Throughout your career as a dog groomer, you can be sure that you’ll trim countless paws!  Trimming is extremely important as it increases traction and keeps dogs from slipping – not to mention, it prevents dirt and debris from being tracked into the house.  As a certified dog groomer, therefore, you want to make sure that you have the skills to safely and effectively trim a dog’s pads.

So how can your dog grooming course teach you how to correctly trim pads? Don’t worry – we’ve provided a course sample to give you an inside look at what this dog grooming assignment will look like.

Read on to find out what your instructions will include, and how to get an A!

The Assignment

Once you’ve completed the theory portion of your dog grooming course and have learned all the techniques, it’s time to find some dogs to groom! The practicum assignments in your dog grooming class are highly detailed, so you’ll want to ensure you follow the instructions to a tee. Your tutor needs to assess your grooming skills, so following details closely is a must to ensure you complete the assignments properly.

This particular dog grooming assignment will require you to clip the hair between the pads of both the front and rear feet. You’ll need a specific breed of dog to work on, and you’ll submit a video of your work.

The Instructions

Guidelines for selecting a dog:

Find a long-haired breed such as a Yorkshire Terrier or a curly-coated breed such as a Poodle. These are the best types of breeds for this assignment because they are very likely to need their pads trimmed (and you want as much excess hair between those pads as possible!).  Other breeds with hairy pads include Golden Retrievers, Shih Tzus, Shetland Sheepdogs and Schnauzers.

Luckily, you have some options for breeds when it comes to this dog grooming assignment.

become a dog groomer

Remember: When you are grooming a dog, he must be safely restrained on a non-slip surface.

Step 1:

Read carefully through all the instructions for this assignment before getting started.

Step 2:

Choose a dog to work with, based on the guidelines provided in the dog grooming assignment. Before you begin, you must obtain a signed copy of the release form for Assignment D1.

Step 3:

Choose one side of the dog to work on, so you can select both the front and rear foot on the same side. Then, have a friend film a video (using a video camera or high-quality phone camera) that shows you clipping the hair between the pads on the front foot.

As a beginner, you may be more comfortable using a #15 blade rather than a #30 blade (the #15 is more forgiving). However, keep the #30 close by, as you’ll need it if the hair on the bottom of the foot is thick or matted.

Using the corner of the blade, clip the hair between the pads, being very careful to not nick the webbing between the toes.

Your first video should be up to 30 seconds long, and should be framed in the same way as the example provided in the assignment. Save the video to your computer, and then upload it to YouTube and include the link in your dog grooming assignment.

Pro tip: Hold the dog’s leg close to his body while clipping the hair.

dog grooming class

Step 4:

Now it’s time to focus on the rear foot. Have your friend film a video, also up to 30 seconds long, that shows you clipping the hair between the rear foot pads. As you did for the front foot, exercise caution when clipping between the pads, and take care not to nick the webbing between toes.

Save the video to your computer, then upload to YouTube and include the link in your dog grooming assignment.

Step 5:

Once the trimming is complete, have your friend film an “after” video of the dog’s pads – be sure to show the underside of both the front and rear feet that you chose in Step 3. To ensure that your video shows your hard work, lift each foot and make sure the toes are spread apart.

Once the video is saved to your computer, upload it to YouTube as you did with the other two videos, and include the link in your assignment.

The Submission

If you’ve followed the instructions in your dog grooming course, you’ll be submitting a video in which your tutor can clearly see how much hair you removed from each foot. Remember to upload each video to YouTube, include the links in your assignment, and you’ll be ready to submit the template!

Your tutor will be looking for the following:

  • That you removed the majority of the hair from between the dog’s pads.
  • You used proper clipper techniques.
  • You safely removed the hair without nicking the dog’s skin or webbing.
  • The dog’s legs were manipulated in a safe and comfortable manner.
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Once you receive your tutor’s personalized feedback, you’ll be able to listen to a detailed critique of your work. You’ll find out what you did well, and receive suggestions on how to improve in the next unit.

Now you’re all set to ace your trimming assignment!

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