You may have had this breed of dog on your table before and never known it. English Shepherds, also known as “farm collies,” “old time collies,” and “farm shepherds,” were brought to America by early British settlers. They put the dogs to work on farms and homesteads, guarding both livestock and property, as well as herding and hunting.
“Dear Michell, I have tried and tried to develop speed in my daily work and as hard as I try, I am still only doing a fraction of the work of my co-workers. Do you have any advice for me on how to get faster?” -Lilly
Lag Roms are a double coated non–shedding breed. They have a heavy wool coat and should not be blown out. They should not carry a lot of coat as pets or show dogs. They should not carry more than an inch and a half of hair.
“Michell, I work in a very busy shop with lots of groomers, bathers and dogs. It is fairly chaotic. I work hard to keep my dogs under control and comfortable at all times, but I struggle. I know it is possible because when I watch videos the dogs are calm and they just stand there. I am so tired of wrestling with dogs all day long. I can’t get help from my co-workers because they let the dogs do anything they want. Do you have any advice on how to get my dogs to cooperate?”
Keeping the summer momentum of cat grooming going into fall and winter can be a bit challenging but not impossible. For those of us in the northern states, we normally see a drop in our cat clients because of our harsh winters, but there are ways to keep the cats coming in. For instance, those cats that needed to be shaved in the summer are prime candidates for winter maintenance sessions.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love color and Creative Styling; I also love the artworks of my dear friend Amber Powell Brooks.
One of her pieces that I absolutely love is of a standard poodle wearing an Asian theme. For me, this has been a wonderful teaching design.
The Shetland Sheepdog, usually referred to as a “Sheltie”, sports a double coat with a very dense undercoat which actually helps the straight outer coat to stand off from the body. This is a very important trait for the conformation ring. Not so much for the average pet owner who requests a tidy look and has some difficulty maintaining the abundant coat.
Drying cats can be particularly challenging because they tend to curl their legs up to their bellies while we work on them. It’s the rare cat that will stand up to be dried. Time spent wrapped in a warm, dry towel is particularly effective for the felines on your client list. I like to wrap them up and cuddle them, gently squeezing their legs and tail through the towel to remove water.
Many groomers are really wanting to do some type of creative work in their salons but do not know where to start or are worried about doing dye work that holds on indefinitely.
Tina Lavender of Wags and Wiggles Dog Boutique & Spa in College Station, Texas has worked right around that problem by using temporary products on about 95% of creative clients.
Ask the Grooming Tutor
“Hello Michell. I do a lot of large and giant breeds. Almost all of my groomer friends have given up doing these dogs due to the strain on their bodies. I also seem to make less money on large dogs than small ones. I really enjoy them and would love ideas on how to keep doing them without breaking down my body and losing income.” – Kimmy P.
On Sunday December 11th 2011, I asked Jerry to tell me the story just one more time. I have heard it for 25 years and wanted to have it forever. Jerry sent me the words below in the form of a 3rd person bio and I want to share it with you, as this trim laid the foundation for Creative Styling as we know it today.
The Bichon Frise, easily recognizable by his plumed tail and powder puff appearance, is at the top of our Bread & Butter list. True, their skyrocket rise to popularity since their AKC recognition in 1972 has created an abundance of short legged dogs looking more like Bassets wearing a fluffy suit, but we must do our best to offer the “correct” illusion to the best of our ability.
“Hi Mrs. Evans. I had the opportunity to attend your Speed Grooming with Style class at Groom Expo West. You mentioned proper dog clipping technique but did not elaborate. I am a new teacher at a local grooming school. I find it difficult to explain proper clipping techniques to the students. Do you have any words of wisdom?” – Rhonda L.
Hi Rhonda. Proper clipper technique is taken for granted.
Chewy the miniature Poodle is one of my favorite little client dogs, he has been with me for almost 5 years now and his pet parents really like his funky, specially tailored hair style. I modify this trim in many ways and it’s all good as long as he is big and fluffy up front, sort of like a modified Scandinavian trim with a top knot, sometimes even a Mohawk but with a teddy type face. Chewy was really black as a youngster and has faded out a good bit over the years.
A good portion of our Bread & Butter client list consists of some form of “designer” dogs. The Yorkie-Poo has been around for a long time, and is still gaining popularity. As professionals, we learn to adapt and create designer trims for the designer mutts. For this segment we will do a simple and quick “puppy” trim that uses the same snap on comb all over but utilizes a “skim and scissor” technique for the legs.
Today we were not too busy at the salon to play with some dogs who are fortunate enough to be temporarily housed at one of my favorite no kill shelters. A volunteer brought these two by to get a bath and a touch of color before they were off to an adoption event.
I decided on simple designs that would get these two noticed and draw more people to the adoption event.
The very thick double coat on a correctly coated Pomeranian can be difficult for the average pet owner to keep up with. This easy to execute pet style shortens up the profile while maintaining the integrity of the breed.
Preparation is integral to the outcome of the groom. These dense coats matt easily, so I recommend a quick brush out prior to the bath. If the coat is packed tightly, blow out with a high velocity dryer prior to wetting.
The Cat’s Meow
Putting a tiger in your tank, or at least the back seat of your vehicle, is exactly what this particular client of mine decided to do. As a surprise birthday gift for her adult son, who is a fan of Auburn University, she decided to have me dye her son’s yellow Labrador Retriever, Lucy to resemble a tiger.
Poodles and Doodles make up a large portion of our regular Bread & Butter client list. Many of these clients want a short, low maintenance trim. Short – but not shaved is a good description.
The use of a Clipper Vac system is a time saver and eliminates a lot of back brushing as well as hair on the floor and in the air. For this model, a “0” snap on comb placed over a “30” blade was used for the body.
At some point in the grooming salon, we have all had those clients who come in with that one particular request: “please make sure you leave the eyelashes”, and as accommodating groomers, we do our best to make those clients happy. Groomers are doing just that, but many are doing it in a more fun and creative way.
There are approximately 78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million cats owned in the United States. And we pet stylists take care of the grooming needs of many of them. For groomers who work in a shop situation, this means that sometimes we are working on cats and dogs in the same building, often at the same time.