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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Third time's the charm

I just don't get it.
Why do people buy long hair, double coated breeds, only to shave all of their hair off?
I know, I have talked about this before.
It is one of my pet peeves.

This is 'Annie'.

Isn't she pretty.

If she were mine, I would never cut her hair.
But, that's me, and she is not mine, and her owners are paying me to cut her hair.

This is only the third time that I have groomed 'Annie'.
Her owners brought her to me, because they wanted her "short but not shaved."
Apparently, everyone they took her to would shave her.
So, the first time they brought her in, we talked about the damage that had already been done to the coat from shaving.
After talking awhile, I was sure that I knew what they wanted.

Scissor 1/2 off, leave hair around ears so that she would still have the Papillion look, leave the tail.

The owners were very happy when they pick her up.

Three months later.
They brought 'Annie' in again.
They said they loved her cut, but wanted her a little shorter.
Okay...I took a little more than half off that time.
Husband picked her up and said she looked great.

Fast forward to today.
Husband brings 'Annie' in again.
He says they love the cut, but it was not short enough last time.
His wife cut on her more after he took her home.

So, I am looking at this dog and thinking, 'if I take her any shorter, she will look shaved.' 
But, they want her shorter.

I still did not want to use a blade on her because of the coat damage.
You can still see blade marks under the long hair from the times she had been shaved.

It does not show very well in these pictures, but her coat is thick undercoat in some places and very thinned out and sparse in other places.

If I take her too close, she will have a chopped-up look.

The old blade marks will show.

The length they want sounds like a #4.

So, I started to scissor, to see how close I could get her to a #4F length without showing the damaged coat and blade marks.

It does not show up very well, but this is a picture of just one of the spots where the coat was sparse and choppy.

There are also old blade marks. 

While I was scissoring 'Annie', I was thinking, 'she looks shaved...she looks shaved'.

It does not usually take me three times to get a cut right on a dog.
I guess everyone's idea of a shave down is different.
All I can think is that other groomers must have been clipping her with a #10 blade, if a #4F length looks longer to the owners.

This is how she looked when I finished her.

Hand scissor to a #4F length, leave hair around ears, and leave the tail.

I tried to smooth her out as best I could without using a blade on her.
Then I waited for her Mom to pick her up.
I was hoping it would be the Mom, since she is the finial judge.

'Annie's' Mom did pick her up.
I finally got her right.
Her Mom loved her.

If you ask me, she looks shaved.
I don't like it.
Sorry, I just don't like it.
It makes me want to cry.
Well, not really.
I just don't like it.
Said that already didn't I?

Oh well...
I still think she is a cutie pie.

I still don't understand it.
Next time, get a Chihuahua.

A short hair one that is. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. We have a Havanese and we keep his coat fairly short (puppy cut I guess). We love the breed because they have huge personalities, but I don't love the longer hair look that they're shown with...

  2. Hi Anonymous,
    I guess that I should specify that it is double coated dogs that I think should be keep there natural coat. Breeds such have a Havanese are best kept in a puppy cut or shorter cut for the comfort of the dog. Most of my Havanese customers kept their dogs on the short side because it is too hard to keep them mat free.
    I guess that I could see an owner of a double coated breed saying that they got that breed because they like it's personality but don't want all of the hair. The difference between a double coated breed such as a Collie or a Pomeranian, and a Havanese or Lhasa, is that the double coated breeds hair is not meant to be constantly cut. The double coat will eventually stop growing back. Where as breeds like the Havanese and Lhasa can have their coat clipped all of their lives without any harm to the coat.I am sure that your Havanese looks adorable with his puppy cut. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  3. Ah, that makes sense. I actually found your blog because I googled "hand scissoring". We just started going to a new groomer (4 times, I think) and she hand scissors. He's much happier with the grooms. Anyway, I started reading all of your entries (great photos!) working backwards. I wished you lived closer (we're in Toronto) because he's a nervous little guy and I think the way you talk to your dogs is great! Oh, and you're right - my boy looks adorable with his puppy cut...well, with every cut really!

  4. Hi Anonymous,
    I am glad that you have found a groomer that makes your little guy happy. I am glad that you enjoy my blog. :) Thanks for reading!
    Lisa, MFF