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Discussion Starter #1
These are the two areas i have the most trouble with! Last time Ry went to the groomer she asked who butchered his topknot. I had to admit it was me. I can never get the legs to be even cilinders too. What scissors do you use? What techniques? Help! I need to groom Riley as im too poor to go to the groomers right now. I need to take down his legs but not sure how.
 

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The easiest way would be with guard combs over a 10 or 30 blade it gets the legs even enough and looks nice for most pet trims and really easy to do. I'm not sure what kind of supplies you already have though..

you can get some decent clippers for $70-$120
most come with at least a 10 blade
and then a pack of the plastic guards would be about $25

you just have to make sure the coat is completely tangle free before using them.
 

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Make sure the leg is dry and straightened of course. Thent take a comb and fluff the hair straight out of the leg and THEN start to scissor. You'll have to keep fluffing as you go and go back over some spots more than one. Also the motion you use to scissor hair is different than what you use to use scissores to say cut paper. Ideally you shold train your hand so that only your thumb moves to power the scissors. Be very mindful of the motion of your scissors as well, don't bounce them in and out of the coat. You can practice by scissoring along a solid flast surface. My first mentor taught me to correct my hand motion by having my scissor along the wall in the salon. (I was abd about taking a snip here and there and then pulling my scissors back before going back in to take another snip - no no no bouncing she would say). I looked like an idiot I'm sure but it had the desired effect and taught me to keep scissoring in a straight line without taking a snip here and there. You can practice on a wool duster by the way... I think it's wool. It won't hurt your scissors and it's CHEAP and gives you loads of pratice. That was one of our assingments in school actually we were each given a "feather duster" as we all called them and told to scissor it into either a leg/foot, tail, or an actual dog if we felt up to it. Wish I had a picture of what mine ended up looking like. I made a poodle out of mine and glued eyes and nose and mouth on it then spray colored it pink. Hahaha even in school I was dying dogs before I even knew anything about it I suppose lol. Then I spritzed a super strong colonge on it and it was a "french poodle" LoL.
Anyway the point it is was good practice and I ended up making several of them on my own out of the dusters I purchased on my own at walmart.

OR
you can do the snap on comb method Aiden suggested as well, it is easier, but you won't get as nice a leg. So be forwarned that if you're going to a fuller scissored look It will look clippered and sometimes no matter how long you leave it if you clip down the font of a leg like that you that spindly chicken leg look. I personally don't care for the look unless I am not going for a scissored finished and only ever use a clipper comb (just skimming) down the outside of the leg just to give me a starting length to make my shapes, IF I use one at all that is. It's a personal thing though of course, I personally like to do the fronts of the front and back legs all by hand so that I can get the desired shape.
 

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The easiest way would be with guard combs over a 10 or 30 blade it gets the legs even enough and looks nice for most pet trims and really easy to do. I'm not sure what kind of supplies you already have though..

you can get some decent clippers for $70-$120
most come with at least a 10 blade
and then a pack of the plastic guards would be about $25

you just have to make sure the coat is completely tangle free before using them.
I second this. I too am trying to save a few dollars - and the legs are so hard I found that out last night.....what will I do when her legs are longer? HEHE. The top knot I agree, I am SO AFRAID OF.
 

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If you want longer legs you'd have to scissor them as guard combs only go so long.

Now i think it's considered a no-no but i've taken my 40 blade and skimmed on the legs to set my length and then scissored :doh:

I personally don't like very round top knots like what is on my avatar, i dont like that very much. I like the top knot blended into the ears. I'm not sure how I do it really at least not how I can explain in words..lately my dogs have had naked top knots so i haven't had to worry about it!
 

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If you want longer legs you'd have to scissor them as guard combs only go so long.

Now i think it's considered a no-no but i've taken my 40 blade and skimmed on the legs to set my length and then scissored :doh:
Did I read that right Aiden, you've skimmed with just a 40 blade? No comb attachment over the top?
Interesting, that could certainly be a quick way to take off extra length so long as you have an extra steady hand. Quick too. I don't see why you could do it that way, again so long as you had a steady hand.
 

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yup, I have been known to occasionally skim with a 30 or 40 blade, with no attachment, but you MUST have a steady hand, and a rock solid dog!!! I know of a lady who does that a lot on everything to totally minimise her need for scissoring due to having bad hands now!

But yup, straight long scissors, bathed & straightened coat, fluff it out, scissor all around smoothly without flicking out, dipping in for another snip and flicking out, just scissor all smoothly, and go back to fluff up with a comb again. Do it with the foot on the ground to get an idea, then pick up the foot and hold it out infront of him to smooth it all off and even up, put it back down and touch up more etc.

Or snap on combs are goooood


For topknots, use curved scissors. Don't cut in too close/tight above the ears or it gives a pinched look, and again; smooth scissoring, fluff up, and smoothly scissor again. Is there anything in particular about the topknot you have trouble with??
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have very nice clippers and many blades. I dont have any snap on combs because Riley has Such a thick wirey coat. I only have 8.5" straight scissors. I do need to buy some curved ones. I think that is the main problem with my topknots. I like a shorter tk, but i like the ears seperated. I can do one leg nice, but i cant seem to repeat it on the other side!. :D I Might try the blade skimming thing as i have a Rock solid dog and pretty steady hands. I "know" in theory how to scissor correctly, but i sometimes find myself bouncing. I can hold them correctly though! :doh: Well see when i get brave enough to try this.
 

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honestly, see if you can borrow the stainless steel snap on combs from someone, you'll be surprised at how well they go through even a thick wirey coat! The plastic ones wouldn't do jack-sh*t, but the metal ones are brilliant.
 

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Well I am no groomer but I do sometimes manage to get the legs ok on Dima.
I don't take her to the groomer since she is my practice dog ;)

When I do her legs I bath and dry her and make sure they are tangle free. Then I lift her leg up and cut straight up in the length I would like to have them, then I work from there :p

I have no idea if I am doing it right or wrong but it works ;)
 

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If your poodle has a shaved face, it is quite easy to follow the line already clipped in back to the ear. For a sort of rounded top knot, comb the hair forward and clip across the front of the face, leaving a little overhang. Then comb the hair to the side and following the lines I mentioned above, cut straight across the ears. Do this on the other side, then shape the back as you want it to look. If the top knot is too long on the top, finish off with curved scissors. This sounds a bit garbled but it actually works.
 

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I do legs just like I do the topknot: comb the hair all the way to one side, scissor, then comb the hair all the way to the other side, scissor. Works well for me. I learned this tip from a groomer's forum (groomers.net), along with the fabulous way to save coat on matted foster poodles - wetshaving.
 

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I'm by no means a groomer... do my own and friend's occasionally if they get desperate.. that's how I got Sadie. Her owner was too embarassed to take her to a real groomer.
For the legs, depending on the time of year... in the summer they're shaved down. No need for that hair on the farm.
In the winter, I comb the hair out straight, hold the leg out even and trim it to the length I want it... kind of in one straight motion.
For the top knot... usually pretty short because I stink at that...
 
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