We all know that cocker backs, especially on the harder, flat coated dogs, look better when they are longer. I was trained to use a 9 or an 8 ½ blade and nowadays many groomers use a ten or even a 15 to get the backs smooth and tight like owners want. This can be hard to get a nice finish on however, even when you are using a 7F or longer. I typically still use a 9, only now I am using the 9 setting on the Wahl Bravura. It has been easy for me to switch many clients over to a longer back coat with them not even knowing that I had done something different, by using the short stainless steel snap on combs for my Bravura.
When she first came to my shop she had just been adopted from a show home. Her back had never been clippered and even though the clients other dog was always done really short, usually with a 10, I refused to do that to Caylee. I used a snap-on comb to set my length then carded it out to make it smooth. I was so impressed with the results that I have begun doing that a lot on my client cockers as well as my own that are not being competed with. I love the look. You do have to make sure that your dog is clean, dried correctly, so that the hair lies down, and make sure you follow the lay of the coat and the way the hair grows. It's fast, easy and the carding took me about 5 minutes total.
Here is a close up of the coat after I was done. She was taken shorter on her legs and underline today, but her back still looks natural and it bleds so well into the skirt that its hard to see where the back ends and the skirt begins.
The tools I used to get this look were a Wahl Bravura clipper on a 40 setting, the two shortest stainless steel snap-on combs and my Mars Greyhound Carding knives. No thinning shears, no blenders, just that set of combs and the carding tool. Much faster and easier than spending an hour blending with thinners!
Honestly this is super easy and so very fast! Try it. Even on softer coated cockers it will leave a nicer, more natural look ad the carding makes the coat stay flat and smooth. I am all about fast and easy! This is one of my tricks.
It works on harsh coated terriers too, just not that short of course. For Cairns or Norwich I have used a Zero comb before and for Westies I use the Blue SS comb. It gives you a natural look really fast and time I money. I have things to do outside of the shop and if I can get that type of quality using a short cut then I am all for short cuts! Try it! See what you think! The worst that can happen is you go shorter with a blade. If you follow the lay of the hair, like in the Shih-Tzu entry I did called "Follow the yellow brick road" then you cannot mess it up. I promise!