By Brittney Valle
One of our most common problems in the salon every day is finding a trim that suits our client’s maintenance schedule needs but also still allows us, as groomers, to express ourselves creatively. I often hear, “I don’t want to be just a shave down groomer”, but recognizing that we can still give style and flair to our short pet trims is a great way to build a client base.
These short personality trims don’t have to be boring—you can spice them up with a cute head or ear style for flair! This allows the owner the flexibility of rinsing the dog off at home between grooms when he digs in the garden, plays too hard at daycare or frolics across the neighbor’s yard (all of these are issues with this particular dog within the last few weeks!)
Fig. 1) The beauty of this trim is that it can be replicated in a variety of lengths. For this dog, I chose a #4 blade, but you can adjust accordingly for the dog or maintenance schedule you have in mind. Run the #4 blade over the dog’s entire body but skim off at the hock and knee (Fig. 2). For a tighter trim, run the blade on the inside and outside of the back legs.
Fig. 3) Skim off at the elbow to achieve a column-type leg.
Fig. 4) Reverse the blade you used on the body from the last rib forward as this gives the dog a tighter stomach, helps save you scissoring time and helps the dog look up on leg.
Fig. 5 & 6) Shave the lips and the eyelids to help make the pigment pop. I used a #15 blade. For the lips, your shaved portion should be about the same width as the dog’s nose. Make sure you pull the eyelids tight and back to keep the eye closed and gently glide across the lid.
Fig. 7) Scissor the feet at a 45 degree angle to the table, as this will help get all of the hair from underneath the paw, as well as help you shape your foot as you go.
Fig. 8) Scissor in the knee of the dog.
Fig. 9) Scissor parallel lines on the front, back and sides of the front leg to form a column.
Fig. 10) Clean up the belly line from any stray hairs for a nice, polished groom.
Fig. 11) Scissor the tail in a flag shape, holding from the end of the tail and curving toward the base of the tail.
Fig. 12) Using the same blade you used on the body (#4 blade for this dog), reverse it from the breastbone and up the neck. This helps the dog’s head look separated from the neck and gives you a clean transition. For this face style, you also want the chin to be pretty short so continue the blade up and reverse it from the neck and continue to the entire underside of the jaw and chin.
Fig. 13) I like to use a curved shear, reversed to open up the angle to the dog’s eyes. I will lay the shear on the bridge of the dog’s nose and point my shear toward the ear and cut each side right above the eye (you are almost making an X on the dog’s nose). After each side is cut in, round off the point on the front.
Fig. 14) Continue scissoring and round the top of the head.
Fig. 15) Scissor the muzzle, starting from the bottom and scissoring up. As you round around the muzzle, point your shear toward the inside corner of the dog’s eye.
Fig. 16) Continue to the other side of the muzzle and round from the bottom up and toward the inside corner of the eye.
Fig. 17) Scissor the cheeks from eye corner to ear tight. You can even skim a blade or snap on comb here.
Fig. 18) Beginning at the set on of the ear, skim a snap on comb (I used a #0 or yellow).
Fig. 19) Scissor around the edge of the ear, following its natural shape.
Step back and voila! Admire the work you did in cleaning up this dirty dog.