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Discussion Starter #1
Unfortunately, it looks as though I might have lost my grooming mentor, at least for right now, due to some personal things going on in her life. Jager really needs to be groomed, so I'm planning attempting it this weekend.

As a side note, some people may have read one of my other threads about me possibly showing Jager if his left testicle drops, but I don't think I'm going to attempt that now that I don't have a poodle expert to help mentor me. On the up side, it's okay if I mess up a little while learning to groom him.

I found some videos posted in this forum and I'm going to watch them all before starting our first groom session. I have Andis clippers with 30 and 10 blades, Wahl stainless steel combs, and straight shears. I have used the shears a little already to trim his top knot (to the get the hair out of his eyes) and trim up around the ankles (the hair was getting really long!). It wasn't too bad, he was somewhat patient with me, and I tried to go very slowly and carefully. The result wasn't too bad if I do say so myself.

So, I was hoping to get a little feedback about my first groom. Should I break it up (do the face, take a break, do the legs, take a break, etc.)? The hair on the back of his neck and around the shoulder area is quite long, so I'd like to take it down a little bit. I am thinking about using a comb attachment to do that. In general, I just want to do the FFT, and bring the body down just a bit shorter, maybe 1/2 inch or so. His longest hair is about 3 inches and it's just too long...

I'm hoping to follow the line of his last groom (I've attached a picture shoing the original profile).

Any tips on doing the face and feet would be really great. I attempted to do his face when I first got my clippers and he was not too thrilled about it. I now know I wasn't holding the clippers or his face properly (saw the right way in one of those videos). He's had at least three grooms in his lifetime (he's only 18 weeks right now).
 

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That's really a shame, but, you can learn on your own. I used the following website to learn how to groom my Poodles. Cathy's pics and written instructions are really good:

http://www.ridgewoodpoodles.com/clipping_the_face.htm

I used the cordless Wahl Arco to shave FF&T while learning, taking my Poodles to their regular groomer every 4 wks., just as before, but doing their FF&T weekly. Finally bought the Andis UltraEdge 2 speed clipper when I decided to groom them at home. My groomer wasn't helpful in my quest to learn, but perhaps you can find one who would be willing to give you lessons. (I stopped into her shop one morning last week to look at collars, and she about flipped when she saw Lucia, asking me WHERE I was having her groomed. I don't think she believed me when I told her I groom all 3 myself! lol I always hated the way she did topknots and bracelets, so we used to go round and round with me explaining and her STILL doing it her way. Grrrr She came out to the car to say hello to Maddy and Beau, whom I'd just groomed, so they looked very nice.)
 

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Wow, thank you SO MUCH for that link. It was really helpful. I didn't know the base of the tail was clipped into a V-shape on the top, but now it makes sense....

I have a question about this part (from the Clipper info page): "I prefer to do all the close clipper work BEFORE the bath, so that the small irritating hairs can be washed away, and the skin soothed a bit with the bath water and conditioner. When I am working on shorter coats, I will also clip as much hair off before the bath, just so there is less to wash and dry, but I will go back over the body with the same blade after the bath and blow drying to leave a velvet smooth appearance."

Someone else mentioned to me that I should only ever use the shears on clean hair so as not to dull them too quickly. But it's okay to use the clippers before the bath?


Thanks again!
 

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Also, can I use the 30 blade for the FFT? I want it short and smooth. But since I'm new, I don't want to clipper burn him or anything. Should I start out with the 10 and transition to the 30 when I am more comfortable with the clipping?
 

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Also, can I use the 30 blade for the FFT? I want it short and smooth. But since I'm new, I don't want to clipper burn him or anything. Should I start out with the 10 and transition to the 30 when I am more comfortable with the clipping?
How old is the dog and what colour?? I would not use a 30 on a light coloured dog until it had been done often with a 15. This helps toughen up the skin. And I would not use a 30 on a pup. I would say a fifteen against the hair on a black or brown puppy is fine until it has been done quite a bit or you could clipper burn the dog. You could use it on the backs of the feet to clip out the pads so they are nice and clean, but don't use it too soon on the face, tail or tops of the feet.

For the face, I start at the neck and go up towards the muzzle. Then clean the muzzle off going toward the end of the nose. Pull the lips back really tight while you clean along the lip line, toward the end of the nose. Then flip the ear out of your way and clip along the line from the corner of the eye to the ear going toward the ear, and clip out the opening of the ear really well. The biggest msitake novices make is clipping up too high between the eyes, and too high at the line from the eye to the ear. Better to leave it too low than go too high or the dog ends up looking like it has a shaggy mohawk. Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks, it helps so much! I will take all the advice and tips anyone wants to offer up!

