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, June 3, 2013

Monday Makeover #13 A Bichon Face

Today my Makeover is on a pet Bichon face.

The owner of this dog tries so hard to keep the coat mat free.
She does a pretty good job with the body.
The problem is the head.
This little man hates, hates, hates any kind of brushing done on his face.
The smallest tug on the hair to remove even the tiniest bit of matting will really upset this guy.
Because of that, the owner is not able to keep her dogs head and face brushed out.

So, he comes in with food in the hairs around his mouth.

The sides of his mouth have small mats, and his cheeks are matted.

Most of the time I am able to wash the food out of the hair from around the mouth.

This food and dirt is matted into the hair.

When I bathe a dog with mats like this around the mouth, I take a pair of scissors with me and scissor some of the larger food mats out while the hair is still soaped up.

I didn't bathe him this time, so I removed the mats after.

The mats were still scrubbed as clean as my bather could get them.

I pull up each individual little mat and use the very tip of my scissors to remove them one at a time.

I remove each mat one at a time, because I am trying to save as much hair around the mouth as I can.

I also try to just cut the top part of the mat off, leaving most of the length behind.

I have removed the mats from the left side of the mouth, but have not brushed it out yet.

 I also use the tips of my scissors to cut some of the larger mats on the side of the mouth into smaller mats that will brush out more easily.

This guy sits really still for this, so I felt comfortable using my scissors.

Don't split mats this way if the dog is too unpredictable.

You can also cut mats in half with a mat splitter, or thinning shears.

After gentle brushing and picking the mats out, the face is all brushed out and ready to scissor.

 I scissor my pet Bichon faces on the tighter side.

So many pet owners want that round Bichon head, but they either can't, or don't keep the head and face brushed out between groomings.

I still try to make the face as nice and round as I can get it, I just scissor it shorter and tighter in hopes that the head and face will not be as matted the next time.

Well, I can hope can't I?

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Most of the customers around here prefer really small teddy heads on their Bichons. I only have one that I do the "proper" Bichon head on, and a couple that get a smallish Bichon-shaped head like this dog, but mostly I take the cheeks way in on Bichons. People think it looks too froo-froo or something to have anything close to a real Bichon head. That head looks good, though - I'm still not very good at the binocular eyes, I tend to take my visors too short.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Most of my customers prefer the small teddy heads too (with long ears)
      I only have two that want the heads close to a 'real' Bichon. They always come back in with matted heads and faces. :( I hate the binocular eyes. I think it makes them look angry.
      Lisa, MFF

  2. Hi there. I was looking around at some of the various grooming magazines and came across your blog. I am so appreciative for all of your tips and breakdowns of cost, dilutions and your tips too. I laughed when I saw your listed Joy or dawn detergent. I have been using it for years but have only tried lemon. I discovered it's amazing de-greasing power when my dog and I were skunked one summer night. I used peroxide, baking soda and dawn. It turned the skunk oil into a green substance that literally just slid off of the dog and myself. I swear by it and use the same concoction to clean my skunked clients. The only thing is that you must be so very careful not to get it in the eyes as it will sting(I know from personal experience!) A tip for getting skunk and other noxious substances off of doggies face and ears if to use douche. When I was in school my teacher told us that she always used unscented women's douche for her dogs faces. Well I was desperate when we got hit and I went to the 24 hour pharmacy smelling to high heaven of skunk and bought about 10 bottles lol. I think that the store I get it from still must think my douche consumption rates are odd lol...I often go in when it is on sale and buy up all they have hehehe I do a lot of de skunking jobs lol. Another tip is to make sure you keep a gate up so clients kids don't come into the back when you are focusing on the dog, pilfer an empty douche bottle and run to the front of the salon using it as a gun!!! Anyway thank you kindly for all your info, tips, etc. I look forward to seeing more

    1. Hi,
      Thankfully we don't get to many dogs that have been skunked. Thanks for the tip. It is good to know if I ever do get a skunked dog in. Thanks for the tip about the douche too. I wonder if it would be good to use on those dogs with the really stinky beards. Thanks for reading my blog. :)
      Lisa, MFF

  3. The fur around that dogs mouth looked the way my bichon's face fur looks after he has chewed a rawhide. It gets so nasty that I hate to give them to him. Too bad cause he loves them and they are good for his teeth.