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, November 30, 2010

One of my Favorites

I was going through my pictures and thought that I would talk about one of my favorite customers.
I took a series of pictures of 'Princess' awhile back to put on my shops Facebook page.
Whenever I get a chance, I pick one of my customers and take pictures of them being groomed, then I put their grooming session on Facebook.
It gives my customers a chance to see their dog being groomed.
I thought that today I would show 'Princess's' grooming.

It's funny how some things change over time.
When I first started grooming, Cockers were one of my least favorite dogs to groom.

A lot of the Cockers that I groomed in the 80's were mean.
They were biters.
They had a bad reputation in the grooming world.

Over the years, I have groomed a hand full of very sweet Cockers.

'Princess' here is one of the sweetest.
I have been grooming her for a long time.
She is starting to show her age.

She is still as sweet as ever.

I used to hate drying Cockers also.
They took forever to dry.
I felt like I could never get their hair nice and straight with that darn stand dryer.
Of course that is because their hair would curl and kink up under the cage dryer.

When was the first HV invented?

I saw my first HV Dryer at Intergroom a year after grooming school, in 1985.

If only the man selling them had been a better salesman, I may have saved my wrists years ago.

I remember the man pulling me aside and turning on this very loud thing that looked like a vacuum cleaner.
He pointed the hose towards me and told me to put my hand in front of it.
I did.
It blow my hand right back at me, and I smacked my leg with my own hand.
The salesman said; "Just imagine how fast you could dry a dog?"
I stood there shocked.
I was still a newbie.
All I could imagine was, a little Yorkie or Poodle blown across the room.
They did not demonstrate it being used.
I didn't give that dryer another thought.
What a fool I was.
A close minded fool.
I could have been using a HV Dryer 11 years sooner!
It wasn't until I attended a Romani seminar at Hershey, that I learned how to truly use a HV Dryer.
Boy, had I been close minded for too long.

When I was in grooming school, we were taught to clip all Cockers with a #10 or #15 on the back.

I haven't used a #10 or #15 blade on a Cockers back in 23 years.

'Princess' gets a #7F on her back.
She gets a #4F on her back in the winter, Mom likes it a little longer.

She gets a #7F against the grain on the top of her head.
A #15 on the outside of the ears.
A #30 on the inside of the ears.

 When I was in Grooming School we also clipped Cocker faces, only, with a #10 blade.
I have found that a #10 or #15 looks really nice on some Cocker faces, but not all Cocker faces.

I like using a #7F against the grain on 'Princess's' cheeks and chin.
I work the blade up towards the muzzle and blend in around the start of the lip line.
I hope that made scene.
From the nose back towards the eye, I use a #15 setting on my cordless clipper.

I hope this helps show what I am trying to say.

Each cocker is different, so I may change this method up a little depending on the thickness of the hair.

I don't get any blade tracks clipping my Cocker faces this way. Blade tracks drive me crazy.

I love this Cocker.

She is one of those dogs you would not think twice about taking home with you.

'Princess's' Mom is an elderly woman that takes wonderful care of her dog.

The only place that I have ever found a mat on 'Princess' is under her arms.
Those mats are only there because of her harness.

'Princess's' Mom likes the Cocker look, but wants it on the shorter side.

If only all of my dogs stood on the table like 'Princess'.
She never moves unless I ask her to.
She knows my whole routine.

Princess's Cut:

Body: Cocker Style #7F
Legs: Clip lightly with a 5/8th blade and scissor to shape
Skirt & Chest: Clip lightly with a 5/8th blade, scissor and thin to blend. Round off bottom of skirt into belly.
Belly: clip from just behind the front legs down to the back legs with a #4F.
Ears: owner likes ears clipped 1/2 way down with a #15 on the outside of the ears, #30 on the inside. Scissor a 1/4 of an inch off. 

I could groom 10 'Princess's' in a day and it would be a wonderful day.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. thanks so much for this post. We want to learn to groom our cockers: we have 8 of them!!! Right now I'm doing some research on blades sizes and this was extremely helpful.
    I don't know if you will see this question, but anyway: I wonder if I can buy any brand of blades as long as it fits my clipper. I have a Wahl km2.
    Thanks again. Great blog!!

    1. Hi,
      WOW 8 Cockers! All that hair! lol
      I have never used the KM2 Wahl clipper. From what I can tell from the description of the clipper, you can use most other blades with it. My only worry about that clipper is the spm (strokes per minute). 2700/3300 is on the low side for clipping Cocker coats. I am not sure how thick and dense your dogs coats are. The blade and clipper has to work harder when clipping a dirty or matted coat. If your dogs are mat free, I would try to clip them after a bath, when they are good and dry and clean. The blades cut through a clean, dry coat very nicely.
      Have fun grooming all those fur babies!
      Lisa, MFF