Jan Martin and Marsha Caldwell

Groom your grown-up Springer! Even more pictures and suggestions!
The Groomer's Corner by Steve Dainard


Our puppies had their first grooming session at about 5 1/2 to 6 weeks old. At this age, they're too amazed by the process to be afraid. But the next grooming, at 7 1/2 to 8 weeks of age can be a MUCH bigger challenge. It helps to have a good "holder" to steady the puppy and help it feel secure. It's also nice to have sleepy puppies :-)

small people-type nail clippers
4-6" straight scissors

46 tooth thinning shears
good quality clippers:
Oster A-5 or similar clippers
#10 blade
medium-tooth Greyhound comb


We start with the toenails and feet. Have your partner cradle the puppy comfortably while you use a small "people"-style clipper on the toenails. Clip the nail at a right angle to the ground, just below the quick. A small, sharp pair of scissors will make cleaning out the hair between the pads easy. You also may find that your pup is just as comfortable cradled between your knees on the floor or on your lap.

We use Oster A-5 clippers and a #10 blade. Any good quality clipper with a sharp #10 blade will do. Position the puppy on the grooming table and give him a chance to get comfortable. Let him sniff the clippers a little while they are still off. Then, turn them on for a second and let him listen. Some puppies will be entirely calm, and some may be frightened and try to leave. Either way, when you feel ready to start, have your holder grip the puppy's two front legs in one hand and and support the pup's rear firmly and comfortably.


Begin working on the pup's neck.
This is the part that many puppies dislike, and it's wise to get it out of the way before they have time to think about it. Start clipping about two finger widths above the puppy's breast bone. Move your clippers against the grain, up the neck to the point of the chin. Most pups have cowlicks on their necks; just clip opposite the way the hair grows. It will take several passes with the clippers to get this area trimmed. The starting point will curve around the front of the shoulders, forming a U, rather like a necklace. Clean up to the jaw on each side.





Updated 6/29/02