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Professional pet grooming guides: learn how to shape the coat on a poodle's legs.
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We could talk about scissors for hours and hours but I’ll keep it simple. When you first start scissoring my advice to you is buy a sensible pair of reasonably priced scissors.
We’ve come through the dog. We’ve made sure there’s no tangle and we brushed it out and it’s absolutely wonderful to prune. So we comb all the hair down start with the front leg, comb it well done. I’m going to do two things here for you so you can choose which one you prefer to do. Comb the hair down, taking the scissors that you prefer and are in comfortable in using, put the bottom half of the scissor along the line that you’ve clipped along there and snip all the way around the foot along the line that you’ve clipped. Just the moment when she settles a little. She’s a little bit sensitive about her feet this bitch so we have to make sure she is quite happy about the scissor around, all the way around, so that you’ve got a base.
If you’ve got a dog like this that is a bit difficult to do and is fidgety when you’re doing the bottoms of her leg, try doing this. Comb it down and you might find this easier if you’re doing a pet dog at times when you’re pet grooming. Comb it down. Make sure it’s absolutely groomed out at the toe. Slide your hand down the legs forcing the head down towards the foot. Hold it firmly. Do not move it once you’ve got it set in position. You should be able to feel the knuckle of the dog just below your finger and thumb there. Then with your scissors cut around it with your hand resting against the scissor all the way around and this is beneficial, better control of the dog. If the dog’s fidgety you’ve got a better grip on her. Take it all the way around and slip off all the hairs. Don’t move it once you’ve got it in position because you’ll lose it, right?
You’ve then scissor off all the hair that was hanging out. If you let it go it gives a beautiful finish to the bottom of the leg. Absolutely perfect like that. It’s much easy to do it like that, fine you cut the stray around just snip it off, but it is much easier when you start to do it like that. But you must be careful that you hold it quite firmly once you’ve got it like that, alright?
So I carry on up to this leg. When you’re scissoring, always keep the dog directly in front of you with its leg out towards you. Don’t let it go to one side and carry on scissoring. It must be directly in front of you. We’ll then cut two parallel lines, one at the inside and one of the outside. Visualizing from the foot the center of the foot is the center of the bone that goes up the leg so you take it up per side straight up, and it forms two parallel lines. Don’t do this or that, it’s two parallel lines looking directly onto the dog because that’s what you’ll see when the dog is facing you. I want to turn it round to show you what I mean you have two parallel lines going up to leg.
When you’ve done that stand your dog up. Just make her comfortable. I’ll tell a little tangle it’s going to tire up little tie because she is little bit strutting around. Then when these are all combed out, I scissor another straight line at the back of her leg. I don’t touch the front at this stage because at this stage I don’t know how much of the front I’m going to need to take off. So we’ve cut out the two sides on the back. So we have what you will call then three sides of the backs then flick it up and you’ll start to blend it all in.
When you scissor don’t snip it with the tip, use the hole of your scissor shaft. Put the shaft on there and cut and slowly move along. I could trim on a hedge. When you scissor, scissor up or down, don’t taper it in at the top or at the bottom. You want the leg to come down the same width all the way down then just snipping it at the bottom to the foot. The foot should look neat and tiny. Poodles have dainty little feet so you don’t want it sort of looking greatly gawking foot at the bottom that’s why we’ve let the foot only clipped up to that first little bone there.
I’m going to turn the dog around now for you to see one leg that we’ve done. See, now nothing is ever final. So you just do the leg and then we’ve got on to do the other leg and then we’ll balance both legs up, and do the second leg. We’ve now finished the two front legs. Don’t worry if they are not absolutely perfect because we can have time later on to go back over them, but basically they are roughly the same size. Comb it up, get back towards you. There again if you want to slide the hand down the leg all the way down, and you get to the bottom, snip it all the way around. There you go, go try and keep her right the way around, comb it up and there again. You need to cut and I’ve got to turn right away around. You need to again cut two parallel lines, one at the inside and one at the outside. Right the way up.