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    • May 28, 2015 7:34 PM CDT
    • Thanks for the input :)

    • May 25, 2015 12:23 PM CDT
    • It sounds like there's not much, if any, plucking like you do on a terrier coat?


      I always wondered about that. I do a lot of carding, and can really tell the difference, and wondered if they were actually plucked too.



    • May 25, 2015 12:13 PM CDT
    • And for ISCC they must be carded/stripped. Plus it's way easier once you figure out what you are doing then trying to make the clipping look good

    • May 25, 2015 12:11 PM CDT
    • Okay First thing you need is carding knieves. A coarse knife and a fine. I use the Franklin ones. I get them from Groomers mall. You'll also want a delicate pumice. My favorite is the Sally Stone also available from groomers mall. When you get the knieves in they tend to be a little sharp so go outside and weed with them then just clean them off with Dawn dish soap and water. Then spray or wipe them with rubbing alcohol.

      For the actual work you'll hold the skin taunt and "comb" with the coarse knife first, making long smooth strokes from the whither back to the tail. I try not to go over the actual spine, but rather move the skin side to side away from the bone.

      On the sides only go to about the top of the rib cage (about an inch down) until they are a little older. The cocker line starts high and drops as they develop.

      You want to make sure the knife edge is almost flat to the skin. If it Is too upright you can damage the hair or irritate the skin. You'll see dull fuzz come out. That's the undercoat. Continue with the coarse knife until no more comes out, then switch to the fine knife and repeat.

      As they get older you will see long stragglers hairs, that's when you use the stone to pluck.

      Don't worry about head shapes and occipit now. They have a lot of growing and changing to do. And a pointy occipital is a good thing. It's supposed to be pronounced on a cocker

    • May 25, 2015 10:43 AM CDT
    • My Mom just got two cockers. They are 12 wks. The male has a very thick full curly coat. The female have a wavy to straight coat of normal thickness, though she has a very pointy occiput where the male has a nice rounded skull. I have never hand stripped a cocker and my Mom said I may handstrip her dogs as long as it didn't hurt, which I assured her it wouldn't. I have honustly no clue where to start though as I have only really stripped out terriers. Any and all help and suggestions would be appreciated. I am also going for my grooming certification through ISCC and was considering using one of the pups. Would it be a good idea to do a handstrip for my technical or better to play it safe and just do a pet trim? Thanks!

    • February 13, 2015 2:35 PM CST
    • I don't do a whole lot of big dogs.  On large haircut dogs, I keep good track of my time and price it base on my small dog price. A 2 hour large dog groom with be twice as much as my 1 hour small dog groom.

      Labs and those types are usually in the 1.5 - 2 times a small dog price. They don't always take that long with hands on, I do a lot of fan/crate drying for those coat types, but there is the product usage and the extra wear and tear on me doing the larger ones.

      I don't usually do Lab types straight through so it's hard for me to give you a time frame. I would bathe first, depending on how much shedding there is, I would likely do a good amount of brushing in the tub. Then towel well, and put into a kennel with lots of towels to catch as much excess water as possible, and a dryer or fan. Some time later, depending on my day, and when the dog is going home, he'll come out and I'll use the HV to finish drying and for more loose hair removal.

      I always crate dry those types before I spend any time drying by hand. That 30 minutes to use the HV to get the dog near dry can be spent doing another dog and letting my towels and fans do the work for me.



    • February 13, 2015 2:16 PM CST
    • So I finally had to realize that the bigger dogs are the trend now.  So I have had to start doing big dogs again after 20 years of not doing them.  I always did S. Poodles of any size but nothing over 45 lbs for 20 years.

      soo, I have questions:

      I do not like calling around asking prices, I hate interrupting people and asking and knowing I am just being nosey so I thought it would be more polite to ask here.

      thinking on a percentage basis, if a beagle is X, how much is a lab?   is he double the cost of the beagle?  

      now, thinking of the same dogs as a mix,  if the beagle mix is X, getting clipped down,  (knowing there isn't much styling involved) how much for the lab mix that is much bigger getting clipped down both to look smooth?

      Realizing that different prices vary from state to state, I think this is a good way to compare.

      NOW, next question, how long does it take you to do a purebred lab, and how do you structure his drying?

      I seem to take an hour to do a pug or beagle at the minimum for having them all done, and bone dry.  So I am wondering about a lab.  

      thank you so much.

    • June 23, 2014 9:36 AM CDT
    • I had never heard of this breed until I groomed him on Saturday. They're not in "Notes from the Grooming Table". He's a Polish Lowland Sheepdog. I had a hard time believing that anything with the word "sheepdog" in it would be low-shedding, but I looked him up, and the owners claims were true. The mother-in-law/petsitter was trying to get permission from the son-in-law/owner to shave him shorter, but never got it, so she just said to keep him as long as possible. I did him with an #F comb and she was thrilled when she picked him up. He had terrible hot spots on his legs, which she claimed were from previous salon baths. He'd been bathed a lot in recent days, so I just soaked him Results Rinse to try to get any residue out (in case that's what was causing all the itching), and didn't shampoo him at all. He was a sweet boy, but kept sitting down. And hoisting him up a gazillion times was just made more difficult by the fact that he had no tail!




    • December 12, 2013 7:33 PM CST
    • They do get an eyebrow/beard look. His did seam extra long. I took a good amount of bulk out of it and lots off of the sides of his face. The texture there is pretty soft. I'm not sure if that's normal or because he's never been groomed before to keep it mucked out.


      There aren't too many breeds that on a first time grooming, will lay down on the table and near fall asleep. The other one I did, also did that. The difference may be in that these two were working dogs, so they have had a life of activity, one that burns all that extra pent up energy that so many house pets end up with.





    • December 12, 2013 6:43 PM CST
    • Holy crap, that's a big dog!! I love the markings of his coat. You did a beautiful job! I love the long face - is that the breed standard or just what the owner wanted?

    • December 12, 2013 4:01 PM CST
    • This dog was 2.5 years old and his first real grooming. He was fabulous! 

      He has passed my  name on to another owner, so there should be a third calling in soon. :)


      He was HUGE. The owner said 90 lbs and he was right. Luke is a tall lanky 90 lbs making him very very tall.


      They're not great pictures. The shop is small and doesn't leave me enough room for good ones of bigger dogs.




    • November 14, 2013 4:56 PM CST
    • I just got a call for another one. I guess the word is being passed around. :)  He lives about an hour and a half away. If this guy is anything like the other girl I did, I'm going to enjoy getting my name out there with these breed people.




    • October 11, 2013 3:28 PM CDT
    • The sporting breeds have never done much for me. I've always liked the look of the wire haired pointers, just because I like the wire coat. I could never see myself owning a hunting type breed, until I met this girl. Wowza. She is such a cool dog. If she represents the breed as a whole, I hope they continue to be on the rare side. I'd hate to see them ruined.



    • October 11, 2013 3:15 PM CDT
    • My X brother in law had one...very neat dog.  He used him for hunting too...

    • October 8, 2013 8:40 PM CDT
    • How fanastic! It's great having a new client that is an educated dog owner!

    • October 8, 2013 4:32 PM CDT
    • I had a guy call about getting his Drahthaar hand stripped. Of course I had never heard of one, and it was not an easy task looking them up either as I hadn't a clue how to spell it. lol


      I finally found them, similar to a German Wirehair Pointer, and called the guy back. I'll admit to be skeptical and thinking he was another bonehead that spend a few grand on a 'rare' breed.


      I must say, I was totally impressed by him and even more so by the dog!

      They do come from the GWP, but have been bred for temperament, obedience and versatility. This girl was 6 months old. I was not looking forward to the first grooming on her. She was a dream to work on. 


      We talked quite a bit when he picked up. She is already following trail on deer, can track a rabbit and a few other things. She has already worked up to a sit stay and he can walk out the front door, come back in and she hasn't moved.


      He competes with his dogs and waited 3 1/2 years for this breeding. He absolutely adores her and you can tell. It would be hard not to love her.


      It was really nice talking to someone that knew what they were talking about. :)


      The best part? He didn't flinch at the price. lol  I charged an hourly rate for 2.5 hours of handstripping. I got her about 80% and we were both done. I showed him some tools for maintaining and left it up to him if he wants to try to finish her or call and rebook for me to do it.



