Dog Grooming Shears ? Great Styles for the Smaller Pooch

Dog Grooming Shears ? Great Styles for the Smaller Pooch

When you have a small dog, and want a great looking style for it, there is a whole lot of joy that can be derived from styling its hair on your own. Being able to experiment with different looks and varied lengths is something that gives every owner great joy, for your pet is like your own child. However, there is a lot of ambivalence and trepidation that owners face at having to snip through the locks of their canine love. This is easy, considering you now have dog grooming shears handy.

Dog grooming shears have been designed specially to be able to care for your dog’s hair. This is a pair that takes into consideration the needs of dog’s hair, and also helps you work with its length and texture better.

With a simple pair of dog grooming shears there is a lot that you can get done. The first, easiest step is being able to cut back on its length and give your hair a cleaner, healthier look. Once this has been accomplished it’s time to get your creative streak out and let yourself have a go.

Most dogs have trouble being comfortable around strangers, and this is where going to a salon for your dog can be a bother. However, when you have dog grooming shears around you it becomes possible for you to manage your dog’s hair by yourself and be able to trim it at your convenience at home. Dogs also feel more secure and trust you better. There will be less resistance and squirming, and you will find that you can get a better job done in much less time, and will less fuss.

The important thing is to find a good quality pair of dog grooming shears – one that is the right size for you and your dog. Once you have this is place, you are ready to start and transform your dog completely.

There are a variety of looks that can be possible with dog grooming shears, including the well groomed trimmed variety, the smartly kept long hair, and also the very messy look. All you need to do is gain control of the shears and work intelligently through the hair, and with a little practice you will soon have become a master craftsman.

When you start out, cut a little longer than the length you want so that you have some practice. It is also easier for you to correct imperfections and remedy any errors. Cutting too much is a mistake that finds no correction. Once you are confident of working on your own, you may be able to work with the lengths that you like.

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About Time

It has taken me forever to put these pictures together of the Rescue Round-up at Hershey last month.
There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day lately.

Anyway, there were three Rescue Round-up competitions this year.
The main competition on Sunday morning was an ‘invitational‘, meaning that groomers who had already placed in previous Rescue Round-up competitions were invited back to compete.
A competition of winners.
There were openings for this competition, so Groom Expo had two smaller Rescue Round-up competitions leading up to the ‘Invitational’.
The winners from those two smaller competitions would also compete in the ‘Invitational’.

Got that??

Well, it doesn’t matter.
Just have fun looking at the pictures.
I made a collage of each groomer.
They are before pictures and pictures all during the competition.
Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of each finished dog, just close to finished.
Why not any finished pictures?
I asked my son the same thing, because he was the one in charge of taking pictures since both Jess and I were competing. 
He said that he did not get any finished pictures because it got too crowded up close to the stage, and they were asking for pictures to be taken after the Judging.

Even though he did not get finished pictures, I think that you will be able to see the beautiful work that these groomers did to help these dogs find new forever homes.

The competition starts with all of the groomers picking numbers and the matching those numbers up with a rescue dog.

This was the little lady whose number that I picked.

She was very filthy and matted.

She was also very sweet.

This was the little guy that my daughter got to groom.

He was a very young dog, but acted like a very old man.

His skin was in awful shape, and he was also filthy and full of fleas.

I was one of the first three groomers to get the dog in the tub.

Normally I would have soaped and rinsed this dog at least three times to get her as squeaky clean as I could, but we had a 10 minute time limit, because other groomers needed to get to the tubs.
I scrubbed her the best I could with one bath.
I mixed a whitening shampoo and a medicated shampoo that I had brought just for the competition.
 She wasn’t what I would consider bad for the bath, but she was all over that tub.

Pacing back and forth, back and forth.

The dryer scared her a little at first, but she took to it pretty fast.

I was able to blow a lot of the matting out of her legs, but her body was very tightly matted.

I got the mat far enough away from her body to get a #4F under the mat.

Jessica said that her dog was very good in the tub.

I think that he was so happy to get those fleas off of him.

She also said that her dog was a little scared of the drier.

Sadly, it was the only time that he showed any emotion other than sadness.

After being bathed and dried, we were back up on stage with our dogs.

Now I had to decide exactly what I was going to do with this little lady.

Jessica’s dog had so many different lengths going on with his coat.

He had ripped so much of his hair out from chewing and scratching that he even had several bald spots.

