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Old 11-27-2010, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clippers 101.

I want to get some clippers, but I have what is probably an unreasonable fear of cutting the dog, even though I have seen people run clippers over their hands and they don't cut their hands!

So here are a few questions.

If you clip the way the hair grows, are there places where you could possible cut the skin of the dog? If so, where and how would you avoid this?

Does the dog have to be clean?

Does the dog have to be matt free?

If you bath a dog like Cooper, I think it will matt the hair even more!

If the dog has hair (like my son's Doodle) that is 5-6 inches long - do you have to scissor the hair first or can you just use the clipper on long hair?

I read somewhere about oil. Do you have to put some kind of oil on a clipper while you are using it? Why?

Someone told me that a clipper will get hot while you are using it and then you have to stop and let it cool down. What makes the clipper get hot and how long does it take for it to cool down?

If you are using what my friend called "an attachment" to clip the hair an inch long, if there are matts, what happens when the attachment runs into a matt?

Any other tips would be appreciated. (Not sure if its "mats" or "matts"!!)
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purley View Post
I want to get some clippers, but I have what is probably an unreasonable fear of cutting the dog, even though I have seen people run clippers over their hands and they don't cut their hands!

So here are a few questions.

If you clip the way the hair grows, are there places where you could possible cut the skin of the dog? If so, where and how would you avoid this?
Yes, there are several areas on the dog to be extra careful. The skin in the arm pits, around the sanitary area, droopy extra 'neck' skin, ears if you clip near them..or if you shave ears pay close attention to the little folds. On older dogs that may have extra loose skin just be even more careful as typical areas that aren't a problem can be..even just going along the back on some older dogs I have to 'stretch' the skin before putting the clipper over it.

Clipping against the grain like on faces..still watch out by the eyes/mouth/throat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purley View Post
Does the dog have to be clean?
No, the dog does not HAVE to be clean in order to cut...but the dog does have to be clean in order to get a nice, even, smooth cut. In a grooming salon I often 'rough in' dogs that are getting a summer shave or too matted to bathe properly. For this job I usually use a skip tooth blade..as a pet owner grooming your own dog you may not ever need one (unless you do summer shave downs..they are a time saver). Extra caution is needed using the skip tooths..I usually avoid pits and things like that with them just to be on the safe side.

Clipping a dirty dog will be more wear on your blades and clippers. Dirty coat is probably the fastest way to dull your blades. I have "dirty coat" and "clean coat" blades in the grooming shop..a set for each.

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Does the dog have to be matt free?
If you are using guard combs or longer type clips. Yes, the dog does have to be matt free in order for these guards to glide through the coat. Even some blades will have a difficult time getting through a matted coat. It's also more difficult to bathe through a matted coat. This is where your skip tooth blades are wonderful! With the right products these days though dematting isn't really an awful process and can be painfree for the animal. If its too bad though, when in doubt just shave it off. It will grow back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purley View Post
If the dog has hair (like my son's Doodle) that is 5-6 inches long - do you have to scissor the hair first or can you just use the clipper on long hair?
You can use clippers/guards on a long coat just fine. It's easier on a clean-matt free long coat though. So keep that in mind. If you can't get a comb through it, you probably can't get a guard through it.
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Originally Posted by Purley View Post
I read somewhere about oil. Do you have to put some kind of oil on a clipper while you are using it? Why?
This website: Videos for pet groomers

They have tons of helpful videos and informative as well. He's also the only person I will ever let sharpen my blades/shears. Wonderful service! I can't say enough about him. He can probably explain in his videos better than I can on the importance of clipper/blade care.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purley View Post
Someone told me that a clipper will get hot while you are using it and then you have to stop and let it cool down. What makes the clipper get hot and how long does it take for it to cool down?
Typical use makes the clipper get hot, but they were probably talking about the blades. Blades do get hot, and even hot faster when cutting through matted or tangled coat. If the clipper struggles it seems to get hot faster. Cool lube and things like that can keep your blades cool, as well as oiling and cleaning blades during a groom. The previous website shows you how to clean/oil your blades while grooming without leaving residue on the dogs clean coat.
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If you are using what my friend called "an attachment" to clip the hair an inch long, if there are matts, what happens when the attachment runs into a matt?
It stops cutting? I'm not sure what you are worried about happening..but the clipper will just stop going through the coat. It wont rip out the hair or anything like that..it just gets stuck and you have to stop what you are doing, grab a comb or dematter and work on that area until it's tangle-free. I always brush/comb out dogs before using the clipper on them..saves time and frustration from having to stop every 2 seconds. Get a GOOD brush and a good comb! Use pin brushes and combs to avoid breaking coat if it is a concern. You can also use product while brushing to help make the coat easier to clip/scissor.

