Teddy Bear Heads

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.



Teddy Bear head Update Number 2

I found this photo with diagrams drawn on it that I used in a Groom Team Newsletter. I would have sworn it was on my website or this blog, but apparently it is not. This dog happens to be in the shop today after a "mommy" haircut, so I had to find the photo to show my help how cute she really can be. 

SO, knowing that it is not where I thought it was, I have put it where it belongs. 


If you click on the photo above it will open in a new window making it easier to see.

I am using the combs that come with my Speed Feed most of the time these days and use a 9mm on top of most heads following the arrows in the photo, and making sure I take out the bulk under the ear on the cheeks to make the ears lay flat. I use thinners after the curved shears to blend the head and soften the look. 

What you do with the nose is a style as well as area preference. I live in an area where most shih-tzu and the like are shaved down the nose. Other areas of the country would not have this done, but here, if you do not do it, clients complain it isn't short enough, which is why I did not address that part of the groom in my instructions.

This is a super easy and fast way to accomplish a teddy bear head, as well as being consistent. Hopefully it works for you.

Done in a Snap will take you to my article on using snap on combs posted last year. It is still relevant and applies to the above photo as well.

I have taken the time to videotape three different Teddy Bear heads for you, including one done with a vac system. Hopefully this will help you all see better how I do my heads and learn how to acheive a teddy bear head fast and easily as well. Remember that you may have to clieck on each video twice to enlarge it in a You Tube video window.





 The heads above are all done using the same basic technique yet they all look different. I did go back to all of them and touch them up more after the camera stopped rolling because the finishing was not critical to the technique and the videos took over an hour to upload (EACH) as it was.

Happy grooming!