If you’re like me, you have a few doodle clients that have easy coats to maintain—thinner, less undercoat and need much less maintenance than the average doodle. The ones that make you say “YES!” and fist pump internally when they walk through the door!
This particular client wants to maintain some cute personality without a lot of at–home grooming maintenance. The dog’s coat isn’t thick and doesn’t mat easily, so I’ll be clipping his body short while giving him a little flair with his legs and head. This tutorial will walk you through how to style up a common teddy bear trim. As always, begin with a dog that has been bathed, dried, ears cleaned, nails trimmed, and paw pads and sanitary clipped.
Fig 1) Clip the body coat to your desired length. For this dog, I chose a 1/2 inch guard comb.
Fig 2) Continue clipping the coat in even strokes until you reach the rear of the dog.
Fig 3) When you reach the back legs, clip the leg as if you were putting the dog into a Schnauzer pattern; expose the upper thigh and take the back of the leg tight until you reach the bend of the leg. By doing this, it helps gives the dog angulation. But as an added bonus, it also helps prevent matting by removing unnecessary hair in a high–friction area.
Fig 4) Starting at the shoulder, clip the hair off until you reach the bottom of the shoulder muscle (or the elbow). This sets you up to scissor a column leg in a later step.
Fig 5) Using the same guard comb used on the body, blend the sides of the back legs by skimming the bulk of the hair off.
Fig 6) Then clipper all hair off of the torso by following the ribs down to the underline.
Fig 7) To create a tight underline, prevent matting and for increased sanitation for male dogs, clip the belly in reverse. I chose to use a #4 guard comb on this dog, and am clipping from navel to between the front legs.
Fig 8) Next, clip the bottom of the jaw, choosing a length of your (and your client’s) preference. I prefer to clip the length off here as opposed to scissoring it off to save time. This also helps promote the illusion of a long neck by separating the body from the head.
Now that all of the clipper work is finished, thoroughly comb through the whole dog to fluff the hair back up. You may choose to go back over your work with clippers again.
Fig 9) Using blending shears and a fine–tooth comb, comb the leg hair up and scissor down until you reach the desired length. Make sure you go over it again to put a nice, crisp finish on the leg.
Fig 10) While the tail is in a natural and relaxed position, scissor the hair to blend from the tail set into the longer length of the tail.
Fig 11) Comb all of the hair on the feet down and scissor around to create symmetrical, round feet on each paw. This look can be achieved by using either a straight or curved shear, but I prefer to use a curved shear.
Fig 12) Using a fine–tooth comb, comb all of the hair on the legs up
Fig 13) With the hair combed out, you can then scissor evenly all the way around the leg. On this particular dog, I am not taking bulk length off of the legs, just cleaning up the ends. Once you have your length and shape set, make sure you scissor again to get a nice finish.
Fig 14) Going back to the rear legs, finish scissor–trimming the hair into a round shape around the leg making sure that the inside doesn’t get missed.
Fig 15) Next, move to the ears, trimming the bottom to the desired length while the ears are in a relaxed position.
Fig 16) Trim the corners of the eyes with thinning shears. This keeps a very natural look and maintains this dog’s soft expression.
Fig 17) Comb the hair down over the eyes and forward and trim a visor in a half moon shape, beginning at the outside corner of one eye and ending at the outside corner of the other eye.
Fig 18) Holding the muzzle, comb the hair under the jaw down and trim to crisp up the line and help set the shape.
Fig 19) Comb all of the muzzle hair forward and place your hand around the top of the muzzle gently to hold the hair in place and keep the dog’s mouth closed. Using thinning shears, trim the hair that falls forward from the nose. This will help with dogs that tend to get those pesky hairs stuck inside of their mouths and chew on them.
Fig 20) Comb all of the head hair to one side. Scissor the length off to where the ear starts to set the shape of your head. Repeat on the other side.
Fig 21) Comb through the hair to set it into place, or you can even take the bottom of the dog’s ears and gently waggle them to shake the topknot hair naturally into place. Once that’s done, you can scissor the dog’s head into a rounded shape.
Fig 22) To clean up the cheeks of the dog, scissor in a rounded motion toward where you just finished scissoring the top of the head. Make sure the ear is pushed back and the hair underneath is also trimmed.
Fig 23) Pulling the ear up and out of the way, turn the dog’s head gently to the side and scissor the sides of the neck to blend into the crest hair that you’ve left.
Fig 24) To finish blending the top of the head into the crest, gently take the dog’s head and point the muzzle toward the ceiling. While in this position, scissor the top of the head straight down toward the withers (or where the shoulder blades meet). You may need to do this from a few different angles to make sure it’s trimmed evenly all the way around and well–blended into the body.
This teddy–style trim is simple and adorable but also allows for lower maintenance between grooming appointments, depending on the desired length of your client. Finding little ways to showcase each dog’s individual angulation and showcase your scissor work is a great way to style up a common trim and leave those doodles looking “dandy!” ✂️