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How to Get a Body Contour Trim for Your Dog | Dog Grooming Tutorial


Grooming Tips for a Great Looking Dog!

How to Get a Body Contour Trim for Your Dog

how to get a body contour trim for your dog

The body contour trim is quite popular among many customers who own a dog. The customer is more concerned with an easy-to-care-for trim that will minimize hair care between grooming visits as well as the amount of dirt the pet brings into the home. This trim style also is well suited to dogs that have a very low tolerance to the entire grooming process.

With this trim, accentuating the dog’s best body features is not as important as smoothness and neatness. The body type and the structural features of the dog will come into full view – good or bad.

Many  dogs from the sporting, terrier, working and herding groups have harsh guard hairs that commonly are destroyed by clipper cutting. In many cases, once the coat is trimmed, the harsh texture of such a coat and its brilliant colors can be lost. Soft downy undercoat replaces the harsh guard hairs. On many breeds, this soft coat is much lighter in color, so when a dog is shaved, the color can change dramatically.

On double coated breeds, the fur often grows back in much thicker following a full shave off.

Coats on dogs that were bred to perform active duties are naturally designed to protect their skin and maintain a consistent body temperature. Dogs that have had their coats artificially removed are prone to a number of health issues, especially if they are active outdoor dogs.

When freshly shaved, they become prone to sunburn, insect bites and minor injuries caused by running through underbrush or woods. Depending on the climate, overheating or becoming chilled also are concerns.

This trim style, however, remains very popular with customers. For single coated dogs that are indoors most of the time, this haircut style rarely poses health concerns and is a great alternative for a low maintenance pet.

Smoothness and neatness are the only things going for this trim style. When trimming the coat, a maximum of three passes with the clipper is all that should be necessary to get the coat smooth. On some coats, going with the lay of coat growth is the most efficient trimming method. On other dogs, cutting against the lay of the coat will be the fastest way to remove the hair.

Tips for Getting it Smooth With Speed

  • Place the dog on the table with its back feet close to the edge, minimizing how much you have to bend to reach the dog. Sometimes, the best way to do this is to have the dog stand across the table top.
  • Keep the blade up on its “cutting edge” for optimum cutting action and safety. The shorter the cut, the higher the degree of tip.
  • Hold the clipper like a pencil for most of your trimming. Occasionally, you will need to use an over-handed hold on the clipper to maintain flexibility in your wrist.
  • Maintain consistent clipper pressure as it contacts the skin. Use your own wrist or a partner’s wrist as a gauge to test that you are applying consistent pressure.
  • Alwayskeep your wrist supple as you clipping the pet.
  • For most of your trimming work, pull the clipper towards you, so your wrist remains supple.
  • For attach-on guard combs, rock the plastic guard onto its heel, causing the tips of the teeth to rise slightly off the dog’s skin as you make each clipper stroke.
  • Clip with the natural lay of the coat, either with the grain or against the grain.
  • For coats that lay in a specific direction, selecting a blade two lengths longer than the desired trim length and used in reverse, can be highly effective. For example, when the job requires a No. 7F blade used with the lay of the coat, choose a No. 4F used in reverse. For the length of a No. 10 blade, use a No. 7F in reverse. This technique works well on such dogs as Cockers, Schnauzers, Springers, Labs, Goldens and other breeds with similar coats.
  • Attach-on guard combs will cut when fitted over a number of blades ranging from a No. 50 to a No. 10. The No. 40 blade, however, will give the smoothest cut.
  • Stretch the skin on really dense coats to expand the hair follicles per square inch and allow the clipper to cut more easily.
  • When an attach-on guard comb fails to glide smoothly through the coat, check to see whether it is clean and whether there are any small groove lines just above where it hooks on to the blade teeth. If there is a build up of hair between the blade and the plastic comb, simply remove the build up. Grooves, however, can cause the guard comb to “drag” through the coat. Replace with a new guard comb if this is a problem.
  • You will need to go over most dogs three times before the coat is really smooth. The first time to remove bulk, the second time to remove the high spots and the third time to remove any area missed. With most blades, the strokes are long and smooth.
  • When using an attach-on guard comb on a thick coated dog, the stroke is short and repeated three times in one small section before moving on.
  • Legs require more attention because their surface is not as flat, say, as on the body. Try running a blade down your own finger to get the idea. So, when clipping legs, the actual contact of the cutting blade is minimal. Also, legs will require a few more passes to get the same results as three passes on flatter areas.
  • On drop coated pets trimmed with a longer attach-on guard comb, it’s ideal to have the coat set up though the pet had just shaken its body.

If the dog won’t shake, use a body roll technique to set the coat up as this simulates a natural shake. Stand behind the dog and grasp small tufts of fur between your fingers at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions on the dog’s sides. Gently and quickly tug from side to side two or three times to mimic a dog’s natural shake.

Tips on Making Your Dog Look Neat

  • There should be no stray hairs anywhere.
  • Make sure the coat is a consistent length over all the clipped areas.
  • In many cases, the tail needs some minor work to make it look neat and balanced with the rest of the dog.
  • Feet, armpits, around the base of the ears, under the tail and the tummy are key areas to look for stray hairs. Double check these areas.
  • With the final detailing, for safety, use thinning shears to take off high spots or to buffer a rough spot when working close to the skin.
How to Get a Body Contour Trim for Your Dog was last modified: by

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How to Get a Body Contour Trim for Your Dog

how to get a body contour trim for your dog

Please share this

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