This Month's Featured Pet

May Pet Of The Month

Well, imagine that! It's still May and I am already posting the May Pet! I have been lax in posting timely pictures lately, but I am trying to get better.

This month  is a bit different for me because I am doing two different dogs at once. They all have really different heads for their types and I wanted to share that with you.

Here is "Jonah" Countryman:


He is a Peke-poo and has a wonderfully plush coat. His dad brought him in this morning and asked that we just take a tiny bit off the body. He had a rather typical round head like most of use tend to do on a Shih-tzu or similarly shaped dog. He didn't like that style and asked that we cut the top of the head flat. With a little further discussion we decided to leave eyebrows and I decided to leave a bit of a beard rather than a full face on him.


I did the body with the Speed Feed clipper (it its truly my favorite clipper of all times) with the 9mm snap on comb on his body and the 12mm in his legs, blending well with shears. This took off just a small amount of hair, mostly what was out of line with the main length already on the puppy. The body is pretty much a standard clip for my salon. We do a lot of those Teddy Bear type trims here. What made this groom special was the head. I LOVE this head!


I used a 3mm snap on with the Speed for his throat and cheeks, clipping in reverse. I made my lines similar to a schnauzer. The lines are very similar. The main difference was that I shaved the ears with the 3mm also instead of taking it down with a ten like I would on a schnauzer. In other words, I left them slightly fuzzy.

I also took the 3mm down his throat floating off into the chest. Most dogs of this type are blessed with cowlicks on their chests leaving nice bald spots when clipped too close. By using the Speed with the 12mm  comb, and skimming over that area I can avoid showing those. I use my thinners to shape that area after clipping it with the Speed.

This is "Scooter" Truman, a Pom-Shih-tzu mix.


When this photo was taken we left the fringe on his ears untouched. We use thinners down his nose all the way and shape it into the muzzle. The head is treated as if it was a seperate piece from the ears. It is done with curved shears, making it round. Because he has such a soft coat I have a hard time getting him smooth, but using the Speed snapons makes it easier than it was when I was trying to use a blade. I follow up with thinners to smooth it out.  Here hs is from the side and again with his ears trimmed. I like him better with long ears and so does his daddy. (I did see the fringe on his ears was not even and fixed it but had already taken the photos. )



I  hope that these heads and tips help you make your pets look cute and make it easier for you to acheive a groom that your clients love and that fits their pets personality.

April's Pet of the Month

This is Rusty Harrell. He is a Lhasa/Poodle mix according to his mom and dad.


He has soft hair that is rather difficult to cut, and they like him rather fluffy, which is a nice change in this area. We tend to see a lot of short, short clips on dogs like this.

We start out by bathing him and fluff drying him. We use Stazko shampoo and spray for coats of this type because it leaves them with enough texture to stand well and yet has some properties which prevent matting in between grooming and dematting abilities while drying is taking place.

I used my Speed Feed trimmer by Laube on this dogs body and legs, follwed by scissoring the legs into the shape I wanted. On the body I used the 6mm comb and on the legs I used the 12mm comb, not quite touching the leg the entire way down, more skimming in the front of the legs from the knee to the foot to make the legs more columnar. On the rear of the back legs, in the area of the muscle on the thigh, I used the 6 MM to shape in angulation, scooping out an area shorter than the rest of the leg. it just looks better to me and makes angulation easy and fast. You can see in the image below how it was done.


His head is a squared off chin with a rounder head, similar to a bell shaped Bichon style head. THey like him squared off because, as his mother says, it makes him look "manly". The rounder head made him look like a girl to her.

This entire groom took about 30 minutes using those snap on combs. If he was hand scissored it would have taken closer to an hour.


THe head is not as flat as it appears in this photo, it had been squished (love that technical term, don't you?) when we were trying to get him to stand still for me. I apologize for the glowing eyes. My grooming room requires flashes and dog eyes don't like flashes.


March's Pet of the month

March’s Pet of the Month


This is Jasmine Trice and she is a Pekingese/cocker spaniel cross.




The look on this dog can be transferred to any dog with similar body style, including cockers or shihtzus.


She gets cocker ears, poodle feet and then a modified cocker clip with a 7F on the body blended into VERY short legs and skirt, usually done with a 4 or 3 ¾ blade. Easy but different!


When doing the skirt, I hold the dog up on her back legs and take the b lade from front to back not touching the skin, but sculpting the shape I want then touching up with shears.


And YES I know its May, but I took the photos and then forgot to write the posts that go with them. I will try to do better.

February Pet of the Month

I know, its March, but better late than never right?

P3170327 This is a Shih-Tzu, Chihuahua mix. Her name is Daisy and her coat is very much like a terrier, not like a shihtzu at all. P3170326

I chose Daisy to feature this month because she is hard to groom, believe it or not. Her coat makes it hard to get a good clip.

She is also a mix type we are seeing more and more of in my salon. I feel like sometimes we get dogs in the salon and have no idea what to do to them. I had to give my assitant a lesson in how to groom this type of coat, so I decided to use her here. If he needed help, then others do too.

I used my stainless steel combs over a ten blade with my vac system on low suction to groom her.

