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, January 19, 2012


I like to think that I am pretty darn good at figuring out how a customer wants their dog groomed.
Most of the time I know exactly what a the customers wants even if they are having a really hard time describing what they want.

So when you have a customer come in with their dogs and they tell you exactly what they want, you think great, that was easy.
Only come to find out, the next time they come in, you find out that 'the husband' didn't like what you did on one of the dogs.
And, apparently 'the wife' did not tell 'the husband' that you did what she asked for.
So, said husband sent a breed book with the dog today.

Now, I must say that this dog is a breed that I have never groomed before.
There are actually plenty of full breed dogs out there that I have never groomed before, even after 28 years of grooming.

I like seeing a Breed that I haven't done come through the door.
Only, nine times out of ten the owner does not get them groomed to breed standard.
I also like to think that I can groom any breed out there, to breed standard, as long as I have good instructions to follow.

This particular breed of dog wasn't even in the 'Notes from the Grooming Table'.
Maybe that is because this breed didn't officially become an AKC registered breed (sporting group) until 2009.

So, I didn't mind seeing the owner carry the breed book in for me to look at.
I wouldn't have to guess about what kind of cut the husband wanted.
Or would I?

What Breed have I been talking about?

The Boykin Spaniel.

The Boykin is similar to an American Cocker Spaniel.

This owners other dog is a 10 year old American Cocker Spaniel.

The first time we groomed these dogs she wanted them both groomed the same way.
I asked.
That is what she told me.

Clip them both in the Cocker pattern, and scissor half off of the legs and skirts.

That is what we did.
She loved how her Cocker looked.
Husband didn't like the Boykin.

So, I was glad to look up the grooming section of the Boykin book.

Only, this is what I found....

  I highlighted the first couple of sentences that made me laugh out loud.

If you can't read it off of this picture, here is what it says;

"Boykin owners often ask how to clip or groom their dogs. There is no one set way as it comes down to personal preference."

'Personal preference'...so where does that leave me?

The only hint that the wife gave me was that her husband thought that the dog was left too fluffy last time.

What to do, what to do.

If it had been summer time I think I would have thought about clipping him short.

 Instead, I told my daughter to take a 5/8HT blade over him and scissor up the feathering tight.

The wife liked him again.
I will have to wait until the next appointment to find out if the husband liked him too.

If she brings the breed book again, I will have to show her the grooming page and we will have to have a more in-depth talk about what their 'personal preference' is. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. :)
    This dog would be a perfect photo for explaining cowlicks.

    And speaking of personal preference, I love when someone asks for a puppy clip, but doesn't have a preference for length :(

  2. My grandfather raised these guys when I was a kid and the coat is supposed to stay long for field work. That is what protects them from burrs and other hazards of hunting. His were all used for hunting and actually they made great hunting dogs. I had a client bring one in and she was surprised that in actually knew what it was. Of course hers got shaved. You did a great job and I really enjoy the blog!

  3. Hi Serena,
    I just love all of the waves in this dogs coat. That is why I picked the longer blade. I wanted to keep the waves. :)

    Thank you AmandaRe,
    I had heard of this breed before but this was the first time I have had one in my shop. He is a very sweet dog, but extremely nervous. I have a feeling that the husband will have me shaving him very short in the summer.
    Lisa, MFF