This is the blog married to the fifth video in my Home Groom Series (hence the ‘HG 5’ in the title). The related video will be linked at the end of this post.
This video shows Ginger, a puppy who is about 14 weeks of age and ready for her first real, full hair cut. She doesn’t quite know how to stand still… or stay standing up! So the grooming wrestling begins.
This video is covering the basics of grooming your ‘poo or doodle. It doesn’t just apply to puppies getting their first groom. But it does give some tips specific to inexperienced dogs getting a groom and beginning home groomers. And some puppy-specific tips are peppered throughout the next few Ginger-specific videos.
This video covers grooming the trunk of the dog specifically as well as getting the dog to cooperate. The following videos will focus on the legs, paws, face, sanitary trim, etc. So if I don’t cover it in the video the chances are good that I’m covering it in a video that I am in the process of editing and uploading.
Supplies and Equipment
Well you’ll definitely see me using equipment in this video so I will list it here as well as some recommendations for you. To start I’m using a grooming table and a grooming loop to keep my Ginger puppy safe and still.
You can use a leash on a door knob and groom on the floor. You can groom on a towel on your kitchen/dining table or on a counter top if you’re tall. And you’ll just train the dog to stay still. That will make your first few grooms more challenging but it definitely is possible. Especially if you can get help from another adult for the first 3 grooms or so.
I have a very heavy-duty table in the video made by ComfortGroom. I love this table in more ways than I can imagine and it is a very highly rated table. But at about $900 you probably don’t want such a massive, heavy duty professional shop type table in your grooming space. Haha.
Before I got this lovely Mother’s Day gift table I used (for years) and recommend this 36″ fold up table from Go Pet Club
the table comes with a grooming arm and folds up neatly for convenient storage. Its pretty sturdy and durable. It does not adjust in surface height and that can sometimes get a little hard on your back. I can think of a few people I know that groom multiple ‘poos and really should consider getting a hydraulic table. This doesn’t have to be electric. But these tables are not something that can be folded up and stored away or moved easily from room to room. If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated space to groom your baby I really suggest paying the slightly higher cost to get an adjustable height table. It makes your life so much more convenient. And your back will appreciate it, truly. So consider making that space in the garage a groom room (or the basement, or the empty guest room…)
I would be pretty tempted by this low price electric hydraulic grooming table by “Go Pet Club”. They have, so far, satisfied me in their ability to provide lower-end professional equipment. Essentially this stuff is miles better than any pet store could ever offer, but makes some needed cut backs to make it affordable for the small-shop groomer or the home groomer.
If you’re grooming a toy dog you can definitely use this little table. I have this for my puppies and I definitely love it. Very space-saving design, rotates around so nicely and the hydraulic pump is on a foot pedal so very conveniently requires no electricity to work. Since you’re only moving a little table and a dog under 12 pounds its really no big deal. I can easily groom my cockapoos in the 12 pounds and under size range on this cute round hydraulic grooming table. Again, by Go Pet Club and comes with the grooming arm.
Ok and now for my final suggestion. Look at your dining room table and the rim/lip on the table to see if it is possible to put a grooming arm clamp onto the table. These grooming arms may wreck your table but if you line the clamp with a towel you should pad the table enough to avoid any heavy scarring. If you’re grooming a dog larger than 22 pounds though you just can’t use this method without needing to tighten the clamp so hard that it ruins your table. But its not a bad idea. Especially if you’ve got a puppy and you’re waiting for the table for a little while. This grooming arm works nicely for this purpose and comes in fun colors and has a couple no-sit haunch holders that come with it. These are useful too.
As far as the size of the grooming loop you get for you dog that is going to depend on your elevated surface, your grooming arm size and your dog’s height and size. I’ve used the ones on Amazon and haven’t hated any of them. These are my favorite loops because they’re pretty and come in thinner sizes.
Ok so that leaves just one other set of items: the clippers. I have used about a billion different types of clippers. And what you want is going to completely depend on your dog’s coat. If you want to be “safe” stick with a pair of clippers with a cord. Usually the cordless clippers just aren’t powerful enough to get through coarse coats. If you’ve got a smoothie or a fine coated ‘poo then the cordless ones will do the job. If you have more than one dog you’ll want a corded pair.
