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Grooming Techniques

Do all dogs need regular grooming?
All dogs need some level of regular grooming, time and amount of grooming are dependent on breed, health of animal, owner preference, and temperament.
Does my dog need grooming in the winter?
The winter does two things to a dog’s coat. 1- just like humans it is prone to becoming dry and 2- because of change in weather many breeds shed heavily to prepare for a change in coat density (winter coat). Also, if your pet has hair in between the paw pads, trimming that hair is vital to keeping your pet’s feet healthy all winter long to help prevent moisture and matted fur.
How do I know what direction to use clippers for body clipping?
Start at the back of the head and follow the direction of the hair growth, please note shaving in the opposite direction will make the cut much shorter.
How often do I need to brush?
Brushing should become a part of a routine, most dogs only need brushing on a weekly basis, while some may need brushing and combing daily. Check your pets coat regularly and determine the best brushing schedule to fit your fur baby’s needs. ? Short Haired- rubber brushing daily, or during heavy shedding months in the spring and fall. ? Medium Haired- slicker brushing and de-shedding rake weekly. ? Long Haired- Daily Brushing
My dog is pretty wiggly; how should I try to start grooming him at home?
You should always have your pet properly restrained, so enlist a helper, or get a good harness or lead that you can secure during grooming. Always have plenty of treats handy to reward the not so wiggly moments.
How do I figure out what comb to use on a pets legs or skirt or breeds that have that style?
Remember the golden rule of you can always take more off, the most common length for a pet trim and med/short skirt or legs is a 0 comb. If you have a pet with a long skirt you may want to skim a E comb and hand scissor to keep a fuller look. Talk about the look with the pet parent and explain how much you expect to take off or what will be left on.
I have made a mistake on a dog and forgot I took my comb off and now I have a short spot, how do I fix it?
You can utilize thinning shears to blend that area in to make the “hole” less noticeable. Softening the areas around the spot will make it less of a issue. It is always wise to check your blade before working. Start with your short blades first and work your way up to the longer ones instead of switching back and forth this will reduce the risk of making mistakes, but relax we’ve all done it.
Can I do a teddy bear head with clippers?
Absolutely, you can create the round look by using a long comb attachment and going in all directions on top of the head, down both sides of the face and down the chin to the base of the neck. Using an attachment is a huge time saver and a way to ensure the best symmetry. Finish off with your curved shears and thinners for a blended look.
What is the proper way to trim a Golden Retriever tail? My dog's tail doesn't seem to look as full as it should.
Andis® products are among the best cutting, smoothest running and most durable found anywhere in the world. Each utilizes expertly developed motor technology designed to complement the application, ensuring maximum performance.
The breed standard for Golden Retriever suggest that the tailbones should extend to, but not past, the hock bone. So when your dog's tail is trimmed, stand your dog properly and comb all of the tailcoat towards the tip and hold the tail down. Trim off the hair (bluntly with thinning shears) that extends past the hock. Now here is a good trick, if the tail bone extends past the hock, trim the coat to the end of the tailbone and if the tail bone is to short, trim the coat off at the hock you can also think of it as a longer bodied dog gets a shorter tail and a short bodied dog gets a longer tail. Once you have trimmed to desired length, use your thinning shears to round out the tip of the tail for a softer curve into the tail. Lastly, pull the tail out, thin out the underside of the base of the tail and comb down and neaten any long scragglies hanging down from the flag of the tail still keeping in mind the roundness of the tail.
