When deciding on a hairstyle, nothing gives you more freedom than doing a whole grooming with scissors. However, keep in mind that it is the most labor-intensive of all the grooming techniques. After the dog is washed and brushed, start trimming the pads and private areas using the clippers. Start by combing the hair up away from the skin using a wide-toothed comb.
Scissoring the Back
- Standing behind the dog, start setting up the topline using the floor as a reference to achieve a straight line. This is when you get to visually correct a faulty topline and provide a good reference point.
- Once the topline is set, trim around the feet to give you a reference of how much hair to leave when connecting the reference points. Start by gently lifting the paw and trimming around with curved shears, keeping a 45-degree angle to create a nice beveled look.
- Comb the hair back on the back legs and, using the curved shears in an inverted position, start setting the back angulation. Use the bending point on the back of the leg as the shorter point of reference of the angulation, and the front part of the knee as the longest point when trimming the front of the back legs.
- Using the curved and straight shears, connect the topline, back leg angulation, and feet.
Now it is time to move to the front.
- Locate the dog’s Adam’s apple and start trimming from there to the point where the front leg meets the chest. This should be a soft curve that, when looked at from the profile, will smoothly connect the bottom of the chest with the rest of the dog’s outline.
- Now connect the chest, neck, and side of the body using the shears that you feel most comfortable using. Follow the natural lines of the body.
- With the dog standing in a natural position, trim the front legs, combing the hair in different directions to be sure all hairs are trimmed to the desired length.
- Lift the front leg forward and comb the hair down to help you trim the back of each front leg.
- Finish trimming the body by going over with thinning shears to erase scissor marks.
Trimming the Face
To trim the face, start by combing all the hair from the top of the head forward.
- With thinning shears, trim the hair from the outside corner of the eye with the scissors pointing toward the center of the nose. Repeat on the other side of the face and then round up the front of the visor.
- Lifting the hair from the top of the head with a comb, start trimming the edges, little by little, combing the hair down and up again to achieve a smooth, natural layered look.
- Trim the sides of the head by connecting the tip of the nose with the base of the ear, creating a half-moon shape following the jawline. Using thinning shears will let you create and correct the curve slowly without leaving sharp scissor marks.
- Use the comb to lift the sides of the face and trim the hair that sticks out of the imaginary line. Go over this area a few times with thinning shears to be sure you get a natural look.
- Keeping the ear flap over the head, blend the side of the head with the neck.
- Lifting the dog’s chin up, trim the hair to smoothly connect the ear with the Adam’s apple. Trim the hair on the ears to the desired length.
- Clippers for pads and privates
- Wide-toothed comb
- Straight shears
- Curved shears
- Thinning shears
- Finishing spray