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PeggyTheParti’s Diary has inspired me to share my home grooming journey with Coco!

Coco is 14.5 weeks. I started grooming when we got her at 8 weeks - she had had one VERY non-pro groom with the breeder. Her face was sort of clipped, but VERY choppy and unfinished:
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She was fluffy everywhere, basically. I started right away with daily-ish brushing (slicker) and combing. I was also dremeling her nails every few days - going very slowly, a little each day (a paw at a time). My goal was to get her used to grooming. We worked on the ground - on a so doggy mat. LOTS of treats!!

We had a good routine! In fact, I was getting confident. Weekly bath and blow dry (with my dyson, no heat), paw clipping. All good!

Then there was the time I got TOO confident and tried clipping her face.... with a Bravmini+

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BIG. HUGE. UGLY. mistake!!!

Fortunately - no damage to her skin... she just looked absolutely ridiculous for the next week.

The bigger issue was that I lost ALL CONFIDENCE. That had been my first day attempting a face - and was officially my LAST day with the mini+..... it was the day I thought “who am I kidding - I’ll never be able to groom her myself, I have no idea what I’m doing!!!”
 

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Another mistake for me was the Bravmini+ on her paws. I didn’t realize at the time - but they basically made her bald. Not sure how well you can see:

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Within 3 or so days, they’d grown out again and were silky smooth - but that’s when I had the face clip disaster. So..... I got a Wahl 5 in 1!
 

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Things have improved!

We’ve been chipping away, day by day - I try to work on her face a little bit EVERYDAY, even if it’s just to practice “grab” (my cue for “I am going to hold your muzzle for a few moments) or grab + change position, grab with duration and / or pressure. Etc.

I wasn’t taking progress pictures because I forgot - but here are a few from today!

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Today I switched the 5-in-1 blade from my “go to” (the middle one!) to one closer to the right - to get a closer clip for her paws. I was hoping to clean up her paws and I think I overcorrected:

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(lighting is different)

Those white patches appear when I get too close to the skin.

My lesson: I’m not ready for anything “closer” than the centre blade!!

Next goal: trim the nails down a bit. I’m scared of the quick because I can’t really see it, even with clean paws and lighting. I just don’t know what I’m looking for!
 

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Also: got the simplegroom grooming table. Overhead arm has not yet arrived, so next goal is to transition from the mat to the table (and thanks for the tips on how to do that on my other thread on!!).
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