Clippers get hot. No matter what they say they all get hot. Some get hotter faster than others. The way to beat the heat is to buy at least 2 blades for your clippers. Your clippers will come with a size 10 blade. You can buy a second 10 blade. Most snap on combs fit on 10 blades. Remember that your clipper accessories need to be the same brand as your clippers or they won’t work (annoying little fact).
I recommend having two size 10 blades and a set of clip-on combs with long lengths like 1 inch and higher. And I recommend having two blades that are 3/4 inch or 19 mm long. Those are the only two sizes you really need with a doodle.
I’ve used these less expensive “basic” pair of clippers for years and find myself going back to them often.
HERE is a spare size 10 blade (your clippers will come with a size 10 already) for the Andis. The “ceramic edge” is supposed to help it stay cooler longer. Or at least not get so damned hot so fast. And HERE you can also order 2 of the longer 19mm blade for the Andis. Avoid blades with an “FC” on them. They’re a “finish cut” blade which means they’ll actually be shorter than the other blades. For example a 3/4″FC is only 13 mm instead of the 19 mm a regular 3/4″ blade is. The blades are pricey. Just remember how much you’re saving in home grooming. You pay up front but you make up for it in less than a year. And you can always add things on a “to get” list and pick them up as time progresses.
If you’re really set on cordless I have the cordless clippers below by Wahl and I really like them. They just don’t have enough power to really muscle through a job quickly. I now use a professional set of Andis simply because all other brands failed to impress me with their power. But my pro clippers are super heavy and make my arms tired! Cordless clippers are generally rated for “finish” work. Meaning face and feet and anything that doesn’t require a strong motor. But this set by Wahl does a decent job on a full groom for a finer coated cockapoo. Either a smoothie or a bearded beauty.
The last thing you need is to remember to please keep your clippers lubricated. Your clippers will come with oil. But to clean your blades you will put them in a small tray or in a paper bowl with clipper oil in them and run them for a couple minutes to get them clean. Then wipe them really good. You really don’t need to do this very often if you’re home grooming… like once a year maybe. They make “cool down” sprays for clipper blades and plenty of clipper oils like this one HERE.
Clip-on comb attachments are a very inexpensive way to play with different lengths and styles with your dog. You really should give a simple set a go. My guess is that you’ll be looking for longer clip on attachments. Because usually we all love a shaggier but neat trim.
These comb attachments are supposed to work on pretty much all different stypes of clippers. I’ve owned Andis, Wahl and Oster and probably something else too. So finding a set that actually works on most clippers is pretty dang nice. But THIS SET HERE is Universal. More importantly this set has both a 1″ comb and a 1.25″ comb. Nice.
And, of course, you need a regular comb to do all of the “back brushing” you’re going to see in the video. This is the simple comb you’ll want. Yup… only $2.78 Nothing fancy required. I figured I’d throw in something inexpensive here at the end to give you at least one little positive 😉
Ok guys. Here is the link to the video: HG#5 Beginner Clip; Body
Finishing up with this and a note to some of you who have asked me a couple questions (answered below):
Leave a note in the comment section for any questions or any videos you’d like to see. The videos currently “in the make” for the Home Groom Series include this video grooming Ginger as well as a video covering grooming a “smoothie” or open faced/non bearded doodle or ‘poo. And then there will be some 8-12 week old puppy grooming tips, how to prepare them for their first real groom. And then I will move on to grooming an adolescent dog and will be “polishing” your grooming skills with new bits of information and so forth. I’m looking forward to the series. I think there will be a lot of good information!
If you have an open-faced (non bearded) “smoothie” cockapoo you will easily be able to do the grooming at home. But if you wish to have someone do the grooming for you then tell the groomer that a simple spaniel-style “clean up” works just fine. Make the feet and whiskers neat. Trim feathering. Sanitary trim. That sort of thing. Print out this paragraph and bring it to them if you like. A cockapoo is a breed that sometimes needs “stripping” so a good, firm rake or Furminator style comb out is very likely to do wonders for the coat’s appearance as well.
If you have a bearded baby how you want him/her groomed is very likely going to be dependent on the hair type your baby has. A very tightly curled dog is best in a shorter clip. A “teddy bear” or “round” face is usually the way to go. Dogs with finer hair should have a shorter cut on the face to encourage the round shape. Otherwise the hair falls and you wind up with a beard reminiscent of a schnauzer.
Ok guys. Here is the link to the video (again): HG#5 Beginner Clip; Body
Bye for now 🙂