just about every breed unless an owner asks me not to. Most owners don't even notice the eyelashes on their dogs. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  4. Have you ever seen a Schnauzer with eyelashes? When we went to the breeder to pick up my dog, the breeder also had an un-bred spayed female with a heart condition she was going to keep that would have made a perfect show dog if she hadn't had the heart condition.

    She had perfect conformation and was light silver. She also had beautiful, black *3-inch long* eyelashes. I had never seen a dog with eyelashes that pretty (or that long!) before. I don't care that the breeder said the dog would probably only live for another year- I wish I could have bought her- she was the most friendly and sweet dog there and I would've spoiled her rotten, even if only for another year.

  5. how does one not shave the lashes, when clipping the head? I had a schnauzer in school whose card said do not cut off lashes. I thought, Huh? Surely they're referring the 'eyebrows' so snip snip as usually. wrong!

    1. Hi Pha Pha,
      I carefully separate the lashes from the hair that I want to cut, then I gently hold down the lashes with my thumb (while holding the face). While holding the eyelashes out of the way, I cut the rest of the hair over the eyes.
      Lisa, MFF