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.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Poodle Retriever/Town & Country

I groom a lot of Poodles.
Most of them get Puppy Cuts or Lamb clips.
A few get the dreaded Pom-Pom Cut or Summer Cut.
I have even heard the Pom-Pom Cut called the Town & Country.
I have heard so many different names for different cuts.
Some cuts seem to have a few different names.
I always make sure that the cut they are asking for is the cut that I am thinking of.

Last week I had a Miniature Poodle come in for the first time.
She was a little over a year old.
As I was taking her information, I asked if there were any medical problems that I should know about.
"Yes, a groomer broke her back leg, and she is missing a bone now, so please be careful with her," she told me.

I think I actually stood there with my mouth open for a few seconds.
I hope it was only a few seconds.

"What!?" I said, looking at her like I didn't believe her.
"Yes, she was just a puppy," she continued. "The vet had to remove a bone in her hip."

I really did not know what to say.
So I asked her what leg it was, and if the dog was okay with being groomed.

"It is the back left leg, and she used to be really good about the grooming till her leg was broken," she answered.

Oookay, red flags are starting to wave.

"What would you like done to her today?" I asked.
"I want the Retriever Cut," she said.
"Do you know what that is? she asked. "The last groomer chopped her all up."
"Well, the cut that I call the Retriever Cut is a very short body with very full legs that are high on the hips and high on the shoulders," I described the cut as I know it.
"The legs are also very sharply defined," I finished, showing her by drawing an imaginary pattern on her dog with my finger.
"Yes, that is what we want," she said.
"She is a lot of different lengths, and the pattern was taken too low the last time she was groomed, so I will do the best I can to set the pattern correctly," I told her.

I will admit, she was pretty choppy and the pattern was too low on the shoulders and the hips.

Her head was a couple of different lengths also.
The owner did not want her topknot to hang over her eyes.
She wanted to see the eyes.
?? Okay.

There were so many different lengths going on, that my guess was; I think she was cage dried and then scissored for her last grooming.

You just can't scissor a Poodle right that has been cage dried.

I was able to get a pretty nice hip and shoulder on her.

She was still a little choppy in places because I did not want to scissor her as short as some of the choppy spots were.

There were also some holes in the front shoulder, but over all I thought the pattern turned out okay.

 This is a top view.

I used a #7f on her body to get the crushed velvet look.
I could not get her to stand straight.
She wanted to keep turning to give me kisses.

It is hard to see the pattern on the above picture.
This is how I set my lines.

She was very sweet, and very good on the table.

I thought that maybe she tried to jump off the table and the last groomer grabbed her leg to stop her and that is how it broke.

It was just a thought.
She never moved.
She was great to groom.

Can you see her eyes?
Think the owner will be happy?

When the owner came back I told her that I could not see any reason for the groomer to have broken her leg.
The dog didn't fight for anything and stood there like a statue.
Was she sure that the dog did have a medical issue such as brittle bones or a bad hip to begin with, or just something genetic going on.

"No, I called the breeder and all of her dogs are tested and this had never happen to one of her puppies before," the owner informed me.
"I think the groomer pulled her leg up too high," she told me very firmly.

Well of course, it could only be the groomers fault.
Excuse me for asking.
I wish I could talk to that groomer.

Did the owner like the groom?

I don't know.
She didn't say.

She just informed me that I took the shoulders too high.
Oh, but she wasn't sure...she would ask her husband.

Okie dokie, whatever you say. 
At least I did not break her leg. :-/

Oh, yeah, that red flag, there were about a hundred of them following her out the door.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Well i do love your story as a groomer ive had alot of these even had one today just like that but the woman wanted to make up a hair cut and when i didnt cut it just the way she wented it freaked out also she could barely speak english. sigh. one thing tho that is for sure not a "retriever clip" id call that a town and country for sure which are nothing alike. this is another problem with grooming as not all groomers call things the same thing which causes problems when people go to other salons and ask for that hair cut and get something else. the book i personally use and recomand for poodle grooming is called poodle clipping and grooming the international reference by shirlee kalstone. listed there a retriever clip is a all over hair cut on the short side with a poodle face and feet top knot pom on tail. just a basic all over. anyways love your story <3

    1. Hi,
      I have that book too. :)

      I agree, it certainly does not help when so many cuts are called so many different names.

      Thanks for reading my blog. :)
      Lisa, MFF