Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Grooming Tips!

I was recently asked by a couple that owns a yorkie as well about how I groom my boys.  I've been cutting my own dogs hair for a little over a year now, and learned a lot by doing it again and again.  The following is the email that I sent them in response:

I would be more than happy to share my knowledge of grooming tips and tools with you. Of course I am no expert, but the knowledge I have acquired has come from internet research, conversations with groomers themselves, various Youtube videos and a little over two years of practice. Like you, I began my grooming experience with scissor cutting. Very rough around the edges, but getting the job done and convincing myself Leo was no show dog, I was somewhat content with the outcome of my procedure. As months went by and the thrill of giving a dog a haircut was no longer,  the reality of such a chore set in and the lengthy amount of time it took to scissor cut a mere 5 pound dog did not make up for the choppy coat it left. At this point I began to look into purchasing my first set of clippers. 

My research and understanding of what kinds of clippers to purchase has led me to the Oster Golden A5 double speed animal clipper with # 10 blade. Now I have been told that there is a difference in human clippers compared to animal clippers. I have read online multiple people who have used human clippers and have had no issue cutting their Yorkies. This could be because Yorkie hair is much different than the typical dogs. Trial and error and personal preference are behind this as well. I will tell you some pros and cons about the clipper that I own, and hopefully my insight will help lead you to determine what would be best for you.

 PROS: My clippers are two-speed, not really necessary when cutting a small pound dog, but if you’re cutting a dog with extra thick hair it may be a good idea. Oster is a good brand. They are well known as you may as well own a kitchen appliance of theirs. These clippers will last you a good while. You are buying clippers for the quality of their motor. (Some other good brands I considered were Andis and Wahl.) 
CONS: My clippers are a bit big. When cutting such a small dog it is hard to cut some parts evenly, without having to go over them a couple times. As well, motor may be a bit louder.

Most likely your clippers that you purchase will come with a blade. Mine came with a #10 blade. When asking a groomer how short this would be she replies that they usually use this length on the “potty areas” leaving hair extremely short. After looking at the prices of different blades which were around $20 each I came to the conclusion that I would much rather own and attachment comb set to have the options for different hair cut lengths, rather than just having one blade for one length.  These combs simply attach on top of my #10 blade. Another reason why I opted for the comb attachments are because it leaves you less likely to cut the dog. Groomers use blades because it leaves the hair with a much more precise cut. But again, it’s not like I am showing my dogs or anything.  

So that pretty much sums up the clipper portion of the haircut. I use the clippers on the body (back and under belly).  In the summer I use the ¼ inch attachment comb, and in the winter I’ll use a ½ inch. I leave the legs and face for scissor cutting. After purchasing a pair of grooming shears I don’t ever think that I will go back to using a standard pair of scissors again. Surfing numerous dog grooming websites you could say that I was left speechless learning the prices of some shears. They can get up to $1000!! I settled for a pair of $22 Fromm Premier Series point tip 6 ½” Shear (Curved) The curved shear is great for doing paws and faces as it leaves a natural looking shape. I also purchased a pair of Fromm Thinning shears. I use these more on Max because his hair is so thick, these work nicely to blend in the hair on his face. I think that you will be able to get away without using these on Baby’s hair, but you can do a little experimentation and see what you like. I hardly ever use the thinning shears on Leo because he has very thin hair. There are other brands much better than Fromm that will be sharper and give you a more precise cut, but I’m a college student what can I say J. These work just fine for me. Here are some websites that you will be able to find the right materials that you need: 

http://www.ryanspet.com-  This is where I purchased my Fromm shears- about $22

http://www.goodmans.net- This is where I purchased my Oster clippers. I was lucky and got my attachment comb set as a gift with the purchase. Oster clippers cost about $120

http://www.petedge.com/- Another good site for grooming materials
Once you find what exactly you want, search for good deals. Purchasing from the internet will almost always be cheaper than going to a local Pet store and getting them from there.

GOOD LUCK!

33 comments:

  1. My dog seems to know whenever it's time for a haircut. Little rat is horrible and refuses to sit still and actually tries to bite me!

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  2. Great tips, and awesome pictures!!!

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  3. i would leave the hair growing on the dog, and then i leave the hair growing on me, and then we be happy

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  4. Awww what a cute puppie! Following and supporting. alphabetalife.blogspot.com

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  5. Reading this blog kinda makes me wish I had a pet that I could groom lol. Got a staffordshire bull terrier and she doesn't need anything like this, just keeps awesome by herself.

    btw, amazingly cute puppy

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  6. OMG looks alot like my yorkie! You got to go check my blog out and take a look.

    Love it!
    Following.

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  7. AAAHHHHH I love yorkies! Would these work with a pug, who has shorter hair than a yorkie?

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  8. So cute! They are like little Ewoks!

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  9. I have an english Springer Spaniel, and for some reason, I dont think she would take to kindly to me giving her a homemade trim

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  10. Always wanted a dog like that but never been allowed one :(
    Nice tips and good post.

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  11. Nice informative blog for dog owners. Following

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  12. My dog looks just like that. So cute!

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  13. Aw, these dogs are the best, just like my friends.

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  14. For some reason the layout of this blog makes me wet

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  15. Dog looks absolutely gorgeous!

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  16. i might try a few of these tips when i get a dog. :)

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  17. I cut my Yorkie's hair very short during summer about 2 years ago and he has problems growing hair on his hind legs. I've got him on salmon oil and skin/hair vitamins for the past 2-3 months with no improvement on his hind legs. Any recommendations?

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  18. Your dog is the cutesy thing ever.

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  19. You seem very dedicated to your dogs, that's good. Have ya ever considered hogs? There's just a one letter difference, there.

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  20. Haha that last photo is so cute!

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