By Kathy Rose
Our Bread & Butter client lists are weighted with a variety of terrier cross breeds wearing coats that are sometimes tricky to work with. This fellow could be a Cairn mix and he sports a body coat with a wiry outer coat and a soft dense undercoat. The soft straight furnishings and headpiece are finer and lack the substance of the body coat.
Carding out some of the soft undercoat on the body will help to facilitate line free clipper work. This can be done prior to bathing and then again after.
This double coat requires thorough coat preparation with a quality pet shampoo and conditioner, followed by fluff drying. Customary prep work such as ear cleaning, nail clipping, sanitary and pad trimming should also be completed.
Card the soft undercoat using a course stripping knife.
Begin clipping about an inch behind the Occipital bone, following coat growth direction. For this trim a #4 blade was used.
Clip straight down the back over the point of rump, falling off before getting into the leg coat. When clipping the sides, make sure to change the angle so that you continue to follow coat growth direction. Fall off just below the spring of rib.
Move to the front of the dog. Lift the head and begin clipping just under the jaw line, clipping downward, following coat growth direction. Fall off before clipping into the cowlicks at the breastbone. Clip down the sides of the neck, falling off just above the elbow, before clipping into the leg coat.
Brush the coat against coat growth direction, (Back brush) and repeat steps 2-4.
Blend the side coat into the skirt, shoulders, and sides of the hips using blenders. Make sure to top thin, following the coat growth direction.
Use the same top thinning technique over the point of rump and down the back of the rear leg to approximately one inch above the hock. Round the rear feet.
Lift the rear leg slightly and trim the coat on the sides and front of the rear legs. Turn the shears at the bend in knee and then blend into the tuck up. This will accentuate the rear angulation.
Tidy the underline to follow the natural undercarriage of the dog. It should look natural and not too straight or overly angled. One method for determining placement of the “tuck up” is to lift the rear leg, bending it naturally. Approximately where the knee hits the groin is the location of the arch in the loin or the “tuck up.”
Blend the shoulder into the upper arm. This will help place the dog’s leg well under him.
Round the front feet. Trim the front legs to form cylindrical columns.
Trim the eye corners using fine thinning shears.
Comb the topknot coat strait up and secure between your index and middle finger. Trim the excess using thinning shears. Use thinning shears to blend into the ear and the back of the head to the neck.
Use thinning shears to expose the eye when viewed from the side. Flip the ear back and trim the coat in front of the ear (ventilation strip).
Comb the bangs forward and trim across, holding the shears at a 45° angle.
Trim the beard, rounding upward toward the ear.
Hold the tail straight back and use Blenders to trim an arched flag.
We have a variety of cute little mixed breeds that make up our “Bread & Butter” client list. There is not a right or wrong haircut. The most important thing to remember is communication with your client. Take the time at your initial consultation to determine the client’s wishes and the pet’s needs. Use your expertise to make recommendations that will keep your Bread & Butter clients happy and sending referrals.