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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my new Andis ultraedge in the mail yesterday. I reaalllly have been wanting to shave down Rio for a while now, and instead of waiting for the shipping on the Wahl ss attachments, (looked everywhere locally, couldn't find) I settled on some Andis plastic attachments.


Almost 3 hours after beginning, a puppy that was being very good (fell asleep!) and two adults, we ended up with a VERY patchy looking poodle.

The back and sides seemed to shave down easy (we were using a 1" attachment over the 10 blade that came with it) but the legs topknot, chest, and all around the neck were IMPOSSIBLE to get, we would go over it in every which way, pulling the skin taunt, and it wouldn't hardly get the hair??? It was like his hair was too whispy it would just get pushed down in those spots while the clippers ran over it??


Help!! I'm sooo discouraged about grooming him on my own after that... Could it simply be the attachments?? All I want is a once over one length cut, no topknot, nothing fancy... simple. I don't mind going shorter than 1" after doing the 1" I think we could go much shorter without him looking shaved down naked.
 

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Were the dogs washed and dried before you started? I find that that makes a HUGE difference when I groom my dogs When the hair is straight, it seems to pass through clipper more evenly.

I have never used attachments because I shave the torso with a #4 and then hand scissor in the rest, but I wonder if the attachment wouldn't work better over something like a 40 blade. Hopefully one of the groomers on this board can help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I bathed and blew him out right before... How long does the 4 blade get the body?? Does it still look like there's a little "fluff"? I love the look of hand scissored legs, but not sure if I could pull it off... thought it might be easier than last night, I've been trying to go over him by hand to even it out more and more throughout the day.

I guess I thought the clippers would be better?? But I'm interested to hear if people think there will be much of a difference if I go ahead and still get the wahl ss attachments over these plastic ones I used last night...
 

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How old is he?

Typically combs are best used over a #30, #40 or #50 blades. Most groomers prefer #30. I only use #30 with combs. #40 or 50 (preferably) I use on feet. #15 I use on longer face and tails otherwise I use #30. Very sensitive skin I put on the shortest comb to protect from razor burn. I also powder a face that is sensitive too after I do them. It's possible to use combs on #10 or #15, the combs have a tendency to drag and catch hair when used over these longer blades. Clean snap-on combs regularly with soap and water only. Remove any clipper oil or aerosol spray on combs before use. I usually wash them before first using them too.

Like all grooming techniques, it takes some practice to master combs. For the most part, they are used on coats after bathing, fluff-drying and final combing so that no matts are present.

Always go in the direction of coat growth. Your objective is to create as even a result as possible. Once done, use scissors to smooth any uneven spots.

For a fluffier short look I use a 4F or use no longer then a 1 inch length comb on the body. For a nice summer, cooler look, I use a 5F on the body. Then I use a comb on the legs as legs look better with a bit more hair on them. However, Sam has been done completely with a 5F.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He just turned 5 months. I just don't get it, the clippers combs and all were new and clean... he was washed and fluffed up.

I went over his head about 20 times and it just would not cut the hair??? There were places on his body that were like that... it seemed the only place they would really cut was his torso.

After last night, my respect for groomers has goon waaaaaayyyy up... whew... totally worth the big monies for a good groom!!!!
 

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I was exactly like you when I started. I hacked and chopped and it looked awful. I realize NOW what the problem was.....I. was unrealistic in grooming my own dog. I wanted long,soft fluff but didn't know how to achieve it.....and in my mind, I could not see what I was doing wrong. I want to make a suggestion....take it all short except topknot & tail. Get a clean fresh start. Start bathing and blow drying straight weekly. It takes months of time and commitment to grow a coat and maintain it at 3/4 to 1" long. Don't order SS combs yet because you aren't ready yet....and the SS combs are NOT your magic ticket. If you can master the regular plastic ones, then you will have achieved PROPER coat preparation. I wish I could teach you hands on
 

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getting a nice EVEN 1" with combs is tough, even for a seasoned groomer!

I would lower my expectations at first and go with a bit shorter look (maybe 1/2") so you can get USED to how the combs and clipper work. You will normally need to do some scissor work to get any tuffs that the comb just won't get. Puppy hair is also very soft and fly-away, so static can make the comb lay the hair down when static builds up. You might try a bit of a finishing spray that will lower the amount of static that is building up in the coat and on the combs (why I don't care for plastic combs). Also, back combing will help A LOT!!! Take your comb (not the clipper comb, but the regular comb) and brush all the hair you've clipped backwards, then go over it again. The hair MUST be completely tangle free as well, so make sure there are NO SNAGS or you'll end up with a "divot" in the coat.

You can also use the combs in reverse (against the lay of the hair) to get a more even look, but it WILL make it shorter, so just be aware of that.

Thank you for your new found respect for us lowly dog groomers :) We work hard for our $$$
 

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I don't really like the plastic attachments and I do find that the wahl combs go through a thick coat much easier.

The most important process of starting any grooming starts in the bathtub in my opinion..getting the dog very clean and making sure you rinse and rinse and then completely fluff dry the coat and then do a final comb to ensure there are not any tangles left is the only way snap on combs will work correctly.
 

