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, January 11, 2011

Tuesdays Tip #9 Clipping Heads

I have not used a #10 or #15 blade on a head (other then a Poodles face) in years.
I clip all of my Schnauzer heads with a #7F blade against the grain.
I have not ever had an owner call back to complain about clipper irritation.
Oh, I probably should not have said that.
Knock on wood.
Knock, Knock, Knock.  :p

The #7F against the grain leaves a smooth clean cut quickly.
I don't have to go over and over the same area, trying to get it smooth, while taking a chance of causing irritation.
I also make sure my blade stays cool.

I start at the back of the head and clip forward towards  the eyebrows.

You can see light track marks at first, but they do smooth away.

I clip the top of the head, the cheeks, and the neck with the #7F against the grain.

I clip right up the corner of the eye, careful not to cut the eyebrow.

Then I use the last two or three teeth on the blade to clip the back edge of the eyebrow.

I tilt the blade so that only the last few teeth are clipping the dog.

I follow the eyebrow shape around and down between the eyes, being very careful not to clip any of either eyebrow with the blade.

After I clip the head, I clip the body with the grain, with the #7F blade.

Against the grain on the head.

With the grain on the neck and body.

 Most of the time, against the grain and with the grain clipping (with the same blade) blend nice and smooth.

If it does not, thinning shears do a great job smoothing it out.

I do not clip the ears with a #7F blade. The ears are clipped with a #15, front and back.

You can see in this picture that any blade lines that were on the head while clipping have disappeared.

I only went over the head once with the blade.

The blade was still cool when I finished.

I love the smooth finish that the #7F blade leaves.

I also use the #7F against the grain on Scottie heads.

Although, on this puppy I used a #5F blade because it was his first clip and the hair on top of his head was still very thin.

I also love to use the #7F blade against the grain on all of my Cocker heads and some faces.

When using the #7F on the face be very careful around the mouth.
I clean up anything the 7F could not get around the mouth and eyes with the #10 blade.

Once again the 7F does not leave track marks on the face and cheeks.

Oh, one last tip, a #7F against the grain works great for a clean face on a Poodle that you are worry will get clipper irritation from a #10 or #15 blade.

Oh, oh, oh, DO NOT use a skip tooth #7.
Throw that balde away.
It scares me.

One more thing, always becareful with the #7F blade on necks, with or agaist the grain.
Use a light touch.

Okay, I am done, I think.
I am sure I will think of something else later.
I always do.

 I hope this helps.

It is snowing here right now.
We are supposed to get around 4".
Hopefully no one cancels tomorrow.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Do you ever have to pluck Schnauzer ears much? The one in the picture seems to have fairly hairless ears.

    I have a dilemma with my dog- if I pluck his ears, he scratches the insides to shreds and I have to make sure they don't get infected. I'd have to put him in an E-Collar for a week and by then the hair would almost be grown back.

    If I leave them and just clean the hair, so much fur grows in there by the next time I pluck- with the amount of hair I remove I could make a sweater for a Chihuahua, He also can't hear a thing with that much ear fuzz.

    1. Hi Code7,
      Sorry that I have taken so long to answer your comment.
      Some Schnauzers don't have much ear hair and others have an unbelievable amount of hair in their ears. The Schnauzers that have a ton of hair in their ears do tend to have problems after it is plucked out.
      I have a few Schnauzers that I groom where I have told the owners that I will only pluck half of the ear hair out, just enough to help get some air down in the ear and for the dog to hear. This way the ears do not seem shocked by the removal of all of that hair at one time, causing the dog to shake its head and scratch.
      I hope that that made sense. :)
      Lisa, MFF

    2. I find that using Gold Bond Medicated Powder helps with any irritation, and soothes the plucked ear :) I also use it for any areas with irritation. You can give it a try, but I find that when I apply it, the dogs stop messing with that area.

    3. Hi Tong,
      Thank you for the information. I have not heard this before, but am very curious to try it. I always try things on my dogs first before I use them on a customers dog. :) I do look forward to trying this one, because it upsets me when a dogs ear get irritated after I plucked it.
      Lisa, MFF