By Kathy Rose
The Pomeranian, sometimes referred to as the “Pom,” is descended from larger Spitz-type dogs from the Nordic regions of Europe. The name comes from the Pomerania area of Europe (today part of northern Poland and Eastern Germany). This area is believed to be the origin of the Pom being bred down to size.
The Pomeranian sports a soft dense undercoat with a profuse harsher outer coat. Without dedicated brushing, this coat will mat easily and may become burdensome for the client to maintain. A short trim may be requested or required.
Good preparation is important, so begin with a thorough shampoo and condition followed by fluff drying. If the coat is densely packed or matted, brushing before the bath may be necessary. Use a #10 for sanitary and pads. For this model, a #4 was used all over with a few exceptions as described below. Snap-on combs can give longer length options.
Fig. 1 While standing to the rear of the dog, begin clipping a couple of inches behind the occipital bone. Follow the coat growth direction down the back and sides of the neck and the shoulders.
Fig. 2 Clip down the back, leaving a small triangle of coat at the croup (just in front of the tail with the point toward the head). This will be blended later to make a smooth transition from croup to back.
Fig. 3 Gently lift the rear while supporting the undercarriage, and clip the flanks and undercarriage.
Support the rear leg and skin flap at the tuck-up area while clipping the rear leg.
Fig. 4 Clip the inside of the rear legs while supporting the opposite leg.
Fig. 5 Move to the front of the dog. Beginning just under the jaw, clip down the front of the throat, neck, and shoulders.
Fig. 6 Clip the fringe on the front legs, blending into the front portion of the leg and onto the foot.
Support the earflap with one hand and blend the “fringe” on the ear.
Fig. 7 Use a #10 in a scraping motion to blend the feathers on the foot.
Use thinning scissors to blend the foot coat.
Fig. 8 Support the ear with your hand and blend the coat on the inside of the earflap with a #10.
Blend the fringe on the outside of the ear with thinning scissors.
Fig. 9 Blend the face, fringe to neck and skull to back, with blenders or thinning scissors.
Blend stray hairs on the chest, neck, and undercarriage using blenders or thinning scissors.
Blend the furnishings on the front legs to form columns.
Blend the furnishings on the rear legs to form parallel lines when viewed from the rear. Tidy the excess coat on the thighs.
Blend the triangle of coat left at the croup to make a clean transition from the back to the tail.
Blend the underside of the tail.
Hold the tail straight out and trim lightly with blenders.
This compact, tenacious little dog with a foxy face is among the top 20 in AKC registrations in 2012 and ranks as one of our top Bread & Butter clients. For the pet, a short manageable trim is frequently requested or needed. This “all over” trim can be altered to suit the client by using various length snap-on combs and head styles. Have a conversation with your client and work out a plan that suites you, the owner, and the pet.
There is some controversy with regard to “shaving” Nordic coated dogs or any pet with determinate coat growth length, such as cats and other breeds such as the Labrador, Golden, or Chow. In optimum circumstances, the pets we groom are groomed to breed profile and are kept in show-ready condition by their owners. This, however, is not always the case, and we as professionals should be able to offer suitable alternatives to the loving owners of the real pets that enter our doors. Our first option is to offer advice on keeping their pet in optimum condition with a regimen of home grooming along with frequent salon visits. Next, we offer alternative advice such as shorter trims. As my friend Susie and my mantra to my Bread & Butter clients say, “Learn to brush your pet or learn to like him with a short trim!”
For some interesting reading on Alopecia X: http://www.2ndchance.info/alopeciax-Eckford2012.pdf
For more information on the Pomeranian: www.americanpomeranianclub.org