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.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday's Tip #39

When I first started to take pictures of this dog today, it was just because I thought that he was so cute.

As I started to groom him, and started to scissor the long bangs that the owner wanted, I thought that I could use this little Yorkie as an example of how I try to open up the eyes while still keeping the bangs long for the owner.

Isn't he adorable.

Even before he is groomed.

His mom likes him long and shaggy, but she wants to see his eyes.

Only...keep his bangs long.

If  I just scissor the corner of the eyes, and scissor the bangs long, the dogs eyes are still lost under all of that hair.

I want to open the eyes up without taking too much off of the bangs.

 I also need to fix that darn wave that I always seem to get when I scissor a longer bang over the eyes.

It does not seem to matter what  kind of straight hair breed it is, I seem to always get 'the wave'.

The first thing that I want to do is comb back the bangs and scissor very close all around the corner and top of the eyelid.

Even the eyelashes!

As long as the owner does not say anything about saving the eyelashes, I will take them completely off to help open up the eye.

I will scissor from one corner of the eye, over the top of the eye, to the outer corner.

I am conservative each time I cut.

I only scissor a little at a time.

Then I will comb the bangs back into place and see if I need to cut out a little more around the eye.

I will brush the bangs back again and scissor more around the eye if needed.

I will do this as many times as needed.

I hold my scissors up under the wave part of the bang and scissor to try to give a beveled look under the bang.

I am not cutting straight across because I don't want to take anymore length off, I just want to get rid of what is hanging down.

I am sorry...I know that didn't make any sense at all.

I hope that you can see what I mean by looking at the pictures.

I will angle my scissors in all different directions to get the look I want.

Most of my scissoring is done up under the bangs, closer to the eyes.

I also needed to cut more hair out of the stop than I usually would.

I needed to take some more of the thickness away from under the bangs.

 So I scissor the stop up a little higher.

The bangs are still long, but now I can see the eyes better.

 I also do the same with Schnauzer, and Scottie eyebrows.

After my first cut to get the outline of the eyebrow...

....I start to work on scissoring under the eyebrow to open up the eyes.

I don't in anyway claim that this is the 'right' way to scissor Schnauzer eyebrows, but it works great for pet grooming.

Again, I scissor off the eyelashes, and the hair close around the very top of the eyelid without taking length off the eyebrows.

I also turn my scissors under to bevel under the eyebrow, and take away the hair that tends to hang down over the eye.

This is what I do to help open the eyes so the owner can see the eyes, and maybe, just maybe the owner will not chop off the eyebrows before they bring the dog back to me.

I hope this tip made sense and will help.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Hi!! I have a Miniature Schnauzer and today the Groomer made my baby eyelashes for first time. When I pick up him, I noticed that he can barely open one of his eyes. Now the eye starts to suppurate. Do you know, why??

  2. Hi Bermarie,
    It is hard to answer questions like this when I am not the one who groomed your dog, but I will try to help.
    I do have some questions.
    Did you notice the eye at the groomers, and did you ask them about it?
    Is your dog a puppy?
    Was this the very first hair cut?
    Was your dogs hair overgrown and in your dogs eyes before you took him to be groomed?

    If your dog is a puppy and this was the first hair cut there is a chance that shampoo may have gotten in the eye because he moving around a lot.

    If your dog was overgrown and had a lot of hair in the eyes, there is a possibility that the eye is irritated from hair rubbing on it and you did not notice till the hair was cut away.

    Is the eye watering?
    Is there any greenish colored drainage in the corner of the eye?
    If so, the eye may be infected and need medicine.

    Can you open the eye and look at the whites of your dogs eye?
    If the whites of the eye is red and irritated, he may have an infection.
    If your dog continues to hold the eye shut take him to your Vet tomorrow to have him/her check out the eye. Don't wait. The longer you wait the eye could get worse because of your dog rubbing it.
    If the groomer did not say anything to you about the eye, I am sorry. I would think that someone would have noticed the dogs eye before they gave him back to you. Call your groomer tomorrow and see if they can give you answers. There is always the possibility that the groomer was busy and honestly forgot to tell you that they noticed something wrong with the eye. Hopefully the Vet will be able to tell you if this was a preexisting condition, or something happened during the grooming.
    Please do not let this deter you from getting your dog groomed regularly. There are a lot of good caring groomers out there. Accidents can and will happen when working on a live moving target that wiggles, jumps, and turns suddenly, without warning. Good luck and I hope your little guy feels better soon. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  3. Sometimes accidents just happen, most of the time they are avoidable, but once it's done it's best to just resolve the matter and look to the future.