I have a large to medium size dog with a lot of thick fur. I can’t manage to keep him brushed and the fur mats. What clipper and blades are best suited for clipping the mats so my dog will be more comfortable?
Look into our AGC ProClip Detachable Clipper #22350, our AGC2 ProClip 2-Speed Detachable Blade clipper, #22340 or one of our MBG2 EasyClip Groom Detachable Blade Clipper Kits.
These are single speed and 2 speed clippers that comes with a #10 blade. This is a short blade and great for sanitary and pads. But for a large to medium size dog with a lot of thick fur, you will need to invest in other blades. If you are planning to shave your dog get a couple of #7FC blades, #64121. The key to shaving dogs is the right blade. The finer #10 will bog down in the soft undercoat but the #7FC will go through nicely. If you want to leave more length then you can use the larger blades, as the blade numbers go down the length left behind is longer. Comb attachments are also an option. They ?will fit over the #10 blade and are usually used when the groomer wants to leave an inch or more.?
My recommendation is that you get at least two of each blade. You will ?experience some blade heat when running clippers. The high speed clippers ?tend to heat up faster than the slower single speed but you will still get ?heat. Blade heat is caused by the two pieces of metal rubbing together to?create the cutting action. You can minimize it by keeping the blades clean ?and oiled but having multiple blades of each size to switch out when they ?get too warm is the ideal solution.?
What should I tell my groomer to ensure my dog's hair is cut short enough? Sometimes I feel like the hair on his face, ears and tails isn't short enough. Other times I feel like the hair all over his body is too long.
But make sure to tell your stylist exactly where your dog's hair seems too long--it is his body or his face, ears and tail. Then be open to having the stylist to completely makeover the entire dog and give him a personality trim. Afterall, his hair will grow back even if you don't love the new cut. To achieve a short cut on a dog with a soft coat, we recommend using a #1 steel comb on the body and scissored in the legs. Then trim the tail at a medium length. On the face, try a #0 steel comb on top of the head and a #1 steel comb on the ears to give his face a layered puppy look.
What is the correct way to use a Bladed Undercoat Rake?
The overuse or improper use of any bladed undercoat rake can be detrimental to a coat. Always make sure you are using long/light strokes and rake with the lay of the coat. If you use short/hard strokes, you will end up breaking guard hairs that are necessary to protect the dog's coat and skin.
What's the best way to finish a Newfoundland ear?
Sometimes dogs can grow a bit to much coat in the wrong places. Using thinning shears, the stylist naturally redefined this Newfoundland's ear and head. Taking the time to ask and going the extra mile as a stylist will gain you a client for life!
Do Golden Retriever Tails get trimmed?
Did you know that Golden Retriever tails normally get trimmed? Most pet owners have no idea why their dog's tail doesn't look like it should, try suggesting trimming the tail to make it look fuller and like it should, and if they do not like it, the hair will grow back. It would also help to have a nice photo of a properly groomed Golden on hand to show the owner.

