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October 2020

Contour Trim on a Double Coat

A double feature this week on contour trimming double and triple (Nordic and Primitive breeds like Spitz, Pom, Nordic Working breeds, Chow, Collie, Sheltie, etc, etc.) coated breeds, and why it’s so important to *treat the whole coat* of these dogs first before taking off any length.

I do understand that perhaps some breeders of these breeds or purists who believe trimming of feathering is a sacrilege, may be triggered by this post. 

In the reality of pet dogs going into a pet grooming salon there are times when functionality in a family environment necessitates shorter trimming of coat. As long as the dog’s overall health is not threatened, I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with a tailored trim, and knowing how to accomplish it effectively is important for pet groomers to know.





Bathing & Intro to the Role of Water

A brief demo of my typical bathing method on non-symptomatic skin and coat, and a simplified explanation of the role of water in the bathing process.


** Always follow your bathing with a conditioner to replace sebum removed by your cleanser. **

Stick to a separate two step process- combining shampoo & conditioner together cancels out the full ability of either product.


-Much generalized itching for dogs is simply lack of adequate skin moisture and dead coat removal. 


~Thanks to Mikah for being patient while I squawked on & on. 😣 Next time I will wait to put the dog in the tub before I start recording so they don’t have to wait. 😕


Reminder NOT to apply a harsh shampoo (clarifying, or whitening) to dry coat as it can be a little too overly stripping and the water will act as a buffer.

For most containing shampoos including protein shampoos, dry coat application is beneficial. 


Whitening shampoos applied to dry coat, depending on formulation (is it an optical brightener or true stain lifter?) can deposit blueing agents into the hair cortex resulting in major staining.

Burrs, Coat Damage and Oral Glositis

Burr season is well underway here in Wisconsin. 

Cockleburrs have their own difficulties for groomers as well as the dogs they get stuck in. 



So do those tiny round little  stick tights. 



But THESE awful little SANDBURRS are a special kind of evil.




~Nothing like scrubbing through the coat in the tub and finding one of these with the tip of your finger.



Remember also that anytime you find burrs on a dog, I would recommend inspecting the mouth and tongue to be sure they haven’t partially ingested any or have anything irritated inside their mouth or on their tongue.  

It very commonly happens that if they do pull any off during self grooming, the barbs of these can break off in the tongue and mouth and cause blister like lesions.


Here’s an article on more information about burrs & glossitis, as well as oral inflammatory & ulcer disease:


Obviously we don’t want to be diagnosing because there are also other serious genetic diseases that can cause ulcers in the mouth similar to those exhibited from burrs. 

But it is very important if you find anything that you alert any owner at that point.


Know also that removing burrs in the coat can commonly cause breakage. 


I have found that removing burrs from the coat while it is covered with shampoo or conditioner in the tub, or simply blowing them out with a blow dryer and some coat spray containing silicones, is far more effective and less taxing on your workload, the dog’s tug tolerance, and the damaging effects to the coat.



2020 Pet Stylist Invitational!!


This year our trade show has gone fully virtual!

This learning summit offers 2 full days, 16 hours total, of educational classes on Friday, October 17, and Saturday, October 18th, and a full day of livestream grooming competitions  Monday, October 19th, judged by our industry great: Michell Evans!!

There’ll be shopping discount opportunities all weekend long to stock up on supplies before our holiday rush!

Enjoy this final opportunity of the year to invest in yourself and your business all three days for only $99!!

You can register here: