So, funny story. I’ve never really cared much for poodles. I found the frou frou clips to be ridiculous and the breed itself just got on my nerves for whatever reason. So when I was doing my very first poodle cut in grooming school, my instructor told me to do “whatever I wanted”. I was mostly being a smartass but I exclaimed “I will do the clip with the butt-balls!”
And then she said “Okay”.
Erm… alright? So I did it, and it took hours but she let me keep working on it. When I was done she told me that I was going to be a poodle person. I laughed it off because ugh poodles amirite? Yeah, well I’m a poodle person. Here are a few of the poodles I have done in the past!
This is a before shot of Hagen, one of my regulars. He’s definitely one of those dogs who enjoys being clean and well groomed. He comes in every 4-6 weeks and gets a 1/2” guard all over, clean face with a big poofy topknot, and round paws.
And Hagen after a groom! He almost looks like a different dog, his mood is so much better after a groom! I love this fluff, he’s such a great dog on and off the table.
This is Jagger. I actually haven’t seen him in ages, he probably goes somewhere else as I had to send him home unfinished last time he was in due to him being a COMPLETE PSYCHO. I don’t remember the length I did but he did get a mohawk!
At least he’s cute!
And this is Gobana! She came to me in pretty rough shape but I was able to save most of it. Amazingly, it was mostly her back legs that were matted. (You may notice a change in setting in this pic, I was working a second job last holiday season for extra monies!)
She looks so happy now!
Now THIS beast is Bouclair. And she remains the only golden doodle that I like. She’s every bit of 100lbs and hairier than most g-doodles but I still love her! I don’t have a before picture but trust me, she had a LOT more hair before this pic! This groom was a 5/8” guard on the body with a 7/8” guard on the legs, with a full teddy bear head. They only let me trim it just a bit! Lucky for me, now she gets a #7fc on the body and 5/8” guard on her legs.
And just for funsies have a Bichon. I don’t remember who this is or what I did, but it was on my phone so I’m gonna post it.
So as you may have gathered, this tumblr is to show off my reasonably beastly skills at professional dog grooming. I am a relatively new groomer of nearly 3 years, but I’ve worked almost every job in the pet industry from your regular pet store slave, to dog trainer, to veterinary technician.
I have a lot of photos from my last year of grooming just waiting to be given to the internets (you’re welcome) but I’ve just never gotten around to doing this thing. So instead of posting a billion pictures at once, I’ll spread them out over time. My first post is only fitting to showcase the progress I’ve made on my own little dogbeast, Elphaba. You can call her Elphie.
I first got Elphie in February of 2012 from a lady in Fort Worth, Texas. She didn’t have time due to school and family issues, so I got super lucky and acquired the best dog in the whole wide world. I love this little fluff you don’t even know. She’s around 5 years old give or take, and she’s a Shih Tzu. I fell in love with the breed when I first started working in a salon as a bather. Their personalities are fantastic and they’re cute as hell. Besides, they are one of my favorite breeds to groom! Everyone wins!
This is Elphie the night I got her. I drove 7 hours round trip to get this sweet little ragamuffin.
I love Shih Tzus all sorts of ways. I love a long drop coat. I love fluffy teddy bears. I love short clipped round heads. I also get bored really easily. (As is evident by my own hair, which changes colors every 8 weeks) But before I did anything with her, I had to let her grow out. She was pretty short as is. I gathered from her coat and from what her previous owner had told me that she had been shaved, and had grown out quite a bit.
My first goal was to get her as long as I possibly could. I knew it wouldn’t stay, but I wanted to get it out of my system. During this time I didn’t cut anything besides shaving her nose and under her eyes, and just did sanitary trims. I gave up on this pretty quickly because I hated having her hair in a ponytail every day. I knew it couldn’t be comfortable and I’ve seen dogs get bald spots that way. She refused to keep clippies in as well so it was just a lost cause trying to get that long topknot and beard.
This was after a full groom, which is actually rare. I typically just trim something every week when I bathe her. But we were going to be in the paper so we needed to look pretty! This was her “tramp stamp” I did for the local paper’s article on doggy “tattoos”. It’s done by painting a dog-safe dye over a stencil. The actual cut on her right here is difficult to explain really. The way I cut Elphie is just whatever it takes to make her look like a rounded rectangle, if that makes sense. She has an odd-shaped body so I try to make her shoulders and chest look thinner, and let her hips look fuller. What I ended up with is a #5f on her neck, chest and back, but I blend it off on the sides like you would a westie skirt. On her belly I use a 1/2” guard comb. At the time of this picture I was still trying to get her legs to be long and flowy. But that started to look weird so I took it down a bit.
This is us in the paper!
And this is her latest style, as of about 3 weeks ago. I’m in love with the Japanese style of grooming. It’s so fun and creative. I won’t lie, doing all these traditional breed cuts is boring. I love when clients ask for something new. So this was my first shot at flaring her legs a bit. I still use roughly the same cut on her body, with a #5f on the neck, chest and back and a #3 on her belly. Her legs had been cut with a 1” guard comb about a week before I did this, but I completely scissored the legs here. This was about 3 weeks ago, so I’ll probably work on it again next week. Also you may notice her pink mohawk and tail! That was a complete whim, but I’m so happy I did it. Elphie loves the attention she gets from having funky hair, and the mohawk helps keep her eyes somewhat clear of gunk.
And a bonus:
Because I’m a Louisiana girl, and it’s a compulsion for us to cleverly misspell words to appear more “cajun”. Don’t even look at me like that, those are the rules. I don’t make them.
Roux (n): a cooking mixture of wheat flour and fat. It is the thickening agent of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking.
What does that have to do with dog grooming? Well, nothing, I suppose. Or, if I’m speaking Dog: “Aroo.”