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Basically, do you have any tips that you can pass on to a novice that will make my little darling stand out from the rest.
Alternatively, have you had any disasters just before a Breed Championship Show that still brings you out in a cold sweat. Have you learned the right time to put down the thinning scissors or are you still battling the urge to take just a bit more off the top. We've all been there...and then you hear that voice in the back of your head,
"you shouldn't have done that!"
Buy a working dog and you don't need scissors at all! :-D
Buy a staight coat dog and throw away the hair dryer!
Firstly I would ask your breeder to help and advise you and show you how to trim.
Secondly, You trim to enhance. No two dogs will be trimmed the same way as no two dogs have exactly the same coat.
Start on the neck, ears and hocks about two weeks in advance. That way if you make a mistake the coat has time to grow back. You can always keep cutting and tweaking if you haven't done enough. Do not cut the long hair at the hocks too hard. It can make them look spindly. Don't cut the ears back too hard you don't want to make them look butchered. Keep everything looking soft and natural. Only use hairdressing scissors to trim around the feet, use thinning scissors on everything else, including the hair between the toes. Trim the feet a few days before the show so they look neat. The rest is just practice. The more you do it the better you become.
Teresa has been very helpful, in fact I'm meeting up with her at Cruft in a few weeks.
I am getting to grips with the trimming, I know what I should be doing but I need to practice and I'm sure I'll make mistakes. I've also got a very good poodle parlour near by. I took Benson to her for many years but she won't trim show dogs (which is fair enough), but she also has been very helpful. I must take some photos and post them tomorrow.
Lesley it is wonderful that you are preparing your own dog. It does take courage. My boys always had their necks clipped by a professional groomer and with the help of a breeder who is also a professional groomer I 'learnt' the rest. Finally it just seemed obvious to have a go at all of it. My boys are more relaxed as one in particular used to hate going to the salon. Murphy has thrown his head once which resulted in a line that was not complimentary (worthy of a paperbag over his head)! It grew back. I don't show them very often but I do love to have them looking good. Practice away, take a lot of photos and notes if you are lucky enough to have a great breeder to help. Most of all enjoy another aspect of owning an Irish Setter.
Warning I have set a limit on how many grooming tools and size of grooming box I will have. Tool purchase can become hobby in itself! Some of the grooming boxes at shows are worthy of prize themselves.
Here in SA owners of my pups may live hundreds, if not thousands, of kilometres away, so to help them keep their Irish looking smart I devised the attached file of information, plus a couple of photos. I am sure others have different methods and products which they use, but as a self taught clipper, I found this procedure works for me.
I agree with you Rhonda. I've got stuff I've never even used or you grow attached to a certain brush only to find it chewed up and spat out (mention no names Rigsby), but then you get no sympathy from Hubby who just says you shouldn't have left it on the floor!
Gorgeous girl, Bridget. I think trimming a young dog is the trickiest...what with the squiggling. You definitely need three hands. One for scissors, one to hold the ear back and one for scratching ones own head wondering what to do next.
That at the moment is my main concern. Rigsby's coat is still fine as he's a pup and trying to get a seamless look is tricky.
Wish my puppies would read the advise about not trimming to the breast bone, they have chewed James's bib for me !!! Wait ages for him to get a full coat then it disappears in minutes.
Rigsby is coming up for 11 months old and I've noticed that he's started to get a lot of untidy, long hairs, especially on his back and shoulders. They fall out very easily when brushed so I assumed it was old puppy coat or is it new adult coat coming through?