Freestyle Fun

By Amanda Aaron

Freestyle Fun BeforeAs groomers, we really enjoy making a major transformation in our grooms. Sometimes we get those dogs in our salon that have too much hair “here” or too little “there”.  We also work on pups that aren’t balanced correctly or have faults that can be easily fixed with hair.

That said, this month I needed to do something fun—while doing a little corrective grooming. I wasn’t following a breed standard, rather, giving my client something that is easier for them to maintain while giving their dog a little style.

For this particular groom, I am using a combination of clipper work as well as scissor work. If you are a newer groomer, find a mentor in your area to learn the finer art of scissoring to achieve that polished look.

Freestyle Fun Fig. 1Fig 1) With this particular trim, determine what is easiest for your client as far as length. I’ve decided to use a #0 snap-on comb to take length off, starting behind and under the dog’s ears, following down the neck and shoulders and ending at the elbow.

Fig 2) Follow the clipper work toward the back while wrapping under the rib cage.

Fig 3) While lifting the tail, continue clipping over the point of rump and down to the top of the hock.

Fig 4) I wanted to tighten up the underline to help balance the shape of the body so I used a #4 snap-on comb on her underline. Make sure not to miss connecting the clipper work from the chest to the underline.

Freestyle Fun Fig. 2-4

Fig 5) Lifting the head, clip the preferred length from the throat down to the chest.

Fig 6) For corrective grooming purposes, this dog has a “dip” in her back and I am trying to give her a more level top line. Using a #0 snap-on comb, I clipped the highest point of her loin back to the base of the tail.

Fig 7) This dog’s owner prefers a non–traditional tail trim. Using shears, shape the hair around the tail.

Freestyle Fun Fig. 5-10

Fig 8) In order to give more angulation in the rear, use shears to scissor in the point of rump.

Fig 9) From the shortest point on the back of the leg, wrap the shears around to the outside of the leg.

Fig 10) Using shears or clippers, take the inside of the back legs in tight. I am aiming for a column style leg.

Fig 11) Next you’ll need to shape the foot. This can be done many ways, but I find it easiest to round and bevel feet while the dog’s foot is on the table.

Fig 12) Continuing with shears, take off any unnecessary length all around the leg.

Fig 13) Double check the bottom of the feet by lifting them up and trimming any extra hair to give them a neat appearance. Finish the rest of the legs in the same manner.

Freestyle Fun Fig. 11-16

Fig 14) This dog had a lot of coat behind her head all the way past her shoulders. I chose to use my shears to trim the hair to my preferred length so I have more control over the shape of the neck.

Fig 15) Going for a short chin, clip off the entire bottom jaw hair with a #2 snap-on comb, going back to the throat.

Fig 16) Aiming for a fuller head, I carefully secured the hair above the eyes into a pet safe band. Lightly trim just under the eyes with thinning shears. Do not trim the hair in between eyes.

Fig 17) While protecting the bottom of the ear leather, trim to the desired length. I am going for a round shape that is close in length to the bottom of the muzzle.

Freestyle Fun Fig. 17-19

Fig 18) Using shears or blenders, trim the hair from the top of the head and blend it into the neck. This is easiest when looking at a profile view versus face to face.

Fig 19) Using curved shears, set the desired length of the facial hair. I am following this back to the ear while carefully trimming the hair as I do not want separation between the ears and face.

Freestyle Fun Fig. 20-21

Fig 20) Comb all facial hair up, lightly use the curved shears down to the bottom of the muzzle hair. Take caution, as too much hair removed can change the entire look. Carefully, trim the hair under the nose and in front of the dog’s face so they don’t go into the mouth. When looking at the face, the entire muzzle should be an upside down “U” shape.

Freestyle Fun AfterFig 21) Using a flexible spray or even a texturing spray, give the hair on the head some volume. Hairspray isn’t advised as it could matt the hair if left in too long and not washed out. Keeping with the round look, trim the ends off starting at the top of the ear, over the head and over to the other ear.

Apply a cute bow and admire your work! ✂

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