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 Post subject: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 12:44 pm 
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First, I'll start out by saying, I've never groomed my cocker myself. I have always taken mine to a groomer - the same groomer for the last 20 years (3 dogs). My first dog had the traditional cocker cut, my last girl had what the groomer referred to as a 'puppy cut', which suited her well. This baby I would like to keep in the traditional cocker cut, and grow her out. Her coat was really nice and full, and she was growing nicely. She gives me a bit of trouble when wanting to brush her, but she was getting used to the idea more and more. Well, this past Saturday i brought her into the groomer (she goes every 6 weeks) and I told her I wanted to try to keep the length, and just to trim her face/head/paws etc. When I returned, she was totally shaved!!! Imagine how upset I am. The groomer's shampoo person was having a hard time with her in the bath (She's 1 years old and a bit spunky still), and then I think they got impatient with her and just decided to shave her! They left a little on her legs, but to me she looks like a poodle. Her ears were so nice and long, and now they are short too!
So my questions - when she starts growing out again, what are your suggestions? Will she grow back to the way she was? I'd assume so - but never had a cocker shaved like this before !!! About how long will it take? Is it difficult to learn to trim them yourself (provided I purchase the clippers?) If I look for another groomer, is there anything specific I should ask/look for?
Any comments, help would be appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:44 pm 
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Been in the same situation your in with our old boy Tucker who is no longer with us. The same thing was done to him by the groomer who worked at my ex vets office. When I saw him I was totally speechless. The girls in the office were also visibly upset as well knowing the groomer had messed up my instructions for a simple bath and nail trim. It was winter and I had to buy a coat for him just so he could go outside.
That was the LAST time my pups went to a groomer. The way I look at it is if I have to pay someone to screw their coat and cut up then I can do it myself and not pay someone else. I purchased a pair of clippers and ordered the DVD and watched you tube videos to see how hard it would be and jumped in. I am by no means a professional but the boys don't look that bad and in the spring I do a very short cut and just trim their faces, ears and feet when needed and comb them to keep the routine going for when the hair is grown back out by fall.

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Sadie 10-12-2003 rescued 01-10-04
Mason- Black 02-07-2009 rescued 06-25-2009
Jessie - Black Sable 07-03-2009 rescued 01-20-2010
TUCKER Black Cocker 10-15-99 to 01-06-2010 We Miss you big boy.


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:05 pm 
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Hi Kathi...

Many of us have been in those shoes...totally shocked when we show up at the groomers to find a nearly-unrecognizable dog! Don't worry, it grows back and you will see the same beautiful locks you love. I'm not quite sure just how shaved she truly is, but I've heard it takes about a year to get back to the full coat. Before you get to that length, you will have plenty of beautiful hair though.

As for grooming yourself, I take care of it with my Oliver. I'll be totally honest with you: I don't find it "easy" per se. I started doing it because I was tired of paying an arm and a leg for grooming...and I figured my results couldn't be much worse than some of the haircuts he has received at a "professional" grooming studio. There is such a wealth of information on this forum, and each time you groom you will learn more. That being said, it really does take patience and hard work.

If you choose to do it, I would give you two pieces of advice: 1. Buy the right equipment. Buy a great pair of clippers, good combs, professional shears...and buy a grooming table! Without the right tools, you will feel frustrated. The right equipment will also ensure you stay in control.

Secondly, keep at it. You aren't going to be a world class groomer overnight. That being said, you can definitely teach yourself and you will improve every time you pick up your tools.

Best of luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:50 pm 
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An experience similar to this is Exactly why I started grooming my cocker myself. I took her to someone who had done a nice job with her twice before, but she came out a huge mess, not quite shaved down- probably would have been an improvement frankly- but looking pretty bad. I refused to pay and decided then and there that no one else would ever touch my dogs for grooming again. (and this last summer, about 18 years later! was the very first time I let someone I really, really trust touch my dog with clippers!!)

I figured I certainly couldn't do any worse, and at the very least I'd get to spend that time with my own dog. As I said, this was lots of years ago, way before YouTube and other resources for learning. A friend gave me great clippers, I bought scissors, and the rest is history!

I Love being able to do face trims when needed, not every 4-6 weeks later when she looks raggedy by then. You will learn with time and experience. Many, if not most, of the regular posters here do their own grooming.

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Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
---------------------------------------
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:11 pm 
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You got some really good advice.
Just Remember, if you make a mistake, the hair grows back.

There are DVD's and also many You tube videos to watch.
When I first started I felt most comfortable by watching the videos several times before I made my first grooming attempt.
Just think of the grooming time as a great time to bond with your dog.
Some forum members say they even sing to their dogs while grooming!
And your dog will love spending the time with you!

