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Discussion Starter · #121 ·
What happens if you try with the Clippers turned off? With Annie I found that helped. Turn them off, do two swipes, then turn them on and do the same two swipes. Well, that plus a good grip on the chin.
I tried doing that, but at this point, she doesn’t even want it there when it’s off. I guess I need to put in some more work there.

I also need to work on my grip. Right now she knows she can get out of my hand with a particularly vigorous head toss. I go right back to holding her muzzle, but I’m missing that valuable split-second opportunity to teach her that struggling gets her nowhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
Peggy would look cute with any cut, she’s a natural beauty ! :)

How is she with a professional groomer ?
She’s great with professional groomers and has been since she was a puppy. That’s partly why I’m so nervous doing her myself—I don’t want to ruin that.
 

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She’s great with professional groomers and has been since she was a puppy. That’s partly why I’m so nervous doing her myself—I don’t want to ruin that.
I don’t think you can ruin it. She knows the difference between you and a groomer. I also think she is sensing your nervousness and taking advantage of it. She’s a smart cookie...
 

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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
I don’t think you can ruin it. She knows the difference between you and a groomer. I also think she is sensing your nervousness and taking advantage of it. She’s a smart cookie...
For sure. She responds so well to a confident, gentle touch. When I’m grooming I’m nervous and try to be firm, but end up alternating between too firm and too wishy-washy.
 

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Today we had a wrestling match. Errr...I mean face grooming session.

She looks like she has a mask because I cannot—truly cannot—shave her muzzle beyond the halfway mark. Anywhere near her nose and she bucks like a bronco. So I focused on getting maybe a millimeter or two beyond her comfort zone, praised mightily, stuffed some cheese in her mouth, and moved on to scissoring her paws (which, thank the poodle gods, she tolerates fine).

View attachment 474645

Maybe I just need to embrace our present limitations and let her grow a full donut.

View attachment 474646

“Mmmm. Did somebody say donut??”
Love the tongue! I had this experience the other day with a new pair of clippers. I thought they are not much louder or vibrate-y than the normal ones, so surely he will feel they are the same. But no! He would NOT let them touch his face. They could be tolerated elsewhere but not the face. We will have to work up from square one again.

Can you have your husband let her lick peanut butter every time you turn the trimmer on or something? I find having a treater really helps to distract from clippers. Another method is to distract with sensation. Having somebody create a different sensation on another body part like tickling her back foot or touching it with an ice cube or something. It can distract them from what you are working on.

Sometimes I have luck with being excessively bubbly praising Misha while trimming a sensitive area. He looks like he feels he must be good as I'm telling him he is so good.

Brings me back to when Misha was little. He was so terrible with the face shaving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Love the tongue! I had this experience the other day with a new pair of clippers. I thought they are not much louder or vibrate-y than the normal ones, so surely he will feel they are the same. But no! He would NOT let them touch his face. They could be tolerated elsewhere but not the face. We will have to work up from square one again.

Can you have your husband let her lick peanut butter every time you turn the trimmer on or something? I find having a treater really helps to distract from clippers. Another method is to distract with sensation. Having somebody create a different sensation on another body part like tickling her back foot or touching it with an ice cube or something. It can distract them from what you are working on.

Sometimes I have luck with being excessively bubbly praising Misha while trimming a sensitive area. He looks like he feels he must be good as I'm telling him he is so good.

Brings me back to when Misha was little. He was so terrible with the face shaving.
This is all really good advice. Thank you.

Do you know if the BravMini vibrates significantly less than the Bravura? I’m wondering if it might be the worth the investment just for those super delicate areas. I know switching from the corded Andis to the Bravura was well worth the purchase price.
 

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This is all really good advice. Thank you.

Do you know if the BravMini vibrates significantly less than the Bravura? I’m wondering if it might be the worth the investment just for those super delicate areas. I know switching from the corded Andis to the Bravura was well worth the purchase price.
Yes it is much much less vibration. Makes a big difference. Just don't cut the face in reverse with it unless you want it shaved to the skin. I use it in a forward clip and it's okay though. I use it for the muzzle since Misha is so sensitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
Yes it is much much less vibration. Makes a big difference. Just don't cut the face in reverse with it unless you want it shaved to the skin. I use it in a forward clip and it's okay though. I use it for the muzzle since Misha is so sensitive.
I’m soooo tempted. Just worried it’ll be too close a shave for her pads, and it seems crazy to have a tool just for the face. Then again, it’s cheaper than a single grooming appointment.
 

