The Cock-A-Poo

Bread & Butter Grooming
Fast & Easy Pet Trims for the Salon

By Kathy Rose

A good portion of our “Bread & Butter” client list consists of some form of “designer” dog. The Cock-A-Poo is arguably one of the first to grace our doors as purebred mutts.

As professionals we learn to adapt and create designer trims for the designer mutts. For this segment we will do a simple and quick “puppy” Trim with the body a couple of lengths shorter than the legs and a rounded headpiece.

In my salon we use a clipper vacuum system. A vacuum system eliminates the multiple back brushing required when using snap on combs. This saves time and helps you to achieve a more uniform trim. With that said, there is a learning curve while using a clipper vacuum system. A general rule of thumb: use one blade length longer while working on curly or double coats. When working on fine or open coats, use at least one length longer and depending on how open or fine the coat is, sometimes two blade lengths longer. I always advise starting your trim with the vent open. This is especially important with sparsely coated dogs.

I used a “0” comb on the body and a “C” for the legs.

As always, meticulous preparation including thorough shampoo and fluff dry blow out are paramount. A great time saver in prep time will include the use of drying sprays lightly spritzed prior to high velocity drying. Follow up with fluff drying. Dry against the coat growth direction.

Fig. 1
Begin clipping on the sides of the neck following the coat growth direction. Leave a small triangle of coat from across the back skull culminating in a point just over the withers.

Fig. 2
Clip down the back, over the rump and tail, then down the rear portion of the upper thigh. Fall off about two inches before reaching the hock.

Fig. 3
Clip the upper thigh inside and outside, falling off before reaching the front part of the rear leg.

Fig. 4
Clip the undercarriage against the coat growth direction all the way up through the front legs and slightly up on the fore chest.

Fig. 5
Move to the front of the dog. Beginning at the jawline, clip the fore chest.

Fig. 6
Clip down the sides and front of the shoulders. Clip over the point of shoulder, falling off before clipping into the leg coat on the upper arm. This will help to place the leg well under the dog and help to define the shoulder angulation.

Change to a longer snap on comb. I recommend two lengths longer than the comb that was used on the body.  Clip the triangle of coat left at the withers as well as the remainder of the coat on all legs.

Tighten and shape the coat on the upper thighs using super blenders.

Fig. 7
Tidy the underline and topline with super blenders.

Fig. 8
With super blenders or straight shears tidy the stray hairs on the rear legs forming cylindrical parallel lines.

Fig. 9
Shape the tail into a triangle and blend into the croup using thinning shears or super blenders.

Fig. 10
Create a square foot by trimming straight across the front of the foot then trim the sides. Finish up by rounding the corners. This will help you to avoid creating a hairfoot or pointed foot.

Fig. 11
Blend the coat from the shoulders up to the neck accentuating angulation and elongating the neck.

Fig. 12
Blend the upper arm into the fore chest accentuating shoulder angulation and defining the point of shoulder.

Fig. 13
Slightly lift the front leg and trim the stray hairs on the inside and outside lower portion of the leg.

To tighten up the straight line from the elbow to the table, trim a straight line downward.

Place fine thinning shears at the eye corners then trim the excessive coat under the eyes.

Comb the coat forward and trim in a semi-circle fashion across the fore face.

Use a comb to lift the cheek coat out then blend rounded cheeks and muzzle.

Fig. 14
Comb the ear coat up and outward and spray with a body building spray or hairspray.

Scissor the ear coat into the topknot and blend the back skull into the neck.

This “teddy” or “puppy” trim can have many variations. To customize your trim to suite the client’s preference try shaving the ears with a #5. If shaving the ear, begin shaving where the ear “breaks”, not close to the skull. You can also customize with a longer tail or pom-pom tail.

We have a plethora of cute little mutts that make up our “Bread & Butter” client list. There is not a right or wrong haircut. The most important thing to remember is communication with your client. Take the time at your initial consultation to determine the client’s wishes and the pet’s needs. Use your expertise to make recommendations that will suit all of you!

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