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 23, 2010

Which face?

Today 'Marshal' came in for a grooming.
Who is 'Marshal' you ask?
He is the cutest, sweetest, gentlest little Powderpuff Chinese Crested.
I have been grooming him for a little over a year.

He is even cute just after his bath and blowdry.
'Marshal' has been a range of different cuts.
Sometimes I have hand scissored him.
Sometimes I have had to clip him very short because of matting.
Sometimes he gets a bath and neaten.

His owners do really try to keep him combed and brushed out.
They do a great job for awhile, and then, they lose control, bathe him with his mats, and we have to start all over again.

Today 'Marshal' came in for a bath and neaten, I had to clip him with a #4f last time because of matting.

'Marshal's' Mom can't seem to figure out what kind of face she likes on him.
The first few times that I groomed him, they wanted the face short, round, and tight around the mouth.

I have to say, I Love this face.
I think it fits him and makes him so cute.

Today the husband came with a picture.
"This is the way we want the face to look." he said.

Now I have mixed feelings about people bringing in a picture and asking me to groom their dog to look like the dog in the picture.
Sometimes it isn't even the same breed!
Most of the time it is of a dog that has thicker, longer, and prettier hair then their dog.

I don't really mind.
I just try to groom their dog as close as possible to the picture.
I have always been able to keep the picture to refer to.

Not today.
His picture was on his cell phone.
I had exactly 2 minutes to look at the picture and commit it to memory.
HaHa...what memory?

Anyway, the picture, at least, was of 'Marshal'.
That helped.
It was a picture of 'Marshal', about 3-4 weeks after one of his last groomings.
His head had grown out, and had a shaggy look.
They also wanted me to make his head look more square.

Okay, so a square, shaggy head.
Shorten the ears, but make them look shaggy too.

The last time someone asked me to leave a shaggy, full head, the owner came in for the next groom and complained that the head look messy last time.

May I ask, what do you think a shaggy, full head is going to look like?
Ugh, people!
If only the dog could leave their owner home.
Wishful thinking.

So, to get a shaggy look, I decided to use my thinning shears.
I am not a big fan of thinning shears to scissor a head.
Most of the time, I can achieved the same effect with regular scissors, with a lot less scissoring and time.
I love thinning shears for dematting, blending, and thinning.

I have heard of groomers that use thinning shears to do Poodle topknots.
I tried it once.
I gave up after about 2 minutes and my fingers felt like they were going to fall off.
Way more scissoring then necessary to me.

I figured that thinning shears would give the shaggy look they wanted.

They also wanted the corner of the eyes shaggy, but at the same time, no hair in the eyes.

There was a lot of combing...

and scissoring...

and combing...

and scissoring...


and blending...

and blending....

and shaping...

Don't scissor too much..keep it shaggy.
Don't scissor too much..keep it shaggy.

 Keep it shaggy.


I have to say, it was all I could do not to pick up scissors and sharpen everything up.

 I felt like I was never going to finish his head.

Snip, snip, snip, snip...

I also scissored his ears with the thinning shears.

Okay, time to stop.
I'll be here all day.
It will never look finished to me.

Did I mention that I don't like trying to scissor shaggy.

It does look messy.

Ta Da!
Don't look too long.
Is that messy enough..I mean shaggy enough?
I think that I may have shaped it too much.

Yes, he is still very cute.
Yes, the husband was happy.
Did I get it right?
I won't know until the wife gives it the o.k.

So which one do you like?


Short and neat?

What a sweetie.

Oh, 'Marshal's' owners have one more special request.
Lightly clip the belly, and my all time favorite.

Leave hair on the end of his penis so that he does not pee on the back of his front legs, and because he does not like it naked.

I also angle the hair.

Make the customer happy.


I try.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Does it really help to leave hair on the tip? For peeing on the front leg I mean.

  2. Lacy,
    In my opinion...no, I don't think it helps at all. I own 2 long haired male dogs. I keep them nice and clean there. I even keep the hair on the belly above the penis shaved so that they will not pee on that hair. As for peeing on their own leg, that is all in the aim, not how much hair is left on the penis. lol I don't know where owners come up with this stuff.
    Lisa, MFF

  3. Is it terrible I like his face shaggy?! LOL!

    1. LOL Janice,
      He still gets a shaggy face. :)

  4. (Although I know this is a very late comment, I had to mention...)
    Neither cut shown is typical of a crested. Those two samples make me think of a Maltese. Most cresteds have their entire mussel shaved in order to appear more like a pony. I know some people that shave their powder puffs to look more like a hairless crested.
    See near bottom of page: http://www.shidacresteds.com/puffy.html

    1. Hi,
      The two samples shown are the owners requested groom. They still get the shaggy head to this day. It is the way that they like their Crested to look. :)
      Lisa, MFF