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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Terrier Mix - What to do?

First , let me say that I love the way this dog looks in this picture.

I love a scruffy terrier.

If I had had my way, I would have just bathed this dog, gotten all of his dead coat out, trimmed his feet, the corner of his eyes, and his rear.

That is it.

I would have left him long and natural.

That being said, he is not my dog, so I have to do what the owner wants.

The only thing is... the owner was not a lot of help.  :/

The owner had used our Self-Serve a couple of times, but this was the first time that we would be clipping the dog.
She likes her dog long and scruffy, but they get him clipped short every summer, because they feel that he deals better with the heat with his hair short.

Well, I seem to have thrown her for a curve when I asked her what length she wanted.
Apparently no other groomer had ever asked her that.
"They just cut him short," she said looking very confused.
She could not even tell me how short, even though I had a rough idea.
"They just cut it short, but don't shear it," she told me.

I pulled out my trusty book, but even that didn't really help, because I don't have any pictures of Terrier Mixes in it.
It is also very hard to talk to a customer about length with a picture.
A lot of people have a very hard time visualizing.
Also everyone's idea of short and long is soooo different.

I had an elderly man bring in his Lhasa a few weeks ago.
He wanted the dog clipped, everything off very short, but not shaved.
I used a #5f on the dog.
I felt that the #5f took the dog pretty short.
He really liked the cut, but the first thing he asked me was; "could you take it a little shorter the next time?"
He made another appointment, so the next time I will use the #7f.
I tell all of my new customers that I would rather leave the dog just a little too long than too short.
I can't put the hair back on.  :)

We came to the conclusion that the owner would like about an inch and a half of hair left on the dog.

 This is how he looked after a good bath, HV dry, and combout.

Looks good to me.  :)

Anyway, because he had so much hair on him, and I don't have a lot of pictures of different lengths on Terrier's, I decided to use him as a guinea pig for pictures of different lengths.

All in all, as I look at the pictures, I have noticed that it is very hard to see a lot of difference in the length.

This is him with an outline trim to neaten him up.

(Because I was going to be taking him shorter, I only worked on one side of the dog for these pictures)

For this cut I only used thinning shears to cut off all of the long flyaway hair.
I only cut down to where the plushy part of his coat started.

Below is a short clip of me using the thinning shears.

I am by no means a pro with the thinning shears.
To be honest they tend to hurt my wrists when do a large job like this dog, and I can get the same look with my scissors.

This is the cut that I finished with.

I used the 12mm comb attachment on my cordless Chromado, and scissor finished him.

As you can see, it is very hard to see the difference in the last two grooms, but there is defiantly a difference.

You can see his face better in this picture.

This dogs owner had also been told by another groomer that the dogs tail should not be trimmed because it would change the dogs personality.


I told her that it was okay to trim the tail if she would like it trimmed.

She wanted it trimmed in proportion with the rest of the cut.

 I think he's happy.

Was the owner happy?

I don't know.

She did not pick up the dog, her son did, and teenagers don't have much to say.  

At least not when you want them to.  :)

I guess I will find out if the owner comes back next year for another groom.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. I really liked the cut you did. I think he looks very handsome and well cared for. I also like that you showed a cut for a terrier that is a cross. There are not many to view.

  2. Hi Wend,
    Thanks, I will have to try to post some more Terrier mixes. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  3. You are amazing! You have helped me so much that I don't think you even would know. Thank you. I am hoping one day to get to meet you and one of these expos. :) I do have a quick question. I'm not the hottest when it comes to figuring out my thinning sheers. What kind of brand do you have? Thanks again!

  4. Hi,
    I am so sorry to take so long to respond to your comment. There never seems to be any extra time around the Holidays.
    I have to admit that I am not a big thinning shear user. I only have two thinning shears. One has teeth on both sides and I like to use that one for thinning out mats and thinning out thick areas of hair.
    My other pair of thinning shears have teeth on one side and a scissor blade on the other. I like to use this one to scissor soft edges.

    Jody Murphy has a DVD about buying and using thinning shears if you would like to check it out. Here is the link:
    I hope that this helps. :)
    Lisa, MFF