I live in Maine, which is known as "Vacationland." I groom a lot of dogs in the summer that live elsewhere much of the year. Today I had two Scottish Terriers come in. I took a few pictures to share.
The dogs had not been groomed for 8 weeks, but the back was barely the length of a 5f blade. I think they had been taken down with a 10 blade. It is impossible to blend nicely if the back is taken that short. A 5f or even a 7f is so much nicer! The line for the furnishings is set too low, especially over the hip area. Then there is the problem of the huge, fluffy tails. And the ears! Lots and lots of hair left, front, back and side. Instead of eyebrows, there was a strange little visor. The whole effect was off. And in case you are wondering, the owner did not request these things.
Scotties seem to be a breed that many groomers struggle with. But really, they are not that difficult.
I bathed these dogs, dried and brushed them. I used a 5f blade on their backs to slightly even things up. Using the same blade on the underside of the tail, I zipped off a LOT of long fringe. Then I combed the hair against the grain and used straight shears to begin to create a "carrot" shape. Next I combed the hair all to the right, and trimmed again. Then all to the left, and more trimming. It looked so much better.
Next I tackled the ears.
This is the back view. I often see Scotties with way, WAY too much hair left on their ears. I think it is because groomers know they are supposed to leave something, but are not sure what, so they leave too much. The best description I have ever seen on Scottie ears is in Sam Kohl's most recent edition of The All Breed Grooming Guide. The basic idea with Scottie ears is that if you shave them completely they look silly, like big triangles stuck to the head awkwardly. You just want to leave a little hair at the inside corner, to soften the ear and expression, and make the ears look like they are anchored to the head.
I can't fix how low the pattern line is this time, but at least now this dog resembles the way it should look, without a silly, fluffy tail and shrubby ears. I made a definition between the brows and have started to shape them up to look the way they should.
There is no shame in not knowing how to properly groom a certain breed of dog, but if you don't know, do a little research. Look at photos of the breed under their AKC page. Look at recently published grooming books, (grooming styles change, keep up with the times!) or, go to a dog show and/or grooming show. It does not take much more effort to groom a dog right than it does to groom it wrong. Keep on learning... it makes our jobs more fun, and you will get many referrals from customers who appreciate the fact that you did the job correctly.