Jan Martin and Marsha Caldwell

Flo's bad hair day...

Ch Marcur's Ariel Enchantment

Flo won the Veteran Sweepstakes at WVESSA and won her Veteran's class at the National in 2002.

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

Flora is a retired show champion. These pages show the way we groom our retired dogs. While the basics are the same for dogs being shown, the finish work varies among different breeders and owners. If you'd like to discuss finishing touches or discuss tools or techniques, please do post to our message board below!

If your dog is a pet or performance Springer, you should find these instructions useful, but pick and choose how much you want to do. We tend to get a little compulsive :-) If you don't want to groom as extensively, watch for the ESSENTIAL STEPS marked with a tennis ball!


We start grooming at the neck (while the clippers are cool). Start to clip two-three finger-widths above the breast bone. Clip against the way the hair grows, moving up the throat and chin. Follow the collar bone to just above the point of the shoulder, changing directions as the hair changes directions. The finished clip-line should form a sort of U-shape.

You may have to change directions a number of times... every dog's hair growth here is different.

If you lift the clippers a little as you meet the longer hair, you can blend for a natural look.

We also clean up the lip area, still clipping against the way the hair grows.

Flora tends to get green and stinky lip fold dermatitis, but keeping hair short this way helps her keep it under control.

We've also had good luck stopping the problem by using a styptic pencil, an alum stick available at drug stores in the shaving supply area.