LocalWin.com - Your Local Business Finder

Shaping up the Clipped Breeds

Shaping upThe coats of shorthaired dogs can tolerate being groomed as infrequently as once or twice a month and still look good. The coats of longhaired dogs can get by with once or twice a week. The coats of clipped breeds, however, should be given attention at least every other day--and preferably daily--to remain looking good.

If that sounds like a lot of work, well, it is. Fortunately, giving your dog's coat daily attention takes a great deal of work out of the equation. Huh? Well, by spending a few minutes on a daily basis on your dogs' coat, you won't need to spend several hours at a time trying to repair damage and trying to restore the coat's shape. After all, most of us trim our pets in fancy clips because they look nice, not because they are going to leap into icy-cold water to retrieve a duck. Although other clipped breeds are still counted in the Sporting Group, the Bichon Frisa and the Poodle both keep clipped dogs in the role of companion and fashion accessories for most people. And no one really likes a tatty fashion accessory, do they?

It is not incumbent upon you, as a pet owner, to learn all of the ins and outs of clipping your dog. You do not have to by a trimmer with all of the nifty accessories to keep the shaved parts of your dog looking clean. You do not need to buy all of the tools that professional dog handlers or professional groomers use to create the confection of coat that is a Continental cut--or even to reproduce the more sedate cousin, the lion trim used on other breeds, like the Portuguese Water Spaniel and the Lawchen.

What you can do, however, is learn the very basic upkeep that will keep your dog looking stylish until you take him to the groomer for his next trim. To do so, you should learn the basic shape of your dog's trim, how to comb and how to use the scissors. Beyond that, let your groomer do the work!


Poodles should be bathed using the same technique as any other dog. However, due to the nature of your dog's coat, you must be careful to rinse away every trace of shampoo and conditioner. Towel your dog to remove much of the excess moisture from his coat. Use a blow dryer to remove the rest of the moisture, using a pin brush to lift the coat away from the skin as it dries, shaping it into that rounded form over his head, shoulders, and rump. If you have a Bichon, use the same technique all over his body.

Trimming on the Curve

No, we're not talking about grading here. But it is important to remember that virtually all trimmed breeds have a smoothly curved outline. Unlike setters, which have points and angles in their coats, most trims present a rounded form. There are no angles on a Poodle or a Bichon Frisa!

After your dog's coat is dry, you should use a long, narrow metal comb and a pair of long-bladed scissors to trim the uneven bits from your dog's coat. Use your comb to bring the coat up and away from your dog's skin, just as you did while brushing. Hold your scissors at an angle to the coat, pointing upward. Lightly and quickly snip away the very tips of the fur. Take away as little fur as possible with each snip. Your object is to even the edges out and it is easier to remove a little more than it is to glue it back on again. Avoid using scissors with short blades; longer blades will make it easier to smooth the edges of the scissor marks.

Trimming the Face, Feet, and Tail Base

If you feel extremely confident in your skills, then you can use a small electric or battery-operated trimmer to keep these areas from getting shaggy. If your trimmer gives you a choice of blades, use a #10 or #15 blade. Always be certain to use a sharp blade; using a dull blade will pull your dog's coat from his skin rather than trimming it. If you don't feel comfortable using a trimmer, not to worry. Keep things neat by using your scissors taking care to avoid your dog's eyes and let your groomer trim the fur down on your next visit.

Some Things to Remember

  • Light-colored dogs have skin that is more sensitive than those with dark skins. Use extra care when using your trimmer or brushing out the coat.
  • White dogs may develop tear stains. Many fine solutions are available to remove these stains. Use a damp cloth to remove any discharge from the corner of your dog's eyes to help prevent these stains.
  • Do not use scissors to trim the hair inside your dog's ears. The hair in his ear canals is very loose. Grasp the fur between your fingers and pluck it free. Keep his ear canals clean of extra hair to prevent ear infections.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.

About Us | Privacy | Terms | Copyright © 2005-2015 Localwin.com. All rights reserved.