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Discussion Starter #1
Many of you know that I do not currently own a poodle. I am planning on getting one within a year or so. I was a hairdresser for over 20 years. (I am now a stay-at-home Mom, and occasionally work from home, with a home based album design/graphics business.) Anyhow, I plan on doing much of the grooming myself. I figure this is something I can probably learn to do well on my pet, but I have a lot to learn.

I was reading in another thread that the plastic attachments on the clippers just kind of push the hair around? I have a pair of Andis clippers with plastic attachments that I used as a hairdresser. Do you buy different blades in different sizes for dog grooming? I am completely new to this and have no idea what to do for clippers.

I figure I will need a good portable table and arm, a good dryer, brushes, shampoo and conditioner. I also read in another thread about using car chamois ( a brand was listed) to dry the dog after the bath.

Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated as I try to prepare to make the transition from doing people hair to doggie hair!

Thanks!:)
 

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you use different blades for grooming dogs nd/or the combes (metal ones)

highly recommend the Kalstone book on grooming poodles
 

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I agree with the above post- different blades, METAL combs (I learned my lesson with the plastic combs... lol), and Shirlee Kalstone is the way to go! You will learn just about everything you need from that book. Also you have to keep up with frequent brushing and have the right tools for that. But if you know your way around a pair of scissors, I figure you'll be just fine grooming at home. ;)
 

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When I was in high school, my friend taught me what she learned in cosmetology in vo-tech. I knew rhe basics of cutting hair as well as how hair varies feom curly to straight, cuticles and hair and scalp anatomy. Transferring that valuable information to dogs helped me be a much better groomer. You need to understand the ingredients in shampoos, paw balms, ear cleaners, mud baths, dyes, as well as thinning shears and and various combs and brushes. A lot is totally different but the principles are the same. I believe you can do it, enjoy it and best of all, can make a sucessful business out of it.
 

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While I've got a background in cosmetology (actually taught for a while long ago), I don't feel that makes you capable of grooming :) It's a completely different concept and can't tell you how many clients I have that do human hair and have tried to "trim" their dogs, making a complete MESS.

Since you have a while before you get your poodle, maybe you should attend some grooming seminars or workshops! Get some DVD's and/or books (like Jodi Murphy DVD's or Melissa Verplank's Notes from the Grooming Table) I'm sure with some basic knowledge, you would be able to take the concepts you probably already know (as they apply to human hair cutting/styling) and be able to apply them to dog grooming.

I don't mean to imply that you are not capable, honestly, I just want to point out how DIFFERENT the two actually are! With dogs, we don't (usually) hold the hair up with our fingers to cut the hair. We trim as it lays (or fluffs out) and are more like SCULPTING it. We cut DRY (for the most part) and see how the hair is going to look immediately as we work. Our tools are different, for example, we use longer shears, clippers with changeable blades, brushes and combs designed for different purposes (dematting, fluffing, smoothing, etc), plus we have to know ALL the different breed trims (if your in the profession) and how they apply.

All that said, I do think that some one with cosmetology knowledge could have a great advantage at learning grooming.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
While I've got a background in cosmetology (actually taught for a while long ago), I don't feel that makes you capable of grooming :) It's a completely different concept and can't tell you how many clients I have that do human hair and have tried to "trim" their dogs, making a complete MESS.

Since you have a while before you get your poodle, maybe you should attend some grooming seminars or workshops! Get some DVD's and/or books (like Jodi Murphy DVD's or Melissa Verplank's Notes from the Grooming Table) I'm sure with some basic knowledge, you would be able to take the concepts you probably already know (as they apply to human hair cutting/styling) and be able to apply them to dog grooming.

I don't mean to imply that you are not capable, honestly, I just want to point out how DIFFERENT the two actually are! With dogs, we don't (usually) hold the hair up with our fingers to cut the hair. We trim as it lays (or fluffs out) and are more like SCULPTING it. We cut DRY (for the most part) and see how the hair is going to look immediately as we work. Our tools are different, for example, we use longer shears, clippers with changeable blades, brushes and combs designed for different purposes (dematting, fluffing, smoothing, etc), plus we have to know ALL the different breed trims (if your in the profession) and how they apply.

All that said, I do think that some one with cosmetology knowledge could have a great advantage at learning grooming.

Thank you for this information, it is so helpful! I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my post, I just want to be able to trim my own pet most of the time. Not for show, and not to take on other clients. Actually, just for my own enjoyment to learn something new and to challenge myself; to learn a new way to be creative. I am going to check out some books and DVD's, and start collecting equipment, so that I can get my pup used to it from the very beginning. Maybe down the line, I can try some "fun" cuts on my own poodle, after some practice :)
 

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SKYE, I saw the words "stay at home mom" and also "works from home as a graphic artist" PERFECT! I can get you up and running making more money than you are making now. I know you want to just learn to groom your own poodle but there is a problem.....(that's what your are thinkiing NOW but wait! You only have ONE poodle and tons of ideas. Pretty soon you'll get a 2nd poodle and be experimenting on friends cockapoos and malti-poos. It doesn't end....the more books you accumulate and the more dvd's you watch, you might not be able to stop yourself. You find yourself envisioning that dog on the sidewalk as you drive to the grocery store in a different style.....I know how those artistic graphic designer brains work! And I do plenty of human hair type haircuts (when you hold it straight out and clip it wet) So you will still get your "cosmetology fix".
 

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Discussion Starter #11
SKYE, I saw the words "stay at home mom" and also "works from home as a graphic artist" PERFECT! I can get you up and running making more money than you are making now. I know you want to just learn to groom your own poodle but there is a problem.....(that's what your are thinkiing NOW but wait! You only have ONE poodle and tons of ideas. Pretty soon you'll get a 2nd poodle and be experimenting on friends cockapoos and malti-poos. It doesn't end....the more books you accumulate and the more dvd's you watch, you might not be able to stop yourself. You find yourself envisioning that dog on the sidewalk as you drive to the grocery store in a different style.....I know how those artistic graphic designer brains work! And I do plenty of human hair type haircuts (when you hold it straight out and clip it wet) So you will still get your "cosmetology fix".

You know, you may be on to something here! My kids are young now, 2 & 5. As they grow, and start attending school full time, I may start looking into doing something new! I can get my "practice" poodle, and maybe start grooming some friends and family dogs!

About 20 years ago, I did "hang out" with a groomer in her shop all day. The big dogs (lifting) and the snippy dogs (biting) scared me! But, if I did it as a home business, with dogs that I know and choose to groom, that may work out! Thanks for the ideas!
 
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