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What is the proper way to trim a Golden Retriever tail? My dog's tail doesn't seem to look as full as it should.
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The breed standard for Golden Retriever suggest that the tailbones should extend to, but not past, the hock bone. So when your dog's tail is trimmed, stand your dog properly and comb all of the tailcoat towards the tip and hold the tail down. Trim off the hair (bluntly with thinning shears) that extends past the hock. Now here is a good trick, if the tail bone extends past the hock, trim the coat to the end of the tailbone and if the tail bone is to short, trim the coat off at the hock you can also think of it as a longer bodied dog gets a shorter tail and a short bodied dog gets a longer tail. Once you have trimmed to desired length, use your thinning shears to round out the tip of the tail for a softer curve into the tail. Lastly, pull the tail out, thin out the underside of the base of the tail and comb down and neaten any long scragglies hanging down from the flag of the tail still keeping in mind the roundness of the tail.
I have a large to medium size dog with a lot of thick fur. I can’t manage to keep him brushed and the fur mats. What clipper and blades are best suited for clipping the mats so my dog will be more comfortable?
Look into our AGC ProClip Detachable Clipper #22350, our AGC2 ProClip 2-Speed Detachable Blade clipper, #22340 or one of our MBG2 EasyClip Groom Detachable Blade Clipper Kits.
These are single speed and 2 speed clippers that comes with a #10 blade. This is a short blade and great for sanitary and pads. But for a large to medium size dog with a lot of thick fur, you will need to invest in other blades. If you are planning to shave your dog get a couple of #7FC blades, #64121. The key to shaving dogs is the right blade. The finer #10 will bog down in the soft undercoat but the #7FC will go through nicely. If you want to leave more length then you can use the larger blades, as the blade numbers go down the length left behind is longer. Comb attachments are also an option. They ?will fit over the #10 blade and are usually used when the groomer wants to leave an inch or more.?
My recommendation is that you get at least two of each blade. You will ?experience some blade heat when running clippers. The high speed clippers ?tend to heat up faster than the slower single speed but you will still get ?heat. Blade heat is caused by the two pieces of metal rubbing together to?create the cutting action. You can minimize it by keeping the blades clean ?and oiled but having multiple blades of each size to switch out when they ?get too warm is the ideal solution.?
What should I tell my groomer to ensure my dog's hair is cut short enough? Sometimes I feel like the hair on his face, ears and tails isn't short enough. Other times I feel like the hair all over his body is too long.
But make sure to tell your stylist exactly where your dog's hair seems too long--it is his body or his face, ears and tail. Then be open to having the stylist to completely makeover the entire dog and give him a personality trim. Afterall, his hair will grow back even if you don't love the new cut. To achieve a short cut on a dog with a soft coat, we recommend using a #1 steel comb on the body and scissored in the legs. Then trim the tail at a medium length. On the face, try a #0 steel comb on top of the head and a #1 steel comb on the ears to give his face a layered puppy look.
What is the correct way to use a Bladed Undercoat Rake?
The overuse or improper use of any bladed undercoat rake can be detrimental to a coat. Always make sure you are using long/light strokes and rake with the lay of the coat. If you use short/hard strokes, you will end up breaking guard hairs that are necessary to protect the dog’s coat and skin.
What's the best way to finish a Newfoundland ear?
Sometimes dogs can grow a bit to much coat in the wrong places. Using thinning shears, the stylist naturally redefined this Newfoundland’s ear and head. Taking the time to ask and going the extra mile as a stylist will gain you a client for life!
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Do Golden Retriever Tails get trimmed?
Did you know that Golden Retriever tails normally get trimmed? Most pet owners have no idea why their dog’s tail doesn’t look like it should, try suggesting trimming the tail to make it look fuller and like it should, and if they do not like it, the hair will grow back. It would also help to have a nice photo of a properly groomed Golden on hand to show the owner.

