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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, we are going to try.

Due to my daughter's dog living here, my ragdoll cat (10 yrs old, very long haired cat) got very matted. Like, to the skin mats, really bad. I really thought the only way was to have him put to sleep and groomed by a vet.

My son bought an Andis clipper system and some CBD oil ( for the cat) and did an amazing job grooming him! I could not believe it. Not one knick, all mats gone and they were bad.

Son says he would easily be able to groom Sammy at home. We don't like Sammy's hair too short. I do like a clean face for sanitary reasons, but am thinking try this and just take Sammyy for FFS/ nails to see if he does better.

Since his horrible experience ( which I did go on social media and give bad reviews), Sammy has been okay, but much more difficult to blow dry in sensitive areas and he does not like his feet touched, which he had no problem with before.

So, we are goimg to try trimming him ourselves. I'm so scared!
 

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Just remember, it doesn't have to be done all at the same time! Break the grooming into sections like nails one day, FFT another, body another (this is the easiest for me and my boys), and legs yet another. I do try to stay symmetrical in my segments but if it doesn't happen, they don't care :).
 

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Remember the home groomer's two most important phrases:
Before you begin "It is easier to take more off than to stick it back on"
After you have finished "It is hair; it will grow!"
 

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You can do it... It may not be pretty the first time but who cares as long as Sammy is happy and comfortable. We all need to practice to get better so set expectations low and afterwards think how you can improve. Do have a plan of how you want him to look before you start. How long do you want his hair and what attachments on the clipper will achieve that?

I reiterate what Rose n Poo says. Do it in small sections over several days. No marathon grooming. Treat him for being a good boy and have a play session after each session.
 
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Also separately work on getting toughing feet back to being okay. I would put Sammy on wherever you are going to use for grooming. Bring a bunch of treats and the nail clipper. At first just pick up one foot at a time and pop a treat for good acceptance of the contact. Repeat for all feet and add more time, massage the toes, etc. Then add in the presence of the nail clippers by just putting them near Sammy and treat for him accepting the nail clipper. Then repat by holding a foot in one hand and clipper in the other. Feed treats all the way through the process until you can clip one nail, then two and so on. Fade treats later for this since he had a scary experience. Treat after every nail, then every other nail as you add on doing more nails at once. Work up to one foot, then two feet and so forth. I always give treats at various stages of grooming. If the dog won't eat the treat they are too stressed and I stop for an off the table bit of play or a potty stop. If they now will eat a treat I know they are okay with doing a little more that day.
 

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Did you manage to groomed Sammy yourself? We tried to groom our Dizzy at home, but he didn't let us do it. He bit and tried to scratch.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No. I chickened out and he really doesn't have enough hair to groom yet.

I am not worried about running a blade through most his body, keeping hair about 2" long. I'm worried about where it will be close to skin ( face, feet sanitary ).

Sammy is very good with me handling all his body parts. He falls asleep while I massage his feet.

I think we will try just an all over trim, but leave the real grooming ( face/feet/ears/sani/anal glands etc.) to the professionals for now. I like the new guy my groomer recommended.
 

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Daabor, dog’s should not get their anal glands extracted unless there’s a specific problem. Having them extracted routinely with a groom can cause problems.
 

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Did you manage to groomed Sammy yourself? We tried to groom our Dizzy at home, but he didn't let us do it. He bit and tried to scratch.
Did you try the Good Cop Bad Cop approach? One person keeps a near constant stream of high value treats coming while the other does a bit of grooming? Breaking the session down into small segments also makes it more manageable for a puppy or dog who isn't on board with the idea.
 

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What we are doing with our new puppy is putting down a lucky mat smeared with yogurt . Then we run the clippers and touch them to him. So far we can do his feet and his rear end, while he is busy. Otherwise he is a squirming puppy.
 

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No. I chickened out and he really doesn't have enough hair to groom yet.

I am not worried about running a blade through most his body, keeping hair about 2" long. I'm worried about where it will be close to skin ( face, feet sanitary ).

Sammy is very good with me handling all his body parts. He falls asleep while I massage his feet.

I think we will try just an all over trim, but leave the real grooming ( face/feet/ears/sani/anal glands etc.) to the professionals for now. I like the new guy my groomer recommended.
This is going to sound silly, but totally practical. Use the trimmer on yourself or volunteer a male in the family to trim his face/body with the trimmer. Imagine what a 5-oclock-shadow looks like. It's universally a good length. Just do that length (tested on the male subject) and all anxiety about being too close goes away too close. If the trimmer causes razer burn on said male subject, then your puppy's going to feel it too, so make the lnegth longer. Now you know and have tested with your own eyes 100% what's a good or bad length.

I try to warm Basil up to the idea shaving/trimming by letting her watching Dad first before her turn.

It's a heartwarming process.
 

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Just curious...what blade length is on the Andis? Do you have the metal or plastic combs to fit over the blade?

I totally understand your concern about not letting Sammy get injured again. Basil_the_Spoo's suggestion is good for when you're ready to try.

