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Dog Grooming Methods

By following these important steps you will insure that your dog is ready for the bath.

Brushing The Coat
Always brush from the skin to the ends of the coat. Use a smooth, firm motion never raking the tool over the skin. Choosing the right brush depends on the length of coat. The longer the coat, the longer the bristle on the brush. Look for a soft cushion in which the bristle are held. These brushes are more gentle on the coat and skin. When brushing before a bath, you always want to moisture the coat (16 parts water with to 1 part Pawformance™ All-Coat Conditioner in squirt bottle). For those matted coats Pawformance™ Spray Conditioner may do a better job because of its added coat sealant and conditioners.

Combing The Coat
Combing after brushing is a good way to check your work for tangles. Always start at the skin and then comb away from the skin. A steel comb is best suited for this job. Selecting a comb is done by the length of coat you are working on. The longer and thicker the coat, the longer and wider the teeth on the comb.

Seperating Matts
It is best for the coat to use your fingers to pull matts apart, then gently brush them through. But when matting is extensive and shaving coat off is not an option use the Oster® Mat Comb. Slide it under matts and use a saw like motion in the direction the hair grows.

Ear Cleaning
Pawformance™ Ear Powder is made to assist in ear canal hair removal, by absorbing the ear secretion and giving you a better grip on the hair. Follow with Pawformance™ Ear Cleaner which is gentle, but also contains acidic acid which slows inflammation of the irritated skin after plucking. Fill the ear canals with cleaner and gently massage canal from the out side then let dog shake extra out. Gently absorb any extra with cotton ball. Repeat until cotton comes out clean. Do not dig or poke in canal for any reason. Finally, pack ear with cotton ball not allowing water to enter ear while bathing.

Trimming Toe Nails
Trimming toe nails is very important. If bleeding occurs, use Pawformance™ Styptic Powder.

Tips on bathing your dog in an effective and safe manner.

Face, Body & Legs
FACE: Lather head last so you can rinse it first, therefore helping to avoid soap in the dog's eyes. Always pay special attention to under the eye, lips and inside of ear leather. The ears contains oil glands requiring routine cleaning. Pawformance shampoos are tearless. BODY & LEGS: When bathing start at the neck and work back to the rump. Then work down the legs. Remember to pay special attention to throat, feet and private areas. If anal gland needs expressing, now would be a good time.

Rinse until the coat squeaks. If it does not, shampoo the area again and rinse the coat again.

Wrap pet in towel and blot dry. When using any dryer, keep at a safe distance from the skin and use a cool to warm setting preferably not hot. Always brush coat the in the direction you want the coat to lay.

Helpful hints on all parts of the body.

Poodle: Face
Select your favorite Oster® clipper. Work from the highest point of the ear towards the corner of the eye. Use a short blade(either #10, #15 Cyrotech™ or Elite Cryotech™ blades) going against the grain unless you know your pet has sensitive skin, then chose a longer blade or go with the lay of the coat. Clip down the muzzle starting at the inside corner of the eye, you may make a straight line from inside corner to inside corner or an inverted V, going against the lay of coat. Always keep skin pulled tight. It will make clipping in the detailed area easy and your clipper work smoother. Work up from a point below the adams apple and above the curve in the neck that dips inward towards the breastbone. From that point go straight to the bottom of the ear. Creating a V or U shape at the point you chose to start.

Poodle: Tail
Starting at the bottom/underside of the rectum, use the corner of your clipper blade and clip at an angle upward. At this point, drop the tail and clean hair by angling it inward. Creating V or U on topside of tail. When you hold tail straight up, no hair should be toughing the base of the tail or the rectum.

Poodle: Feet
When clipping feet go to about the wrist of the dog. If your dog has flat-feet keep your line lower. Trim around the toes, separating them; using the corner of clipper. For those stubborn hairs flip the blade and push in to the hair with the stationary part of the blade. It will grab those strays and create a cleaner foot. Spread the toes and webbing over your index finger, creating a flat surface to clip when working on the pads of the feet. Use the corner of the blade, clip and scoop hair out in both directions.

Poodle: Belly
Clipping the abdomen creates a tidy appearance and addresses the hygiene issue. Pay special attention to the private areas. Make sure they are clipped clean with the lay of the coat. This area is very sensitive, so use a Cryotech™ #10 blade. Always disinfect your blade after clipping this area. Using Oster® Spray disinfectant. Followed by Oster® Kool- Lube® 3 for lubrication and a spot of Oster® Premium Lubricating Oil.

Poodle: Body
Chose a blade or comb attachment that best compliments the dog structure. Use it with the lay of coat and with long smooth strokes of the clipper.

