Author Topic: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?  (Read 8643 times)

TheRedHead

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Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« on: March 10, 2014, 02:14:15 PM »
I have two labradoodles that I keep trimmed to the same length all the way around. I  want to avoid the $75/dog grooming fee. I have clippers and I'm trying to teach myself how to groom them but would love any input on how to do it without them looking like their owner took a dull pair of scissors to them.

FIence!

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 02:33:21 PM »
First of all, it sounds like you've tried doing some clipping and the dogs are well behaved? If that's the case, you'll have a much easier job of it. Are they afraid of vacuum noise? My very best tip for keeping clean is to keep your vacuum with hose attachment nearby and stop and suck up the hair VERY frequently. It will get all over the house and get embedded in your clothes if you don't do this.

As far as the actual cutting, do you want to go very short? When I clip my dog, I use the very shortest blade and run the clipper as if I am skating the metal surface against the fur, going with the grain from neck to tail. Does that make sense? So the metal part of the clippers that is a plate with screws is almost in contact with the fur, going with the grain. (I think it's the opposite of the motion you would use with a human haircut). Dog's skin can be very delicate and loose in some places like under their legs, and by doing the typical upward motion/against the grain cut it's so easy to catch and cut their skin. For my dog, that seems to give the "cleanest" cut, while when I've tried the longer attachments that's when it starts to look like I took a dull pair of scissors to him.

I wash my dog a day or two before the cut. If you try to cut the dirty fur, your clipper won't last very long. But I find trying to wash, dry, and clip all in the same day to be way too much for me and too stressful for the dog too.

Have you tried doing their nails yet? There are some videos on youtube about ow to do this correctly, but it's where I have the most anxiety. My dog gets nervous and pulls his paws away, and I am afraid of pulling off a nail. Sometimes I pay just for this part to be done separately.

I am looking forward to seeing other people's tips, since we have been forced to start grooming at home due to some medical issues our dog has and I am still learning!

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 03:35:38 PM »
our dog is a husky/German Shepherd mix, so he doesn't get groomed and I can't offer tips on home grooming... but as a side note/The More You Know(TM) moment, something I definitely DID NOT know before meeting my boyfriend and his dog is that something they probably do for you at the groomer's is express the dog's anal glands. (gross, I know, I'm sorry) growing up we had a poodle who went to the groomer, so I didn't even know dogs HAD anal glands. turns out if you don't do this every so often they will just sorta express them themselves (somehow it seems like this always happens in the car for us...) and it smells PRETTY BAD (as you would assume, I guess). so, just something to be aware of. you can do it yourself apparently but I have no desire to.

(note: I am clearly not a professional and get all of my dog information third-hand through my boyfriend and his sister who is a vet. maybe not all dogs do this? someone feel free to correct me...)

Spork

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 03:42:20 PM »

"Groom" is probably an exaggeration.  But, yes.  I trim their hair.  I just go at them with a pair of Andis clippers.  (I've tried cheaper Wahl clippers, but they inevitably fail in a year or so.) 

On the plus side: I'm not squeamish, so I just use the same Andis clippers on my hair too. 

The awesome part: the dogs just don't give a crap if it turns out bad.  They're as happy as clams with a good cut or a bad cut.  My longhaired weiner dog has such ridiculously thick hair that he is ecstatic to be trimmed short and semi-cool for a change.

lexie2000

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 04:44:55 PM »
Yep, I do.  I do a scissor cut on our Border Terror (yes, you read that right) every two months.  I called Petco and they told me a couple of years ago that they would charge $45 (might be more now), which means that grooming him myself saves us $270/yr.  The first time I did it, the poor thing didn't look too good; but I've gotten MUCH better with practice so that now after I've done it, you can hardly tell that he's been groomed.

TheRedHead

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 05:01:15 PM »
our dog is a husky/German Shepherd mix, so he doesn't get groomed and I can't offer tips on home grooming... but as a side note/The More You Know(TM) moment, something I definitely DID NOT know before meeting my boyfriend and his dog is that something they probably do for you at the groomer's is express the dog's anal glands. (gross, I know, I'm sorry) growing up we had a poodle who went to the groomer, so I didn't even know dogs HAD anal glands. turns out if you don't do this every so often they will just sorta express them themselves (somehow it seems like this always happens in the car for us...) and it smells PRETTY BAD (as you would assume, I guess). so, just something to be aware of. you can do it yourself apparently but I have no desire to.

