Author Topic: HELP!! Where to start with grooming for the first time?  (Read 177 times)

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Offline siam

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HELP!! Where to start with grooming for the first time?
« on: March 25, 2020, 05:25:00 PM »
I haven’t been on the forum for a long time but I am looking for some help in grooming my 10 year old show type blue roan cocker spaniel Alfie.  His groomer of 10 years sold her business, the girl who took over closed down and left abruptly and Alfie’s appointment with the next groomer has been cancelled due to the current coronavirus situation. Given that the new groomer erred on the side of caution at the last grooming and didn’t take off as much as usual I am now left with a very very hairy spaniel and really not at all sure where to start with him. He was neutered due to a tumour on his testicle 18 months ago and now the hair on his flanks is quite rough in texture. Alfie has never been clipped, always scissors cut and his long term groomer was very insistent that the new groomer should continue with a scissors cut.

I was wondering if it might be an idea for me to try using a Mars coat king for the main parts of his body?  I see from the COL Grooming Equipment the recommendation for a cocker is either the 26 blade Superfine or 20 blade Ex fine. Given that Alfie has coarser hair on his flanks I wondered if one of these is more suitable than the other or if a different blade would be better or if I would need 2 different ones for the difference in hair texture. I’ve also seem video clips of groomers advising to use the coat king on a wet coat so not sure if wet or dry is better? I bought a furminator some years ago but never used it after reading it can damage the coat. I’m also wondering what is the best way to tackle his underside?

Offline lescef

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Re: HELP!! Where to start with grooming for the first time?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 10:42:30 AM »
Hi,  a coat king also cuts the coat. Have you tried the elastic band method. Thread an elastic band alternately through the teeth of a comb, then thread another on top ( the way we did weaving in primary school!) This method really pulls out a lot of dead hair on the body. Slightly more difficult on the legs but maybe you could scissor those.
Lesley, Maddie and Bramble

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: HELP!! Where to start with grooming for the first time?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 03:22:46 PM »
Hi! Since Humphrey‘s castration last year, his coat has become so unmanageable, I have resorted to a coat king, as I don’t really want to start clipping . Lescef  is right, it does indeed cut the coat but I needed a practical solution so had to make a compromise. I have 16 blade extra fine, which the breeder said I would need and also a 20 blunt blade which I bought because it guarantees not to cut the hair but to be honest, I don‘t find it very effective. I‘ve always used the 16‘er dry but tried it out today wet and I tend to think its better if only because its stops it flying everywhere while I‘m doing it. The general recommendation I believe,  is not to use it too often so I use it about every 2 to 3 months and use the comb and elastic band method inbetween. I use it on his back and flanks, I use the clippers for head and chest and scissor the legs. Humphrey‘s underside is very fine and quite thin so I comb it through regularly and then use the normal scissors and thinning scissors to keep it fairly short around his bits and armpits
It‘s very hard to generalize as the coats seem to vary a lot, most of the videos seem to demonstrate on dogs with lovely flat coats (who always stand patiently still), I‘ve yet to see instructions for grooming a fidget like mine with coat that sprouts in all directions! >:(
There is a very good Youtube Video available - I‘m having a job to copy the link but if you look for How to Groom a Cocker Spaniel Coat King - Grooming Guide Pro Groomer, you should find it.
Hope that helps a bit, best of luck!

Offline siam

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Re: HELP!! Where to start with grooming for the first time?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 04:41:51 PM »
Thank you both for your replies and thank you so much Bizzylizzy for taking the time to answer all my questions. Before you posted your replies I had found a Mars Coat King Dog Breed Guide which suggested a Mars 20 blade coat king which is hopefully being delivered today. I didn’t realise there was a blunt blade type but will give the blade 20 a go and see how I get on. As there have been problems with changing over groomers and then them all being closed I’ve never seen his hair so long and unruly so I wouldn’t be overconfident about taking a comb with rubberbands on it with an inexperienced hand. He’s never had clippers near him and since he was freaked out at the interim groomer's I’m hoping to do him without clippers. Have you found any particular scissors that are better than others? I have thinning ones and small straight ones but not sure how they’ll do in the tide of hair. I’ve watched a few of the Pro Groomer videos on You Tube which as you say make it all look easy but I  especially liked the Mike Wildman one with the blue roan cocker who is very like Alfie. I think I’ll do him over a few sessions so I don’t put him off completely.