The Golden Retriever.
If you are a groomer you have had these lovable guys come in in different sizes and hair coats.
Some are very large, like big bears.
Some have unbelievably full thick coats.
Some are a little more on the petite side.
Some have thinner coats with little feathering or long flowing feathering.
I get many calls from people asking for a price quote for grooming these dogs, but they vary in size and coat type so much, it is impossible to give an exact quote over the phone without seeing the dog.
As a groomer, if you feel the need to give a price quote over the phone, I would never give an exact quote, make it a ballpark quote, such as 50 beans to 80 beans (or whatever your price range runs for your area) and higher depending on whether any clipping or scissoring is done.
There is nothing like giving a price quote over the phone based on the owners description of their dog, only to have the dog show up and turn out to be twice as much work as you were lead to believe.
To top that off, the price that you quoted comes nowhere close to the amount of time and work it is going to take to groom the dog.
I get a lot of calls, especially in the summer months, about clipping Golden's short.
"He's shedding all over my house!"
"He has too much hair!"
I don't know how other groomers feel about it, but I think that the coat on a Golden Retriever is one of things that makes this breed so beautiful.
I can truly say, that in 27 years of grooming, I have never shaved a Golden.
I have talked every customer out of shaving their Golden's down and ruining the coat.
I talk them into a good bath, comb-out, and heavy trim depending on how much hair they want removed.
I have found, while talking to the owners, that a lot of them will say "shave his hair off", only to find out that when I question them more, shaving is not what they really want.
Now, if a customer really wanted me to shave their Golden's hair off, I would begrudgingly do it.
After all, they are the paying customer, but I ask them to try the Bath and Trim first.
If they don't like it, and still want their Golden shaved, I will shave it.
In 27 years, not one customer has come back and asked me to shave their dog.
Some have come back for the next grooming and asked me to scissor the dog a little shorter.
I don't have any pictures of a shaved Golden, having not ever shaved one, but I have seen them shaved, and excuse me for saying, it is a sorry sight.
Not that the groomer did a bad job, the clip was nice and smooth, I just think that a shaved Golden looks terrible.
If groomers take the time to educate their customers (if the customer will listen), let them know that a good bath and comb-out will remove all of the dead coat and undercoat, in turn thinning the coat out.
Regular baths will help keep the shedding down.
Trimming the feathering will also help to keep the dog clean and cool.
Below are the different trims that I do on Golden Retrievers.
I had a Golden in on Saturday that gets one of the shortest cuts that I do on a Golden, so I used her to show the different trims.
This is a picture of the dog after the bath / blow dry, and before any trimming.
All undercoat has been removed, and a comb glides easily through the coat.
*Note: the undercoat pictured is only a tiny fraction of what was removed from this dogs coat.
The rest is in the tub, on the walls, on the ceiling, on my drying room floor, on my grooming room floor, floating in the air, in my hair, in my eyes, and up my nose.
This is a basic Bath, Brush-out & Trim.
~A bath with Best Shot Shampoo.
~A HV blow dry to remove most of the undercoat.
~A combout to remove any remaining undercoat.
~A CoatKing can also be used to thin out the neck, chest, and rear.
Only the feet and the inside of the ears are trimmed.
The pads of the feet are clipped clean.
The feet before.
The toe tuffs are brushed up and trimmed tight.
A Bath, Brush-out & Trim all feathering.
The amount of hair that is removed from the feathering, (or outline of the dog) depends on how much hair the owner wants removed.
Because the feathering was not very long on this dog to begin with, I only neatened the feathering by taking about a 1/2" off.
The right side of the rear feathering has been lightly scissored to neaten and shape up the rear.
A Bath, Brush-Out & Heavy Trim.
A heavy trim usually means scissoring up all of the feathering (body outline) very close and tight to the body.
Shape the rear round and tight.
Round off and scissor the chest tight blending into the head.
A Puppy Cut on a Golden
To me, a Puppy Cut on a Golden means cutting the coat on the entire body, not just the feathering.
How I do a Puppy Cut on a Golden, depends on the coat type.
Some Golden's I will totally hand scissor to the length I am looking for.
Some I will use a comb attachment to skim off some of the coat.
On this Golden I combed up the rear feathering and scissored it nice and tight to the body.
I also clip out the belly and skim down the inside of the back legs to give a nice, neat look.
I lightly skimmed the entire body with the 12mm comb attachment.
I took a 1/2" to an inch off the top, and skimmed off about 2-3'' off the sides.
I skimmed and scissored about 2" off of the chest.
Then blended the chest into the belly.
The best way that I have found to do this is to have the dog sit.
I scissor the front leg feathering tight to the leg.
Then I scissor the ears to blend into the head.
The area around the inside of the ears is clipped.
I do this on every Golden no matter how much hair is being trimmed.
The rear feathering before and after.
The neck and chest before and after.
When a customer comes in and asks for their Golden to be shaved, or any other breed for that matter, take a few extra minutes to question them and make sure that they truly understand what it means when they say the word 'shaved' to a groomer.
I have also been known to part a Golden's hair and show the customer that all of the beautiful color on the outer coat will be cut off leaving the dull color of the undercoat.
So many customers don't realize just how short our blades can take a dogs hair.
I, for one, don't want a customer in tears in my lobby asking me; "what have you done to my dog? I didn't want him that short!"
Happy Grooming, MFF