If you know or can find out what blade that other groomer used, I think the suggestions were that it was probably a #30 blade which will cut far too close for your fair-haired boy, then you'll be able to gauge the right blade and comb combination to clip those sensitive areas, or to be sure the new groomer knows what not to use.

For example, if the Andis is a #30 blade and you don't want to cut closer than 1/4 inch (that's the middle example)
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you'd put a #4 comb over the blade to get that length.

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I have a 5 in 1 Wahl clipper. The longest setting on the blade alone is a #9 blade length, about 2mm cut length. My light boy hasn't yet been razor burned with that, but it can get surprisingly close.

For Sammy, assuming the Andis is a single setting #30 blade, I'd get a #7 blade or 1/8 cut length, or maybe even the #5 blade for a 1/4" cut length. If using a comb over a #30 blade, the comb would be the #5 for 1/8" cut length, or #4 for the 1/4" (they didn't make that too confusing, did they lol) Like fjm said, it's easier to take more off :).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and ideas/tips.

Rose n poos, the blade on the Andi's is a #10. It has about 7 different sized guards. From the diagram you sent me, it appears the #10 blade cuts the shortest?
 

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Of those examples, yes. In just the blades, the higher the number, the shorter the length. If you go to the vet and they shave a leg to place an IV, that's likely to be a #40, which takes the fur off basically to the skin.

A #10 blade also leaves a cut length of just about 2mm. When you add the comb, say the #4 in the example above, the cut length will be 1/4" + 2mm (sorry for the mixed measurements), and will vary whether you're clipping with the lie of the fur or against it.

The #10 blade is pretty usual for face clipping but I'd use a blade with a longer length for Sammy, maybe a #7 blade, maybe even longer. Using a comb on FFT is pretty awkward because of the additional comb length maneuvering in those tight and tender areas, so you'll be better off depending on just the right blade length.

Below is a list of the different clipper blade numbers and lengths of cuts. Each brand of clipper blade may vary slightly in length but they all are pretty much the same.

Dog Clipper Blade Numbers and Lengths of Cut Single Blade Detachable Clippers
Below is a list of the clipper blade numbers and the length of coat that is left on the dog after the clip.


Clipper Blade NumberDescription of Cut
Blade #3 or #3F Cuts and leaves 1/2" or 13mm length of coat on the dog
Blade #4 or # 4FCuts and leaves approximately 3/8" or 9.5mm length of coat
Blade #5 or #5F Cuts and leaves approximately 1/4" or 6mm length of coat
Blade #5/8 Toe Blade Is specifically for clipping between the toes and feet
Blade #7 or #7F Cuts and leaves approximately 1/8" or 3.2mm length of coat
Blade #7/8 Toe Blade Is specifically for clipping between toes and feet
Blade #8 1/2 Cuts and leaves 7/64" or 2.8mm length of coat
Blade #9 Cuts and leaves approximately 5/64" or 2mm length of coat
Blade #10 Cuts and leaves 1/16" or 2mm length of coat
Blade #15 Cuts and leaves 1.2mm length of coat
Blade #30 Cuts and leaves 0.5mm length of coat
Blade #40 & #50 Are specifically for short surgical cuts
Different brands may have slightly different blade numbers however generally the lengths will be pretty much standard as the guide above.

Recommended blade numbers for different lengths of cut for pet clipping:

Summer:
Blade number to use over the body – # 7; blade number for clipping around the anal area and underneath the dog’s hind leg area – #10.

Winter: Blade number to use over the body – # 4 or #5; blade number for clipping around the anal area and underneath the dog’s hind leg area – # 10.

If you use any shorter or longer over the dog’s body you may find the cut is too close to the skin and doesn’t look that nice or it is too long and it means you have to clip the dog more often to keep it tidy.

If you are doing specific breed clipping then you will need to follow the recommendations for that particular breed and it may be necessary to purchase more dog grooming equipment."

and

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Discussion Starter #17
I just returned the Andis clippers. It seems that most here prefer Oster clippers.
 

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There are preferences between brands and types. For cordless, lighter weight, and usually a 5 in 1 blade config, the nod goes to the various Wahl's - primarily Bravura. I have a Wahl Motion and love the cordless ability to clip inside or outside, especially on a nice day. These are great for grooming smaller poodles or the larger ones with a less dense coat. (ignore the Arco Vet, the blade is a #40). Lithium Ion is generally preferred for battery power for the usual reasons.

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The Wahl 5 in 1 blade looks like this
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In this view of the 5 in 1 the shortest setting (#40) is reached by moving the tab to the far right, the longest (#9) is to the far left. Where it sits in the photo (the tab at 6 o'clock) is #15. The comb set I pictured above fits (I think) on most blades shaped like this.

For larger dogs, denser coats, folks where holding weight is less of an issue, and cordless operation isn't needed, then the nod splits between Andis, Wahl, and Oster. Some specific models are the Andis AGC2, Oster A5 or Wahl KM10. There's several more iterations of the corded style names above.




Wahl Professional Animal KM10 2-Speed Brushless Motor Pet, Dog, and Horse Clipper Kit


This item Wahl Professional Animal KM10 2-Speed Brushless Motor Pet, Dog, and Horse Clipper Kit

 
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