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Louie 02/15/2002
Cooper 12/07/07
Leila 03/21/08
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Echo 08/10/12

Waiting at the Bridge: Little Sister, Savana, Tivy, Slider, Arrow and all the others, I will always love you.


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:54 pm 
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The ears cut short and leg shaved would totally honk me off! If there was a reason the groomer felt she needed to shave her down she should have called you. I do my own grooming but will give myself a break every few months and take my girls to a groomer. I give very specific instructions right down to blade sizes.

I know many say grooming them is bonding time. I think my girls would both say we aren't bonding during grooming. At 5 yrs old they both still hate it but tolerate it better than when much younger. When I get out the table, dryer, get my cape on, etc they run for the hills. I've actually had to hunt Ava down before and when I find her the chase is on. I have to noose Abby at both ends on the table or she is running back and forth. Nope, no bonding going on here :gig

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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:15 am 
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debbiefive wrote:
I know many say grooming them is bonding time. I think my girls would both say we aren't bonding during grooming. At 5 yrs old they both still hate it but tolerate it better than when much younger. When I get out the table, dryer, get my cape on, etc they run for the hills. I've actually had to hunt Ava down before and when I find her the chase is on. I have to noose Abby at both ends on the table or she is running back and forth. Nope, no bonding going on here :gig


:lol2 :lol2 :lol2 :lol2

This is my experience with Oliver too Debbie! I'm glad I'm not the only one with a dog who thinks the whole grooming thing is totally unnecessary. :bg

This is why I mentioned a grooming table as a must Kathi—without it, trying to keep Oliver still is simply futile. :raz


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:42 am 
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I think everyone on this forum that are not professionals have gone thru this-started grooming their dogs after an issue at their groomer. I also am a member of the "why should I pay for a hackjob grooming when I can do a hackjob myself for free!" With 3 it is too expensive to bring them to the groomers. My dogs look fine to me, and that is really all I care about. My only problem is grooming in the winter as I like to set up outside, but I pick days that are sunny and 30 so I just set up the table around the snow and trim away.

I do agree with everyone else, if you are going to groom yourself don't waste $ on cheap stuff-get good clippers and scissors, Mars Coat King for the back, and a dryer-makes it much easier to clip on a clean mat free coat. Watch plenty of videos on youtube and eventually you will be pleased with the results.

As far as bonding, it doesn't happen in my house either. They tolerate it, Casey hides when I start filling the sink with water. Callie tolerates the dryer, the other 2 hate it. But we get it done!

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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:11 am 
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Oh dear, I don't want to discourage anyone from grooming their dog!

Some of my dogs don't mind the grooming stuff, and will fall asleep on the grooming table, while the others run and hide when they see the 'grooming set up' come out.
For me, it also helps to get them tired out before grooming. I usually let my dogs potty and then throw the ball for them in the yard for a bit before grooming. It helps to get the dogs to relax and not wiggle as much if they are pooped out.

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Louie 02/15/2002
Cooper 12/07/07
Leila 03/21/08
Bridgette 01/12/09
Echo 08/10/12

Waiting at the Bridge: Little Sister, Savana, Tivy, Slider, Arrow and all the others, I will always love you.


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:28 am 
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Hi,

I'm so sorry to her about your grooming challenges. I faithfully groom my 2 miniature poodles without a problem but continue to have my cockers professionally done. I admit. I'm a coward. I continued to search around until I came across a gentleman who is actually ranked in the top five for grooming cockers in the country. Equally blessed in that he lives in my area and is training a young lady who goes for certification in August. I guess I'm saying all this to merely say, it's awesome if you want to learn how to groom your cocker. They are one of the hardest breeds to groom, however, and you may find that there is someone local that can do a good job. I live in Delaware of all places. Who knew?!

Good luck in whatever you decide.

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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:10 pm 
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debbiefive wrote:
The ears cut short and leg shaved would totally honk me off! If there was a reason the groomer felt she needed to shave her down she should have called you. I do my own grooming but will give myself a break every few months and take my girls to a groomer. I give very specific instructions right down to blade sizes.

I know many say grooming them is bonding time. I think my girls would both say we aren't bonding during grooming. At 5 yrs old they both still hate it but tolerate it better than when much younger. When I get out the table, dryer, get my cape on, etc they run for the hills. I've actually had to hunt Ava down before and when I find her the chase is on. I have to noose Abby at both ends on the table or she is running back and forth. Nope, no bonding going on here :gig


Just brought a smile to my face!!!
thanks Debbie
Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:23 pm 
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Attachment:
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She's growing in and looking cuter than ever!


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:17 pm 
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She is adorable! It's amazing how much hair they can grow in a few short months!

