Bob is a Morkie (Maltese, yorkie mix) and he is my puppy. I simply adore this dog.
I have been studying the Japanese and other Asian countries grooming styles for several years and I found a photo of a Westie done by a Japanese handler that I fell in love with. I have utilized that style, modified to a shorter trim, on many yorkies in my salon, but on Bob the style, even in full length, is perfect for his body type and suits his lifestyle as well.
In this groom, preparation of the coat is extremely important. The legs and “skirt” get dried down, not fluffed and the back gets dried the same way. You want those parts of the coat to lay flat. The head on the other hand is fluffed UP with mousse or hairspray or gel (your choice) worked into the coat while drying. I use Freeze It hairspray, applied to the roots while drying with heat to help stand the head up. Of course, on pets in the shop the legs (if cut shorter) would get fluffed. I would probably put product into the legs as well to help them stand up better. I use product in the pets in my shop, just as I would for my competition dogs because it helps me get a better groom on their pet that holds up better in the long term.
His back work is done with thinning shears shaped into a very angulated Westie pattern with more of a schnauzer back leg. I like the shoulders really tight and in a V shape, similar to the way I groom a cocker spaniel. The skirt is angled pretty severely in this groom, but in the shop you can soften it up quite a bit and still keep the basic groom intact. I also cut in the legs at the back of the front legs and the front of the back legs using my thinning shears to separate them from the skirt. That separation is what keeps the Asian flair in this groom.
On the throat, and shoulders, I use thinning shears to take it almost to the skin, blending into the shoulders. This is also similar to a cocker spaniel groom. On pets I use the Speed Feed set on a 9 in most cases. The chest is also tight and typical of a cocker front, with a VV groomed into the front, with the outside points making the point of shoulder.
His legs are full length, almost to the floor with feet that bevel like cocker legs. In the shop I would be more likely to scissor the legs into columns, shorter to make the care at home easier for the owner.
His ears tip, they do not stand, so I do not shave the tips. I scissor them in the shape of the ear, slightly rounded and blended into the head hair. On dogs, like Toto (pictured below), where the ears stand up, I tip the ears with a ten blade on the inside and then scissor the edges crisp to make a sharp point. You can also trim the ears inside and out with the blade of your choice if you like. When tipping the ear, I tend to do one finger width from the tip. Hold your finger sideways against the ear and trim to that point. If you tip too much off it will make it harder to round the head.
I thinning shear the corners of his eyes, but not to the skin. I leave the hair there about ¼ of an inch to mimic the head of a Westie. The rest of the hair is shaped into a circle and sprayed to assist it in standing. I also tease sections of it to make it look more like a Westie would appear. I do not tease pets in the shop, but I do tease Bob in the ring, after scissoring the head. I set the heads with a final spray of Freeze It to lock in the shape.
I like to open the eyes up, so I take a short pair of curved shears curved into the eye and go really short. That opens up his eyes and makes it easier for him to see longer. I use a pair of curves with double finger rests so I can flip them around to do the opposite side of his face easily. This opening of the eyes is critical to making the expression appear the way it does.
His tail is also thinning sheared short. I would love to leave a carrot tail but he doesn’t have the hair to do that. His tail actually curls over his back and if you leave the hair it tends to flag, which is not what I want it to do.
In the shop environment when time is of the essence, I use a short snap-on comb, usually with my Speed Feed (can you tell how much I love that clipper?) and the 3mm is my choice most of the time. You can use a 7F to a 4F if needed.
This cut is really adorable on Yorkies and mixes with a similar shape, curly coats, flat coats and pretty much any dog you can think of.