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.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I started this blog as a fun way to talk about grooming.
I was also hoping to help other groomers out there that may be new to a grooming career or a groomer who works by themselves and does not get a chance to see other groomers work.

From around my fifth year of grooming till my fourteenth year, I thought that I had learned all there was to learn about grooming.
I had a successful grooming business and a few employees, and I was being recommended by three Vets that I knew of.

I wasn't cocky...well maybe a little.
No, not really, I was just pretty sure of my skills.
I honestly didn't think that there was much more to learn.

I had stopped going to grooming seminars after I had my first two children.
I just didn't feel like I had any extra time, and I thought  the seminars were too pricey.
This was also pre-internet time for me.
I didn't even know what a grooming forum was or anything about them.
I lived in my own little grooming world.

Then I started having trouble with pains in my wrist.
I had been grooming large double coated breeds  for 14 years with NO Hv dryers.
I had been dematting many dogs.
I had been brushing undercoat out before the bath with rakes, brushes, and combs.
I can't even begin to add up all of the hours I spent brushing out undercoat and dematting.
Collies, Samoyeds, Huskies, Spaniel Mixes, OES ect.
My wrists hurt just thinking about it.
I don't think I could have been more close minded.

Afraid that my wrists were going to totally give out on me, and sick of dealing with employee drama, I made a major decision to down size by closing my shop and going Mobile.

I had worked in a Mobile grooming van back in 1986.

Imagine this, a grooming van that the first thing you did was light the polite light for the propane water heater.
You used a stand dryer that you had to tie down after each groom so that it would not roll around the van while driving.
You also had to tie up the grooming table so that it would not move around.
You plugged in at each house, and there was no dirty water holding tank.

The lady I worked for had been in my class at grooming school.
She started her first van right after we  graduated.
When I went to work for her, 2 years later, she had 3 vans.
For the first two days of work, my friend from grooming school, took me out in the van to show me the ropes.

To say I was shocked is an understatement.
She wanted you in and out in an hour.
I had only been grooming 2 years, I was not that fast yet.
I also could not believe how bad her grooms were.
She did good work in school, but I guess after working in the van and trying to groom everything within an hour her grooming had suffered.
Needless to say, I only lasted a few months working in the van.
I could not bring myself to do the rush act, and I was not getting home until 7pm or later some nights.

So, when I decided to buy my own mobile, I also decided that I needed to go to some seminars and learn more about mobile grooming and how many dogs I could expect to groom a day.

I went to the Hershey Expo, and not only did I learn a lot about mobile grooming, but I also learned that I had been a fool thinking that I couldn't learn anymore about grooming in general.
There were so many new tools and new ways of grooming.
I came away from that weekend with so much information that my head was spinning.
I swore to myself then and there, that I would continue to go to seminars and be open to learning new things.

Why am I bring all of this up?
This week I caught myself being closed minded again.
Let me explain.

A couple of weeks ago, both my daughters clippers and my clippers decided to brake down at the same time.
We sent our clippers out to be repaired, and only had one working clipper between the two of us for a week.
My daughter and I share our blades.
This has always worked out fine for us....until we got our clippers back last week.
My daughter has to fight to get the blades on her clipper, they are so tight.
Once she gets them on the clipper they work fine but...
when I put the blade that my daughter used on my clipper they rattle so bad that I can not use them.
It used to be that you could take a pair of pliers to the back of the blade and tighten the catch to stop the raddle, but the medal that they are making the blades with now doesn't budge.

Anyway, believe it or not, all of my #3F blades decided to act up this week.
One dual, one raddling like crazy, and one clogging up.

The clogging up is what drives me crazy more then anything.
It used to happen all of the time when I used to clip dirty dogs before the bath,especially with the #7 blade, but it rarely ever happens now, when clipping clean, fluff dried dogs.

Clip, clip, clog, clean, clip, clip, clog, clean, clip, clip, CLOG!
You get the picture.
It drives me crazy just typing it!

I need help.  :p

You must understand that we use this blade A LOT.
Especially this time of year, when owners want their clipdown dogs a little longer.

As I tore through my draws and cabinets looking for other #3F blades that I was sure I had, I came across a little bag of clip combs that came with my cordless Whal Chromado.
I had forgotten all about them.

I have the medal clip combs that attach to a #10, 15, or 30 blade, but I don't use them very often because they drive me crazy when hair gets clogged between the clipper blade and were the clip comb hooks over the blade.

There's that clogging again.
It drives me crazy I tell ya.

I have also found that the medal clip combs can be noisy when the clipper blade raddles against the medal comb.
I also have the plastic clip combs.
They clog too.
They pop off when they feel like it.

When I saw the bag of combs, that I hadn't even opened when I took out my new Chromado, back in September, a light bulb went off.
Why not use that instead of fighting with the #3F blade?
Why hadn't I thought of the clip combs before?
Why do I have to get so set in my ways that I forget these other things I can use.

The #3F blade cuts a 13mm length.
The longest clip comb that the Whal Chromado comes with is a 12mm.
That works for me.

The one thing that I like about the #3F blade (3/4 blade) is that the teeth are close together, and it leaves a nice smooth cut.

As you can see the teeth on the clip comb are much further apart.

I was a little afraid that this would leave the cut more choppy or a lot of track marks requiring more scissor finish work.

I did like the way the clip comb attached by sliding down the sides of the clipper blade.

The comb was on nice and tight, and as long as you don't try to fight the clip comb through mats, it should stay on the blade nice and tight.

I hated how the plastic clip combs would pop off of your blade at the slightest tug, and the next thing you knew you had a big hole in your dogs hair.

I use two blades with my Whal Chromado.

One blade is for clipping poodle feet and faces before the bath.
The other blade is strictly for clipping only clean hair after the bath.

This is the little guy that I used the 12mm clip comb on.
He has a wavy, wiry, fine mixture of hair.

 I was pleasantly suprized at how smoothly the clip comb glided through the dogs coat.

You do need to make sure that the dog is completely combed out and free of even small tangles to get a nice cut.

This is the cut with just the clip comb and no scissoring.
It was not choppy and there were no track marks from the wide spacing of the teeth.

I had the Whal Chromado set on the #40 blade setting.

The hair did not clog up once.  :))

I was very happy with the clipcomb. 

I do wish that Wahl made longer combs for this clipper.

So, I guess the moral of this blog is to keep your mind open to trying new things.
Or even old things that you don't use anymore.

What might not work on one dog may work on another.

Happy Grooming, MFF

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