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, May 13, 2013

Monday Makeover #11 Bearded CollieX

Last week we had a mystery dog on the books to be groomed.

I say a 'mystery dog', because the owners name and the dog were in our computer appointment system, but we could not find the paper file on them.

Yeeees, we still use both, the computer for appointments and paper files to record the grooming's.

I'll make it totally into the 21st century sometime. :)

Anyway, we had not groomed this particular dog in at least 3 years.
The dog was a 1pm appointment and I had no idea whether it was going to show up, what breed it was, or how it was getting groomed.

At bout 12:45 my husband came in the grooming room to tell me that the 1pm appointment was up in the lobby.
My husband was shaking his head, and saying; "wait till you see this dog."

So up to the lobby I went.
There in the lobby was a med/large, very shaggy, seemingly hyper Bearded CollieX.
The dog did look familiar to me, but I could not for the life of me remember anything about it, or how I had groomed him before.

I approached the dog and he immediately made a beeline for the door.
The owner pulled him back over to me and herself, and the dog started doing circles around us.
He was not about to stand still.
I reached down to greet the dog and feel all over him at the same time.
I was not totally sure what to expect of his coat.
His hair was at least 6 to 7 inches long.
He looked as if he wasn't in too bad of shape, but I wasn't sure if it was just that the owner had been brushing the top layer of his coat and he was going to turn out to be a matted pelt underneath.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to feel, that even though the dog looked like he needed a good brushing, his coat felt pretty good, and as far as I could tell he did not have many mats.

But, he was all over the place.

His owner told me not to worry, he would settle down and be good in the tub and for the grooming.

I was hoping that she was going to be right, because his owner wanted an inch left all over.

Only, the owners inch was not the inch that you see on a ruler.

I will show you the owners inch in a minute.

The owner was telling the truth!!

He turned out to be a really good boy in the tub and on the grooming table.

He also cleaned up reeeal nice! :)

We bathed him with a mixture of Oatmella and Brite White shampoo, and conditioned his coat.

Now, back to what the owner wanted done on her dog.

The owner wanted an inch left on her dog.

Not my inch. (my inch matches the inch on a ruler)

This picture shows the owners inch.

How do I know that?

I had the owner show me her inch with her own fingers.

 Hmmmm......what to do?

Should I scissor the whole dog?

Should I use a clip comb and scissor to save some time?

I chose to use my longest clip comb attachment even though I knew that it would take more hair off than the owner wanted.

But, I could still use it.

I was going to skim the coat with it.

Meaning, run the clip comb over the coat without using full pressure.

I used just enough pressure to take off the amount of coat that I wanted.

I skimmed about half of the coat off.

You must make sure that the coat is completely mat free before using the clip comb.

This owner had done a really great job keeping her dog brushed out.

I only found two small mats, although there were a few places that the owner had cut out some mats, and I would have to try to blend in those areas.

 I ran the clip comb down the spine line first, testing different pressures till I got the amount of hair off that I wanted.

Then I pulled up the hair to see if it was the length that the owner wanted.

This is the direction I skimmed the clip comb over the coat.

I skimmed a little more lightly down the legs, and then went over the entire body and legs with my scissors.

The bulk of the hair was gone, so scissoring was a matter of neatening everything up and shaping the outline.

Front leg before.

Front leg after.

One side finished.

The second side Before.

The second side After.

 The owner only wanted the head shaped up, but in proportion with the body.

I also skimmed the top of the head to blend it into the back of the neck and down the sides of the head.

I lightly clipped out the corner of the eyes, and shaped up the bangs.
The owner wanted bangs that hung over the eyes.

I took about a ¼ inch off of the beard and ears.

I took about  ½ an inch off of the tail.

This guy turned out to be a real pleasure to groom. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. wow! you made him look so awesome! great makeover! and what a cutie pie he was for those pictures :)

  2. Oh my goodness! What a sweet guy! He looks incredible! I hope the owner was really happy with the groom. He sure looks like he felt more handsome!

    1. Hi Jacki,
      Yes, the owner was happy with his groom. :)

  3. He is a cutie!! Looks like he was fun to work on.

    1. Yes Peggan,
      He was one of those dogs that you felt like you could have groomed 10 of him in a day and it would be a great grooming day. lol
      Lisa, MFF

  4. How do you recommend on shaving a German shepherd /collie mix... Is it possible to use the comb attachment in reverse so that there is no lines????

    1. Hi Galina,
      I rarely use my clip combs in reverse. Although I have heard other groomers say that clipping in reverse with the clip comb does not leave lines.
      As long as you use the clip combs after the bath and after you have ALL of the undercoat out, and can get a comb smoothly through the coat, the clip comb should not leave lines. At least it doesn't for me. If you get lines, try slowing down as you clip to get a cleaner look.
      Lisa, MFF

  5. This dog turned out beautiful. What did you use to condition his coat with?

    1. Thank you,
      I used my regular Conditioner. 'Cure Care' It is a hypo allergenic conditioner that leaves no residue on the coat. It is a people conditioner that I buy at 'Sally's Beauty Supply'.
      Lisa, MFF