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Discussion Starter #1
My boy Alex has been getting pretty wooly, and it's time for me to really shear his body for the first time.
So, I brushed him up (man, he got big!), and tried to use my new A5 clippers on him with a #3f blade. Nothing. The blade wouldn't even penetrate the fur. It just bound up before the clipper could cut it. I was afraid I'd really pull on him if I kept it up.
Now what?
Conditioning spray?

Help, it's getting warm, and the guy's looking like a ...:sheep:
thanks,
Tyler
 

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wow! thats a hard one - hopefully you will hear from some groomers on here - I would be as perplexed as you! lol
 

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I wish i knew more about the blades but if I am not mistaken I think you might need to use a different blade?

I am not sure so you have to wait for wonderpup to the rescue ! for advice lol
 

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would say you either need to bath him dry him and groom him out completely to make sure there is no knots and then try the blade 3f will cut though if the dog is prepped properley

if not then i would say you need to use a shorter blade try a 5f or a 4f

i have to say im not keep on 3fs on poodle coats it doent cut them down nicely i would use the blue stanless steal coab if i wanted that lenght
 

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I would use a #5 blade on him, and if it really won't come off, a #7F. Cut off as much hair as you can, even if you have to use scissors. Then bath and fluff him dry, and when he is clean and totally brushed through, it will be easy to cut. If it has to go short, well, it'll grow back and it's getting really warm out. Dogs feel really good with short fur when it's warm out. :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
would say you either need to bath him dry him and groom him out completely to make sure there is no knots and then try the blade 3f will cut though if the dog is prepped properley

if not then i would say you need to use a shorter blade try a 5f or a 4f

i have to say im not keep on 3fs on poodle coats it doent cut them down nicely i would use the blue stanless steal coab if i wanted that lenght
I've got a 7f, a 3f and a 10. I've done the other dog wtih the 7f, and it's really short. I think the 3 will work well for Alex. What's a "blue stanless steal coab"?
 

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I agree with the others. Make sure you bath him first as dirty hair won't cut and it will also dull the clipper blades quickly. Please ensure there are no mats. That should do the trick and also make sure the hair is dry not wet.

If there is little result with the 3, I would then switch to a 5. What type of "look" are you trying to achieve?
 

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it's a snap on attachment that will leave the hair longer than a blade will. If a blade won't get throught he fur a snap on probably won't either. In any case, unless you have a 30blade you don't have the proper equipment to do a nice job with a gaurd comb. They are ment to be used over 30's or 40's .... though I have noticed that the stainless steel variety need to be used with #30's for reasons unknown. They damage #40 blades pretty frequently. The plastic snap ons though won't damage the 40's....

Ok a couple of questions;

Is he matt free? You said you brushed him out but are you sure that he is totaly dematted? The longer the blade the less able it is to get under matts and clip hair. Soo, with a blade as long as the one you are trying I would think he would need to be fairly tangle free. If a medium comb with go through the hair all the way down to the skin you should be ok to cut to any length you desire, though you may have to bath first.

Next, when was the last time your boy had a bath? An F blade is ment to go through clean (clean-ish) hair. The F stands for finish, it's a finishing blade. Most groomers I know, including myself, use nothing but F blades to be honest. I usualy perfer to work with clean hair though so especialy dirty dog or dogs with more oily coats get a bath..

I might bath and dry him before trying to clip the hair. That isn't the easiest way since it will take longer to bath and dry all that hair.. plus you're going to clip it off. Idealy you should be able to take the bulk of the hair off the body before the bath to save yourself on dry time. If you are in love with the length of the #3 blade then that it probably what you'll have to do though, otherwise take it shorter.

DON'T use scissors to try and take the coat down unless you are only going to take the ends off, which wouldn't do you much good. You're likely to end up with a choppy finish that you can't fix without shaving shorter than you wanted if you use the scissors. The blade will take the coat to a certain length, with scissors you can inadvertantly take it shorter than that length and end up with holes. It's hard to eyeball the length when you're just shearing away with scissors....
Another note is that dirty hair won't clip as short as clean hair will.... so even if you manage to rough him in with the #3 blade before the bath be prepared to see more hair come off after the bath.

