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, October 17, 2011

Wet Shaving vs Dry Clipping

I don't do very much wet shaving.
I am not really crazy about it.
I have always thought that I save more coat on a dog by bathing and drying it first.

Sometimes I get a dog that is so overgrown and matted that I decide to do a wet shave.
I had one in like that last week.

This guy came in last week.

It is the second time that I have groomed him.

I knew that I had groomed him before, and I remembered that he had been matted the first time that I groomed him also.

I clipped him after the bath the first time that I clipped him.

This time I decided to Wet Shave him.

 I put him in the tub and got him good a soapy.

Then I placed him on my drying table to clip.

I used my corded clippers plugged into a GFCI outlet.

As with any matted dog, I start out with the longest blade that I think will safely go through the coat, and work my way down till I get the right blade. 

I started out getting a 3 3/4  blade through most of the body, but had to go to a #5F blade down the legs, around the neck, chest and face.

After clipping most of the coat off, I put the dog back in tub to rinse off the shampoo and bathe him again with a Medicated shampoo.

He had a couple of places that were a little red and sore under the mats.

 I also left hair on his feet, tail, ears, and head to see if I could save anything after it was blown dry and HVed away from the skin.

I finished him up with the #4F blade.

Most of his face had to be clipped off with the #4F blade also.

I was able to use a 5/8HT blade on his ears.

I had to scissor a little more then half the hair off of the tail and de-mat the rest.

I can't stand the look of a shaved rats tail.  :)

I have a video on YouTube of me Wet Shaving this dog if you are interested in watching it.

Now, when this dog came in the first time for a grooming, he was longer and matted even worse than this time.

This was the same dog as above 5 months ago.

He was definitely in worse shape back in April.

 Every bit of him was one big mat.

I thought about wet shaving him back in April also, but I was curious to see how far I could get the mat away from his skin.

I did not wet shave the dog that time.

I bathed him just like you see him now.

I HV dried him straight from the tub, blowing the mats as far from the skin as I could. 

 I only concentrated on drying the coat between the skin and mat.

I did not completely dry the mats.

I dried them only enough to loosen them.

I was able to get a 5/8HT blade through the coat, legs and all.

So, which way of clipping did I like better?

Most definitely, clipping the mat after the bath.

Yep, that is what I said.

I think that it leaves a much nicer finish.
Even if I had clipped him with a #4F instead of a 5/8HT blade, he still would have looked nicer than the Wet Shave finish.

 I average about one to two wet shaves a year.
I don't think it will ever be more than that.
I personally prefer clipping mats off after the bath.
I truly feel that I can save more coat that way.

I hear you.

Stop yelling at your computer.

Yes, the owner does not deserve to have any of the dogs coat saved.

Well, I don't groom for the owner.
I groom for the dog, and I did not expect this new customer to wait 5 months before she brought the dog in again.

Even though a dog may come in very matted, I still want the dog to look good and cute when it goes home.
I don't like to send dogs home looking like skinned rats.

If a dog keeps coming in matted, and I can not get the owner on a regular grooming schedule, I am not going to kill myself trying to save some coat, but at the same time, I will not skin the dog if I can help it.

This dogs owner booked an appointment for 8 weeks.
I told her that she should keep the appointment even if the dog does not grow out much in 8 weeks, and she thinks that he does not need it.
I told the owner that she should bring him in anyway, even if it is only for a bath and trim.

We will see.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Why is it that they DONT listen they think we just want to have them come to take there money they dont see we are concerned of the pets well being if they could maintane them home mabe they weould have to come so often uhhhhhhgggg

  2. I know this is an old post... but I LOVE wet shaving. I noticed you didn't mention HVing the dog. I bathe (as well as you can) pelted dogs, soak them in diluted conditioner and then use my high velocity dryer to push the mats out from the skin. IME, you can leave them longer than clipping dry and they generally finish a length longer than you shaved them down.