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    • July 21, 2017 3:01 PM CDT
    • He's adorable!




    • July 21, 2017 9:32 AM CDT
    • This is my own dog, Connor, whom I adopted in January. (Kimber died about a year ago.) I got him from our local animal shelter and as you can see, he was in pretty bad shape. He was rescued as a stray running around the streets of Simi Valley, CA. He needed to be neutered and I told several different employees at the shelter NOT to shave him - that I was a groomer and I would take care of it myself. So, a week later, I go to pick him up after his surgery and the vet says to me, "We groomed him for you!" Arrrggg. So, I spent the next five months growing his hair back out. He cleaned up pretty nice, I think.

    • September 12, 2016 9:23 PM CDT
    • If the dog is matted, you may not have any other choice but to shave him. That said, you CAN make it a positive customer service situation even if the dog won't look fantastic. 

      It's important to act confident and knowledgable, as well as understanding. I don't shame owners. I am matter of fact about the dog's condition and I tend to lean on the side of the dog will be shaved rather than I'll try to save it.  I would rather they get a happy surprise than to have their hopes up for a miracle and then be disappointed. 

      "Well, this time, it looks like we will need to go short and start over. The good news is that it's hair and it will grow back. :) From here, we can set up regular appointments and make sure he doesn't get matted up again. At this age, they sure do seem to matt up really easily. It's usually because they are changing from that soft puppy coat into their adult coat. It can be realy tough to keep it up. By starting over, we can work on a trim style that suits him best and one that you can more easily maintain."

      From there, if the client does appear to really want to keep the coat maintained, I will try to save some. If you're lucky, the dog will look more schnauzer like and you can do a schnauzer trim. Often times the worst matting is in the armpit and rear areas. Both of those are taken care of with this trim style. The whole underside can be clipped off with just a thin skirt hiding it.

      I think the most important thing is to not promise a miracle. It will only disappoint if you can't pull it off. I prepare them for naked and do my best to wow them at pick up with something cute instead.




    • September 12, 2016 8:31 PM CDT
    • I have a first time client coming in with her 8 month old schnoodle for its first groom. This client knows a lot of people and can be a positive influence on new client referrals. I have to do a GREAT job with this pup. With that said, she said it is matted. I have not seen it yet. I have not groomed a schnoodle either. What are your suggestions for grooming him?

    • September 29, 2015 7:50 AM CDT
    • I agree the whole haircut on the back should be a bit longer, and then fall off the sides higher up to make more of a drop coat look.  Take the chest down and blend where the coat falls off, and let the lower legs fill in.  

    • August 10, 2015 1:41 AM CDT
    • Feel free to totally ignore me as I'm a cocker owner not groomer.  I think part of the problem is the dog's legs are short and not that straight.  looks like the pasterns are weak too which affects how the legs look.

      What I would do is start the skirt higher esp in the the dog's upper thigh in the back.  taper the sides so the skirt line isnt as dramatic.  use the coat king to help the coat lay flatter and then use thinning shears very sparingly to help blend a bit more. 

      Personally I like the crown more sculpted but I'm guessing thats how the owner likes it.

    • June 17, 2015 8:27 PM CDT
    • I was also going to suggest carding.  I would also try using a stripping rake (the Mars Coat King is an example) on the skirt and furnishings to help it lie flatter.  

    • June 16, 2015 9:20 PM CDT
    • I'll try maybe 1/2 inch they come in in another week I think. I also have a side view pic for some reason didn't post before

    • June 16, 2015 7:48 PM CDT
    • It looked much shorter than that in the picture. If the 5 looks that short, I'd go with a comb attachment on the back.



    • June 16, 2015 6:30 PM CDT
    • Thanks, I have been doing the back with a 5f, should I try a 4?

    • June 16, 2015 8:26 AM CDT
    • I would go back with the cocker style. I would leave the back longer, not shorter than a 7F blade, but probably more towards a 5 blade. I would card and card and card to help it lay flat, doing the same at the pattern line. The longer back, with a lot of carding and blending, will have it looking more natural and take away the cut in half look.



    • June 16, 2015 7:48 AM CDT
    • I have a customer with a cockapoo that has a cocker type face but real fluffy body. Owner said the dog used to have a beautiful skirt but another groomer shaved him and it never grew back the same. She used to want me to do a cocker cut but the dog looked like he was unfinished, half shaved. The legs are very fluffy at the top I tried to go down lower, more like a schnauzer but it still looks funny. Owner didn't want me to cit the skirt because she wanted it to grow back, but it doesn't lay flat it is more like an Afro. I will try to attach pics any help would be appreciated

    • February 9, 2015 11:59 AM CST
    • Adorable! Such a cute, creative groom. It's cool the owner wanted something different.

