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Hunter's groomer has been out for months and its uncertain if she will be coming back. This has happened to us 3x now and we just aren't happy with our other options (no mobile grooming here).

So, after giving Hunter a sanitary trim on my own and trimming up his eyebrows/visor with DH's sideburn trimmer (I thought he would kill me), I have decided its time to really think about self grooming. Here are my questions:

1. What tools are a MUST?
2. What tools are an OPTION?
3. What tool can't you live without?
4. Any links or online sites that you really liked for teaching you how to clip?
5. How did you learn to trim the face?
6. Do you really think I can do this?

Thanks everyone!
 

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Erin,

I bought the Cobalt Curved Shears and the thinning shears, from Pure Paws. It's a big investment (500.00 plus shipping), I also bought two video's on Maltese grooming.

Perhaps I'm a bit overprotective (thank G-d I don't have children) to chance taking them to a groomer. I do it by trial and error, but I'll get there, so will you.

Allie
 

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1. What tools are a MUST?
Single speed clipper
#10 Blade
#4F Blade
#7F Blade
Good Brush (I prefer Madan)
Good Comb (I prefer CC)
Great Pair of Scissors (I think scissors are the most important and where I would spend the majority of my money)
Look at this link for clipper, blades and combs -- great price.
PetEdge: Andis Easy Clip Clipper Kit
Nail Clippers
Mustach Comb
2. What tools are an OPTION?
Comb attachments (but the above clipper comes with them)
Thinning Shears for blending (especially when you make a boo-boo with the clippers)
Small slicker brush (I use the #1 All Systems.) Great for getting a small pin-matt out after you've combed it but it is still "in the hair)
Grooming Table
Stand Dryer
Dryer arm
3. What tool can't you live without?
Those listed in #1 above
4. Any links or online sites that you really liked for teaching you how to clip?
I'm going to leave this to others. i've been grooming so long that the web wasn't even invented when I started. :)
5. How did you learn to trim the face?
Watched professional groomers and then practiced.
6. Do you really think I can do this?

Erin -- you can certainly do this if you want to. I love grooming the girls and it only takes me about 45 minutes to do 1 of them including bath time.

My suggestion is to not buy really expensive equipment. I have so much expensive equipment left over from my days of showing the Lhasas, but I hardily ever use any of it.

I use an inexpensive clipper (like the one in the link), 3 different blades and no comb attachments.

I never use my stand dryer on the girls (too lazy to get it out). Instead, I use my own blow dryer on them. For those starting out, getting an arm attachment to hold the dryer is good, but I don't use mine.

I use one of my ringside grooming tables and sit watching TV while grooming, however, I've groomed on the kitchen counter as well as on the bathroom vanity without any problems.

The 1 thing I do recommend that you spend money on is a good pair of scissors. They seem to make a huge difference, imho. Now don't go overboard, but do spend around $100-150 for scissors. It will be the best investment in your grooming equipment.

For a newbie, I also suggest getting a nice pair of thinning shears as you can blend a lot of mistakes with thinning shears.

The other thing that seems to be difficult for novices is timming the nails. There are a number of different types of nail clippers and I will leave it to others to suggest the easiest. I use the old fashioned kind as I've used them for years and years and so don't have a problem.

I know that there are books and videos available to learn how to groom, so I'm sure that others will be able to suggest some good ones.

Good luck -- and don't get discouraged. It takes time and practice to learn to groom well and you well make mistakes. But hair grows back quickly and it's not the end of the world if you cut too much or too little off. Just have fun with Hunter. It's a great bonding experience. :)
 

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I can only help you with #6- I do think you can do this esp. if he already let you trim his face. What a good boy Hunter is! Now it's all just practice, practice practice, but I'm sure Hunter will look fabulous anyway. Besides, it's winter season so you can always cover it up with a sweater for now ;-)
 

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1. What tools are a MUST? good set of clippers,blades, metal attachment combs, scissors, brush, combs,thinning shears
2. What tools are an OPTION? curved scissors
3. What tool can't you live without? all of the above
4. Any links or online sites that you really liked for teaching you how to clip? I watched youtube videos to learn the basics
5. How did you learn to trim the face? I just grabbed the scissors & went for it.:blush:
6. Do you really think I can do this? Yes, if I can do it, almost anyone can. I'd never even held a clipper in my hand. In fact I was scared of them.LOL

Erin,I have 5 pairs of scissors that I use,all work well & none were expensive. I got my thinning shears at Sallys, my curved scissors from Petedge, 2 pair of round tipped scissors & a pair of barber shears, all bought at the drugstore. I have a #10 & # 30 blade that I use with the attachment combs. I have a little mustach clipper set for the belly area. You don't have to spend a fortune to have tools that work right. My main expense was the Andes clippers & metal attachment combs. Do get good clippers.
 