Yes I know about the anal glands - we had an older dog who had one rupture. Nasty. The vet will do it for us when we take them in for their annual check ups and they should do it themselves in between times. Unless they can bend as well when they're older. Thanks though!

DougStache

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 05:11:49 PM »
I've been wondering if I could handle this myself as well, so I'm glad you asked the question. 

Since a few people here seem experienced-enough:  if I'm using clippers, does special care need to be taken around the dog's not-so-private areas?  The thing that keeps me going back to the groomer is worries that I'm going to nick something delicate.

Cassie

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 06:18:46 PM »
Between my friend & I we had 7 dogs so decided we would share the cost of clippers and do it ourselves. Well, it took forever to do just one dog let alone 7. Then there was the time one of my Maltese was bleeding & every time for a year I picked up scissors she ran & hid (PTSD). We still had to pay a groomer to do nails, anal glands & pull hair out of ears.  Also one of them had an evil grn cut into her beard (people were saying she looked like Jack Nicholsen in the Joker).  We finally decided there is a reason it is a profession. However, if we each had had one dog we may have kept at it.  The good that did come out of it is that we decided to do them once every 3 months at the groomer instead of 2 so that saved us $. In the meantime we trimmed poop shoots and above the eyes to extend the time between visits.

Tai

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 07:14:06 PM »
My very first real job was grooming dogs. It isn't that hard to learn how to do your own dogs. The thing with clippers is not to let them get too hot. I used a lubricant spray to cool off the blades. Blades stay sharp longer if the fur is clean. For areas of loose skin you can use one hand to pull the skin taut while you clip the fur. Also as someone said go with the fur, so on the back from the head to the tail, and under the belly from the tail towards the front to about half way. Different dogs have varying amounts of fur on their bellies. The only time I cut a dog was a severely matted older dog and I was using scissors to try and clear a huge nasty mat around the neck. You get better with practice, it's the only way to get better. Anal glands (yuck!) are easy to express while bathing the dog (before the shampoo, the stuff stinks) if they're full, if they're not you don't need to bother with them really. Nails are easy to cut the tricky part is holding the dog still. One tip is to hold the paw by the next joint up, never by the paw itself.

Maybe some of you could find a breeder or groomer who will show you how to do your own dogs? Also there are books with specific instructions and diagrams out there on grooming. Might be a good investment. And btw the fine bits of fur gets everywhere!

G-dog

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2014, 07:25:23 PM »
I don't think you need to express the anal glands unless there is a problem.  If everything is working right, it is a self-sustaining system. 
Sign of impacted anal glands is the ass-dragging across the floor, ideally a nice variable shag carpeting.

Tai

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2014, 07:33:21 PM »
My best nail cutting story is some woman who came into the grooming shop with her little poodle and started telling the owner how no one could cut her dog's nails. She handed the owner the dog, the owner handed me the dog and I took it into the back. I could hear the woman going on and on about how no one could cut the dog's nails. I put the dog on a grooming table and cut them easy-peasy, the dog didn't move. She was still going on about how the dog wouldn't let anyone cut its nails when I passed the dog back to the owner of the shop, nails trimmed. We were both deadpan until after she left, but it was hilarious.

bogart

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 07:39:38 PM »
I own a Chow cross and a Setter cross.  They are shaggy as all get out and the Chow has problems with his long hair in the summer. 

I bathe them myself (not as often as I should get around to it) and I clip the Chow sometimes.  As he has gotten older, I do this less as although his hair is still long it doesn't grow back in as fast and there is a tradeoff.

I do a lousy job, if I try to take off any amount of hair in a way that looks neat, but I have to admit -- this is not something that is important to me, or the dog.  I have tried adding clipper spacers to my clippers and they help a bit, but his fur is so thick/curly they mostly won't go through it.  They might, though provide some protection/insurance for the "private parts" issue you express concern about.

Now I mostly do shortening without really trying to clip (much). 

Make sure the dogs' hair is really clean before you clip; dirt dulls clipper blades.

eljay

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2014, 05:12:39 AM »
Doesn't help the OP I know but I thought I'd point out short-haired dogs don't need clipping (very Mustachian!)

