Let me start this makeover by saying that there are a lot of different things with this cut that are not considered 'correct'.
Most of the 'pet' grooms that I do are groomed the way the customer wants, whether the cut is 'correct' or not.
I also determine my placement of pattern on the conformation of the dog.
Some dogs may look better with a higher, or lower skirt.
Some may have their ears clipped differently do to medical issues.
Legs on some patterns may be clipped or scissored short, or left long depending on the owners wishes.
I know from reading different grooming boards that a lot of grooms have strong opinions on how dogs should groomed.
There are many groomers who feel that all pure bred dogs should be groomed only in 'correct' patterns.
I have found that very few pet owners can, or even want to take care of the 'correct' patterns on their dogs.
How many of your customers want skirts off of Cockers, Schnauzers, or Westies?
How many want long ears on their Bichons?
How many don't want feet and faces shaved on their Poodles?
How many Wheaten owners do not want the fall on the dog and want to see the eyes?
What are you going to tell them?
No, I can't groom your dog the way you want it, I have to groom it 'by the book'.
I have had several new customers come in and tell me that the last groomer actually did say that to them, and would not clip their dog the way they wanted.
As far as I am concerned, as long as a customer does not ask me to do something that may hurt the dog I will groom it any way they want.
I am just happy that they are grooming their dog.
I know that some groomers would argue with me that "if you cut the hair right you can fix the bad conformation on the dog."
Well sure, as groomers you and I know this, but the average pet owner does not understand why you may have cut the hair short on one area of the leg but left another area of the leg longer so that that leg now looks straight.
In a day or two, when the hair is no longer fluffy, and the dog is getting wet from the morning dew outside, or from playing outside, you may get a call from the owner telling you that the cut on the legs is uneven, or choppy, or you missed clipping some hair.
You will come across some pet owners that do want the 'correct ' 'show' pattern, but I have found that most pet owners just want their pets clean, with a nice cute easy to take care of cut.
I started out grooming this Cocker the 'correct way' several years ago, but over the years the owner has asked for different things.
So here is a short version of a Cocker pattern.
This guy is one of my favorite Cockers.
His owner has always had me do the Cocker pattern on him, but she likes it short.
I started out clipping his back with a #5F to try to make it look somewhat natural, but that soon changed to a #7F.
Now I clip his back with a the #15 blade setting on my cordless.
The owner really likes the back that short.
He is the only Cocker that I clip that short on the back.
Didn't I tell you he is one of my favorites?
He loves his belly rubs!
His owner likes the ears long, back short, legs on the short side, skirt and apron long but scissored up to the chest and belly.
Bathed, blow dried, brushed and ready to clip.
I start at the top of the head.
I like to clip all of my Cocker heads with either a #5F, or #7F against the grain. (mostly #7F)
I find that clipping against the grain with these two blades leaves a really nice smooth finish without making the head look skinned.
I clip against the grain on the top and sides of the face.
If I use a #5F on the top of the head, I always clips the sides of the face with the #7F.
This Cockers owner does not want any crest above the eyes.
I also clip the chin and part of the neck with the #7F against the grain.
Depending on the thickness and type of hair the Cocker has on its muzzle, determines whether I use the #7F against the grain on it, or a #15 blade with the grain.
On this Cocker I use a #15 with the grain on the muzzle, blending it into what I clipped with the #7F.
After I finish clipping the face and head, I move on to the dogs back.
I start at the back of the head and blend the #15 blade into what I already clipped the head with the #7F against the grain.
This is very easy because the #7F against the grain is just about the same length as the #15 with the grain.
Normally, if I were clipping the back with a #4F, #5F, or #7F, I would clip with long strokes straight down the back and then slowly curving down towards the skirt to blend.
Because I am using a #15 blade, I like to clip the back slowly and in short strokes to avoid leaving any lines in the clipped coat.
As you get close to the skirt or apron, slowly ease up on your pressure and just skim lightly over the top of the skirt to blend.
For this Cockers ears, I clip farther down the ears than I normally would.
This Cocker has issues with his ears, so by clipping the top of the outside of the ear lower, and clipping the inside of the ears all of the way down to the end of the ear leather, the owner can still have long Cocker ears but a lot of weight has been removed to help with the ear issues.
I used a #15 blade to clip out the entire inside of the ear, stopping at the end of the ear and skimming off so as not to cut into the long hair on the end of the ear.
The pads of the feet are clipped with a #30 blade.
The legs are clipped with the yellow comb attachment for the 5in1 cordless clipper and scissored to finish.
Even though the owner wants the leg on the shorter side, she likes the feet full and round.
The chest is scissored tight.
The skirt is scissored up to the underbelly.
I also round off the bottom edges of the skirt to make the edge look softer.
(Sorry about the picture. He was just starting to sit down as I took it.)
A view from the back.
This clip may not be 'the correct by the book' clip, but it is exactly how the owner likes it. :)
It is also a nice 'pet' Cocker style, easy for the owner to maintain.
✂ Happy Grooming, MFF ✂