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All dogs coats are not created equal. Understanding the coat type is the first step to knowing how to work with the coat.
To learn more check out this article in Groomer to Groomer Magazine
by Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, MA, ICMG, PGC, CCE . Jennifer has a great laminated grooming by coat type chart called the "15 coat types". It is perfect to have in the busy grooming salon as a quick reference guide for pet bathers and groomers.
Unfortunately there are so many variables from dog to dog, pet parent to pet parent, and groomer to groomer that a set of rules can never apply. While there are die hard enthusiasts that will preach that there is only one way, you will quickly learn to just groom the dog that is in front of you.
I have seen very confused pet parents, who want to do their best, asking me to hand strip their rescued Terrier (who is spayed and has been clipped for years), because it's the right way to groom their breed. But it's not right for their individual dog.
This is precisely why most pet groomers do not and can not offer these services as a whole. Groomers who educate themselves will be able to provide these services for dedicated pet parents who do their homework. This is why this site is both for groomers and pet parents. My goal is to give people the tools they need to care for dogs coats in a manner that suits the individual.
Ultimately, we need to have the training and skill to groom these dogs correctly, the discernment to know when to use other options, and the resources to educate those who must do the day to day or week to week maintenance of the coat.
These techniques are not just for purebreds, they are for any dog with these coat types. I am creating videos to help the everyday pet groomer and pet parent to care for these coat types on everyday dogs.
If you are a visual learner, subscribe to my YouTube channel.
Caring properly for flat coats is not only beautiful, it's essential for their health. Learn carding/stripping techniques to maintain this coat type.
These include Spaniels, Setters, Cavaliers and such.
Rough coats. Carding and stripping are required for this coat type. It can be clipped IF care is taken to clip/strip to maintain coat health.
These include Schnauzers, West Highland White Terriers, Scottish Terriers and such.
Broken Hair coats. Breeds like the Wire Fox, the Airedale, the Irish Terrier, and the Parson Russell Terrier. Many of these dogs should only be stripped. In the salon, some of them can be clipped/stripped with care to maintain a healthy coat.
These coats require minimal care. A nice bath and conditioner, a carding tool and stripping stone help to remove loose coat.
Never shave or clipper this coat type. Extra de shedding is needed during shedding season. Some trimming can be done on feet, underline, ears etc...
Grooming this coat type require the proper tools for de shedding. Line brushing and proper combing are needed. Some trimming is acceptable staying away from the outer top coat.
Long Silky coats require a prescribed care regimen when kept long. They can also be clipped in many adorable styles. See my haircut pages by breed for inspiration.
Long Cottony coats require a prescribed care regimen when kept long. They can also be clipped in many adorable styles. See my haircut pages by breed for inspiration.
Many Doodles, and some purebreds like the Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonkas have a wavy coat. Prescribed trimming and Drying techniques help you to achieve this look straight off of the Grooming Table.
Curly coats are often blow dried and scissored. These coats are beautiful when prepared this way. Stretch/fluff drying and combing the hair up and out will prepare this coat for scissor work.
Some breeds need to keep some curl, but also need to be fluffed and scissored in areas. The Kerry blue Terrier is a perfect example of this look.
Dogs with coats like some Doodles, Wheaten Terriers, and Portuguese Water dogs look their best with wave left in the coat.
This coat type should never be clipped or hand scissored. Any clipping or trimming can cause permanent skin and coat damage such as alopecia. Learn more about this in this "Groomer to Groomer" article by Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, MA, ICMG, PGC, CCE
This playlist will help you learn to groom Primitive coats.