Reading your breed standard it says that the tailbones should extend to, but not past the hock bone. So when trimming the tail, stand your dog properly and comb all of the tailcoat towards the tip and hold the tail down. Trim off the hair (bluntly with thinning shears) that extends past the hock. Now here is a good trick, if the tail bone extends past the hock, trim the coat to the end of the tailbone and if the tail bone is to short, trim the coat off at the hock you can also think of it as a longer bodied dog gets a shorter tail and a short bodied dog gets a longer tail. Once you have trimmed to desired length, use your thinning shears to round out the tip of the tail for a softer curve into the tail. Lastly, pull the tail out, thin out the underside of the base of the tail and comb down and neaten any long scragglies hanging down from the flag of the tail still keeping in mind the roundness of the tail.

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How to I groom the Golden Retriever ear set?
The ear hair­­­ on a Golden Retriever should be soft, velvety and frame the face well. They should not have Labrador looking, over grown or shaggy ears, unless an owner is requesting so. Giving your clients the correct expression they are meant to have, keeps them returning.

To achieve this look, use your straight shears and trim off the excess hair that hangs past the ear leather then soften the edges and outside of the ears with thinners. Next, grab the tip of the ear leather, fold the ear back, comb the hair out and thinning shear off the excess hair from the inside of the ear and leather. Do not use a clipper to completely clean the hair out because it will take away from the soft expression you are trying to achieve.
If there is excess hair in front of the ear canal or on the cheek, you can gently skim off the hair with your 10 blade, but you also should card the dead coat our and follow up with thinning shears to soften that area.

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What's the best way to rake out the Lagatto Romagnolo coat?
This magnificent and rare breed has a Rustic Coat. Even if they are a pet, Rustic coats require a more specialized ­care. Most pet owners do not want their dogs shaved down every time they come in for a groom. In this dog’s case, that is what was happening and you can see the amount of lint I removed from her coat after her first visit. The darker coats or thinner coats can be worked in 3 week increments meaning after this initial rake out and haircut visit she will start coming in every 3 weeks to alternate a rake out and bath versus the same in addition to a haircut. The lighter coats tend to produce more undercoat and mat up faster. They might require an every 1-3 week maintenance program depending on the thickness of the coat.
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The lighter coats tend to produce more undercoat and mat up faster.
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Note the left side of the body is raked out and there is a big difference in texture and color versus the right side.
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Raking and combing the undercoat out before the bath is the key. If the coat is really thick, you can also use a deshedder. Note the dense pile of undercoat or lint to the left of the dog. A Rustic coated breed that is regularly raked out does not end up with this amount of coat raked out each time. This breed is left to air dry with a cool fan. Blowing them dry straightens the ringlets that are supposed to be in the coat. Another great tip is to use a super heavy conditioner on their coat. Only rinse the conditioner our ¾ of the way. Leaving a bit of conditioner in the coat will help to prevent matting, make working the coat easier and keep those ringlets tighter.
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Here is a finished pet trim on the Lagotto. Notice how great the coat look after being air dried. The owners like her short for summer. The cheeks had some really short spots so they need to fill in in spots before taking the correct Lagotto shape. For the final step, use a bit of shine enhancing serum to give the coat and curls depth. Kendra Otto.
What's the best way to groom the Irish Water Spaniel tail?
Just in case you ever get the chance to groom a pet Irish Water Spaniel, here is a tip to keep the breeds’ tail looking the way it should. Generally they do not grow hair on their tails, but if they do, follow this simple tip and remember it is always up to the owner on length preference.
The tail should look like rat tail. Holding the tail down against the rear/pointing the tip at the floor. Find where the tail lines up with the crotch, this is where you will start your clipper line. Using a #7fc clip any of the excess hair off underneath and all the way around the tail down to the tip leaving the coat at the base of the tail, this coat will be part of the topline of the dog.

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Aileen Nunez
As international manager of education and style, Aileen Nunez works with our talented Andis educators to deliver the very best in clipper education to hair professionals in the U.S. and abroad.

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