90% of the time I self groom Piper (she goes to the groomers if I’m really busy) so I thought I’d show you our little routine & how we do things. It certainly takes me a lot longer than it would a trained professional (usually with a few added profanities) and I’m pretty sure I don’t do as good a job as them, but it works for us. Before I start, I’d just like to state I have not received any formal grooming training, so what I’ve learnt has been self-taught or picked up online.
I’m going to list the items which we use for grooming here:
1) Grooming Table
2) Andis Pro Pet Clippers
3) Dog Blaster Dryer
4) Scissor Set
5) Mutney’s Flexible Head Slicker Brush
6) Mutney’s Comb
7) Pet Teezer Brush
8) Dematting Comb
9) Calming Cradle
10) Animology White Wash Shampoo
11) Secret Weapon HypKNOTic Spray
12) Pet Head Paw Butter
13) Ancol Baby Powder Spray
Here are some before pictures:
The first thing I do is give Piper a good bath. I usually use 2 lots of shampoo to make sure I get all the dirt out, followed by a massage (she usually likes this bit).
In Piper’s defence, she’s very good in the bath. She never tries to jump out. She just stands still & accepts its bath time!
Of course, Piper has no shame about the wet splatters now all around the bathroom.
Once she’s bathed & the water is left out, I dry Piper in the bath using the blaster dryer. This saves me so much time compared to using a usual hair dryer. Pros: quicker, fluffs up the coat, helps to blow out any matts. Cons: loud, very powerful, blows water everywhere.
Once suitably fluffed, we return downstairs to the grooming table to continue.
The first thing I do is generously spray her coat with hypKNOTic detangling spray, followed by a good brush through using the slicker brush. I then run through her coat using the comb, to make sure all the knots have been removed. If there are any developed matts, I either cut these out or use the dematting comb, depending on where they are on her body.
Once I’ve prepped her coat, I begin clipping her body & legs. I use the blade which came with the clippers, which is a 10. I then put the number 2 (6mm) comb attachment on. Comb attachments are great, because they mean you can’t really go too short. Great for beginners, or people like me who don’t really have much of an idea. I found this video on YouTube really useful for getting an idea on how to use the clippers. I don’t generally follow any pattern or routine when clipping her body, I just go with the flow. I’d like to reiterate, I am not a professional groomer. I am just sharing my self taught grooming experience. When I’ve managed to get the body looking even, I start on her face. Using the curved scissors, I begin to shape her face. I usually end up cutting a bit more away than I originally planned on, as I find it super hard to get both sides even! Once I’ve got a shape I’m happy with, I take the thinning scissors to blend in any harsh scissors lines. I always like to cut a fair bit of hair away from her eyes, as I love to see her big brown eyes. You don’t realise how much they get hidden when the coat gets longer!
After the face, we tackle the feet. This is definitely Piper’s least favourite part. She hates having her feet touched. We use a calming cradle which has helped hugely with relaxing Piper but most importantly keeping her still. Our friends Amy & Tilly the Poodle recommended this and it really has been a life saver!
Piper has really sensitive feet, so to ease this I keep the fur on them cut really short, like a traditionally cut poodle. This helps them to dry off quicker if they get wet, which in theory is supposed to help.
I then pop some paw butter on, to help protect her pads and keep them smooth.
To finish, a baby powder spritz. I love this smell & really missed it when I started to self groom Piper, so this was a must have for me. Also great for a freshen up in between grooms.
Here’s a before and after pic:
I hope you enjoyed reading about our little routine. Perhaps you didn’t know about a product we use? Let us know if you have any grooming tips or recommendations!
E & P x