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You can do it. I don't have much tools to do Alex and no fancy brushes. It has worked fine for us for 10 years and at his age I am not going to invest in expensive tools.

I groom him on top of my washer and dryer. Bathe him in the laundry room sink. Use a people hair dryer. Watch out that the air coming out is not too hot. I don't have an arm to hold it. I put a bunch of pee pads and telephone books on top of the dryer and lay the hair dryer on top of them.

I have a small pin brush and a small slicker brush. A comb, a small rounded scissor for the eyes and a bigger scissor. Three clippers, a big one for the body (Moser by Wahl), a smaller one (1" wide) and a tiny one (¼" wide) to do the paw pads. My nail trimmer is the old fashioned one. That's it. I don't think you can do with less than that.

Since you are just starting, invest in good quality tools, they will last you a long time.
 

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You can do it, Erin! I've gotten to where I really enjoy my time grooming Bogie. It's kind of our Saturday afternoon date.:wub:

I've got a couple of good grooming DVD's I can loan to you, if you want. One of them is a Jodi Murphy DVD, but I can't remember the name on the other one. Jodi's DVD does a great job of showing how to use the curved scissors.

I was lucky enough to find a barely used set of Andis clippers on Craigslist and a grooming table and arm. It did take me about three different sets of clippers before I got a set that worked well. The cheap clippers just seemed to push Bogies hair along without actually cutting it. I don't really need the table and arm and am thinking of selling them. Instead, I use a small folding plastic table that is lightweight to set-up and I can sit down while grooming.

I use the blue Andis dryer from Petsmart, but I think it gets too hot. When it dies I plan on getting a regular hairdryer that has temperature control and a stand (if the Andis stand doesn't work.)

I also got a pair of $50 curved shears and from PetEdge and inexpensive thinning shears from Petco. PetEdge has great prices on blades and other grooming tools. I've also bought tools at www.groomers.com. My thinning blades were a must because they really helped hide the "sins" of my trimming mistakes when I first started.

Also, check out the classifieds for used tools at PetGroomer.com Classified Ads for the Mobile Dog and Pet Grooming Industry.

I didn't buy everything at once. If you think about how much grooming costs, though, it doesn't take too long for your tool investment to be paid back.
 

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I just used the clippers on Lola for the first time last week. I was really surprised how easy it was. I hand did her legs, just trimming somewhat, but find her face the hardest. She is very nervous of the scissors near her face so she wriggles somewhat which of course makes it even harder.

I think I will get better fairly quickly as I gain confidence.

So all in all I am sure you will do just fine. Just take it slowly and do a bit at a time.

If you get videos etc. please post and let me know which you find the most useful. :)

Equipment I have to date is. Good double duck shears. Andis clippers with 10 blade (tummy etc) and 7F blade for the body. Table top stand and noose. (don't always need, depends on her mood) groomers third arm for my hairdryer, Chris Christensen combs and Madden brush.

Things I need. curved shears, maybe a blade to keep coat just a tad longer. Definitely blending shears. Small trimmer for feet.

I find everything I have to be needed. Just have to add to my arsenal somewhat now.
 

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You've gotten great advice, here. Most clipper sets come with the guide combs and I recommend that you use these at least in the beginning as they can help you get the length you want and prevent you from making "holes" in the coat like I used to do.:HistericalSmiley: Sally's Beauty Supply carries all kind of scissors for cutting hair at reasonable prices. I use Barber's shears. They're a little bigger than I like, but they stay sharp and give a very clean cut.You will need a small pair of blunt tip scissors for using around the eyes. I use a mustache trimmer for the pads; you can use scissors, but it takes longer. I love doing my girls and think of how much money it saves! :thmbup:
 

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1. What tools are a MUST?
The most valuable tool is a GOOD clipper. I would spend the majority of your money here. I own the Andis UltraEdge 2-Speed Dog Clipper (Model No. AD405). Most people here say you're fine using a single speed clipper, but I find the higher speed much easier to use on a thick or coarse coat that may even be a little wavy.