Also keep in mind it's hard to get a good groom without a good bath. Invest in good products and more importantly invest in products that work for your dogs coat.

I avoid heavy conditioners or heavy leave in products. It makes the coat harder to cut through.

My favorite for poodles is using results rinse instead of conditioner. Let it sit on the dog about a minute..and rinse...works wonderful..nice crisp coat, clippers go through it like butter and makes scissoring a breeze. It smells wonderful too!
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great wonderful - thanks a lot.

So - what does a de-matter look like? And what about the "results rinse" - is that the name of it?

Actually these clippers are firstly for me to use on Lucy, my Mini poodle. She is in pretty good shape. However, she is reasonably small and I am a bit afraid of the "small" places like between the eyes and her face. I have some really good scissors and I am comfortable with scissoring as my groomer friend showed me how - the worst part is avoiding cutting the pads on the palm of my own hand! However, I would be scared to scissor near her eyes with those pointy scissors!!

On the other hand, my son's Doodle weighs 60 lbs and he doesn't have such "small" spots on him. But Cooper looks like a huge shaggy bear. He's not my dog, but I am entitled to an opinion. I think my son would probably be a bit reasonable but my granddaughter says she likes him with long hair. To me that seems rather selfish, but then she is 17 and is probably a bit selfish. When Cooper goes outside in the snow, which he loves, he comes in and is wet. In my humble opinion that probably does not feel all that wonderful to Cooper because on hair that is 5-6 inches long it stays wetter longer. So Cooper has chewed off a band of hair around his front legs - I think because its wet and stuck with snow and that part of his body is handy for chewing.

So I am hoping that my son will get Cooper clipped by a professional groomer and then keep the short coat up himself. I think if Cooper's hair is long - as my son has never clipped a dog before - he will have a tough time (and maybe so will Cooper).

I will certainly watch those videos and suggest my son does too.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is the results rinse: Showseason Results Rinse Pet Finishing Rinse | PetAgree Grooming Supplies

You don't use much at all...I usually fill up a whole gallon with water and put maybe an ounce or two in...shake it up and put it on the dog. I made a recirculater and filled up an inch in my tub..probably a few gallons of water using the same 1-2 ounces and then used it as well and still got the same results..better results even since every hair got soaked in it from the recirculater.

A dematter can look a few different ways.. this is probably one of the more popular ones: PetEdge: Master Grooming Tools Ergonomic Dematting Tools

They will either be called dematting tools or a matt splitter..you can even use shears although it can dull them. I sometimes take my shears and split matts when dematting a heavily matted dog.

Be careful with those dematting tools. They are very sharp and use control when pulling it through a matt. I have seen coworkers take gouges out of their own skin with those things!
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Old 11-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks again for all your help.

As I said, I think the best thing would be to have Cooper professionally clipped and then to just maintain it. My agility instructor has a six month old standard puppy. Someone gave him a clipper; showed him how to do it and he has been clipping the puppy himself and so far the dog still has all his appendages!! Pretty soon I think he will be losing a couple of them, but at the vet's hopefully!

My impression of clippers is - and correct me if I am wrong - that a piece of hair - or something similarly thin - has to go in between those blades for it to be cut. If I put the clippers on the palm of my hand - it wouldn't cut it because no part of my hand is in between the part that does the cutting.

I guess its probably one of those things that I find really scary, but if I started off just doing Lucy's back with them, I would become used to them and how they felt and they wouldn't scare me any more!
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