I was able to brush out the small amount of mats that were still left in my little girls legs, but the hair on her body had to be clipped off with a #4F blade.

Her face had already been shaved by someone else, but it needed to be shaped up and neatened.

 Jessica didn’t even bother plugging her clippers in.

She decided to completely hand scissor her dog to try and even up all of the different lengths.

Someone had also shaved her dogs face before the competition.

This is my dogs before and (almost) after.  :)

This is Jessica’s dog before and (almost) after.

Now on to the other great groomers.

Professional Groomer Sue Watson

Professional Groomer Taryn Beattie

Professional Groomer
 Eric Chassey

Professional Groomer
 Megan Arend

Professional Groomer 
Hyuk Hwan Kwon

 Professional Groomer Kaitlynn Gove

Professional Groomer 
Nicole Kallish

Professional Groomer
 Lisa Leady

Professional Groomer 
Yoshiko Winner

Professional Groomer
 Angela Menard

Third place winner 
Professional Groomer
 Jeannie Traviss

 Second place winner
Professional Groomer 
Stephanie Stempfer

First place winner

Professional Groomer
 Anne Francis

All of the groomers did beautiful work.

Now on to getting the Creative grooming picture together.
Hopefully I will have them ready before the next Groom Expo. lol

Pet Grooming: The Good, The Bad, & The Furry

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Dog Grooming School

Dog Grooming School

A challenging but very rewarding profession, dog grooming requires special training or education. The courses organized by a dog grooming school are the straight-forward chance of getting a job in this activity. The entire training process heavily relies on practical applications conducted under the supervision of a trainer. An understanding of the pet needs and the possibility to work on live pets become premises for skill development. A grooming school could also provide courses for placement assistance, vet technician training and several other specializations that can become the basis for a solid career.

Home study programs represent another option to a classic dog grooming school. Normally, programs are structured in six or eight-week curricula. The program should be accredited by an official institution, and it is a good idea to check for the accreditation with the Better Business Bureau. There are colleges, trade schools or community colleges that recognize the professional training completed in a dog grooming school or the certification following a distance learning program. For anyone who considers a career in dog grooming, an evaluation of the alternatives is essential.

Between distance learning and direct training, the latter is definitely more adequate for one’s needs, thanks to the practical side of teaching. If you don’t find satisfactory information on the Internet, you can ask the local groomers about the school that they attended. Attending the courses of a local institution has a lot of advantages because you have the chance to develop skills by working directly on animals. Then, there comes the issue of tools, because Internet courses and home programs do not supply the necessary equipment.

In a grooming school, on the other hand, you will find all the didactic material necessary to develop good professional skills. After you graduate the program of a dog grooming school you will be a certified groomer with the possibility to go for an independent business career or to get a job in a pet salon, vet or rescue center. Last but not least, if there are several schools to choose from, make comparisons between their educational standards and the costs they require for the courses.

Tip: Check out Dani’s dog grooming tips, articles and his dog grooming book and discover “The Secrets Of Master Dog Groomers And Save Hundreds Of Dollars On Your Dog Grooming Bills Without Even Leaving Your Home!”

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Creating the Round Head with a Clipper – Drop Coated Head Styling

1rrThere are a number of different ways to create a round head style on a dog.

Here are two clipper options that will help you be more consistent from trim to trim.

Setting the Pattern

Use this hold to define sections of the head that are to be clipped or to be hand scissored:

2rrStanding in front of the dog, place your hands just behind the eyes so both thumbs touch under the jaw and both first fingers touch just above the eyes.

  • Anything behind your hands is considered the skull and should be clipped.
  • Anything in front of your fingers is considered the eye area and muzzle and should be shaped by hand.

3rrUsing a similar hold, place your fingers around the neck of the dog.  Slide your hands up until they rest at the base of the ears.  This is your dividing line between the neck and headpiece.

The length will vary based on client preference and length of body coat.  The shorter the body length, the shorter the head should be.  Longer trims look balanced with longer head styles as long as they are not extreme.  In both cases, it’s most important that the head be in balance with the body.

Style Option #1:

  • Take the same blade used to trim the body and use it again for the top of the head and down the sides of the cheeks.
  • If a #4F, #5F, #7F or #2 guard was used on the body, follow the natural lay of the coat, working out from the center of the skull.
  • Feather the coat over the tops of the ears and at the transition line just behind the eyes separating the head with the muzzle area.  There will be an imaginary line just behind the eyes where you can feel the eye socket rims.  The hair over the eyes in this area should be left to hand scissor, framing the eyes in the final stages of the trim.
  • Lift the ears out of the way and come down the sides of the face, in the cheek/jowl area.  Follow the lay of the coat and blend into the clipped neck. Leave just enough hair at the back corners of the eyes to complete the framework for the eyes in the finished trim.