I use a rubber brush for a minute once a week to remove hair, and wipe him with a damp cloth if he's muddy when he comes back from a walk. If he smells doggy I put him in the shower and wash with some dog shampoo.

I clip his claws at home the two tips I have are:
- I find it easier to do when he's lying down as he doesn't feel like he's losing his balance
- I only do 1 or 2 claws at a time as he loses patience after that.

Never needed to do the anal gland thing.

Eljay

TheRedHead

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2014, 01:47:44 PM »
Well I groomed my older doodle the other day and he doesn't look like he should be embarrassed to be seen in public. Definitely not as good as the groomer but I will get better. I clipped him outside so I only had to sweep up the fluff. Not too shabby.

And I didn't express a single anal gland ;)

fidgiegirl

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2014, 02:01:54 PM »
I have been doing our shih tzu but it is very physical - he fights it.  I think a curly breed would be easier because you could just do the hair the same length everywhere.  He doesn't like being scissored around the face and the nails are such a battle that I do outsource those.  I have trimmed many dogs' nails over the years, including our 50 lb. dog, but this little guy won't have it.  It takes two people at the vet to do it and he almost always releases his anals in the process!  Fun times!!  He also needs his anals periodically expressed so by the time we have paid separately for nails and anals, I think we might as well just go with the groomer - the cost is almost the same.  This is too bad because I invested in about $200 worth of nice clippers, blades, blade guards, lubes (one of the groomers at PetSmart was kind enough to give me advice on what and where to buy it online - PetEdge, though I couldn't tell you now what all I bought).  We have probably broken even on this purchase when factoring in saved groom costs, but were not into the savings range yet, if you know what I mean.  I may try again someday because like a prior poster said, it can help you go longer between full blown grooms and he does tolerate the clipper better than the scissors, but being 36 weeks pregnant his next groom will be done at a salon!

Oh, I did make our own grooming arm for about $10 using this tutorial from YouTube.  Without that we never would have ever been able to do it with him.  http://youtu.be/cv30R0fU5kk

A bit off topic but still related . . . our big dog was having problems with his anals until we started feeding him sweet potato every day with his food.  Now he's pretty much been good to go for a long time!  The fiber must help keep them emptied.  We just scrub the sweet potato, nuke it until soft, keep it on a plate in the fridge, and cut a round off every morning, maybe an inch or inch and a half thick, and plop it in his food.  He looooooooves his sweet potato.

windawake

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 02:07:52 PM »
I have a border collie mix and I do all of her upkeep/trimming: nails, baths, brushing, and any clipping. She sheds so I don't need to give haircuts like you do on your Labradoodles. I do have to cut the hair on her feet or she gets little ice balls when she's out playing in the snow that hurt her.

I do, however, give myself haircuts. It's all about practice. Keep practicing and you'll be better than any groomer! Plus, the benefit is you can cut their hair the way you like. My parents' dogs always look goofy after they're groomed since the groomer only gets it right like 1 out of every 5 times.

I just got a $20 utility sink sprayer from Amazon and I highly recommend it. I hated giving my dog baths before this because of all the time it took to fill up a cup with water and rinse her. This sprayer makes it way easier to have a nice-smelling dog.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2014, 02:41:01 PM »
Well I groomed my older doodle the other day and he doesn't look like he should be embarrassed to be seen in public. Definitely not as good as the groomer but I will get better. I clipped him outside so I only had to sweep up the fluff. Not too shabby.

And I didn't express a single anal gland ;)

haha, awesome!

Cromacster

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2014, 04:26:33 PM »
I groom my dog myself.  German Shepherd, so I don't need to cut/clip his hair.  But I do brush (weekly), trim his nails (montly),  and bath him occasionally (when he needs it). 

The only issue I have had is with his ears.  Its always a battle to keep them clean.  Its not a yeast infection or mites which is good.  But they do need to be cleaned atleast every other day or so.

The problem is that when he had his first ear infection, I brought him to the vet because he was in pain.  The vet cleaned his ears, but they muzzled him and it took three people to hold him down and clean his ears.  Looking back on it I shouldn't have let that happen and now I am dealing with his sensitivity and defensiveness of having his ears cleaned, though hes getting better as I work at it.

