When I was starting to groom we were all taught to shave every pad as short as possible. When I started showing and competing as a groomer with American Cockers I was told NOT to shave the pads out completely.
It was confusing to say the least.
Now, the newest thinking on the subject of shaving out pads is less scooping MAY be better in some dogs.
Leaving the hair in the pads (provided its not matted of course) and only trimming it flush with the pad or a very scoop in the pad area is more on trend now because we are beginning to realize that the hair is actually there to protect the tender skin between the toes.
In cocker spaniels and other dogs prone to yeast, shaving the pads really tight can easily result in a yeast infection being able to take root in the pads. Dogs who lick their feet are less likely to cause bleeding and sores in the foot itself if a little hair is left. The pad is less likely to be damaged by foreign objects in the environment as well if there is a little bit of hair.
Some people use the clipper to take out just a little hair and others use shears to do it.
Here is a picture of a foot done with no scooping, only a blade used to level it off.
If you are using shears, and I do it a lot with shears, use short shears you can control. I use curved shears turned BACKWARDS with the points towards me, to make it less likely I will cut a dog.
If the dog is antsy or tends to kick, then use a 40 blade and just skim the pads without going in between the pads and toes. This will also minimize irritation.
Dogs that lick their feet can actually cause yeast and bacterial infections to continue and sometimes, not shaving the pads out, will stop this behavior.
YES some dogs need to have their pads shaved out but not every dog does.
It DOES NOT make you any less professional to skim or scissor pads! It makes you a caring person that is doing what is best for your clients.
And isn't that what we want to do?? The best job we can for our clients.
I have looked at this tool for several years and put it off. I kept saying "I don't do a lot of desheds", I would always say to myself and it never got ordered. We started grooming a Lagatto Romagnolo and again, was told "you need this tool" and the breeder and other people showing talked my groomer out of it (he was her handler) and again, we never got one.
WELL, at the Florida NDGAA show (the Fun in the Sun) in October, I was talking to Alison Franklin from the Groomer's Mall as they were packing up and she had ONE LEFT, and she kinda nudged me saying "You won;t regret it", so I added it to my bucket with a new brush and the nail trimmers, combs and brushes I was supposed to buy. I mean what was the worst thing that could happen? It went to the G.E.A.F. or delegated to the "unused gimmicky tool drawer" - and you KNOW we all have that drawer!
I got back to the shop and promptly put that tool into a drawer and figured when Sasha (the Lagatto) came in we would see what it did on her coat since she is not actively showing and her mom DOES NOT BRUSH.
One reason I was hesitant to use this is that the coat king, which is similar to this tool, has been known to cut coat if its new and hasn't been used enough to dull it. I didn't want to cut the Lagatto's coat and any dog with a double caot , like a sheltie or pom I was not willing to try it on if it was going to cut coat.
On Tuesday, however, a maltese mix came in and his mom was complaining that he was shedding so could I "cut him shorter to stop it". I had the same discussion I would have with a lab or golden owner where I explained that it would only be shorter hair and not stop the shedding, but then a lightbulb went off and I said "I have this new tool....if it doesn't work you can bring him back and I will cut him shorter." She agreed to try it and I was more than impressed with the results I got on hi and so was him mom. In fact, she took home the hair I got out of her dog to show her husband, tipped $10 and called back to tell me it was working and he was shedding "almost not at all".
Look how THICK that pile of hair is! The deshedder tool is over an inch high when laying on the table!
I was so happy with the results that on Wednesday we took this video of the tool being used on a matted and VERY thick coated snz/yorkie mix named Mumford.
That is one huge pile of hair!
notice how this is "hooked" and "looped". That is how this tool works and is proof it isn't cutting the coat.
SO, the results are lots of undercoat removed, coat not damaged or cut, and our work dramatically reduced in removing the dead undercoat from these two dogs. As a result the shedding they had been doing has been dramatically reduced and HOPEFULLY in Mumford's case, the matting she has been having will be reduced as well.
Here are some more photos of the hair that we removed up close for you to see for a fact the hair was not cut. In fact, there is very little topcoat in that "pad" of hair shown. The Topcoat, as a matter of fact, is intact, hard and shiny. We have not used this tool on any pet strips as of yet but I would bet that a cocker back, or even a Wire Fox Terrier (or similar) pet strip, this would do wonders at mucking out undercoat and not removing the hard hair we want to leave.
This is the bottom view of a "pad" of hair removed from Mumford.
SO my suggestion to everyone is BUY THIS TOOL! It is a great tool and will make your job as a groomer easier and faster. If you do desheds or low shed services this tool would be faster than most and cause MUCH less damage to coat and skin. If you do carding on labs and goldens this will make that j ob faster and easier. In fact I cannot think of a breed it wouldn't help with. Debulking ears on poodles, legs on snzs or cockers...so many reasons to use it!
I know for a fact that Groomers Mall has them in stock and many thanks to Allie for kinda nudging me to buy it. She said I would be happy and would not regret it and she was right.
PS. This is not a paid endorsement. I did not get this tool for free and I DID NOT get it with any expectations by Andis or Groomers Mall. I am writing this because, in my experience it WORKS and I was thrilled with this tool so I wanted to share it with you!