A couple of years ago, I teamed up with Eilene White (publisher of the Cocker Classic magazine) to create an instructional DVD about how to groom a Cocker Spaniel. I'm delighted to tell you that you can now watch it for free on YouTube
So, rather than shelling out $30 for the DVD, the entire content of the DVD can be watched online for free. You might be wondering why I'd do that! The simple truth is that it was getting to be a hassle to create, package, and ship out the DVDs... and that I felt bad when someone would order one and I was on day one of a two-week cruise and wouldn't be able to ship it to them until I got home. Plus, I knew that by offering it for free online it would go from helping hundreds of people to helping thousands.
Here's a look at the content of the 7-part series of YouTube grooming videos: (click on the picture to see the video)
In part 1 of the series, I start with a general introduction to what you'll see in this 7-part series of videos. I figured that if I had to do an introductory video, I should shoot it somewhere scenic... so I shot it at the beach about a mile from my house.
After the introductory remarks, I reassure you about what you might be worrying about: "What if I do a horrible job of grooming my dog and I just make him look like a mess?" I show you exactly what to do in the event of a grooming "worst case scenario". It's a simple fix, and I hope it gives you the confidence to try doing your own Cocker Spaniel grooming even if you mess it up the first time!
Onward to part 2, where it's time to jump right in to some Cocker Spaniel grooming. I wanted to find a dog that was in desperate need of a good hair cut, so I called up my friend, Elizabeth Mazetti, who runs one of California's best Cocker rescue groups. She had a dog (rescued from the local animal shelter) who looked more like a sheep dog than a Cocker. So, I travelled to Santa Barbara to work some magic on this furry mess.
It's a great demonstration of how easy it is to get a Cocker Spaniel looking good again with just a few basic grooming tools such as a good pair of electric clippers and a grooming table. The intent of this segment is to show you a quick and easy version of Cocker grooming... not necessarily to do a perfect job!
In case you're thinking to yourself "that doesn't look like a Cocker!"... be aware that it is indeed a purebred Cocker... it's just that between his merle coat and the fact that he hadn't had a haircut in a LONG time, he looks more like a sheepdog... until I've finished with him!
In part 3, I introduce you to the real pros: Gary and Eilene White of Crestrail Cockers in Carson, Washington. Best known as the publishers of the "Cocker Classic" magazine, these people know Cockers... and they've had great success in the show ring over the years. Eilene is a professional dog groomer, so I pretty much turn things over to her for a 45-minute master class in Cocker grooming.
I think it's easier to give a dog a haircut if you have an idea in your head of what the perfect hair cut looks like. So, I ask Gary & Eilene to bring out one of their champion show dogs... and we look him over while Eilene explains how he has been groomed. We go over him from head to tail to see what a champion looks like... and you can refer back to this if you ever need a reminder of what the end result is supposed to look like.
Earlier, I demonstrated my quick and easy style of Cocker grooming using not much more than a pair of electric clippers and some scissors. But in part 4 of the series, it's time to see how Eilene, the real pro, does it.
Eilene (who is indeed a professional dog groomer) takes you step-by-step through the process of grooming a pet Cocker. I think this segment is the highlight of the entire series of videos. Really, it's amazing that this information is free on the Internet now. In the old days, you would have had to pay a lot of money for professional instruction like this.
Be sure to keep an eye on the horse in the background as you're watching this segment!
At home on my patio for part 5, Morgan sits on the grooming table dripping wet after a good bath.
I show you two options for getting her dry: the cheap way that works just fine... and another way to go if you don't mind spending a few hundred bucks to make the process simpler and quicker.
Next, I show you how easy it is to prevent ear infections in your Cocker Spaniel by simply mixing up a batch of our world-famous ear cleaning solution
Using ingredients I bought at my local pharmacy, part 6 takes you step-by-step through the very simple process of making this super-effective ear treatment. Of course, Morgan was the one I called on when it came time to demonstrate how the ear cleaner is applied in to the ears. And as soon as I finished applying the ear cleaning solution, she did exactly what she was supposed to do!
Finally, after 90 minutes of instruction (45 minutes of it with Eilene White) it's time for me to say good-bye in part 7 and to roll the credits. But there's just enough time left to take a look at some fun video I shot of the last litter of puppies we bred before we retired from Cocker Spaniel breeding!If you're interested in owning this series of videos on DVD rather than having to download the videos individually from YouTube, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org letting me know that you want the DVD version of the grooming videos, and I'll write back and let you know how to order a copy. ($30, including shipping)
If you're interested in seeing what grooming equipment I recommend, take a look at this page.