There are a couple of tricks to getting feet to look neat no matter how short the dog is taken on the body. I am going to show you how to get the feet tight, round and neat in appearance easily and quickly.
No matter whether you are doing a long scissored trim or a short, 7F blade all over this technique works wonderfully.
Start with the pads, and clipper the hair as short as you can go with a trimmer or a tight blade. I also take the hair that is hanging down between the toe pads off with the same blade to ensure the foot is neat. Then trim your nails and remember, the shorter they are the easier the foot is to trim.
Then you clipper the body and the legs. When using a blade or snap on comb on the legs make sure that the blade or comb goes down the entire length of the leg on all sides, coming completely off the foot. It is important to hold the leg as straight as you can to prevent a "dip" below the knee or at the ankle. The video clips show you how to do that on both front and back legs. If the videos appear to be cropped, double click on them and they will open in the full size window at YouTube.
After you have the leg hair trimmed to the length you want, pick up the foot and comb the hair down, holding it tight in your hand and forcing the hair down past the foot. I then hold curved shears at a slight angle and trim off any hair that is falling outside the line my hand creates. If the hair falls past the toes, the pads or beyond my hand it comes off.
Then, I sit the foot down on the table and comb the hair to one side, then the other, trimming any hair that falls outside the line of my foot. I continue this up into the leg as well to ensure the leg and foot are neat and tidy.
With the foot still on the table, I then round off the foot again, using a small curved shear at a slight angle. When you are trimming it helps to start in the front and make sure the foot is round not pointed. Starting at the back can lead to a point in the front.
By beveling the foot slightly and raising the hair off the floor you will get a foot that is tight in appearance and will nt drag in as much "trash" from the yard. Once you realize the technique is the same for any length of leg it is easy to get a nice, neat foot. Sometimes, on harsh hair, it may be neccesary to use thinners to blend and soften the hair but it is just not something that I do a lot.
On a ten shave down, which we do see some of this time of year, I will sometimes take my clipper and skim out the hair in between the toes, not doing poodle feet per say but simply removing the hair that otherwise would stick up and is usually matted.
I need to add something here. My left hand is fused and does not bend fully. As a result it sometimes looks like I have a leg or foot at a weird angle but usually it is just the realtionship bewteen my hand and the foot that is "off". I assure you no dogs are put into weird positions, only my hand is.