The other thing that jumps to my mind is to ask if your baldes are sharp? The clippers you've said are new, what about the blades? They don't come super sharp right out of the package so even if they are brand new they may not be as sharp as they could be, though they should cut through the hair.

I'd put my money on dirty hair or possibly a little matting being the problem since that is a longer blade. If you used a 5 or a 7 I would guess it would go through the hair much easier.... a 7 almost certainly would.

I agree that a 3 blade isn't likely to give you as nice a finish. I might try the 5 if it were up to me, or if you can go and get a #4... I use a 4 on poodles that want short but still a little fuzz. It leaves a nice velvet like finish that doesn't require much care brushing wise.

It *could* be the clippers, but it isn't likely. Especialy if they are new, you said they were A5's are they two speeds or one? Did you buy them in a store or order them? Have you used them on your other dog already and they worked?

One more question... do you have coolant spray for the blades? That is really a must, it will also lubricate the blade and keep it working nicely throughout the groom. If you dont have any be sure to pick some up before you groom your boy. Even long blades can burn if you don't keep them cool.
 

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I've got a 7f, a 3f and a 10. I've done the other dog wtih the 7f, and it's really short. I think the 3 will work well for Alex. What's a "blue stanless steal coab"?
the blue comb is in the wahl set of steel guard combs. you would need that set and a #30 to use it, but it's also a #2 guard comb, about equivalent of a #3f.

Really the only reason for it to get caught up in the hair if it's a new blade is if the hair is too tangled or EXTRA dirty. If there's tangling you can't cut through it with a #3, you have to be able to get under it. i second(or 3rd or 4th?) the bathing and blow drying first. it'll make everything much easier.
 

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I just bought a 7f to do Casey body in the summer and I went to use it got 2 swipes and nothing. I had to send it back and they resharpened it. see if it will cut either of the other dogs. If it is new I am betting it missed the sharpening machine.

Let us know how it goes I am interested now in what the problem was.

I usually clip then dry because with 2 standards it saves me tonnes in drying time and I will get blades sharpened when needed.

I just bought a 30 blade and a E comb to help clip hair from legs then scissor it into shape as I like long hair on the legs I am not a shaved down poodle person.
Mandy is bikini clip so she just has pom poms though am growing her in I think
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Back to work...

Thanks for your help, everyone.
Alex is 13, with some hip arthritis, and weakened hind legs. He's almost blind with cataracts.
I try to do grooming with him in short stages. Feet one day, face another, etc. He REALLY doesn't like being messed with.
I was hoping to take his coat down at least rough, then bathe him the next day, and go over him again with the same 3f blade to smooth it out.
"Look" I'm going for? Hey, I'm just trying to keep the old guy happy and healthy at this point. The 7 is definitely too short for him. I used that one on Cleo, and I'm thinking a 5 would be better for her, but in summer, it's fine.
I don't want to keep spending $25 a pop for these blades, then not use them as I experiment.
The blades are all brand new, and I've only got the 3f, 7f and a 10. I've got another cordless clipper with a 10-15-30 adjustable blade, but it doesn't really take combs, and it's not powerful enough to shear Alex. The guy can really grow a coat!
Here's the plan: brush and comb again, as thoroughly as I can. I'll try it again. If it still binds up, I'll wash, condition, and dry before I go any further.
He's going to hold a lot of water as he is!

Maybe I will have to invest in a couple more blades (5 and 30), but I'm going to get some more experience with this first.
 

