Choosing a Pet Style.

Choosing the Perfect Pet Style Makeover

by Michelle Howard 6.13.09


One of the hardest questions you will ask when bringing your pet to the groomer is “What haircut or style do I want for my dog or cat?”  The important thing to consider is the reason that you want the style in the first place.  Whether it will be for functionality, for breed standard, or maybe just to start a new trend with an original modified style that you put together on your own. 

Functionality This may be your only choice if your pet is in need of relief from heavy matting and long hair that is over-grown and too thick.  You may want to also keep a low-maintenance short look if you do not have time to brush out your pet every day, or you would like your pet to feel more comfortable in the summer. During the winter, one solution would be to let your pet wear a sweater until the hair grows out (which usually takes about 2 1/2 – 3 months). The “Furminator Treatment” is a great alternative to the “shave down” to decrease shedding.

The Furminator Shedding tool used is extremely effective in removing at least 70-80% of the loose undercoat after grooming, leaving a noticeably thinner topcoat.  Since pets shed over time and not “all at once” it may take a few treatments every 4-6 weeks to keep the undercoat under control.  The second part of the treatment consists of a bath using the Furminator Shampoo and Conditioner formulated with all natural ingredients. Some “Terrier” and “Spaniel” cuts can be modified so that the skirt is scissored shorter than breed standard making it easier to maintain and to keep a “fluffy” look that stays free of debris.

Breed Cuts It is important to do your research on breed standards for your particular breed. Keep in mind that there is a different cut for a “pet breed cut” than for the “show breed cut”. Show trims can be slightly higher in price and usually require hand plucking, blending and hand scissoring instead of using the blade set and pattern of the pet breed trim. The goal aspired to achieve in a “show” trim is to maintain the natural flow of the hair growth into a softer outline, rather than visible patterns and solid harsh lines in the “pet” breed trim.

Modified Cuts Modified styles are all about creativity.  Some pet owners prefer a completely different style than what is normal for their pet’s breed.  For example, a Schnauzer trim can be done on a Yorkshire Terrier.  Many different breed cuts can be combined to make one unique style.  Another example could be a Cocker Spaniel with a Cocker Spaniel head, but with a Poodle Lamb Cut on the legs.  Poodle and Labradoodle owners sometimes request a “teddy bear” trim instead of the breed trim just for something cute and different. For long-haired cats and dogs such as Chow Chows, you can also choose a Lion Cut.  This cut resembles a real lion, leaving the scruff larger around the head down to the middle of the chest, with the rest of the body shaved closely.  The legs are slightly fluffier (with what are called boots). The tail is usually shaved down to the tip on the very end.  This cut is extremely low maintenance.( "Click here" for Cat Grooming Styles) Still even more creatively you can use stencils, gels, sprays, colors, and “human” styles on your pet.  A popular style is the “Mohawk” either on the top of the pet’s head or down the entire back of the body.

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