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 9, 2010

Tuesday's Tip #2

Using a clipper to clean out the eyes.

I know that this is a touchy subject on the grooming boards.
Many groomers think you should only use thinning shears around the corner of the eyes.
Some groomers like only using scissors.
I have noticed that a lot of groomers get upset at other groomers who use clippers.

I use all three methods for grooming around the eyes.

Confession time.

I like using my clipper the most.


I think it is quicker.
I think it is safer with some dogs.
I can get the same effect with a clipper that I can get with scissors and thinning shears.

This is a step-by-step of what I do.

I always groom on a freshly clean dog.
I get all of the eye boogies out in the tub.

Before I start clipping, I comb the hair up all around the eyes and away from the eyes.

I also get a mental picture of what I want to cut, and don't want to cut.

I determine where I want to start clipping and clip up towards the eyes.
I rarely ever clip the entire bridge of the nose.
I only shave the bridge of the nose if the owners requests it.

Important: I only skim, and use a very light touch.
I do not use full pressure when clipping around the eyes.
I am also, always prepared to pull the clippers away if the dog moves.

I lightly scoop upward, between the eyes, towards the bangs.
Do not cut the bangs.

The only way I can think to explain it is, I feel like I am sculpting with the clipper.
I can take as much or as little hair off as I want, depending on the pressure that I use.

I am very conservative at first.
I can always go back and take more off if needed.
I can't put the hair back after I cut it off.

 Believe me, there are times I wish I could have put hair back on.

After I have scooped out the middle, I then lightly clip out one eye corner.

If the hair has flattened back against the dogs eye, I will use a comb or my fingers to bring it up again away from the eye.

Again, I am very conservative.
I scoop very lightly.
I do not want to leave a hole.
I want everything to blend in.

I check to see if I need to clip some more.

I go back as many times as I need to, taking a little bit at a time, till I get the look I want.

Then I move to the other eye.

Now I go back and scoop out more from the middle  to get the look I want.

I have lightly scooped out the middle and the corner of the eyes.

Next I follow up with scissors to sharpen things up and finish the rest of the head.

 I like the natural look that you can also achieve with thinning shears.
I think my way is faster with a lot less scissoring.
For me, thinning shears take forever to get the same look.

As you can see, I did not clip the bridge of the nose.
I like to make a V shape between the eyes, above the bridge of the nose.

Does that make sense?

I try very hard not to get the shaved look.

Did it work?

 This is the finished job.

Most of my customers want around the eyes short.
They also want it to last.
They want to see their dogs eyes.

Here is another dog.
Her hair is a little thicker then the dog above.

I first clipped in the middle of this dogs eyes also.
The picture did not turn out.

You can not tell by this picture, but I use the last few teeth on the corner of the blade when I want to cut just a small area.

Okay, you can see in this picture, that I am only using part of the blade to cut just what I want.

Sometimes I go back and forth on the corner of the eyes until I get the look I want.

This process only takes me a few minutes.

This picture is after I used the clippers and before I finished up with the scissors.

This is the finished look.

I also use the clippers on dogs with Eyebrows.

Okay, I heard that.
Yes, I heard you gasp.
I can hear you thinking too, 'she is crazy'.

So I have been told. ;)

I start out the same way.

I will say, that I only do this with Schnauzers and Scotties I trust not to move.

I also use the end teeth on the blade to go up between the eyebrows a little.

I turn the clipper sideways and use the last few teeth.

 Then I skim very lightly at the very corner of the eye, trying not to clip any of the beard.

If I ever do clip more then I wanted to, I will use thinning shears to fix my mess up and blend the hair.

This picture is after the clipper work and before I started to scissor.

After I finish with the clippers, I then finish up with the scissors.


 This is the finished face.

I hope this has helped.

I really feel that it is safer to use the clippers on some dogs then scissors.
It is more comfortable for me anyway.
You can control the look you get by the pressure you use.
A light touch and skimming can really come in handy.

Hopefully this has been another helpful tip by me. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

1 comment:

  1. It's funny I was actually taught to use the clippers on the corners of the eyes and to shave down the bridge of the nose unless the owner asked otherwise! When I moved locations I was surprised to see that the groomers there only scissored the corners of the eyes and never did anything down the bridge of the nose. Now I do still scoop out the eyes with a #10 blade but I don't go down the bridge anymore I use my thinning shears down the bridge of the nose to make it look a little softer.. if that makes sense. I love that you use clippers too!!