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This question is for WonderPup or anyone else in the know........Is it true that any new blades straight out of the pkg. that they come in from the manufacturer, should be cleaned with a blade wash b-4 use the very first time, due to the fact that they have a protective coating on them. We were told this from the cutlery store where we purchase our blades from, so we have always just washed ours prior to using them the first time. They told us that if we did not wash blades B-4 the first use, that the blade would go instantly dull. We have never taken that chance using a blade w/o washing first, so really do not know.
( Could this be part of Tyler's problem)?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This question is for WonderPup or anyone else in the know........Is it true that any new blades straight out of the pkg. that they come in from the manufacturer, should be cleaned with a blade wash b-4 use the very first time, due to the fact that they have a protective coating on them. We were told this from the cutlery store where we purchase our blades from, so we have always just washed ours prior to using them the first time. They told us that if we did not wash blades B-4 the first use, that the blade would go instantly dull. We have never taken that chance using a blade w/o washing first, so really do not know.
( Could this be part of Tyler's problem)?
Probably not part of my problem, as all blades worked just fine on Cleo. Her coat isn't as thick as Alex's. I just gave both blades a lube with clipper oil, and went to town.
I even used the #10 with plastic comb clip-ons, and those worked pretty well.
 

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Yes Fuz that is true, I dont know about it going instantly dull but you should always wash and oil a new blade. It is also true that blade brand new out of the box aren't completely sharpened.

The fact the the coat is really probably to thick for a 3blade even if it's cleaned and oiled and reasonable sharp is probably more the problem here.

How about this for an idea Tyler, why not wash and dry him one day and clip him the next day. He isn't likely to get sooo dirty that you can't get him clipped in less than 24 hours. That way you can also let him air dry a bit if the drying process becomes to much for him. Since we're going more for comfort here I wouldn't think it should matter if his hair is a bit curly VS blown out straight.

Another suggestion, and this is just what I tell my clients with senior dogs is to groom him MORE often not less often. The less work you have to put in to it on any given day the less stress you'll cause and the happier he'll be about that. Especialy since you've said he would really rather just be left alone at this point grooming wise, and who can blame him?
Obviously that isn't going to help you out a huge amount this time around but it will help in the future to keep the amount of work low with each session.

These days if you bring your senior citizen who gets stressed with grooming or has a host of health issues that makes things difficult for their summer hair cut after letting them grow all winter(or in some cases all year) I show you the door out of fairness to the dog. Much better for those dogs to be groomed at home (yay good for you) or at a vet who can deal with any health issues that may arrise.
 

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I don't really like how a #3 finish looks to be honest, it always looks choppy to me, i think a 5 would look good or a 7 and probably be easier to get through the coat.

I'm also a big fan of snaps, you could do an "O" snap or a 1 snap and be fairly short. I just did Vega in a "O" snap because we've been spending a lot of time in the water.

Also make sure your dog is clean and that you can get a comb through him before shaving and especially before using a guard comb.
 

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I think you just answered your own question I find if I oil the blades first they will not work at all. I find it better to oil them when done with the dog and they sit in the package till next time. Personally anyways the oil makes them not cut I don't know if I put to much on but are always fine 2 weeks or whatever when go to use them again
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think you just answered your own question I find if I oil the blades first they will not work at all. I find it better to oil them when done with the dog and they sit in the package till next time. Personally anyways the oil makes them not cut I don't know if I put to much on but are always fine 2 weeks or whatever when go to use them again
Hmm... different experience here. If I don't oil the clipper blades early and often, they just don't cut. I've been doing feet and faces for 12 years with a cordless clipper. It's a fairly high speed, which helps, but it really needs a good lube to work well. When I used the Oster A5 on Cleo, all the blades worked just as advertised right out of the package, with two drops of oil on 'em.
*shrug*
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Follow up on Alex...

Well, the conditioning thing was a bit of a disaster. All it did was make him sticky and stunk up my world with Baby Powder smell.

So, I took the body down with the 7f. Worked great. Bathed him then (still took forever to get him dry on high air flow/low heat). We've been working a little at a time with clippers and scissors to bring the rest of the coat under control.
Guess what? Between the bath/clip and the Cholodin, the boy's really coming around! He's more 'present'. More energy and doesn't trip quite as much. He seems happier all around. The "poodlezheimers" doesn't seem quite as serious.
Thanks all for your help. I'm sure I'll need more, but now I know who to ask.
:peace:
 

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Awwwwwwww I'm so glad you were able to get him done and even happier to hear that he seemed to do better. Thats wonderful :)
 
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