 Most of this groom was done in reverse to make sure that it was smooth. The more wire the hair has to it the harder it is to get smooth, and going in reverse, from tail to head and from foot to hip, makes it much easier.

I followed up afterwards with my thinners to smooth out anything that was out of whack so to speak, and carded the undercoat with a classic stripping knife to help smooth out the clipping, maintain her color and to help the skin stay healthy. Carding on this dog took about 3 minutes, so it was not a time consuming process yet will yield dramatic results.

I used the #1 SS on the body and a #2 SS on the legs, while using an A SS on the head, like I would for a teddy bear head. I did use thinners across the ears to remove the fly away hairs that were there and then edged the ears with shears to neaten them.

If you offer hand stripping, this type of coat would be ideal for stripping. Daisy's mom was not interested in this service, but it would be eay to do on her coat.


P3170330    P3170331

To do the head I went bacwards in all directions with the A SS comb then went back over it with curved shears to shape and thinners to smooth. I did clipper the hair from in between the eyes with my ten blade to keep the hair from growing into her eyes per mom's request. I finished Daisy's groom with trimming the tail to give it shape and grinding her nails.

P3170332     P3170334

January Pet of the Month

This is Lexie before her groom, all bathed and fluffed.

Yorkiepoo2 before


I began the grooming by bathing Lexie in Show Seasons Lavender Shampoo. I chose that shampoo because it cleans thoroughly and does not weigh down the coat. Her coat needs to be light and fluffy to achieve the texture we wanted, and since her skin is in great condition, we used only a light spray on conditioner (Stazko Spray) to help minimize static and smooth the hair shaft.




Yorkiepoo before



Then she was fluff dried using both a force dryer until she was most of the way dry and a stand dryer to finish the job. I used a little bit of mousse in her legs to help them stand up for easier scissoring.


The trim is actually very basic, and in most cases is called a Teddy Bear trim. I clipped the body somewhat short and then scissored the legs. The ears are left long and the head is rounded off a bit to give her a cute expression.


Since the trim is so basic I bet you are wondering why I chose her for my Pet of the Month, aren’t you? It is actually quite simple. It is not so mush the way she was groomed as it is the tools used to groom her.


I did most of the work using a Speed Feed clipper and the clipper combs that come with it.


I prefer to use this clipper over a larger one on soft coats whether they are thick or thin. It gives a much plusher look than a regular clip on comb over a blade would give. I am not at all sure I fully understand why it does that, but it most definitely does make a more plush, almost “stuffed animal” appearance to the coat. My best guess would be that the blade is more fine and the combs slightly wider toothed than regular clipper blades and combs, allowing the hair to be much smoother after clipping.


I used the shortest blade setting underneath the attachments the entire time I was clipping Lexie, and three different lengths of combs to achieve her look.


I used the longest comb on her back, a 12mm going straight down the back from neck to tail then down off the sides of the dog in a slight diagonal line down the sides, continuing all the way underneath the dogs body.


Yorkiepoo body after



Underneath the chin I used the shortest comb, a 3mm, to give her some definition and separation of the head from the neck. The line I followed was very similar to a poodle neckline and I went with the lay of the hair from directly under the jawline to just above the breastbone, blending into the chest area by floating the blade off into the hair as I got to where I was leaving it longer. Yorkiepoo neck


On the shoulders I used the 6mm to blend between the neck and the body. I used this comb also on the rear legs to give angulation. I used the comb in a sweeping motion from point of rump to just above the knee to make the leg appear angled rather than straight.


Yorkiepoo rear leg




Yorkiepoo leg

After doing the bodywork I went on to the legs which I scissored using thinning shears primarily. Her coat is so soft that regular shears left marks. Thinning shears solved that problem and left the coat looking more natural than regular shears would have done. By combing the hair on the legs to one side, scissoring it straight, repeating the process in the other direction I made the legs easier to scissor and faster to finish.

I filed the nails back with my Peticure as short as I could get them and then rounded the feet off using my small curved shears. I made sure to comb the hair through the toes and then back down over the foot to ensure that all the hair was off the bottom of the foot for a neater appearance.


For the head, I left the ears long since they do not stand up and have a good amount of hair on them. I clipped the hair from the corners of the eyes in a diamond shape clearing a bit of hair from the stop as well. Then I trimmed the entire top of the head using my Speed Feed with a 9mm comb, using small curved shears and thinners to help shape it and cutting a visor over her eyes. I trimmed the bottom of the beard just a bit with thinners to shape it and keep it manageable for the owners.Yorkiepoo headcropped



This same groom can be used on pretty much any breed of dog, and the techniques apply to drop coated breeds as well as curly dogs and even some double coated ones. It is a universal trim that can be done in a variety of lengths to suit just about any owner’s lifestyle and is very flattering on most body types as well.


Without my Speed Feed I do not think this groom would have looked as nice as it did. That little clipper is a joy to work with and is very versatile. This tool is much more than just a trimmer. You could get the same look with an Arco Moser or Bravado or pretty much any other trimmer that has snap on combs with it. Experiment with your trimmers! You never know what you might discover. You might just find that you can do things you never thought possible.


Yorkiepoo complete, side 2