QC Pet Studies graduate Casey Bechard works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she talks all about her favorite breeds and haircuts she loves performing!
As a certified dog groomer, you’ll see a lot of different breeds and coat types on a daily basis. So when you’re working with a wide variety of coat types and getting to try new things, you’re bound to have a few favorite breeds and styles you like to work with best, right? Well, I’m going to share some of mine!
It’s hard to pick just one breed as my favorite. It all depends on the dog’s personality. But if I had to pick a few, these would make the list:
I just recently started to like grooming Yorkies more and more. Many Yorkies have been coming to see me, and what I like the most about them is that each dog has its own unique trait.
Some could have floppy ears, some are pricked, some are tiny in size while others a bit bigger. There’s no telling what kind of ‘Yorkie’ you’re going to get to groom. Also, every client wants something different. I find lots of them still want to retain that shaggy look to their dogs, but some just want their coats cut short. You need to decide if you need to use a clipper or just stick to simple hand scissoring.
This breed doesn’t always have the easiest fur to work with, so I make sure I’m always combing through what I have trimmed so I can tell if I’ve missed anything.
I think retrievers are the most precious dogs! They are always so loving and are typically very good with the grooming process. I love being able to take a dog that is in need of a good bath, brush, and trim and turn it in to a flawless creature.
After the process is all done, goldens look so good and it’s fun grooming them. Trimming their furnishings can be a challenge at first because you need to ensure that you take off just the right amount of hair off. I often have clients who love their goldens natural-looking, so I don’t have to take too much off them. Other times, I have clients who want all the hair gone and have the coat be as short as possible.
Make sure you’re really asking the clients what they want. Just remember, if you’re not sure, you can always take more fur off but you can’t put more back on!
Now, doodles can be a big challenge to groom. You will see them come in all shapes and sizes. But one of my favorites are the mini doodles. Once you get them all cleaned up, they are the cutest little dogs ever.
When you groom the same doodles on a regular basis, grooming them becomes easier and easier for both you and the dog. If they’re frequent visitors to the salon, they won’t be matted and each visit is a chance for them to get more comfortable with the whole process.
I’ve had a few doodle owners who’ve want their pup to have a round head but with less fur around the eyes and muzzle. Let me tell you, that is the cutest cut on them.
Be sure to always brush and comb out the fur when you’re grooming them. Brushing everything out afterwards makes a huge difference on their appearance. Also, ensure you tell the owners to maintain a brush routine at home between grooms. It all affects how the professional full-body groom appointment will turn out every few weeks.
When become more familiarized with the professional dog grooming process, you’ll start to have a favorite list of cuts. You’ll have many cuts that you like to do that will work for you and how you groom. Here are just a few of the cuts that I have taken a liking to.
This particular style was very intimidating at first. The lines on the skirt have to be symmetrical—it can’t be too high or too low. The eyebrows have to be a certain angle, and the beard, well that length is up to the owners. But once you got it down, it is really fun to do. I always like a little bit of a challenge, and this cut is challenging almost every time!
Sometimes, schnauzers come in and their skirt is matted and you’ll need to save it! So, in this case, dematting sprays and tools are your best friend. I often use a slicker brush or rack and even a comb. Be prepared to brush a lot! While it might seem like a lot of work at first, the end result of this cut is very rewarding.
Puppy Cut/Teddy Bear Cut:
When clients tell me to make their dog cute and/or not take a lot of length off, the teddy bear cut is my go to. Essentially, you make the head round with hairs a little longer than the body. It’s a fun and easy cut to do on almost any dog. Of course, it’ll look different on every dog, but grooming a dog with consideration of their breed and shape is the best part of any groom. After this cut, they are honestly the cutest! Sometimes I even leave the legs a bit longer as well to get that cute, fluffy puppy look. So if you’re ever stuck on what cut to do to with a dog, give it a try!
Where I live, there are many owners who like their dogs shaved and that’s it. There’s aren’t many times when they want something fancy or challenging. But when they do, I take full advantage of it.
For example, I haven’t done many top knots. I know how much hair to use and how much to leave around the head, but it can be challenging when they’re trying to wiggle away. In the end, though, it looks pretty darn cute. Being able to do little style jobs like that will always help grow your grooming experience. It’s always fun to try new things and experiment as well.
I hope all of you can find your groove with your favorite cuts and breeds, and just go with it. Be confident, ask questions, and jump on every opportunity to challenge yourself!
What are your favorite dog cuts? Let us know in a comment!
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