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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, with the imminent lockdown2 starting tomorrow, a SPoo who was sdue a groom at the end of November (but really needs it now to be honest), I am looking to self groom him!

I know I need to make better investments as time goes on, especially as I want to groom him myself properly one day..

However. While picking up some more food for him today at Pets at Home, I came across the Wahl Pet Trimmer (battery operated), and picked it up as a small stop gap.

His face, feet and tail are in desperate need of a trim, but having never groomed before I am after some advice please!

It comes with:
  • the trimmer itself
  • 6 position acculock attachment comb (2mm-12mm)
  • 3 close item attachment combs (1.5mm-4.5mm)

Which ones do I use for face vs feet vs tail?
Feet-wise I am aiming for just between pads, leaving the paw tops shaggy. Face wise, looking to get the “standard” poodle face shave. And tail wise, just a sanitary clip to avoid poop streaks etc.

I don’t want to end up with razor burn, and I don’t want to leave it too long so in needing a second go over..

Also, I assume he will need a bath, dry and brush before clipping? Or is that all done afterwards?

I am so sorry if these are stupid questions, I just want it to be a nice easy experience for me and pup, in the interim before he can have a proper groom.

I will at some point need to do his body, but that is taking a back seat at the moment 😅
 

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Congratulations on trying grooming him yourself.
I would use the 1.5mm as that is the #10 blade. For doing the sanitary I would say definitely bathe first, because I have read that bathing after a freshly done sanitary can irritate it and make them itch at it.
 

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You can use a strip of your own hair on your body first to test the length if you're worried about something being too short.
 

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Oh Basil, you have given me quite the giggle tonight.

ZombiePup, bravo for jumping in with grooming. You CAN do this. Especially if you are kind to yourself and accepting of mistakes in the beginning. Importantly, you don't want to hurt your dog so I offer these safety tips for those jumping in the grooming pool for the first time.
1. Blades get hot after running a short amount of time. You can always turn off the clipper and touch the blade on the flat part to check the temperature. If it's hot and you don't have a second blade to replace it with, you will just have to stop for 5 or 10 minutes while the blade cools.
2. Less is more when you are a beginner. Don't take off too much. Take some practice swipes with the flat part of the blade horizontal to the dog. If you do just a little bit, then wait until the next day and check those areas you will clearly see if you are getting to close and causing razor burn. It will look red and sore after some time passes.
3. Don't try clippering between toes on your first attempt. Just go around the foot. It might look a little straggly but you are learning here. Each time you do it you will get better.
4. When trimming around the anus do two swipes: from right of anus towards center, then from left of anus towards center. It is better to leave a little fuzz here than to create razor burn here, so be conservative in how much you take off.
5. The face. Personally with a complete beginner using scissors for a light trim seems easier to me, but maybe that is because that is how I started. You have to be careful of eyes, lips, and moles. Maybe someone else will have some good tips here if you want to clipper the face.

My last tip is very important, but easily overlooked. Groom with your dog on a table. It might seem like it wouldn't make a bit of a difference, but it does. Put down a bathmat or something so your dog has some grip. Using a grooming table creates an environment where it is easier or more likely for your dog to cooperate or tolerate grooming.
 

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Hi!

A lot of us went thru this earlier this year so you'll find a few threads from members in your position if you search in this forum about 5-6 months back :).

bath, dry and brush before clipping?
First is a thorough comb thru using a greyhound style comb. It's most important to get any tangles combed out before they get wet and then dry even tighter. It's best to be clipping or trimming clean, dry and tangle free fur, for your pup and the equipment.

Some examples of length with single length detachable blades
470947


470948



I have a 5 in 1 Wahl model and use the longest blade setting on it for the face, feet, and sanitary since my boys are not thrilled to have those areas trimmed. On the 5 in 1, that's a #9, so very slightly longer than the #10 example above. Surprisingly, doing the body can be pretty easy, especially if your goal is just "less fur" :).


Your blade without the combs attached is likely a 30 or 40 blade. Attaching the comb will add to that length by the comb measurement.

If I found the right trimmer, your acculock guide comb will adjust from 1/16th inch to 1/2" (apologies for the non-metric values) and the others are non-adjustable.

I might raise EVpoodle's suggestion to a slightly longer comb or adjustment if this is your first time. Your pup might freak out or just nap, hard to say til you try.

Also, if your first time, practice the strokes you're planning first with a blade cover on if there one, or adjust to a much longer length than you hope to end up with.

Your confidence will transmit to your pup :).


I found a video from a respected professional groomer doing FFT on a very fluffy tpoo. Watch for her how she manages the pup and moves. Don't worry if you don't look like her your first time out lol. My boys still won't let me do their feet like this, but it gets better a bit every time. Unless your pup is pretty chill with the feet, I'd settle for taking the excess fur off the bottom of the pads and try for in between the pads the next time. It won't matter at all if you take a day or three to do this. The most important thing is that your pup accept grooming without getting too stressed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow thank you all for your help here! I have read through all of the replies, and will Do so again a few times!

luckily ZombiePup prefers being combed rather than brushed with the slicker. Will definitely take it all in and watch the youtube link before attempting anything!
 

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Just for information - most people who groom for show use a 40 blade on the face, feet, and top/sides of the tail (and on the hindquarters of a dog in continental clip). For light colored dogs with sensitive skin they use a 30. A 15 is used on the back of the tail, around the anus, and the belly/genitals. I like using a 40 on the feet because it is less likely to nick the webbing. Even when my dogs were not being shown I still used that blade combination - they stayed groomed much longer!

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to be sure there are no mats/tangles. That means you need to be able to comb through the coat from the skin out. One of the problems people have is not knowing how to brush from the skin out - it's called line brushing. You part the hair down to the skin along a line from the back of the topknot to the beginning of the tail and brush and comb the hair on one side of that line so that there is not a single mat/tangle. Then you part a new line about 1/2 to 1 inch away (depending on the length of the coat) and brush and comb thoroughly. After you complete one side of the dog that way, you have the dog turn over and do the other side. Obviously you will need to teach the dog to lie still! I use the command "flat" to tell Zoe to lie on her side (not "down" because that is an obedience command meaning to lie down on her chest).

On the ears, it works best to start at the tip and work toward the head - on both sides of the ear!

ZombiePup - you can buy a slicker that has coated tips from Amazon - I much prefer that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Johanna thats fantastic advice thank you - I will hunt that slicker out for him..

and will definitely start trying to comb that way; he is such a wiggle butt!
he knows the clmmand down; how did you train the word flat, and for her to stay flat while being brushed?
I’ve also ordered more detangling spray for him...
 
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