Jan Martin and Marsha Caldwell

 

Grooming the Body

After the feet are finished, comb the furnishings straight down. Watch out for those nasty "pit mats" that lurk in the armpits! Flora HATES pit mats!

 

Grab the foot so you can see the hair that hangs down below the back pad. With straight shears, cut the excess hair even with the back of the foot.

It seemed like it took so long to GROW those feathers that I was just shocked when instructed to trim them this way. DON'T CUT THE REST OF THE FEATHERS IF YOU WANT THEM LATER; THEY GROW MUCH MORE SLOWLY THAN BODY COAT!

Use a good 46 tooth thinning shear... we like the 44-20s .... to blend the clipper lines into the body coat at the neck.

The only other place on the body that we trim on all the dogs is along the side of the rear legs... the "ham" area. We don't like them to wear "bloomers." Use the thinning shears here too.

We do strip some of the dead hair/undercoat out on the body. The amount varies from dog to dog. We use a Mars coarse and medium stripper and a McClellan fine stripper.

 

On some dogs that look kind of "rumpy," we have done some minor trimming on the top coat.

But it's supposed to look natural, not scissored for the show ring, so it's better to tread lightly here.

 

TEMPTED TO BUZZ IT OFF?

We took Annie's coat down with a #5 F clipper blade when she retired the first time (age three. It grew back just fine when she came back in the veteran's class (age 7).

A couple of years ago, we did it again. She grew out like a giant puff ball! We just HATE it! Been stripping with the Mars Coat King which helps some. Be careful; it does seem to cut and coarsen the coat. I'd be really conservative with show dogs.

 

Advice: If you take it down with clippers, plan to KEEP taking it down with clippers.

Use a blade with Oster-type clippers:
#5 F leaves the longest hair, most natural look.

#7 F cuts a little shorter
#10 cuts quite short; it's what we use on the head..

Cut in the direction that the hair grows. If you plan to leave a little along the sides, lift the clippers as you go down to avoid leaving a "belt-line."