Style Option #2

  • Use a medium to medium-long guard comb for small – to medium-sized pets; longer combs can be used on larger dogs.  The key is the head should ‘balance’ the trim and compliment the dog in size and shape.
  • Due to the length of coat these combs leave, they are most effective when pulled forward from the occiput to the eye area.  Your goal is to feather to coat at the transition point, softly framing the eyes.  The outer edge of the guard comb should ride right at the junction point of where the ear meets the skull.
  • The cheeks and jowl areas are handled the same way as outlined above.

Common Styling Techniques with Both Round Head Styles

The stop area should be trimmed for both options.  Personally, I like to catch this area when I do my close sanitation work just before I do the full haircut.  Don’t remove too much coat between the eyes – less will be better than more.  Focus on the area just in front of the eyes and the stop area.  Use thinning shears or clip the area with a close blade, such as a #10 or a #15.  This will clear the area of long fur and accentuate a nice, deep-set eye.

With both head styles, the framed area over the eyes should be scissored by hand.  Comb the coat forward over the eyes, making sure to get the hair in the stop area, too.

Scissor off the longer hair at a 45-degree angle, starting at the stop area.  The fur will be super short right above the eye and taper out slightly over the eye, framing it.

Use straight or curved shears in reverse, framing the eyes trimming up and over the eyes.  The beveled edge creates a ledge for the longer coat to sit on, keeping it out of the eyes.  It also creates a desirable “soft expression.”  A deep-set eye adds dignity and character to the facial expression, too.  There should be just enough depth to this frame to accomplish the look, but not so much as to give a heavy “visor” look.

Double-check and triple check this line framing the eyes.  It is the most important part of the entire trim.  Pay close attention to the stop area – this is an area that long strays love to hide.  The last thing you want is to have random hairs pop out once the dog gets home!

4rrOnce you are satisfied that the frame is even, the line will still be sharp.  Soften the framed area with thinning shears.

Double-check the line just behind the eyes where the clipper work feathers off.  It should be smooth and even at the transition point.

Check the transition lines over and around the ears and neck.  Use thinning shears to neaten these areas.  Make sure to look behind and under the ears too.  Follow the line under the jaw, too.  Everything should be even, neat and tidy.

The muzzle on many round head styles is trimmed by hand, keeping the eyes and nose at the center.  However, there are multiple style options.  Many stylists like to continue their longer guard comb work on the muzzle as well.  Or you can scissor it by hand.

When using a guard come on the muzzle, you can work either with the grain of the coat or against the coat growth with longer combs.  Once you are close to a consistent length – stop and finish the area by hand with thinner or blending shears.

For hand scissoring the muzzle coat, comb the coat down.  Use the jawbone as your guide.  Trim parallel to the jawbone adjusting the length as needed.  Once the length is established, finish trimming the area with thinning shears for a soft and even look.

Many owners appreciate removing the longer hair right under the nose, at the end of the muzzle.  On round-headed dogs, this is extra fur that gets messy at feeding time – collecting water and picking up all sorts of nasty things as the dog is outdoors sniffing around.  There are two basic ways to deal with this area:

  1. Simply hold the dog’s mouth firmly closed and quickly remove the extra hair with a close blade – anything from a #30 #15 or #10 blade will work.  Just watch that tongue!
  2. Hand scissoring works, too.  Use either thinners or a smaller pair of shears to trim the hair away from this area.  Comb the coat forward at the end of the muzzle.  Trim off the excess.  You can also taper the area back towards the neck.  This will help prevent dirt and debris from collecting in this area and provide a neat and tidy appearance to the overall head.

To finish the head style, soften all lines with thinning or blending shears.  Look for stray hair or anything that is out of place.  There should be no sharp lines anywhere on the head.  From side-to-side you are looking for symmetry, both in length and density.

In the end, the expression should be soft and kind.   The eyes will be the key feature you want to highlight.  Framing the eyes, you bring out the pet’s expression – something every pet owner loves to see!

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Happy trimming!


Melissa Verplank’s Pet Grooming Blog