Yesterday we had a very positive puppy grooming session. The results weren’t perfect, but the experience for Sadie was.
I learned with Daisy that the earlier you expose puppies to all aspects of grooming, the easier grooming will be throughout the dog’s life. We have been touching Sadie’s ears, feet and mouth regularly. I brush her every day and I clean her ears weekly. Each session gets easier. Two weeks ago, during one of our sessions, I let Sadie smell and hear the electric clippers. I also touched her body with it, but did not actually cut her hair. It was a short exposure, but positive.
Yesterday, I had plans to use the electric clippers to trim Sadie down.
We like to keep our English Springer Spaniels’ hair on the shorter side. Many people call it a field cut or a utility cut. Sadie will not be a “show dog”, nor will be breed her. She is a family pet that will get lots of play time in fields and the water… that means lots of exposure to things that can get stuck in long hair. Shorter is easier! :)
I watched some youtube grooming videos and read how-to articles on how to groom a dog with electric clippers. It seemed pretty straight forward. I have an Andis clipper kit and I use a 10 blade. I like to use the 1/2 or 1/4 inch combs, but sometimes they pop off and it’s faster to just use the blade alone. Daisy was very compliant with being groomed and I felt better about doing the grooming myself. I didn’t love the regular $80 grooming costs or that they kept her for four plus hours for a shave down.
Above are the pre-grooming photos. She was just a little shaggy. It wasn’t about Sadie needing a trim, but about having a positive grooming experience at a young age.
We took it very slow with lots of blueberries.
I trimmed her on the ground instead of a table. I trimmed Daisy on the ground, too. I may use a table with Sadie, but to be honest, it is a pain to drag a folding table up from the basement. :)
We took a few breaks. She did great and enjoyed the treats. She got tired and a bit squirmy when I moved toward her chest. I think it will be easier the next time I groom her when her obedience is stronger.
As you can see, we ended with a carrot as a reward and her beautiful ears are still there!
I was shocked at how skinny she is! That fur was deceiving.