Poodle: Legs
Use Universal Comb® attachments to create a longer even length of coat. Coat should be clean and tangle free. Use consistent, steady and long smooth strokes with the lay of coat. When working on the rear leg, use normal bone structure to guide you from behind to create angulation. Leave some length of coat on the hock and front of leg. When working from the rear, make sure the parallel lines you are clipping come straight off the body, not bowing on the inside or heavy on the out. THINK STRAIGHT! When looking at the dog from above, it should look like most any dog with no hips or shoulder sticking out. But a smooth line. Use the same process on the front legs. Just leave the coat on the back of the front legs longer if needed and shorter on the front.

Final tips to make your work adhere to the Poodle Breed Standards.

Scissoring: Top Knot
Keeping the blade of your scissors turned away from coat trim across the eyes. Then work toward the ear from the corner of the eye to the top inside part of the ear. Proceed over and around the ear and clean up bevel around the neck. The line you clipped in the poodle’s neck should line up at the base of ear with the line you are scissoring into the topknot. Scissor your clipper work and topknot so it blends together with clipper work on the neck. Try not to create a hat look.

Scissoring: Tail
Tip the hair at the end of tail. When held straight upright the scissored part should be even with the Occiput or top the of head. Lift tail by the tip, comb the coat down. Hold your scissors at a 30-degree angle and scissor around your clipper line. At this point you will have a peak in the middle of the tail, scissor that hair off.

From the head to the legs, tips for trimming the whole body

Cocker Spaniel: Head
Work from the inside top of ear to the outside corner of the eye. When clipping the muzzle keep skin pulled tight. When clipping the neck, work from a point about an inch or so above the breastbone and clip to the bottom inside part of the ear in a U shape. Use the outside corner of the eye and clip a half moon shape back to the start of the ear set. This should leave enough hair to create a dome. Blend your clipper lines. Remember the ears should frame the face. The point that you start clipping should be about 1/3 the ear’s length. Clip inside of ear to match the outside portion clipped. Warning! Never clipper or scissor against the lay of coat on the inside or edges of the ears, it will feed the clipper or scissors into the ear. If there is a need to go short just chose a closer blade.

Cocker Spaniel: Body & Legs
BODY: Select a guide comb that will leave a natural finish to the coat, longer is better. Keep in mind most spaniel top lines are sloping back to the rear. Remember to go with the with lay of the coat, which falls down the rib cage. Use long smooth strokes with the clipper. Blend into the rib cage. When you look over the dog you should not see the feathering. Tail is clipped with grain on top and against on the bottom. LEGS: Use a long Universal Comb® attachment, glide down the legs while dog is standing. Try and create parallel lines when viewing from front and rear of the dog. Finish by trimming around the feet. Never scissor directly over pads.

Keep your loveable mixed breed in tip-top show-worthy shape.

Mix Breed: Body, Legs & Head
BODY: Choose a Universal Comb® attachment to glide over entire body starting at the back of skull continuing from the jaw line and working your way to the base of the tail. Always follow the lay of the coat. LEGS: Use a long comb attachment and glide down the legs while dog is standing. Try and create parallel lines when viewing from front and rear of the dog. Remember to comb hair up and repeat 2 or 3 times. HEAD: Work from about the middle of the skull back. Then down the jaw line starting at the outside corner of the eye back with the lay of the coat. From the center of skull between ear and over skull, work in to the body.

Mix Breed: Feet, Belly & Scissoring
FEET: Trim so that foot pads are free from hair. BELLY: Clipper with the grain stoping where hair growth pattern changes direction. SCISSORING: Comb hair forward and trim over eyes. Never point scissors into the eye. When working keep the scissor blade angled outward. Trim muzzle by combing beard forward and trimming the front even and the under side even with the Adam’s apple.

Help your Schnauzer walk with pride by following these tips.

Schnauzer: Head
On top of the head, clip with the grain, from inside corner of eye leaving the hair starting behind the brow bone. Clip head to look level, from ear to ear and brow to end of skull. Hold ear tight and flat rolled over your fingers. Clip with the lay of coat inside and out using shortest blade settings. Start at inside top edge of the ear working against the lay of coat making a straight line to the out side corner of eye. When viewing length of head from above, skull and muzzle should be equal and the width is not more than 2/3 of the length. Notice clipper lines on the neck. Starting at the base of the ear and make a line to just above the chest bone. Work to the mole on the cheek to the mole under the chin. You can make changes according to your dog’s head. Trim the outside edges of the ear with the lay of the coat. Never scissor in to the lay of hair, it will feed your clipper or scissors in to the leather.

Schnauzer: Body & Feet
BODY: Use a short guide comb to trim body. Trim with the lay of the coat. Comb coat against the lay with a brush or comb, blending coat around the elbow. Clip rear legs to expose the muscle about an inch above the hock bone. Make sure all clipper lines blend naturally. The longer you leave the back coat, the easier it is to blend. FEET: Trim around feet by combing coat down and scissoring around outside of pads. Remember to use your clippers in the pads to remove hair with ease.