About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wet Shaving

Wet Shaving can really come in handy for groomers that don't like clipping a dirty dog before the bath.

Wet Shaving? What is that you ask?

Wet Shaving is exactly what it sounds like, you shave a dog while it is wet.

In my case, I have found that the blade glides through the coat if I shave the dog after the first wash, with the shampoo still on the dog.
I have tried both ways.
With the shampoo rinsed off, and with the shampoo still on.
I prefer, the shampoo still on the dog.

What kind of dogs do I Wet Shave you ask?

Well, to be honest I don't Wet Shave all that often. A lot of my customers are regulars. 
When I do have one of the dogs listed below come in, it's GREAT.
Wet Shaving is great for:
Once-a-year clip downs
Matted dogs
Pelted dogs
Really dirty dogs

I groomed 'Joey' the other day.
He is a Standard Poodle.
It has been a little over a year since I last groomed 'Joey'.
He was a perfect candidate for a Wet Shave.
Over grown, matted, and very dirty.

I am sorry that I did not think to take a picture of 'Joey' before the bath.
Just picture a big, giant, hairy bear.

I soaped up 'Joey' very well all over, working the shampoo in well to the skin.
I noticed that the matting was not tight to the skin, so I started with a #4F blade.
(I would work my way down till I found a blade that would glide through the coat easily and safely.)
The #4F worked great. It glided right through the coat.

I keep the dogs in the tub.
I have a tub grate that they stand on so that they are not standing in any water.
My clipper is plugged into a grounded outlet, outside of the bathing room.
My cord is also kept outside of the tub.

The clipper glides through the soapy, wet, matted hair very easily.
The blade stays nice and cool.
There is no fighting to cut through dirty hair.

It took me a little over 10 minutes to clip the hair off of his body.
As you can see, the hair came off in one piece on this dog.
The hair will not always come off in one piece on every dog.

After clipping his body, I gave him one more quick shampooing. 

Now, here is where any groomer reading this blog would yell at me.

I did not Wet Shave the legs on this dog.
I have a sickness...
I can't help it.
I've tried.

I like to leave the legs a little longer then the body whenever possible.
I know, I know.
'Joey' has not been groomed in a YEAR.
The owners don't deserve it.
I know!

But..'Joey's legs, believe it or not, were not very matted.
I knew that I could get a 3/4 blade through the legs without dematting them.

I HV dried 'Joey' straight from the bath.
I ran the #4F over his body again.
I clipped his legs with the 3/4 blade and then scissored them.

I did not do it for the owners, I did it for my own sickness.
I have a thing for shaved, stick legs.
I hate them.

'Joey's' legs are still too short for me, but I think they are a good length for a owner that does not regularly groom their dog.

One more thing about Wet Shaving... 
It is very important to CLEAN and DRY your blade(s) and clipper RIGHT after you finish Wet Shaving.

 I first spray my blade, all over, while it is still running, with Cool Lube.

I have found that the trick to using Cool Lube, is to shake off, and blow the excess Cool Lube off the blade.

I pull the blade completely apart and wipe it dry all over.
I use a flat head screw driver to slide the cutting blade back into place.

I also wipe down and clean out my clipper.
The clipper and blade work fine after Wet Shaving.
(The one time that I did not clean my blade right away, it became dull.)

I am pleased with 'Joey's' Wet Shave grooming.
He came out velvety soft.

Oh...I know the ears are uneven.
I fixed them after the picture was taken. :)

Joey's Groom:
Body: Wet Shave with #4F blade, follow up after the bath with #4F again.
Legs: 3/4 blade after the bath and scissor.
Face: #15 setting on the cordless Wahl Chromado
Feet: # 40 setting on the cordless Wahl Chromado
Head: scissor topknot
Ears: Even up

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Omg how things have changed! I went to school 100 years ago too. I think 1985? So I long I don't remember the year lol

  2. Nice top knot. I use H 42 to lube blades, as well as cool lube. H42 displaces water. interesting info, and nice pics, thanks. and I have the same sickness!!

  3. Is it safe to wet shave a dog in the bath that does not have a grate so they would be standing in the water BUT using a cordless clipper ?

    1. Hi Alpooch,
      NO! Never clip a dog in standing water, even if with a cordless clipper.

      If I clip a dog in the tub, they are on a grate and a dry towel. Most of the time I take them out of the tub and clip them on the drying table, then put the dog back in the tub for a final bath.

      Lisa, MFF

  4. I just love you! I love your comments and your insights! I wish every shop owner would read your blog because they would better understand where "good" groomers are comming from and better understand why we do the extras, and why a customer with a horriable attitude does not get the same concessions as a polite or appreciative customer. And why for us it is all about the dogs quality of life.;)

  5. Hi, We have 5 standard poodles, and would like to know what is the best clipper you will recommend. Thank you!

  6. I have been grooming since 2008 and have never tried wet shaving. Great info. Thanks very much.