There are four basic categories of grooming styles, and most dogs will belong to one of these. When getting an idea of what you would like your dog to look like, keep in mind the amount of at home maintenance each clip requires, your dog’s health and attitude towards grooming, and the amount of time and skill it requires for the groomer to create each style.
Bath & Tidy
This is for all natural coated dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Huskies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Pomeranians, etc. It includes bath, brush out (dead undercoat removal), blow dry, cutting nails, cleaning ears and tidying up around the feet, ears and feathering. Bath & tidy’s are also suitable for other types of dogs who normally get a haircut, such as Bichon Friese’s or Shih-Tzu’s. In this case, the dog needs to be cleaned up, but does not need any length taken of his coat. They get a bath, brush & blow-dry, nails & ears, and have their groins and footpads shaved out. They are tidied up around the face, feet, ears and tail. It is strongly recommended that dogs in “Teddy Bear” clips get a bath & tidy every 2-4 weeks between haircuts, especially if you do not have the time to brush very much between grooming’s. Dogs in full coat, which refers to those breeds such as Afghans, Shih-Tzu’s, Maltese, or Yorkshire Terriers in flowing coats which can reach the ground, need Bath & Tidy’s anywhere from weekly to monthly, depending on the amount of coat they have.
This is the most common hairstyle, where the dog is a uniform length all over, excepting his head, ears and tail. There are four choices of length, from approximately ¾ of an inch to ¼ of an inch. Much of the preliminary work is done with the clipper, and therefore the process is a little quicker and easier on your dog. This cut does not have to leave a dog “naked”, and the ¾ inch or ½ inch cuts usually leave a plush, velvety look, depending on the dog’s coat texture.
“Teddy Bear” Cuts; “Puppy” Cuts
Surprisingly, many people believe that this is the only cut available. They ask for it by name, although they really have no idea what they are asking for (probably because it sounds “cute”). This cut leaves your dog about 1 inch or longer all over, and because of this, is one of the highest maintenance cuts available. The fluffy finish is completely hand scissored, and therefore your dog must spend a longer time on the grooming table. It is not recommended for very young or very old or infirm dogs, that may have difficulty standing still for a long period. It is, however, a very attractive cut on most dogs, and can give a “puppyish” look.
A Pattern refers to any cut that is not the same length all over. Commonly, they mean dogs that are trimmed to match the breed standard, such as Cockers with short backs and a long skirt, or Terriers with their distinctive full legs and shaved heads with a beard. It can also refer to any of the many, many poodle patterns available. These are usually a combination of clipper and scissor work. Each pattern is customized to meet the Guardian’s preference, and/or make the dog resemble the breed standard as closely as possible.