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Thank you for your new found respect for us lowly dog groomers :) We work hard for our $$$
After spending FIVE (yes 5!!) long hours with Rogan today, bathing, blow drying, de-tangling, and trimming face, feet and tail...(with numerous interruptions from my 2yr old) I starting thinking... $120 is not really that bad... there are so many things I could have done today! lol He's really good when I groom him, but boy does it take a long time!! And that's without any scissoring! I'm just letting him grow at this point... however, I too have gained a lot of respect for groomers, they sure do work hard for their money! I can't imagine dealing with a dog that fought me every step of the way, Rogan is pretty co-operative, I'm sure not all the dogs the groomers face are the best to deal with!
hats off to you all! :clap2:
 

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Don't worry you'll get faster and better as time goes by and especially when they finally have their adult coat. Puppy coats are tough. I so hated the puppy clip and ALL that HAIR. The Conti has been so much easier for me. Hats off to all groomers as you never know what you'll get in dog, owner or anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was exactly like you when I started. I hacked and chopped and it looked awful. I realize NOW what the problem was.....I. was unrealistic in grooming my own dog. I wanted long,soft fluff but didn't know how to achieve it.....and in my mind, I could not see what I was doing wrong. I want to make a suggestion....take it all short except topknot & tail. Get a clean fresh start. Start bathing and blow drying straight weekly. It takes months of time and commitment to grow a coat and maintain it at 3/4 to 1" long. Don't order SS combs yet because you aren't ready yet....and the SS combs are NOT your magic ticket. If you can master the regular plastic ones, then you will have achieved PROPER coat preparation. I wish I could teach you hands on
Oh my goodness do I wish I could have someone teach me in person also!! Have you or anyone else found that using a 4 blade or an actual BLADE without attachments helps it grab the hair better?? Rio's hair is not dense at all, just whispy fluff... I thought this would be easier to clip through, but now I'm thinking a nice thick stiffer coat would be nice...
 

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Actually I disagree P2P, the main reason it was *so* hard is because you were using the plastic combs. They are next to useless IMO! Seriously, they are crap, they won't go through a coat easily, they squash hair so it's nearly twice as long as intended, ESPECIALLY if it's soft hair it's just about impossible, and the tracks it leaves are horrible to get smooth.
Metal ones are like comparing chalk and cheese, and they'll glide through the coat 5-times easier. They do still squash the coat down to some extent (even plain blades do that too) but the thin blades it has on the comb mean it gets through with much MUCH less effort and track marks etc. YES you still need to work with them and you'll still get choppy bits and it'll take a bit to get good, but darn it I wouldn't be wasting my time trying to learn on the plastic combs. Though in saying that, it is true that if you can master the plastic ones, when you get to eventually switching to the metal ones you'll be a pro! But really, before I got the metal ones I rarely ever ever used the plastic ones on clients, and I preferred hand scissoring to trying to tackle the stupid plastic combs. lol


Yes, a plain blade will 'grip' the coat much better and give a much smoother cut then a snap on comb. And yes, wispy fluff is fine to clip, but a *bugger* to try and get the track marks out of! lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
UPDATE: I did a TON of the scary scissoring today, and found out it's not so scary... he looks soooo much better, no patches (at least by my very untrained eye, though I know there is a TON of room for improvement. I think I'll stick to shaving the body, and scissoring the legs, I get it know, it seems to be easier and I always love a fluffy leg. We went on a walk downtown and he was getting oooh's and ahhh's from everyone. Though he always does, I guess that's what you get when you have a poodle, they are so darn cute. I'll post pictures later tonight.
 

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the main reason it was *so* hard is because you were using the plastic combs. They are next to useless IMO! Seriously, they are crap, they won't go through a coat easily, they squash hair so it's nearly twice as long as intended, ESPECIALLY if it's soft hair it's just about impossible, and the tracks it leaves are horrible to get smooth.

I completly agree!!! They are useless!

Very excited to see the results!
 

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I only have plastic combs at the moment and I'll avoid using them if I can, but some people only want like.. the ends taken off their pom and there's no way I'm going to hand scissor the whole dog. I'll use the combs, then normally go back over fixing spots with my scissors and thinning shears.
 

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I much prefer the Wahl SS combs/guards over a #30 Wahl competition blade. I don't use the plastic combs/guards anymore. With any guarded haircut, you will always have to scissor to achieve a finished look.
Even in the salon where I have force dryers for straightening the coat and a clipper vac to help pick up the coat, I still scissor over the entire dog before it looks smooth and finished IMO.
I wouldn't give up though! It will take some time, but you will get it! Just be patient with yourself. A clean, thoroughly brushed dog is the most important part.
I'm sorry I don't have any pics :( Lacey is still in a full scissor trim.
Thanks for the nod to professional groomers, we appreciate that!!
 

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Remeber 3 years ago before Wahl came out with the Stainless combs? It was either plastic combs or hand-scissoring. There WERE no stainless, butter smooth, perfect clipper cuts. What did we ever do then? We made due. When you are starting out, its very hard. I dont think her problems are 99% due to the plastic comb VERSUS the metal. I honestly think she doesn't have the coat READY for either type of comb. And it doesn't much matter if its whispy fur or very dense fur. With excellent coat prep, a professional 2 speed clipper and any type of combs, I can teach anyone to do a standard poodle body clip in about 1-2 hours. Hand scissoring the head etc is a different part of the groom.

REally wispy hair can be made denser...but it all involves product likes sprays and mouses. I like clean wispies more than I like sticky stiff hair. If you have a naturally wispy coat....make it as pretty as naturally possible.
 
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