Speed Grooming

Dust cloud in the shop!

I often hear people say they blow out dogs before bathing sometimes. I have never been a huge fan of this, but I will admit it does help get dander and sand out of a coat before bathing.

We do it on really rare occaisions. Twice this year in fact. BUT. Today we did use this technique. 

We have a cocker named Toby who comes into the shop and he is always filthy. He is impossible to get clean no matter what we do, he always has a little bit of grey cast to his coat, and it matters not if he gets one bath or 5, he is still always dirty.


I want to add that I have always told people that IF they blow out dogs they should wear masks and goggles. WELL today that didn't happen and in the following photos you can see why I am so adamant you need to wear them to protect yourself.

Meet Billy:


He is badly sunburned from cutting grass yesterday, and he DOES have gray hair, but not THIS gray! Notice the film on the glasses and the arm of the glasses? That is DANDER from the dog.


His hand is covered in dander.


The jacket USED to be black.......


Notice all the dander on the hose? It wasn't there before he blew out the dog.


On his arm there is a lot of dander in his hair.

My theory on why this dog doesn't get clean is because the dander, that you can see there is a lot of, turns into sludge when wet. It will not wash out and it will not blow out while it is wet. It becomes almost like glue and we can comb it out while wet but it will not rinse out or wash out.

The air conditioning filter, which is outside the room by the way, is so covered in dander from this dog that I had to wash the screen and change the filter.

As you can tell, this is a dirty, messy process, but it IS effective. Just be aware that if you choose to do this you MUST take care not to breathe it in and to protect your eyes as well.

Billy said at times this felt like he was being sand blasted. The entire process took about 5 minutes to blow him out thoroughly, yet saved us about 20 minutes of bathing and extra drying time. It did take about 5 minutes to clean up. 

So, yes, blowing out dirty dogs is effective. It will redue your bathing time and make the process faster. 

It is however possibly dangerous and is MESSY to say the least. If the dog is on flea prevention, you are blowing pesticides all over the place. Toxins the dog ay have come into contact with are now airborne. Allergans, like grasses and weeds, are in the coat and are now in and on  your skin and lungs and eyes. Its NOT a safe thing for groomers to do without proper protection. Even WITH protection I would be concerned about doing this all the time.

If you choose to do this always wear goggles to protect your eyes, masks to protect your lungs, long sleeves and pants to keep it off your skin, and a fresh smock to replace the one that will inevitably get dirty during this process. Wash your face, hair and any exposed skin after you are done.

I wouldn't make a habit of doing this in my shop, but it is another technique that has its place and will be used when needed.



Blending short bodies into heads

I see it a lot in other shop's work and in questions asked online in forums. Apparently people have a hard time blending short bodies into teddy type heads, poodle topknots, Bichons, etc. If there is hair on the body its easier for people I supposed but short bodies seem to be difficult.

I see from other shops and in photos online a body done short then a head as opposed to a body and head that work well together and appear to belong together. You can tell a person doesn't know how to blend it when you have a bowl t ype cut in the back of the head where it meets the neck. Usually this line extends around the entire head, leaving a bowl over the ears and neck and bangs that hang into the dogs eyes.

Its not hard to acomplish blending.

I complete my body work, starting clipping at or slightly behind the occiput. 


Then I take a SS Wahl snapon comb that is slightly longer than the body, so if I am clipping the body with a 7f I use the Blue SS comb. Starting down on the body I come forward towards the top of the head, skimming and floating as needed.


Then I complete my teddy head by switching to a longer comb (usually one or two sizes longer, and coming forward on top, under the ears I go toward the table and then towards the cheeks. On the jawline I go from the jaw towards the mouth. Over the eyes I go from the middle of the face to the ear in each direction. I do a lot of other motions as well to let the blade do the sculpting for me. 


Then I go back with my Flipper curves and scissor out over the eyes by turning the shear with the curve towards the eyes, comb the hair forward and make sure it doesn't fall into the face, then scissor with thinners to neaten.


It's fast and easy.

With poodles you can do the same thing to se the blend line, and I often do it with Bochons that have sh ort bodies as well. I just make sure not to take the top of the head off too short with the combs.

Here is a short video of me doing a head of this type on Willie Nelson, a Malti-Poo with soft soft hair.


Enjoy! Hope this helps you in some way.