I'm really lucky that my Jennie's breeder grooms as well and does a great job. I hope you find someone that you can really trust.

One great piece of advice that I got was to give the groomer pictures of what you want her to look like, whether pictures of her or of other dogs with the style that you want. That way no matter how you describe it, the groomer can refer to the photos and has no excuse for getting it sooo wrong.

Susan

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:39 pm 
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So cute! I love ears that length. :love

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Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
---------------------------------------
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:06 pm 
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My motivation for starting to groom my Cocker~ Mr.Lincoln was that I wanted his head, neck, and ears trimmed more like every 3 to 4 weeks! I had tried several times before with our previous Cockers but had cheap clippers... and that was the end of that. It's also really hard to find a groomer that knows Cocker cuts! Out of frustration, I decided to jump in and figure it out! My advise .... Get the best tools on the market! It's actually fun now! I make mistakes but continue to learn through them. I would like advise on dealing with matts ... Lincoln's legs are long and have several chunky matts that I have been trying to clip out ... do I shave him and start over ... he still looks good ... but he is my first Cocker to have this undercoat of soft downy hair that constantly matts! Thank you for any advise!


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:13 pm 
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He is beautiful... and what an expression!

I have noticed the same thing with Jennie since her last groom. Before her legs were silky but really easy to comb and had very few mats. This time, I feel like I am dragging the comb through and she is clearly more uncomfortable, although she is a trooper and lets me do it with lots of grumpusing.

I know at some point puppies lose their puppy coat and get in their adult coat...I think about 9 months? Hopefully we will both find the adult coat easier to deal with.

I know my groomer uses a spray in conditioner and I suspect she may have forgotten this last time. I'll see if she'll share the name, and if so, I'll post it here.

In the meantime, we need more details about Mr. Lincoln... age, when did you get him, etc... and lots more pictures!

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:44 pm 
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Jennie went to the groomer today and I'm not super happy with the result. I asked for a puppy cut with her legs cut the same length as her back. I meant the same length her back was when I dropped her off...about an inch long. When I picked her up, she is about a 1/2 inch long all over, and is shaved in spots. I knew she had some matting in her front "armpits" so I thought they might need to be shaved, but I didn't expect two areas on the back of her front legs to be shaved as well. And they cut her forehead back the old way and I still think it looks funny.

I guess this is my 'be careful what you ask for' moment. She has a puppy cut the same length all over, just shorter than I wanted. Thank goodness her hair grows pretty quick and I'll have a fluffy puppy again before too long. Right now she looks leggy and chubby at the same time. :gig

Here's my poor baby...

Attachment:
IMG_20141217_182012_363 (525x700).jpg
IMG_20141217_182012_363 (525x700).jpg [ 143.69 KiB | Viewed 5039 times ]


I also forgot to ask what the conditioner is, but I'll try to do that next time. I think I was in shock.

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:37 pm 
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"Columns" that's what I tell groomers for the legs, when I give myself a break and, take them for grooming. That has always worked for me.

SusanT wrote:
Jennie went to the groomer today and I'm not super happy with the result. I asked for a puppy cut with her legs "cut the same length as her back. I meant the same length her back was when I dropped her off...about an inch long. When I picked her up, she is about a 1/2 inch long all over, and is shaved in spots. I knew she had some matting in her front "armpits" so I thought they might need to be shaved, but I didn't expect two areas on the back of her front legs to be shaved as well. And they cut her forehead back the old way and I still think it looks funny.

I guess this is my 'be careful what you ask for' moment. She has a puppy cut the same length all over, just shorter than I wanted. Thank goodness her hair grows pretty quick and I'll have a fluffy puppy again before too long. Right now she looks leggy and chubby at the same time. :gig

Here's my poor baby...

Attachment:
IMG_20141217_182012_363 (525x700).jpg


I also forgot to ask what the conditioner is, but I'll try to do that next time. I think I was in shock.

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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:44 am 
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SusanT wrote:
Jennie went to the groomer today and I'm not super happy with the result. I asked for a puppy cut with her legs cut the same length as her back. I meant the same length her back was when I dropped her off...about an inch long. When I picked her up, she is about a 1/2 inch long all over, and is shaved in spots. I knew she had some matting in her front "armpits" so I thought they might need to be shaved, but I didn't expect two areas on the back of her front legs to be shaved as well. And they cut her forehead back the old way and I still think it looks funny.

I guess this is my 'be careful what you ask for' moment. She has a puppy cut the same length all over, just shorter than I wanted. Thank goodness her hair grows pretty quick and I'll have a fluffy puppy again before too long. Right now she looks leggy and chubby at the same time. :gig

Here's my poor baby...

Attachment:
IMG_20141217_182012_363 (525x700).jpg


I also forgot to ask what the conditioner is, but I'll try to do that next time. I think I was in shock.