    • January 21, 2013 5:40 PM CST
    • I was reading through the older post and just had to reply to the flat coat retriever.  All suggestions are great.  I was wondering maybe this dog had been 10 bladed a lot.  If you 10 blade this type of coat, it will come back fuzzy sometimes without the outer coat even coming back in.  

      Of course, she would not tell  you that it had been 10 bladed before because it was in bad condition. 

      I also have a long discussion with new clients.  There are clients who make the circuit of grooming shops especially the big brand stores that have the motto,"We will make you happy or your money back."   They bring in their dog, give as little instruction as possible or send hubby or wifeypoo in with the dog and the other picks it up.  Then that person puts on the Oscar performance of the year and gets the groom for free.  Not bad pay for a little acting. lol 

      Even I get caught every once in a while on this.  I had one lady come in and wanted the dog shaved nose to toes to tail with a 10 blade.  Winter time.  I tried to talk her out of it.  Twenty minutes later, I said OK.  I should have said no.  The hubby picked it up.  She post to a page online about her naked dog and how it was cut, blah blah blah. We checked and she had given many bad reviews on others service.  I did not give her money back.  I did what she wanted.  I did not cut it. It scratched I am sure.  It was too short for him.  New rule in my shop.  NO #10 shaves.  I don't like them and it is not good for the dog.  If they want a hairless, they should have bought a chested.  

    • August 6, 2012 12:42 AM CDT
    • Wolf-hound said:

      Yep, some folks won't be happy, no matter what.

      I've had people want their dog to look like 'XXX" and I'll tell them very frankly that while I am a very good groomer, I do not perform genetic engineering.

      I've had people tell me to give their peke a "long face" and pointed out every way I could that the dog doesn't have ANY hair on the face, and that I cannot make long hair magically grow.  They left, angry that I "refused" to groom their dog that way, saying they would go back to the other groomer who did it the way they wanted. I've often wondered what the heck the other groomer did.  Glue a fake beard on?

      Okay, that just made me laugh - glue a fake beard on!  Just grab one of the matts that you took off an earlier dog and stick that on!  LOL



      As for the OP...


      with regard to F/C retrievers while we don't do many, we do a few (they're gaining in popularity since one won Crufts a couple years back).  The peach fuzz sticky outies on the ears, handstrip out.  Grab a pair of disposable rubber gloves and strip away.  If there are some of those down the front of the legs, strip with the same gloves or use a stone.    You will get a much more natural regrowth and the finish will be much better and worth the extra work.  But above all, I would always discuss exactly what you're going to do when accepting a client in so they have no illusions of what you can and can't do.


      If we have to take anything off the coat, we use the bluntest coat king and lightly strip out the body with that (or use stone and gloves).  After the bath, we drape a clean towel and pin it on so that the coat dries flat and smooth til it's mostly dry, and then use a blaster and stand dryer in the direction of the coat lay only to keep it flat flat flat :)

    • April 10, 2012 3:30 PM CDT
    • Yep, some folks won't be happy, no matter what.

      I've had people want their dog to look like 'XXX" and I'll tell them very frankly that while I am a very good groomer, I do not perform genetic engineering.

      I've had people tell me to give their peke a "long face" and pointed out every way I could that the dog doesn't have ANY hair on the face, and that I cannot make long hair magically grow.  They left, angry that I "refused" to groom their dog that way, saying they would go back to the other groomer who did it the way they wanted. I've often wondered what the heck the other groomer did.  Glue a fake beard on?

    • April 10, 2012 7:21 AM CDT
    • Thanks again everyone for your support.  And sorry for the font thing, damn! :)

      This woman was not interested in hearing my side.  I tried to engage her by sitting down away from the check-out desk, to no avail.  Tried to make eye-contact with her, very little.  And you're right, she needed to be theatrical and was definitely eletist.  Too bad her discriminating taste didn't include a knowledgable grasp of her dog.  If it had been my shop, I would have been a bit more vocal in defending myself.

      The only thing I can think that I could have done differently was taken the time to sit down with her and some pictures and discuss just exactly what could have been done with the dog and explained what we had to work with.  Again, education, education.  That's what I always come back to on my part.

      As for the peach fuzz on the shoulders, hocks and legs, I could have plucked and stripped till the dog was naked, there simply was no hard coat in there-at all.  Plus, what he did have of "hard coat" was certainly not "flat", it was cowlicked up like rough seas!

      I dunno.  I once had a woman bring in a older Pekenese.  She saw a Maltese on my table and said, " I want you to make my dog look like that."  I mused for a moment then said it will be tough to make a teddy bear head as your dog doesn't have that much hair, but I'll do my best, and we'll go for the same length on the body.

      When she picked up the dog, she put her down to watch her walk to make sure I hadn't hurt her.  Then said she didn't like the haircut, that she wanted me to make her dog look like the dog on the table.......... I really tried to understand what I could have done differently and finally in frustration said, "I can't make a Pekenese look like a Maltese!"  She sniffed, and said, "Well, I'm not going to argue with you, besides, I don't care about the breed, I just care about the haircut!"  omg.

      She paid for the groom and left, and the receptionist, bather, and I gathered in the vet's office to see if there wasn't a camera rolling somewhere.................  The  phone rang, the receptionist got it and it was the woman, sitting in her car in front on her cell phone, saying "Are you talking about me?"  This is a true story!

      Into the Journal of Customer Interactions under the heading of Unredeemable.  lol.


    • April 9, 2012 8:00 PM CDT
    • Mom knows how to play you...thank yo gods she goes somewhere else...she better pray she doesn't come to me;)


      Listen where wass the screw up?


      What did you discuss for a grooming beforehand?


      She wants a show dogs...tell her shows dogs do not come in with golf ball size mats behind their ears...they are actually cared for:)


      Personally if she asked for the hair to be shorter then you did what you could do.


      If she just wanted a  tidy I would have used a coat king, carded, then taken my stripping knife to those stringy feathers.


      As for her theatrics..if someone tried to pull that line with me I would have said if THAT has traumatized your children then I hope that is the worst thing they ever face in their lives...cause hair GROWS BACK!

    • April 9, 2012 7:13 PM CDT
    • Oh I forgot about the kids being "traumatized", that's a load of BS. Mom is being theatrical, or she's done a poor job raising children if they get so upset over a haircut on the dog.

    • April 9, 2012 6:38 PM CDT
    • You can only do so much with a sparse coat. If the dog had cottony peach fuzz everywhere than I would say you did the best you could do with what you had. If you left the matts behind the ears I am sure she would have returned asking, "Why?"


      It sounds as though the children were simply reacting to the mother’s inappropriate reaction. If the mother had looked at the dog and said, "oh….look how cute" I think the kids would have smiled and agreed. If you did your best than that’s all you can do.

    • April 9, 2012 6:03 PM CDT
    • I'm guessing she wanted more of a Tidy on the feathers sort of thing? You didn't say what type of groom you discusssed with her at drop of, that's when I get everyone's "Recipe", tell them whether I can do that or not in assessing the coat, and figure out time. A Flat Coat shouldn't need to be clipped as Wolfie said, I always try to talk someone out   of it unless they really insist it be shaved down. They have an incredibly easy coat to groom with the undercoat virtually flying out with a HV and the rest combing out easily. (Although Flat coats do have a tendency to really hate the HV) Coat Kings do alot to remove that "Peach Fuzz" that you're talking about. Did you attempt to dematt abit behind the ears before resorting to a 10 blade? If you're careful,prior to bathing, spray some D-Matt into the matt and pull it out a bit, sometimes you can get most of it dematted that way. Did you use conditioner at all on him? That would have removed some of the fuzz as well, leaving that nice shinny coat that FC's have. Most of mine get a trim up on the feathers much like a Golden would.

    • April 9, 2012 5:16 PM CDT
    • Why would you "eat crow" and assume you did wrong? The woman is delusional if she thinks her mutt can look like a show champion.

      I would have asked her which parts of the groom she disliked, explained why I groomed the spots I did and try to find a groom she preferred, with the exception of the matted spots.

      Some people prefer the shaggy untrimmed junky look on their dogs. It's hard to judge without a picture, but if you made the dog look neat and tidy, then you didn't do anything wrong UNLESS she said "Don't clip any hair".

      A flat-coated retriever shouldn't need to be clipped.  But that's assuming that the dog has the proper coat, is properly maintained and isn't a matted, curly mess.  The "peach fuzz" was outer fuzz or the coat all the way down? Often the coats have a outer fuzzy cotony junky bit that can be swiped out without clipping the coat with a blade.