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.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lion Cut on a Pomeranian

Well, my version of one any way.

I used to do a Lion Clip on a Chow, years ago, but I did not shave him.
I hand scissored his body 1/2 off and left his main natural.
Boy, he was a beautiful black Chow.
I wish I had pictures of him.
(Those were pre-photography addiction times.)

Can you believe that I have groomed for 26 years before ever doing a Lion Clip on a Pomeranian. 
There is a reason behind that fact.

I almost always talk my customers out of clipping double coated breeds.
It all started from one of those awful experiences that seem to happen in the first few years of a grooming career.

You know, when you are learning to mind read what your customer really   wants done with their dog.
Those customers who say one thing, BUT totally mean something else.

In this particular horrifying experience, that left me scared for life, the owner of a Sheltie walked in and asked me to shave her dog as short as I could get him.

Now you would think that those instructions were pretty straight forward.
Very hard to misunderstand.
She used the word SHAVED.
She said; "Short as you can get him."

I even pointed to the short hair on his muzzle and asked;
"As short as the hair on his muzzle?"
"Yes, yes. That's good" she answered.

Safe? Right?
I knew exactly what to do.

I clipped that sheltie with a #5F blade.
I blended the head and tail nicely into the body.
The clip was nice, smooth and even.
I was so proud of myself.
I had only been grooming for 3 years.
I personally do not like the way a shaved down Sheltie looks, but that is what the owner asked for.
That's what you got from those instructions.
That's what any groomer would have done.

She screamed!
The Shelties owner actually screamed.
And I stood there dumbfounded.
"I did what you wanted." I stammered.
"I shaved him as short as the hair on his muzzle", I pleaded.

The owner started to cry.
"That's not MY dog!" she cried.
"Where are all of his beautiful colors?" she screamed.

I looked down at his now dull, grayish shaved coat.
"The sable color is only on the top part of the coat. This is what the coat looks like underneath." I tried to explain.

I don't really remember any more after that.
I think I was in shock.
No one had ever been that upset with me before.
(Well, the eyelash lady came close.)

I have never shaved another Sheltie since.
I have issues.
I can't help it .
I can still see the look on her face, even after all of these years.

Whenever someone brings in a dog with a double coat, I go through my speel.
I pull out my trusty grooming book, and show them pictures of some double coated breeds that have been shaved so that they can see what they are asking for.
I also tell them that if they keep shaving the dog, that over time the coat may no longer grow back.
The one thing that changes most of their minds is that their dog will lose the beautiful colors in the top coat, and be left with a dull undercoat.

I am not sorry for this.
I hate the way a lot of double coated breeds look when they are shaved.
I will shave them if the owner really wants me to.
After all it is their dog.
I just want them to understand what they are asking for first!

When 'Rusty' came in for a groom, his owners knew exactly what they wanted.
He only gets shaved once a year.
They wanted him to look like a lion, but they did not want the main too full.
Here is what I did.

This is 'Rusty' after the bath.
Most of his undercoat has been HVed out.
I could have so saved this coat and given him a nice trim.
I am over it.
I think.

This is after the clip.
Body: from the shoulders back, clip with a #5F.
Main & Head: blended into the body and scissor tight.
Tail: #5F on top 1/3 of tail, neaten the rest.

Old fears die hard.
I still held my breath when I took 'Rusty' up to his owners.
Did I understand their instructions correctly?
They did want his body shaved, right?
They had him shaved before, right?
They already knew what he would look like, right?

Get a grip!
I still found myself holding my breath.

They loved it.

I could breath again.

He did turn out cute, I will admit.
It is just that I love the natural coat.
I can't understand why people get certain breeds, and then ruin them by shaving them down.
It's just me.
A pet peeve.
I'll get over it.


Not really. :))
Happy Grooming,MFF


  1. A lot of great information. Thank you! I hve a question for you, we adopted a Teddy Bear Pomeranian a few weeks ago. She is 2.5 years old and just had a litter of puppies a month ago. Her coat is falling out in patches, and the previous owner had the lion cut done on her. The problem is that the coat is growing back perfectly on her belly where she had been shaved to have the puppies, but everywhere else is different lengths, and patchy. I know the vet said her coat should come in during the Spring, but any advice on what to do now? Thanks so much!

  2. Hi. I am glad you enjoyed the blog. Congratulations on adopting your new Pom. I also own a Pomeranian. There are at least a few reasons why your Pom may be losing her hair. Female Pomeranian's often lose their hair after having a litter of puppies. They also lose their hair do to stress. Your girl has had a double whammy. Having puppies and going to a new home. Unfortunately, having her coat repeatedly clipped can also damage the coat beyond repair. The first thing to do is have her checked by your Vet, if everything looks good physically, the hair loss is most likely do to having puppies or the stress of a new home. In that case the only thing to do is give her time. It can take 6 months to a year for a females coat to regrow. I do not recommend clipping her again. If you would like more information on Pomeranian's, a great website is : petpom.com

  3. I have a two year old pomeranian that we took to the groomer and im pretty sure the groomer terribly misunderstood us and she shaved her down, you cant see he skin necessarily but her coat is sooo short. This is the first time she has ever been groomed and im horrified by all the articles im reading on how their hair sometimes doesnt grow back. As a groomer in your opinion do you think her hair should go back to normal since this is the first and last time this has ever happend? if so how long does it usually take?