TacosForever

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2014, 04:42:02 PM »
A semi-serious suggestion - give them mohawks :)

Hard to mess up, and I swear some dogs just LOVE it - their attitude perks up and they get more swagger in their step!

horsepoor

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2014, 07:38:34 PM »
Yep, my dog is, we think, curly coated retriever and border collie cross.  I give him a saddle clip in the spring, and then when summer starts, I clip his whole body, but leave the leg and tail feathers.  Luckily, he pretty much sees it as an opportunity for some awesome attention, so he sits still, lays down, rolls over, or whatever else I ask him to do. 

If I can make a clipper recommendation, Oster A-5 2 speeds are awesome.  Especially with the Cryogen blades.  I've had the same pair for 10 years and use them for clipping my horses as well, so they get heavy use and show no signs of slowing down.  They're a little expensive up front, but pay for themselves within a few grooming sessions at $50-75 a pop.

Duredhel

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2014, 04:34:40 AM »
Japanese spitz here, and I use clippers and a pair of scissors to groom mine. Can't recommend it enough. As you imagine, you get faster and better with it everytime you groom the dog, and I now find that the whole process takes about as much time as I would spend transporting my dog to the groomer's and back, and the time wasted scheduling my day around dog transporting. So not just monetary savings, but negligible difference in time spent either way.

I typically go with a short trim because of the hot and humid weather here, but maybe you could try a longer guard on the clippers or using scissors if you want it to look more stylish. I think practice makes a big difference - the first time I did mine, my dog looked like it just had a bad hipster haircut. 2nd try and onwards was pretty smooth though.

I've not had any issues with using clippers on sensitive areas. Even without any additional guard on the clippers, it still seems pretty safe.

I confess I just put my dog on a chair or table, and the height discourages her from doing anything else but sit/ stand still.

ketchup

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2014, 08:16:43 AM »
My girlfriend grooms our dogs, but worked as a groomer at Petsmart for a few years.  Two Australian Shepherds.  She also grooms her sister's big black goofy mutt.

ZeroGBuff

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2014, 11:39:40 PM »
My dog is a dingo mix, so his short hair doesn't need trimming (or cleaning, amazingly enough--very Mustachian dog).  However, his nails do grow very fast, so I have to keep those trimmed, and I use a device that I haven't seen mentioned on this thread yet.  It's called PediPaws, and it looks kind of like a specialized Dremel tool with a cover so only one nail can go in at at time.

When I used to use nail clippers, cutting my dog's nails was a three-person job: one to bodily pin him down, another to distract him with treats so he wouldn't struggle too much, and a third to actually cut the nails.  And since his nails are black, there's always the concern of cutting the quick (which happened a couple of times; the vet recommended corn starch to staunch the bleeding).  As you can guess, this made nail cutting miserable for all involved.  I tried using a file in between times, but he wasn't a fan of that either.

The PediPaws made things so much easier.  Now, my dog loves sounds, so the buzzing of the motor isn't a downside, like it might be for some dogs.  The only thing you have to watch out for is that the nail overheats if you're filing it for a long time, so it's good to switch between nails to let them cool down.  I do one paw per day, and that works out pretty well.  He gets all excited when I say it's time to file his nails!  A quick check on Amazon shows that they're selling for $8 these days.  I've been using mine for ~6 years (I think), and I've only gone through a couple of the sandpaper wheels.  Usually, if the PediPaws isn't filing very well, it's because it needs new batteries.

For the record, I don't work for the company or anything.  I just want to save my fellow Mustachians some money and angst.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2014, 05:59:55 AM »
I have a Samoyed and do all her grooming myself.  I used to have her nails done when I went to her classes ($6 each time) but when they quoted my $100 to just complete groom her, without a bath, I knew I would keep doing it myself!