    This reminds me of something that happened to an old customer of mine a while back...
    Last year another local groomer took in a 'special case' customer of mine. We were full for the next 3 weeks and she likes to refer to her pet's haircut as an 'emergency', so instead of making the appointment and waiting it out, she went to another local grooming shop. Her dog is sweet with outbursts of violence if you touch his feet or rear, I have always been able to groom him without any issues because she was very honest at her first visit. We always took precautions, I would have someone 'spot me' while I was grooming to talk pretty to him and keep the treats coming, he was pretty easily distracted from his issues, but you have to really go slow, have a light touch, and know when to give him a break. When she got her pet from the other shop she saw it before they could bring her dog very close, his eye was bleeding. She said they seemed mildly surprised but just said "Oh Well" and blamed it on the dog going crazy in the kennel waiting for her (which he does do). She was upset with them for not calling her to check on him, so after a few days she called them to rant, but then when she called them the groomer answered the phone and told her the truth, they had to muzzle the dog for his biting and he went at the muzzle with his freshly clipped nails and tore his own eye open. Why they didn't take it off right then is beyond me, but they thought he would calm down, he did not. It took 2 tubes of terramycin (ophthalmic antibiotic ointment, available at any feed & seed, usually -$15) and about 2 months before the scratches to his cornea faded from view.

    Her dog, mentally, was perfectly fine, but she insisted that he was scared of the groomer. I think she was scared of the groomer, and another accident, that dog is all she has in life :(
    We didn't see her for a while after she came by to tell us this, she was kind of mad at us for not taking him in and 'making' her go to another place...

    She waited for 6 months after that, let him get terribly matted, then refused to sign our matted pet waiver. She actually got pretty heated, more so since I stayed so calm, I let her yell and she eventually stormed out, she made it clear she was not to return.

    Not to sound mean, but I guess pets really do resemble their owners at times... :\

  4. Wow Serena. I think that I would be relieved to have that customer walk out the door. She will most likely blame every groomer she ever goes to for every little thing that she finds from now on.
    I do agree that you MUST own up to accidents when they happen. It is far worse in the long run if you try to hide things from the customer. I have found that 9 times out of 10 customers are very understanding if you explain things up front and are truly sorry for the accident even if it was something that could not be helped.
    Lisa, MFF

  5. Looking at the pictures that are posted I noticed a huge mistake. As a groomer of 12 years and completing a dog grooming course in one of the best schools and now traning my own employees,if anyone ever pointed the scissors tip towards the pets eye while trimming eyebrows I would of had a lecture from my teachers and I would also hace a talk with my employees. that is the best way to have an accident. So please change the way that you trim eyebrows take the scissors and point them towards the nose.

  6. I am really not sure what to say here.
    I am ALWAYS extremely careful when scissoring around the eyes. I am sorry if the pictures make it appear that the way I am holding my scissors could hurt the eyes.
    The pictures are taken from an angle, and not from my point of view. So the angle of the scissors may look different from what I am seeing when I scissor the eyes.
    After 28 years of grooming I have yet to hurt a dogs eyes. I am always prepared to move the scissors away from a jerking dog. I personally feel that the potential is always there for a possible accident on a moving target, no matter what way you are pointing your scissors.
    I did try your advice today, and made an effort
    to point my scissors towards the nose only on every dog that I groomed.
    I personally found that it is not always possible to point the scissors only towards the nose. I also don't point my scissors directly into the dogs eyes. There are some dogs that I don't use scissors at all around the eyes, because I know that it is not safe to use scissors on those particular dogs.
    I am very comfortable with the way that I scissor the dogs eyes and eyebrows. It works for me.
    You should do what works for you. I agree that you should teach your employees the way that you are comfortable with. After all, in the end, it is you and your shop that is responsible for the dog if it gets injured.
    Believe me, anyone that knows me knows that I am a nut when it comes to the safety of the animals in my care.
    Lisa, MFF