  4. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for the questions. First, I am sorry that your grooming experience was not a good one. I am sorry that the groomer miss understood what you wanted done with your dog.
    Now, as for your dogs coat growing back. As long as your dog has no health issues the coat should grow back normally, although it may grown back thicker and may no longer blow the undercoat correctly. The next question is a little harder to answer. Every dog is different. Your dogs coat may be back in 6 months or it may take a year to grow the coat completely back in.
    If you would like to read more about grooming Poms, you can go to my blog archives and click on Jan. then click on Grooming Pomeranian's.
    There is also a great website for information on Pom's. Petpom.com
    Hope this helps. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  5. Hi,
    I took my 4 month old shihtzu/toy poodle mix for his first grooming yesterday. He weighs 7.6 lbs and I'm sure he was challenging because he's a lively little guy. The groomer works out of her house and is a certified master groomer. Gus' hair is shihtzu hair and was about 3" long. I wanted a puppy cut and also wanted some hair left on his face, not shaved down to the muzzle. The groomer asked me if I wanted her to take half of the hair off and I agreed that sounded right. She said it would be easy to do want I wanted. When I came back 2 hours later Gus had about 1/2" of hair on the fullest part of his coat and some areas are so short you can see his skin. The cut is also uneven...I realize it was his first grooming and he was probably pitching a fit but I had hoped for a better job. Should I take him back to the same groomer the next time and hope that he'll hold still for her as he gets accustomed to grooming and that she will respect my requests if I am firmer or should I look for another groomer who doesn't scalp my dog?

  6. Hi Mojo,
    I am so sorry that you were not happy with the grooming that your puppy received. I don't know what to say about the 'certified master groomer' part. It takes a lot of time and testing to become a certified master groomer, and if the groomer truly is one, their work is usually very good. Unfortunately, there are some groomers out there that think that just because that went to grooming school it allows them to call themselves a certified master groomer when they really are not one, or they don't have enough experience to be one.
    I have been grooming 28 years and I have never had the time or money to go for my master groomers certificate, but I still consider myself a very good groomer.
    Did the groomer tell you take your puppy was moving a lot, causing an uneven cut? In order to take half off of the three inches that you say your dog had, the groomer should have used either a comb attachment or hand scissored the dog to the desired length. Sometimes it is hard to get an even cut on a puppy, because they move too much, or because the puppy's hair is so soft it is hard to get an even cut. Once the adult coat has come in, (@ a year old) you can get a much nicer finish to the cut. What bothers me is that the cut was so uneven that you can see the skin in some places.
    IMO I would find another groomer that has experience with working on puppies. I would also show the groomer the length of hair that you would like left on your dog by lifting a section of hair and showing exactly how much hair that you want left on your dog.
    Good luck :)
    Lisa, MFF

  7. Thanks for your post. My husband was going to get a shaved lion cut for our Pom - he would not listen to me. I showed him your post and photos and he changed his mind. Thank you so much!

  8. I think the reason some people,me included, may to have them shaved is that they don't have time to deal with the undercoat and possibly keeping them bathed. With mine, I don't have the time to keep him brushed and bathed.

    I shave him down during the summer and let his coat growing during the winter. He stays in the house but spends a lot of time outside, especially during the summer, he loves being out on the deck. But when he became very hot one summer and passed out, scarred us greatly, but he is OK, we decided to shave him during the summer.

    I don't shave him to the skin, just a very short cut, around 1/2 inch over the main body and tail and about 1 inch around the head and chest. Very similar to the cut shown. He stays very still as we have done this many times now and seems very happy when we do it, probably knowing he can stay outside more.

  9. Your blog is wonderful. I own a Pom and she went through the very ugly stage. My Pom comes to work with me and many people ask me about the breed and say that they would love one. I always tell them that they are a high maintenance dog when it comes to grooming and then the say well I would just shave it. That to me is a bit pointless because the whole look of a pom is based on their coat. People don't understand that the reason that they love my girl is that her coat is soft and clean but then I put a lot of time into grooming. WILL BE SHARING YOUR BLOG 100% to show why you shouldn't clip a Pom

  10. Hi. I had a new client's father drop off a pom today, with a note. "Lion cut-more like a lioness, than a lion" What? The new client is 'out of town' so I could not reach her for clarification. I think of lionesses as sleek and smooth. I used your photos as a reference as that is what I imagined. I used a #4 instead of a #5. I will update if I ever get feedback but I thought she turned out adorable!