By Kathy Rose
There are quite a few breeds that fall into the small “drop coat” category and most of them are on our Bread & Butter list.
There are many ways to style the drop coats into a user–friendly trim so the client can comfortably maintain the coat at a medium length and still respect the tied-up top knot look.
This trim, as do most other Bread & Butter trims, requires dedicated and thorough preparation. Bath and condition with high quality pet shampoo, followed by brush and blow out, will help prepare the coat properly.
After bath, complete all other prep work such as nails, ears, sanitary and pad trimming.
Fig.1) Use a #10 blade to remove the hair from the eye corners. If the dog will not tolerate the clipper near the face, place a thinning sheer on the nose bridge and remove the excessive coat at the eye corners.
Fig.2) Create the tied–up topknot. Part the coat from the outside corner of the eye ¾ of the way to the ear. Continue to part the topknot coat across the top skull and to the other side of the face. Use a band to secure the coat. Place the bow on this section. Repeat this with the remaining ¼ of the topknot coat and secure to the other banded portion of the topknot. Securing two sections of coat in the topknot will help to prevent the topknot from falling forward over the eyes and provide height.
Fig.3) Place a snap on comb over a 15 or 30 blade. For this model an “A” comb was used. Lift the ears and beard up and out of the way. Starting under the ear, clip following coat growth direction. Clip the entire neck and the throat.
Fig.4) Clip down the fore chest over the point of shoulder.
Fig.5) Clip down the front and both sides of the front leg. Do not clip the back of the front leg.
Fig.6) Clip down the back, flanks and undercarriage, following coat growth direction.
Fig.7) Clip over the point of rump down the rear thigh, falling off slightly above the hock.
Fig.8) Clip down the outer upper thigh, falling off before clipping into the lower leg coat. Do not clip the front of the rear legs.
Fig.9) Lift the rear foot and scissor around the foot.
Fig.10) With the rear leg in the lifted position, scissor from the large pad up to the hock using a curved shear or angling outward with a straight sheer.
Fig.11) Lift the foot slightly and scissor around the front foot with curved sheers.
Fig.12) With the foot lifted, trim from the large pad upward a bit to blend the foot. Do not trim the back of the front leg yet. Tidy the front and sides of the front legs. Keep in mind you have already removed coat with the snap on comb so this step is just to blend and tidy.
Fig.13) Use curved scissors to blend the rear and sides of the back legs to form parallel columns.
Fig.14) Lift the rear leg in a natural position. Where the bend of knee meets the undercarriage is where the tuck up should be placed. Create a small “V” in the area to mark the tuck up. Use blenders to tidy the front portion of the rear leg onto the undercarriage.
Fig.15) Using long shears or blenders, tidy the undercarriage, following the natural underline of the dog. Blend the back of the front legs to complete the entire body of the dog from the rear legs to tuck up, to underline, to the back of the front legs all the way through the front legs, curving upward toward the fore chest.
Fig.16) Lift the tail and tidy from tip to base.
Fig.17) Lift the ears and secure out of the way. From the front of the dog, trim the beard short using long curved shears.
Fig.18) With the ears still secured, use curved shears from the side to round the cheeks to the beard.
Fig.19) Blend the throat and front of neck area to tighten up the throat and neck.
Fig.20) Use small blenders to trim the cheeks, beard and mustache to create a soft, round shaped muzzle with very short beard.
Fig.21) Release the ears and trim the ends straight across.
The idea behind a trim like this is to lower the maintenance time the client must spend brushing. They still must brush, comb and remove and replace the top knot tie–up at least every couple of days. But that being said, the maintenance is reduced considerably and the overall look is tidy.
This trim is definitely on the Bread & Butter list for any small drop coated breed! ✂