He's just a pup. 18 weeks this week. Oh, and he's black (the little guy in my avatar).

He came to me with a really short face, so I assumed the breeder used a 30 on him. I only have 30 and 10 blades. Would you recommend I buy a 15 as well or just use the 10?

Do I clip against the grain or with the grain on the FFT?
 

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Thanks, it helps so much! I will take all the advice and tips anyone wants to offer up!

He's just a pup. 18 weeks this week. Oh, and he's black (the little guy in my avatar).

He came to me with a really short face, so I assumed the breeder used a 30 on him. I only have 30 and 10 blades. Would you recommend I buy a 15 as well or just use the 10?

Do I clip against the grain or with the grain on the FFT?
With a #15 go against the grain. Yes, I would purchase a #15 for now, and at some point you will want a #5 and a #4 if you ever decide to clip him down into a pet trim. I go with the grain from the corner of the eye to the ear until they are older and toughened up, but everything else can be against. The #10 is good for the tummy area.
 

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With a #15 go against the grain. Yes, I would purchase a #15 for now, and at some point you will want a #5 and a #4 if you ever decide to clip him down into a pet trim. I go with the grain from the corner of the eye to the ear until they are older and toughened up, but everything else can be against. The #10 is good for the tummy area.
Thanks so much Arreau!

On the tummy, do I just use the 10 on the area from the armpits to the groin? The videos I am looking at don't really talk about the puppy trim.

I know he's going to be tossing his head and such during the face groom. Do I just keep clipping a little bit at a time until we are there? Any tips on how to avoid accidentally cutting him with the clippers? I would feel so bad!
 

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Thanks so much Arreau!

On the tummy, do I just use the 10 on the area from the armpits to the groin? The videos I am looking at don't really talk about the puppy trim.

I know he's going to be tossing his head and such during the face groom. Do I just keep clipping a little bit at a time until we are there? Any tips on how to avoid accidentally cutting him with the clippers? I would feel so bad!
Unless he had a mole or something on his face that protrudes, it would be very hard to nick him him a 15 or 30 blade. The scariest part will be his lip line, but unless you are jabbing the blade into him, I do not think you will cut him or nick him.

No, normally with the puppy cut you just clip the actual tummy area where the hair is sparse. Lift his front end off the table by holding both front legs with one hand. With the #10 blade, clip from the front of his testicles up (I don't go against the grain on a tummy.) Clip the entire tummy where the coat is thin, and clean off his penis going straight up it. You can scoop a little off the inside of the back legs where the coat is sparse so he doesn't get pee on long coat, but be careful to only take the very top of the inside of the legs off, or his puppy clip could look very weird when looking at him from behind. I would take the 10 and just clean a tiny bit to each side of his rectum too to keep his bum clean, but not too much. You do not want a glaring patch around his rectum.

And yes, just do what you can, talking soothingly to him. He likely won't fuss until you are around his lips, and as long as you can safely keep going, do. Just keep talking to him telling him he is a good boy. But if it gets to be unsafe, both of you need a breather for a few minutes and start again.
 

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Wow, thank you SO MUCH for that link. It was really helpful. I didn't know the base of the tail was clipped into a V-shape on the top, but now it makes sense....

I have a question about this part (from the Clipper info page): "I prefer to do all the close clipper work BEFORE the bath, so that the small irritating hairs can be washed away, and the skin soothed a bit with the bath water and conditioner. When I am working on shorter coats, I will also clip as much hair off before the bath, just so there is less to wash and dry, but I will go back over the body with the same blade after the bath and blow drying to leave a velvet smooth appearance."

Someone else mentioned to me that I should only ever use the shears on clean hair so as not to dull them too quickly. But it's okay to use the clippers before the bath?


Thanks again!
I always do FFT and sanitary before the bath. Just my preference. Whether I clipper the body first or not depends on how much hair I will be cutting off. If it's just a little I don't worry about it. If I'm shaving a dog with about 3 inches of coat I clipper before and after. No point washing and drying all that hair that's gonna be on the floor right? My blades seem to last me a pretty good while. I never scissor a dirty dog. Hope this helps.:)
 
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