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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cute Face How-To

I have been asked to show how I did this face on my Toy Poodle.

This is a fairly easy face to do.

It would be a great face to do on dogs whose owners don't want the whole face shaved, but want around the eyes short.

It is also a great cut for dogs whose beards are matted, but you want to save some hair on the face.

Or those dogs that come in with food and mats in their beard and around their mouth.

For my dog here, I used a #15 blade against the grain.

I clipped all of the way up the throat and chin, taking the entire beard off.

Make sure to hold the upper lip hair out of the way while clipping the chin.

Clip from the ear to the corner of the eyes just like you would when shaving a Poodles clean face.

 When doing this type of face on other breeds, I have also used a #5F against the grain, or a #7F with or against the grain.

It all depends on the type of coat and how thick of thin the coat on the face is.

I shave out under and between the eyes, going about a quarter of the way down the muzzle.

How far I clip down the muzzle depends on how full I want to leave the mustache and how long the muzzle is.

I stopped shaving at the corner of the mouth.

All washed, blow dried and ready to scissor.

My goal is to scissor the mustache to give it a dome look on top of the nose.

I start by combing all of the hair on the muzzle up.

You want the hair to be either standing up or sticking out sideways.

It will depend on the type of hair as to how much it will stand up.

As you slowly shorten the hair to shape, the hair may stand up better for you to shape it.

I like to start scissoring at the back of the mustache, to scissor the hair away from the eyes and shape the line from the top of the muzzle to the corner of the lip.

This is the type of line I will be scissoring.

Next, I scissor the top and sides of the mustache, going for a round shape.

I scissor a little hair at a time, every once in a while combing the hair up again and then scissoring a little more to shape.

I like to think of my scissoring as sculpting.

Scissoring a little at a time helps you to shape what you are scissoring.

 Sometimes we have a vision in our heads about what we think something should look like, and we take that first cut of hair that we think needs to come off only to find that we have cut too much.

That is why I like to scissor small amounts of hair at a time, taking more off as I need to.

Does that make any sense?
I hope so. :)

Now I scissor the bottom of the mustache.

How short you take it is up to the groomer.

On my guy, I take it up to just below the lip line.

On other dogs, and dogs with messy mouths, I have taken the mustache up very tight to the lip line.

Next, I comb all of the hair forward towards the nose.

Then I scissor and shape all of the hair in front of the nose.

I shape all of the way around the front of the mouth and the top of the nose.

I like to round off the front of the mustache just like the back of it.  

 This is what it looks like from the side.

This is what it looks like straight on.

(This picture is from my guys last grooming, because I forgot to take a front picture of him from the grooming session pictured above. :/ )

Hope this helped.  :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesdays Tip #61: Before The Furminator

Once upon a time there was no tool called 'The Furminator'.

I was there...in that 'once upon a time'.
I groomed for years without a Furminator.
My bank account wishes that I came up with the idea for the Furminator.
After all, how many times, while using a simple blade to do the same thing that the Furminator does, did I think to myself; "I wish there was an easier way to hold this blade."

That thought had to have crossed my mind at least a few times, especially when my hand would cramp up while using the blade to card on a large job.

I was very excited when The Furminator tool came onto the grooming seen.
I saw the first one used at Groom Expo.
Then I saw what they were charging for it.....:(
I didn't get one the first year they came out.
After all, I could do the same thing holding a simple blade.

I did eventually break down and buy one, mainly for the fact that my hand does not cramp up using it.

I do know that there are groomers out there that refuse to buy The Furminator because they refuse to pay what they feel is too high a price for it.
So I am going to give a tip on what I used to do to card a dog before 'The Furminator' was invented.

First, for anyone who is wondering; what is carding?

Carding a coat is to remove  the undercoat, mainly on short and medium coated dogs.

You can use a simple #10 or #15 blade.

 Hold the blade with the back of the blade facing you.

Place the teeth on the coat at a 45 to 90 degree angle.

I hold it at an angle that is comfortable in my hand.

With a gentle pressure, run the teeth of the blade with the growth of the coat.

 The teeth will run over top of the top coat and pull out the undercoat.

This method also works really great on cats with short to medium length coats.

The dog in this picture is a Beagle.

Running a slicker over this dog gets little to no coat out, where as using the blade to card removes a lot of the shedding coat.

I also like using the carding method on some Spaniels, Goldens and Cockers that have that very soft, fuzzy, ugly hair that grows on some of them.

The Spaniel in this picture has some of that soft fuzzy hair on her legs.

 I could just scissor it tight to the leg, but the fuzzy texture of the hair will still show.

I want it to look more natural and like the rest of her hair.

I take a few gentle swipes over the area with the fuzzy hair.

I use just enough pressure to get all of the way down to the skin, but not scrape the skin.

The teeth of the blade works great to grab that fine fuzzy hair.

Now the fine fuzzy hair is gone and the natural coat lays more nicely.

There are also carding knives available to groomers.
I don't use them, because I have never found any left handed ones.
Plus, those little knives tend to cramp up my hands.
The clipper blade works just fine for me. 

Hope this tip helps.  :)