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.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Answers to Clipping Test Part 2

Another late day, because I chose to be an idiot today.

That story will come later.

It is late, but I got the answers done.  :)

Clipping Test Part 2

~ 1) It is okay to clip a dog when it is wet.

True: If you take certain safety precautions, it is perfectly safe to clip a dog while it is wet.

Personally, I do not Wet Shave very often. Probably only a couple of times a year. I usually only Wet Shave very overgrown, filthy, pelted dogs.

~ 2) It is okay to shave Poodle feet on a Poodle that comes into your shop with the feet already wet.

False:  I am sorry to say that I learned this answer the hard way. Shortly after I opened my shop, I had a Standard poodle come in on a rainy day. I dried the feet off with a towel, but they were still damp. I didn't even think about it, I went ahead and clipped them. Thank goodness I was still doing Poodle feet with a #10 blade back then.
Needless to say, that dogs feet were so clipper irritated, and red by the time I finished him.
Lesson learned!
When you have a Poodle come in with wet feet from rain, or morning dew, do a little quick blow dry on the feet before you shave them. Wet, dirty hair is not a good thing to shave.

~ 3) When Wet Clipping, it is better to clip a soapy coat.

True: Well, that is me finding anyway. I have tried Wet Shaving a couple of different ways. I tried washing the coat, rinsing, and then clipping. I also tried clipping the coat while it was still very wet and soapy.
Wet and soapy worked the best for me. The blade just glided through the matted coat. Since I put the dog back in the tub and bathe it in a Medicated Shampoo after I Wet Clip it, this works great for me.

~ 4) To safely Wet Clip, you must use a cordless clipper, or plug into a GFCI outlet.

True:  There are a few things that you need to do to keep yourself and the dog safe while Wet Shaving. 
The ideal thing to do is, use a cordless clipper to Wet Shave, but if you don't own a cordless clipper, you can also use a corded clipper.
If using a corded clipper you must have it plugged into a GFCI outlet. (Ground-fault Circuit Interrupter)  This outlet is made specifically to protect from electric shock. It constantly monitors electricity flowing the in the circuit to sense any loss of current.
You must also make sure that your clipper wire is in good shape and has no nicks or wires showing. Also make sure that the connection where the wire and clipper meet are snug and tight. I put the dog on my drying table and have it stand on a towel so that the dripping hair will not create a puddle under the dog.

~ 5) It is safer to clip a matted coat before the bath.

False: Once again, this answer is my opinion after years of clipping many, many dirty matted dogs. In my opinion, the safest way to clip a matted dog is to clip it after the bath and HV dry.
When clipping a dirty, matted dog, you have to fight your blade through tight, dirty hair. Your blade becomes hot very quickly from working harder to get through a dirty coat. There is more chance of nicking the dog because you have to use a very short blade to get through the tight mat.
When wet shaving, the blade glides through the hair more easily, but the skin is more tender when it is wet. You must take your time and be very careful cutting through the mat. I also do not recommend using any blade shorter than a #5F when Wet Shaving. Again this is my opinion.

When clipping a matted coat after the bath and HV drying, you have blown the mat away from the skin, even if only a little bit. The hair is now clean and the blade will glide through the mat like a hot knife through butter. It also leaves a nice plushy finish.

~ 6) It is okay to use scissors to splice a large mat in half when clipping a severely matted  coat.

True:  It is okay, but this is something that you have to be very careful doing. If you have a very pelted coat, that you can only get the blade so far, and you need scissors to cut the pelted coat in half so that you can continue clipping, make very sure that you have a very clear view of where you are sticking the scissors, and what you are cutting.

How was that for a run on sentence?

I like to take my fingers and work them through the mat so that I can feel exactly where my scissors will go. I want to make sure that I am not pulling skin up with the mat, and that I will only be cutting mat. 
Be very careful of splicing mats on a matted dogs leg. I had an employee of mine groom a very matted dog once. She clipped the dog before the bath, (this was back when I was still pre-clipping)
She bathed the dog and put it in a kennel. A few minutes later my husband came to me and said that I needed to check the dog because it's leg was bleeding badly. I ran up to the kennel to see blood running down the dogs leg, that was still covered in mats. I grabbed the dog up and put him right into the tub and rinsed the blood off of the leg. What did I find?  An inch and a half slice in the dogs leg. I immediately called my groomer over and asked her what happened.
"I could not get the blade through the mats so I tried to cut the mat in half with my scissors." she told me.
"He moved," she finish, shrugging her shoulders. She clearly felt that it was not her fault.
I was shocked at her indifference to cutting the dog so badly. Needless to say, I did not let her finish the dog. The dog was wonderful. Sadly, the owner could have cared less that the dog had been cut.

I can not stress how careful you must be when using scissors to cut mats. Make sure that the scissors are safely away from the skin!

~7) Matted coats can only be clipped with a #7, #10, or a #15 blade.

False: If you bathe a matted dog and HV the mats away from the skin, you can get almost any blade length through the coat depending on how much of an air space you were able to get with the HV.

By bathing and HVing the mat away from the skin of the dog above, I was able to clip this dog with a 5/8th blade.

~8) It is okay to cage dry a matted coat.

False: If you bathe a matted dog before clipping it, you must HV the dog straight from the tub. Allowing a matted dog to air dry, or cage dry, will only cause the mat to tighten up as it dries.

~9) A matted dog must be entirely dry before you clip it.
False: The only hair that needs to be completely dry is the hair between the skin and the mat. That is the hair that you will be clipping. When HV drying, put the end of the HV hose right up against the skin ( without the regulator) and blow the mat out, away from the skin. It is okay if the mat itself stays damp.  

~10) When clipping through very tightly matted hair around the legs, it is best to use the whole blade to fight through the mat.

False: It is actually very hard to get the whole blade through tightly matted legs, or most tight mat for that matter. When trying to shave very matted legs, try using the last few teeth on the edge of the blade, and slowly peel through the mat .

Good Night.

There are still two more days left to this week.

It's got to get better.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Lisa, shouldn't the answer to #5 (~ 5) It is safer to clip a matted coat before the bath.) be FALSE? Or is it just late and I am not reading it right?

  2. THANK YOU Tvergirl2001!
    I proof read and proof read and still miss things. My only excuse is that I write a lot of these posts late at night after a full day of grooming. Sometimes my brain is fried by the time I proof read. :) Thanks for catching my mistake. Hey, at least I know that someone is really reading my posts and not just looking at the pictures! :))
    Lisa, MFF