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I have the bravmini. I found it useful to have along with the andis pulse li5, which is very similar to the bravura. I’ve never regretted that purchase!
 
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OK, gathered my courage and my almost-ten-week-old spoo last weekend and tried to do FFT. Here's the before and after on the face. There's one little spot just under her right eye I couldn't get. And she thrashed around enough that I contented myself with the eyes and not the muzzle for now. Here's hoping she and I get better at this.
474992
 

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Discussion Starter · #135 ·
OK, gathered my courage and my almost-ten-week-old spoo last weekend and tried to do FFT. Here's the before and after on the face. There's one little spot just under her right eye I couldn't get. And she thrashed around enough that I contented myself with the eyes and not the muzzle for now. Here's hoping she and I get better at this. View attachment 474992
She looks adorable! Well done! Getting the eyes cleared is always my #1 priority. It’s also important to keep hair out of the mouth for dental health, which we’re still working on. Honestly, the rest of the face is just icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned. You have to ruthlessly prioritize when you’re first learning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Today I took another stab at her face (not literally!) with the 10 setting. With my husband delivering treats after every swipe I actually managed to get one whole lip done for the first time. And she let me swipe her moustache with the blade multiple times with the clippers turned off. Small victories. ;)

I then used the #2 guard (3/8th) on her body. This is absurdly short, I know, but working in the direction of her hair growth at least prevents bald patches. And I like how trim and sporty she looks. I got about half done before my body screamed, “No more!!”

Peggy was covered in tiny itchy hairs at this point, so I had the genius idea to rinse her off in her kiddie pool, which has been in the garage since fall. I filled it up and promptly traumatized her by dumping water over her back while she was splashing about. Trick bath!! No fair!! It took a few minutes to convince the suspicious poodle that I wouldn’t do that again. We then played “car wash” with the towel and all was forgiven.

Biggest takeaway from today: Even short hair can mat. She was again getting sneaky little clumps, primarily on her elbows. I think these #2 clips will be my standard going forward. Her top knot looks a little silly and disproportionate now, so I’ll take it down a bit in our next session. I’m also going to have my husband distribute treats while I work on her front legs, which continue to be a pain in the you-know-what.

Her back legs and the rest of her body are relatively simple, but it’s hard to stop her from laying down while I work. I think a part of that is the hard slippery table she’s standing on, and the way the towel slides around beneath her feet. Hoping a proper mat will help.
 

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Today I took another stab at her face (not literally!) with the 10 setting. With my husband delivering treats after every swipe I actually managed to get one whole lip done for the first time. And she let me swipe her moustache with the blade multiple times with the clippers turned off. Small victories. ;)

I then used the #2 guard (3/8th) on her body. This is absurdly short, I know, but working in the direction of her hair growth at least prevents bald patches. And I like how trim and sporty she looks. I got about half done before my body screamed, “No more!!”

Peggy was covered in tiny itchy hairs at this point, so I had the genius idea to rinse her off in her kiddie pool, which has been in the garage since fall. I filled it up and promptly traumatized her by dumping water over her back while she was splashing about. Trick bath!! No fair!! It took a few minutes to convince the suspicious poodle that I wouldn’t do that again. We then played “car wash” with the towel and all was forgiven.

Biggest takeaway from today: Even short hair can mat. She was again getting sneaky little clumps, primarily on her elbows. I think these #2 clips will be my standard going forward. Her top knot looks a little silly and disproportionate now, so I’ll take it down a bit in our next session. I’m also going to have my husband distribute treats while I work on her front legs, which continue to be a pain in the you-know-what.

Her back legs and the rest of her body are relatively simple, but it’s hard to stop her from laying down while I work. I think a part of that is the hard slippery table she’s standing on, and the way the towel slides around beneath her feet. Hoping a proper mat will help.
A proper mat will help, and have you ever heard of a dog up stand?
 

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Discussion Starter · #138 ·
A proper mat will help, and have you ever heard of a dog up stand?
I hadn’t until today! The photos are so funny. I feel like Peggy would be rather offended if I tried it on her.
 

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When I learned grooming, we didn’t have fancy things. Just the bare necessities and clever-18-year-old-me decided to stuff boxes/ bottles under the dogs who liked to sit. DIY dog up stand :)

Also, I have always found it harder to do my own dogs. Something just makes me more nervous about hurting them and they know me well enough to pick up on it. The good thing is you can always stop and continue at a later time. A luxury you won’t ever have with a client’s dog.
 
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