If you can hear your dog's nails click on the floor, they are too long. This is a health issue, if they are too long the dog changes the way it puts the paws to the floor and can get joint problems.  She is a therapy dog at a senior's residence so I need to be sure her nails are short.  I cut them myself, every week, she gets bribed.  For those just starting nails, bribe your dog!  Make nail trimming a happy event that they look forward to.  I give her treats after each foot.  If your dog likes peanut butter, one way to get them distracted is to smear peanut butter on your fridge and while they are licking at it, do the feet.  Then clean the fridge ;-)   I started by having another person stand at the dog's head with cheese (real cheese) and feed her a tiny bit at a time.  The dog was so involved with the wonderful treats at her head, that she didn't care what I was doing with her feet.  Now she hops up onto my (homemade) grooming table, lies down, and I do all her feet and then give her a bit of baked liver. I have to say it is easier to do nails if they are colourless - some of my dogs had black nails and it was hard to see where the quick was.  You all do know about quik-stop, right?  It stops bleeding fast if you do happen to cut the quick.  But try not to, because your dog will not trust you with its nails after that.

For grooming, Samoyeds have a double coat - long straight guard hairs, and soft wooly undercoat.  This is what a lot of dogs have - all the Spitz types (Chows, Malamutes, Siberians, Akitas, etc.), and a lot of other working dogs. The only trimming I do with scissors is around her toes, to tidy up the snowshoes.  If I needed to I would also take clippers to her rear to make a poop chute, I have had to do this on previous Sams but not on her.  Otherwise it is comb and rake, to get the underfur out when she starts to blow coat.  The fine fur around her ears sometimes mats, and if I absolutely have to I will use small scissors there just to cut the mats, but never to actually trim the hair.  Basically the only time I would take clippers to a dog with this coat type is if she had to be clipped for blood work or surgery.  It is especially important not to clip with this breed because they have pink skin under all the fur, and if she were clipped for summer she would get sunburn.  She doesn't need it though, because every spring she gets rid of most of the undercoat, and what is left insulates her from the heat, just like camel hair does for camels in the hot desert.  Really, the dogs that need trimming are the dogs with hair, not fur - so yes, the wire-haired terriers, the poodle types, need scissors or clippers, the rest just need lots and lots of brushing.

For baths, I just pop her into the shower, where I have a shower head on the long hose.  Rinsing the shampoo off is really important, more so than for us, because dog skin is really sensitive.  With the hand-held shower I can do this properly.  I have also taken her to Pet Valu for a bath, the one near me has a nice tub where she is at my chest height, so easy on the back, and they have blow dryers as well.  This is important, a Samoyed in full coat takes about 3 days to dry without a dryer.

Anyway, this was long, but I used to teach in a Vet Tech program, and we did a fair bit of dog grooming.  Doing your own grooming  is not only financially helpful, but can let you find health problems before they become major, and help you and your dog bond.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2014, 07:34:31 AM »
I have a Samoyed and do all her grooming myself.  I used to have her nails done when I went to her classes ($6 each time) but when they quoted my $100 to just complete groom her, without a bath, I knew I would keep doing it myself!

If you can hear your dog's nails click on the floor, they are too long. This is a health issue, if they are too long the dog changes the way it puts the paws to the floor and can get joint problems.  She is a therapy dog at a senior's residence so I need to be sure her nails are short.  I cut them myself, every week, she gets bribed.  For those just starting nails, bribe your dog!  Make nail trimming a happy event that they look forward to.  I give her treats after each foot.  If your dog likes peanut butter, one way to get them distracted is to smear peanut butter on your fridge and while they are licking at it, do the feet.  Then clean the fridge ;-)   I started by having another person stand at the dog's head with cheese (real cheese) and feed her a tiny bit at a time.  The dog was so involved with the wonderful treats at her head, that she didn't care what I was doing with her feet.  Now she hops up onto my (homemade) grooming table, lies down, and I do all her feet and then give her a bit of baked liver. I have to say it is easier to do nails if they are colourless - some of my dogs had black nails and it was hard to see where the quick was.  You all do know about quik-stop, right?  It stops bleeding fast if you do happen to cut the quick.  But try not to, because your dog will not trust you with its nails after that.