Hmm, it's not the most even grooming job I've seen! But it will grow back - perhaps the back of her front legs were matted too? But you'd think they'd have tried to save the feathering. When I have to shave odd bits leaving an uneven patch, I save the lump of matted hair to demonstrate why I had to do it.

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Owned by Ellie (tri CKCS) Hetty & Lottie (blenheim CKCS). Always missing my Henry (blenheim CKCS) 13/4/02 - 4/6/10 and George (buff cocker 10/4/02 - 6/8/16)

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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:01 am 
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Thanks for the tips! I'll remember columns for the next time. The transition between her back and her skirt had slipped further down her sides the last few grooms and I wanted to get her back to one length and then re-establish it where it should be. I'll still be able to do that, it will just take a little longer. The groomer mentioned that she used a 4 blade on her body and a 10 on her face. If I wanted her hair to be 1 inch long, is there a blade number that I should have asked for?

I comb her every morning and didn't notice any mats on her forelegs. I found a few small ones on her back legs that I was able to work out. Her 'armpits' were a different situation. I use a harness on her when we travel in the car and I think it had started the matting right down next to her skin. No matter what tool I used, I wasn't able to get them out. The hair almost seemed to be rolled, if you know what I mean.

Jennie's hair is fairly wavy. I checked the legs and back and the hair is all cut the same length, but some pieces go one way and some go another so she ends up looking chunky. In the past it has seemed to lay down after a few days. The hair on her back is stiffer than the rest of her body and very easy to comb or brush. It lays down flat against her skin. The hair on her feathers was almost like cotton... very fluffy and hard to comb or brush. It sticks out from her skin. Her chest and tummy are like silk and the hair hangs straight down. Its almost like she has 3 different coats.

I think she feels better. Luckily it hasn't been too cold the last few days (upper 40's to lower 50's) so the loss of hair hasn't slowed her down. We're heading out now for our walk so we'll see if her buddies recognise her. :bg

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:26 pm 
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I almost cried the first time I got Hobbes shaved down.... and I even asked them to do it too!! However, having done it several times now and seeing how fast the fur does grow back, it's a little easier :tg Plus, it's so much less work for me and I think even he enjoys the freedom of no more long brushing sessions and frequent bathes. Trust me, it'll be back very quickly :roll

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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:24 pm 
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Jennie went to the groomer yesterday. I had them do her face, head and feet. I asked them to leave the body as it was. They cautioned me that she would look funny with a shaved head and then inch long body hair, but I asked them to just make a transition between the back of her skull and the base of her neck. I also asked them to take off the poof on her forehead. They did as I asked and I was pleased with the result. I think they did a little shaping on her legs and they look pretty good.

Then this morning I got brave and did her back and sides myself. I have a decent Andes corded clippers with a #10 blade and a set of plastic combs. I used the 3/8 comb down her back from neck to tail and then down the sides, lifting as I went. I think it looks okay for a first try.

Jennie was a total doll while I did it. She stands nicely and is very patient. I didn't even have to use the loop except when working around her rump. I still need to clean up her nubbie a bit, but she clamped it down tight and I didn't want to have the first experience be a battle.

She looks a little chubby, but I think its mostly hair. She weighed in at exactly 20 pounds this morning. I may need to cut back on the treats!

Here she is...

Attachment:
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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:23 am 
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Not bad at all Susan - if you brush against the grain and then clip with it, you will get a better finish, do it 2 or 3 times. :th-up

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Owned by Ellie (tri CKCS) Hetty & Lottie (blenheim CKCS). Always missing my Henry (blenheim CKCS) 13/4/02 - 4/6/10 and George (buff cocker 10/4/02 - 6/8/16)

Spaniels are the best dogs!!


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:58 am 
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LucyD wrote:
Not bad at all Susan - if you brush against the grain and then clip with it, you will get a better finish, do it 2 or 3 times. :th-up


Great tip! Poor Lola always looks like a total disaster. I don't mind but it would be nice to see her look really pretty for once! I'd even settle for her looking less like a mob of angry gophers caught her.


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 Post subject: Re: Grooming question - newbie disaster
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:49 pm
Posts: 334
Location: Washington State
Thanks Lucy! I'll give that a try, but Jennie thinks every brush is a big toy and I have my hands full trying to keep her away from them. :gig I've used a metal comb when I really want to be able to work on her hair and not have a wrestling session.

My next challenge will be to trim the wolfie's on her face... you know the hair that grows straight out in a line from the inside corner of her eye to her cheek? She is starting to look a little hairy already this week. It happens so fast!

I just keep reminding myself that this is the price we pay for our soft and fluffy puppies. :love

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Susan

Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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