    • February 1, 2015 7:49 PM CST
    • Good job! It looks nice and you gave the owner just what they wanted.

    • February 1, 2015 3:08 PM CST
    • yeah that is nice, good job!

    • January 31, 2015 11:21 PM CST
    • Very cute! You did a nice job of blending the top knot with the face.

    • January 31, 2015 9:52 PM CST
    • super cute. way to go!

    • January 31, 2015 9:25 PM CST
    • I love getting fluffy mixed breed puppies before the owner has developed a strong mental image of how they should look. Then (within reason) the lines I need to color inside of are wherever I choose to put them.

    • June 3, 2014 9:00 PM CDT
    • It's always interesting what people actually hear compared to what they were told. I wonder if they just misunderstood or if their breeder really said that. It's hard telling.



    • June 3, 2014 5:04 PM CDT
    • No, surprisingly she wasn't matted. Maybe the owners pay attention and individually comb or cut matts out when they find them? I'll ask next time. But while she obviously wasn't corded, they definitely try to keep her coat looking clumpy rather than fluffy, by brushing her as little as possible, because they believe that brushing causes matting. That's what their breeder told them. By the laws of physics, I just don't see how that can be possible. Maybe if the coat was really a very different texture from any other dog, I could be convinced, but the coat wasn't particularly unusual.

    • June 3, 2014 2:50 PM CDT
    • I got the impression when you implied they don't get the dog groomed often enough, that it was likely matted. I know a lot of groomers that will brush out 6 months of coat because the owner doesn't want the dog shaved down.



    • June 3, 2014 2:08 PM CDT
    • Who said anything about "dematting"? He wanted me to bathe and dry his dog without brushing her. I'm quite sure that would contribute to matting, not prevent it. If this guy had his druthers, he would have had me bathe his dog, towel-dry her, and put her in a cage dryer without touching her. But I don't own a cage dryer - I just have an HV dryer. So, I just very lightly brushed her to speed the drying process since she had six months of hair growth. Honestly, after shaving her with a #4, I didn't think the owner could tell if I brushed her or not, but I did my best to follow his instructions, despite my own beliefs. But I think if he comes back, I will explain my beliefs and let him do what he wants with the information.

    • June 3, 2014 12:08 PM CDT
    • I read that SWD page too when I had one coming in. I do wish it gave better direction for pet owners.

      Your owner is probably right about the matting. Dematting damages the coat. It causes rough and split ends and breakage leaving the hairs at different lengths. Damaged coat does matt and tangle much easier than healthy coat in good condition.

      Good for your new client! I love an owner that will research and not base an opinion on just what they were told by a couple of people.


    • June 3, 2014 11:27 AM CDT
    • That's good to hear! Speaking of which, I groomed my first Spanish Water Dog a couple weeks ago and unfortunately, their web sites still say the dogs should never be brushed, and should just be shaved down twice a year. I understand that the SWD show dog is corded, but how they expanded that notion to pets not being brushed, I'll never know. In fact, this owner was so misguided, he tried to tell me that whenever groomers thoroughly brush out his dog, she matts so much faster. I'm sure that's just in his imagination because of the rheteric he's been fed. Anyway, I shaved her with a #4 from head to toe, even her face, so it wasn't very exciting. It's really too bad because this dog could have a nice fluffy coat and round face all year long, if they just maintained the coat like a doodle. But I guess they save a lot of money on grooming.

      But I also have good news. I had a new customer call me with their brand new gorgeous, bright red multe-poodle puppy. She said that the breeder had told her that the puppy must have her anal glands expressed with every groom. I explained that was an old myth and they really should be left alone, unless she starts scooting. The owner was so confused - she said the breeder was really adamant that it must be done. So, the owner went off to the Internet to figure out who was right. Fortunately, she found the overwhelming opinion out there is to not regularly express the anals anymore. I know sometimes the Internet can work against us, but it's nice to see that it can work in our favor too.

    • June 2, 2014 9:08 PM CDT
    • A coworker sent me a link to a website with instructions for grooming a doodle. I know what I was expecting, but what I read wasn't half bad.  It included instructions on how to properly line brush/comb a coat.

      I started looking for the page that I expected to see, one of the original doodle websites that said they didn't need brushed, never matted, and if a groomer shaved them it was only because they were lazy.

      I was pleasantly surprised in that going through 13 search pages, I could not find any of those old websites. It seems the breeders are actually recommending proper brushing several times a week and professional grooming every 4-12 weeks.

      Now, if only the buyers were reading those pages........