Reading your breed standard it says that the tailbones should extend to, but not past the hock bone. So when trimming the tail, stand your dog properly and comb all of the tailcoat towards the tip and hold the tail down. Trim off the hair (bluntly with thinning shears) that extends past the hock. Now here is a good trick, if the tail bone extends past the hock, trim the coat to the end of the tailbone and if the tail bone is to short, trim the coat off at the hock you can also think of it as a longer bodied dog gets a shorter tail and a short bodied dog gets a longer tail. Once you have trimmed to desired length, use your thinning shears to round out the tip of the tail for a softer curve into the tail. Lastly, pull the tail out, thin out the underside of the base of the tail and comb down and neaten any long scragglies hanging down from the flag of the tail still keeping in mind the roundness of the tail.
How to I groom the Golden Retriever ear set?
The ear hair­­­ on a Golden Retriever should be soft, velvety and frame the face well. They should not have Labrador looking, over grown or shaggy ears, unless an owner is requesting so. Giving your clients the correct expression they are meant to have, keeps them returning.

To achieve this look, use your straight shears and trim off the excess hair that hangs past the ear leather then soften the edges and outside of the ears with thinners. Next, grab the tip of the ear leather, fold the ear back, comb the hair out and thinning shear off the excess hair from the inside of the ear and leather. Do not use a clipper to completely clean the hair out because it will take away from the soft expression you are trying to achieve.
If there is excess hair in front of the ear canal or on the cheek, you can gently skim off the hair with your 10 blade, but you also should card the dead coat our and follow up with thinning shears to soften that area.
What's the best way to rake out the Lagatto Romagnolo coat?
This magnificent and rare breed has a Rustic Coat. Even if they are a pet, Rustic coats require a more specialized ­care. Most pet owners do not want their dogs shaved down every time they come in for a groom. In this dog's case, that is what was happening and you can see the amount of lint I removed from her coat after her first visit. The darker coats or thinner coats can be worked in 3 week increments meaning after this initial rake out and haircut visit she will start coming in every 3 weeks to alternate a rake out and bath versus the same in addition to a haircut. The lighter coats tend to produce more undercoat and mat up faster. They might require an every 1-3 week maintenance program depending on the thickness of the coat.
What's the best way to groom the Irish Water Spaniel tail?
Just in case you ever get the chance to groom a pet Irish Water Spaniel, here is a tip to keep the breeds' tail looking the way it should. Generally they do not grow hair on their tails, but if they do, follow this simple tip and remember it is always up to the owner on length preference.
The tail should look like rat tail. Holding the tail down against the rear/pointing the tip at the floor. Find where the tail lines up with the crotch, this is where you will start your clipper line. Using a #7fc clip any of the excess hair off underneath and all the way around the tail down to the tip leaving the coat at the base of the tail, this coat will be part of the topline of the dog.

Tool Tips

Why is variable speed or multiple speed clippers valuable to grooming?
All dogs have different coat types and grooming needs. Having a clipper that can perform all the duties is necessary. The two speed clippers are great but you will most likely run your clipper at the higher speed more often. Many jobs don’t require that high speed so having a 5 speed or variable speed clipper allows you run your blades cooler and save the life of your equipment without slowing you down.
Can I use a clipper comb in reverse?
Yes, just like a blade you can run a clipper comb in reverse. Utilizing reverse clipping is more of an intermediate or advanced technique and requires some practice to understand the lengths that you will achieve with a clipper comb. For example, a #2 comb in reverse would be about the same as a #5 blade forwards or ¼ inch left on the dog.
I have the Andis 7FC blade and use it all the time. I keep them clean, but they dont seem to stay sharp for more than 2 weeks. Is that normal? Any Advice?
Be sure the animals being bathed prior to being groomed. Dirt and dander will dull the blade very quickly. If you are grooming continually you will need to oil the blades every 10 -15 minutes while grooming.
Andis does offer a sharpening service for a small fee or you can check our website for a service center near you. Sharpening will extend the life of the blade and save you from having to purchase a new one. If you have additional questions please contact Customer Service at 1-800-558-9441.
Which type of motor should I choose?
Your grooming needs require the right motor. Each clipper and trimmer utilizes expertly developed motor technology designed to complement the application, ensuring maximum performance.
Magnetic Motors
These motors have reliable power and high blade speed. They are used for light body grooming. Magnetic motors run at high speed resulting insmooth cuts. Light textures of hair will feed and cut
well with magnetic motor clippers. Less moving parts
make these simple, reliable and the longest lasting
of all the motors.
Pivot Motors
These motors have high power & lower blade speed and are great for complete body grooming. Pivot motors have a lower blade speed than magnetic motors but are twice as powerful. Higher cutting power makes them ideal for cutting thick or heavy hair. They are whisper quiet, cool running and long lasting.
Rotary Motors
These motors have High Power & High Blade Speed—
for a wide range of groomingRotary motors have an equal amount of power and blade speed. They are also the only motor available with multiple speeds. Their balance between power, speed, size and weight makes them extremely versatile and perfect for heavy-duty cutting.
I have a miniature Schnauzer that I am planning to groom. I am confused by all the different models and features. Do you have any recommendations?
For the person that just wants to trim their own pet the Easy Clip Versa<br />Grooming Kit, #60105,60130 (RACD) is a good choice. It comes with 2 different length blades, a #10 which is short and great for belly and sanitary and a #7FC which will leave about ¼” of hair.
The length of hair that is left will vary depending on texture and thickness of the coat being cut. It also comes with some comb attachments to put over the #10. These will leave the hair even longer. You can purchase a #5FC and a #4FC separately
Another choice is the MBG-2 Pro Clip clipper kits. These 2 kits come with a #10 blade
but have a detachable blade hinge that all the UltraEdge, CeramicEdge and
ShowEdge blades will fit. This gives you a wider range of blade lengths to
choose from. The kits also come with comb attachments that fit over the #10. I
really like the #6FC blade #63155 for setting the pattern on the Miniature
Schnauzers, it leaves a nice length and texture.