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.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday's Tip #15 Face Holds

**Note: I wrote this blog entry last night when I realized that I had forgotten it was Tuesday's Tip day. I wanted to add a video. It did not work, the file was too large.
I decided to upload the video to my You Tube account. First I had to figure out how to do that. Instead of rewriting this entry I am going to post it as is. That is why it will sound like my days are mixed up.  :-)

When you get down to the part on this entry where the video was supposed to be, I have put the link to the You Tube video. Click on it to see my first video.
I hope it works.

It's Tuesday...I forgot!
I already posted once today.
I am getting old.
Can't even remember what day it is.  :-)

No, I think the real reason I forgot is because I have a new toy on the computer.
Windows Live Movie Maker.
It is a free download.
It is great for people who don't know what they are doing.

I am getting ready to install security cameras to video tape while we groom everyday.
Long story.
I will be blogging about it soon.

In the mean time, I have been playing around with taking short videos of my grooming with my camera.
I have only taken a couple.

One video was of a furry customer of mine that is now 17 years old, almost 18.
I have been grooming him his whole life.
I will be writing a blog on grooming old dogs soon and will show that video.
Scissoring his face has become quite a challenge in the last year or so.

The other video is one that I am going to try to post here tonight.
I don't know if it will work, this will be my first time posting a video.

Today's tip is simply about the different holds I use to scissor a face.
I was a little surprised at how many ways I hold the face to scissor it.
I am always trying to find ways of grooming that will make it easy on me and the dog.

The Chin Hold:
Holding only the hair under the chin.

I once had a groomer that would try to hold on to the skin under the chin, and then wondered why the dog got upset.  :-/

The Cup Hold:
Making a V with your fingers,two fingers on one side of the neck, and three on the other.
Slide your hand under the dogs chin, putting your fingers on either side of the dogs neck.
Let the dog rest their chin in the palm of your hand.

This hold works great with some Shih-Tzu's that hate having their chin hair held.

The Over the Head Hold:
This hold helps you to see what you are doing while scissoring the side of the face.

 I do not hold the face tightly.
It is a very gentle hold.
I only apply pressure if the dog starts moving.
As soon as they stop moving, I release the pressure.
Not too much pressure.
Just enough for them to learn that you don't want them to move.
Praise, praise, praise.

Most dogs learn very fast.
Some never do.

Over the Head Hold II:
Same hold as above, only holding the face more in the front.

Always make sure that you are not blocking the nose.

Over the Head Hold III:
For dogs with longer beards.
Same hold as above, only now you are pressing the two sides of the beard together to cut evenly under the chin.

Always be aware of where the tip of your scissors will close.

The Claw:
Another hold to scissor the opposite side of the face.

The Neck Hold:
My fingers are wrapped around the back of the neck, and my thumb is under his chin.

The Neck Hold II:
Once again my fingers are in a V shape.
The first two fingers behind the ear, and the other two finger in front of the neck.

This not really a hold.
It is just a way to lift the head so I can see if the beard is even without touching the face.

All done.

The names of those holds are just made up by me.
Goofy right?  :-)

You should hold a dogs face in whatever way is comfortable for you and the dog.

Below is a video of a dog that I groomed last week that is not crazy about having her face scissored.
I hope it loads.
I hope it is not too long.
I hope it does not bore you to death.

I was thinking of putting some of my grooming videos on my website so that my customers could watch some groomings.
I am still not sure.
Owners see things differently then other groomers do.
Owners may not like the way we have to hold a dogs face to scissor it safely.

I would love to know what other groomers think.
Should I put the video on my website?

I hope some of the holds help you.

I really hope you enjoyed the video.  :-)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Hi Hannah
    I was unable to watch the video, it says its for private viewing only. Not sure if it is just me as I am in Perth Australia.

  2. Hi

    The video plays but there is no sound. Also it would be better on a lighter coloured coat as black is not easy to see what you're doing

    1. Hi,
      LOL This was one of my very first videos. There is no sound. :) I do my videos while working and there are a lot of barking dogs and shop sounds in the background, so I take out the sound and use captions.
      You are right about the video being better if I had used a lighter colored dog. I will have to try to do this video again.
      Lisa, MFF