A new designer dog breed is making waves. Meet the Zoodle, cross between a Standard Poodle and a Plain’s Zebra. We have reached out to the owner to find out if she feeds grass or Gravy Train but haven’t heard back yet.
No, it’s not spiralized zucchini (that is another kind of zoodle). This bouncy boy, Zeus, is showing off the creative his owner Katrina Short, Bay Area creative dog groomer who is blazing a trail over at Katrina’s Pet Salon when it comes to creative grooming.
Think your dog is looking good to be the next internet sensation?
Better invest in a good set of clippers!
Before getting started, here are some pro tips for making sure your dog enjoys every minute of her grooming before making her sit through a few hundred hours while you hone your skills:
Reward often while grooming.
When your canine gets lots of praise, pets and several random licks of peanut butter during her grooming sesh, she will come to appreciate it as the pampering ritual it is. It is more important to make your grooming time pleasurable and rewarding for your dog than it is to accomplish any pre-set goals. If you start off on a bad foot, it can be hard to come back.
Keep your sessions short.
You may watch a few videos and think you can trim your pup in a half hour but think again. The deft hands of professional groomers have thousands of hours learning their trade. Give yourself, and your dog, some time to get used to grooming at home with short sessions.
Get to know your gear.
Get quality grooming gear and tip toe into the journey. Clippers are designed to move through fur fast, but they get extremely hot and can burn your pooch. Dull blades can pull more than cut – a very painful situation! In addition, be very careful around the eyes since one wrong move there can be disastrous.
Keep it simple, Sarah. It won’t take you long to learn simple cuts like a Puppy Cut. Starting with the basics will give you a chance to learn which combs and blades work best, not to mention develop some feel for the process. Don’t worry, it’s the journey not the destination.
Pay attention to your own frustration levels because you can bet your dog is. She is likely to think you are upset with her if you start to allow the challenge to turn into a chore. Keep your spirits positive and if that becomes impossible, come back to it another time.
Make sure you have the gear to keep things safe during a trim. Styptic powder will let you stop bleeding fast if you accidently break the skin. Safety scissors have blunt edges to make trimming around the tender areas of the face less risky. Most importantly, if your dog isn’t cooperating, try again later. One of the advantages of grooming from home is the ability to come back to it when the time is right.
Long growth hair only.
Before taking the clippers to your dog, make sure you have one of the right breeds for this type of grooming. Long growth hair, such as that on the Poodle, Lhasa Apso and Maltese is different than typical dog fur. Instead of stopping at a given length, the hair on these breeds will just keep getting longer until it is trimmed.
If you use clippers on those with regular fur, such as your German Shepherd, you can do permanent damage to the coat as well as expose your dog to dangerous UV rays without their fur to protect them. Plus, it will take months and sometimes a full season for the fur to return, often permanently altered from being shaved.
Keep away from color.
You should consult with a professional groomer before messing around with any color treatment – or skip it all together. The chemicals in such dyes can be toxic, and care must be taken to make sure they are safely applied. For now, work on your shaping skills before messing around with the next level.
Call in the Pros.
When all else fails, you can tuck your tail between your legs and take your pooch back to the groomers. They might have a few laughs at your expense, but hey, an adventurous life always carries the risk of a little humiliation. Just ask your dog.