For grooming, Samoyeds have a double coat - long straight guard hairs, and soft wooly undercoat.  This is what a lot of dogs have - all the Spitz types (Chows, Malamutes, Siberians, Akitas, etc.), and a lot of other working dogs. The only trimming I do with scissors is around her toes, to tidy up the snowshoes.  If I needed to I would also take clippers to her rear to make a poop chute, I have had to do this on previous Sams but not on her.  Otherwise it is comb and rake, to get the underfur out when she starts to blow coat.  The fine fur around her ears sometimes mats, and if I absolutely have to I will use small scissors there just to cut the mats, but never to actually trim the hair.  Basically the only time I would take clippers to a dog with this coat type is if she had to be clipped for blood work or surgery.  It is especially important not to clip with this breed because they have pink skin under all the fur, and if she were clipped for summer she would get sunburn.  She doesn't need it though, because every spring she gets rid of most of the undercoat, and what is left insulates her from the heat, just like camel hair does for camels in the hot desert.  Really, the dogs that need trimming are the dogs with hair, not fur - so yes, the wire-haired terriers, the poodle types, need scissors or clippers, the rest just need lots and lots of brushing.

For baths, I just pop her into the shower, where I have a shower head on the long hose.  Rinsing the shampoo off is really important, more so than for us, because dog skin is really sensitive.  With the hand-held shower I can do this properly.  I have also taken her to Pet Valu for a bath, the one near me has a nice tub where she is at my chest height, so easy on the back, and they have blow dryers as well.  This is important, a Samoyed in full coat takes about 3 days to dry without a dryer.

Anyway, this was long, but I used to teach in a Vet Tech program, and we did a fair bit of dog grooming.  Doing your own grooming  is not only financially helpful, but can let you find health problems before they become major, and help you and your dog bond.

just wanted to say this post was EXTREMELY thorough and informative, and also hilarious (poop chute!), so thanks!! also, I adore Samoyeds. sometimes when I feel stressed out or sad I just do a google image search for Samoyed puppies. they don't even look real!

zinnie

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2014, 07:54:08 AM »
I groom my dog that has hair. We just use clippers for his stomach/back/neck and arms/legs/feet/face/ears get cut with sharp scissors.

I watched a bunch of YouTube videos before attempting the first time. They had some good tips that I never would have thought of. For cutting around delicate skin, I use the method of holding the hair between my fingers and cutting against my fingers. Then if the dog squirms I'm not in danger of cutting him and it helps keep a straight line.

As far as getting the dog to tolerate it, time and positive reinforcement are key. This was an abused rescue who was terrified of everything a couple of years ago; now he waits patiently while we clip him with noisy clippers. He is still not thrilled with nail clipping but we are getting there.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2014, 07:57:55 AM »
@oscarsmom

Thank you, I hoped people would find it useful. Just wanted to say this post was EXTREMELY thorough and informative, and also hilarious (poop chute!), so thanks!!

Samoyed puppies are just as cute in real life, if not cuter.  They love being cuddled, except when they want to go get into mischief.  I still remember my second Sam, as a puppy, emerging into the living room with the end of the toilet paper held gently in her mouth, trailing it behind her  ;-)  It was a least 20' of toilet paper.  Actually, Sam people live in fear of them being featured in a move or TV show (like Dalmatians, Collies, Shepherds, Malamutes and Huskies) and getting popular and being over-bred.  They are a wonderful breed but not for everyone - they are stubborn, major grooming, medium exercise,and smart enough to get into trouble a lot - but they are also incredibly people oriented, especially child-oriented, and wonderful to live with if you don't mind a dog that wants to make its own decisions (think more like a cat).  But, they are not the dog for a tidy person - not only do they shed, but those lovely sparkling guard hairs shed dirt, so they don't need baths that often - but your walls and door frames get very dirty at dog height. 
also, I adore Samoyeds. sometimes when I feel stressed out or sad I just do a google image search for Samoyed puppies. they don't even look real!

NeverWasACornflakeGirl

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Re: Anyone groom their dogs themselves?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2014, 09:02:18 AM »
I also groom my own dog.  He's about 40 lbs and mostly has short hair but he has "feathery" hair on his legs, feet, rear, ears, and tail, so I do scissor those parts and trim his nails.  He's a mixed breed.  He's really about as relaxed as you can get, so I just sit on the floor with him and pet him and he lays on his back for belly rubs and stays that way the whole time, which gives me access to all the parts I need.  He doesn't like having his nails trimmed, so I find some diced lunch meat is very helpful for "pawsitive" reinforcement.  I strongly recommend having some steptic powder on hand before you try clipping the nails, especially if they're black and you can't see the quick.  With the powder the bleeding stops immediately and it's no big deal.  Without it the nail just bleeds and bleeds and bleeds...