You will need additional blades or comb attachments. I chose to purchase an additional blade instead, and I got the Andis CeramicEdge #3 3/4FC (1/2" cut length) to use on the body. The ceramic blades stay sharper longer and also run 50% cooler than the typical steel blades. My clipper came with a #10 blade which I use for the sanitary area, armpits, paw pads, etc. Eventually I would like to have other blades but these are the basics and allow me to do what I need to do.

You will also need at least one pair of shears. If you are only purchasing one, straight shears are a MUST. The length of the shear is only important for what feels comfortable for you. I have the Master Grooming Tools 5200 Series Straight Shears in the 6.5" length (I think). I wouldn't recommend going with a pair any "cheaper" than that ($26.99) as with shears, you really do get what you pay for. Mine are still sharp after about a year, grooming two dogs, so I think they're fine quality. I also own the Master Grooming Tools 5200 Series Thinning Shears (6.5" 46-tooth) which are FABULOUS to own, although thinning shears are between the "must-have" category and the "optional" category. For a beginner, I highly recommend getting them. The higher the tooth count, the better job they do at blending the two different lengths of hair. I use these to blend obviously, but also to trim the eyebrow/eyelash area because I don't want the hair to look so blunt around the top of the eyes. Thinning shears are also great for cutting out mats if needed. Rather than cut the entire mat out, you can cut into the mat a couple of times and help loosen the rest out (yes, it cuts some of the hair, but not the entire chunk).

2. What tools are an OPTION?
Optional tools would include a nail clipper (depending on whether or not you plan to do that yourself), a grooming table such as the Master Equipment Small Pet Grooming Table on Petedge which I own but do not use every time. It is nice because it spins and it has the grooming arm with the noose, but again, sometimes it's easier for me to just set a towel on the counter.

I guess another optional tool would be a slicker brush. When you clip Hunter, sometimes all of the hair won't stay raised up when you clip it so you may need to "fluff" it with a slicker brush. I also use my slicker brush to brush out all of the little loose hairs after clipping.
3. What tool can't you live without?
My favorite tool is my Andis clipper as well as my thinning shears. They are both amazing!
4. Any links or online sites that you really liked for teaching you how to clip?
I just threw myself into it, I didn't know how to clip, I had watched groomers before but I found that I adapted my own method of clipping my two. You have to be willing to experiment and understand that it takes time to get things perfect, since you can really only "practice" once per month or so. It's been about a year since I started and I still mess up, but I don't mind.
5. How did you learn to trim the face?
I struggle with the face sometimes, and still haven't found the perfect way to do it. Sometimes the faces will come out amazing, and other times I wonder if I've been drinking while trimming. LOL! Just keep an open mind, and trim a LITTLE off at a time!
6. Do you really think I can do this?
Absolutely, Erin! I promise, it is not as difficult as it may seem sometimes. The first time I ever groomed Preston (he has NEVER been to a groomer, can you believe it?) I was so proud of myself and I did a really good job for my first time. I just took it slow and made sure not to take too much off at once. You may clip Hunter, put your equipment away, and the next day realize you missed a spot that is a little longer than the rest, etc. but the beauty is that you can fix it right away! Trust me, it's so NICE having your own equipment! You can still take him to a groomer occasionally (if you ever find one, lol) if needed, but I love being able to groom them more often so their cuts never grow out so much that they look like fat dogs (we all know that's what happens). Go for it!

I am trying to remember how much I spent on my grooming equipment all together, I believe it was around $250 all said and done, and that included everything mentioned above, plus the Andis CoolCare Plus cleaning/lube spray, Quik Stop gel, a mat rake (which doesn't help), and a couple of other little things. Right now on Petedge I noticed if you buy the Andis clipper I have, you get a free #7FC blade which could be useful to you (the higher the number, the shorter the cut). I purchased everything from Petedge because once you spend that much money, the shipping isn't that high and is quite a bit cheaper than purchasing through different retailers and paying separate shipping costs.
 

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I want to groom to...but am TERRIFIED! Honestly, I have no idea how to do it. And asking this next question will prove it! Uhhhh....so you use electric clippers on the body? As opposed to using scissors? I'm so stupid about it all and I really WANT to do it, but somehow can't bring myself to just try it.
 
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