Using Grooming Rake.

Fig. 1: Using the Grooming Rake – Always use in the direction of hair growth.

Lets Begin. On the dog, I normally work from front, top to bottom and back, bottom to top. You do not need to follow this routine if it is not convenient to you.

Overall. Begin by brushing and combing out the dog's fur. If there are any matted areas or if any burrs are in the fur now is the time to remove them. Using the mat splitter, comb and brush, try to keep as much of the feathering intact as possible. Cut a mat or burr out ONLY AS A LAST RESORT. Using the grooming rake and stripping knife, now is also the best time to remove the loose undercoat and dead fur. Use the grooming rake and stripping knife only in the direction of the normal fur growth being careful not to damage the remaining fur. Do not strip the fur to the point of baldness or skin irritation. As you strip the loose undercoat and dead fur out the overall color of the dog should darken. (See Fig. 1)

Removing Wild, Fuzzy Hair From Top Of Head.

Fig. 2: Removing the wild, fuzzy hair from the top of the head.

The Head. Using the thinning scissors and a brush; start from the top, front of the head. Initially brush the fur backwards to raise the soft fuzzy “wild hair” then with the thinning scissors and working toward the neck, remove the fuzzy, “wild hair”. The remaining fur should lay flat and smooth. Some of the soft "fuzz" may be pulled with your fingers. (See Fig. 2)

The Whiskers. It is not necessary to trim the whiskers however it will give the dog’s face a softer expression. If a dog is to be used in the field some people prefer not to trim the whiskers as they believe that to do so will reduce the dog’s ability to find scent in the field. Using the straight edge scissors remove the whiskers and eye brows (not the eye lashes).

Removing Excess Fur From Around Ear Canal.

Fig. 3: Removing the excess fur from around the ear canal.

The Ears. Use the clippers to remove the excess fur on the under side of the ears, paying particular attention to removing the hair around the ear canal. This will permit the free flow of air to the ear canal and will aid in keeping the ears free of infection and odors. Be very careful in this sensitive area as the dog is likely to try to shake its head and could be injured. (See Fig. 3)

Do No Advance Onto Neck.

Fig. 4: Be careful not to advance onto the neck.

At the base and back of the ear you will find an area which has very fine and dense fur, which if left, can become matted. Using the clippers, remove this fur being careful not to advance very far onto the back of the neck.
(See Fig. 4)

Using the thinning scissors and straight edge scissors, thin and shorten the fur on the top of the ear leather to approximately 1/4 inch at the base of the ear to approximately 3/4 of an inch at the tip of the ear. Next shape the fur around the edge of the ear so that it follows the general outline of the ear leather taking care not to cut or nick the edge of the ear. When finished the ear leather should be the shape of a vine leaf with the fur lying smooth and with slight feathering. (See Fig 5 & 6)

Trimming Around The Ear Leather.

Fig. 6: Trimming the top of the ear leather.
Note: Hold the head up with your arm.

Fig. 5: Shorten the fur to approximately 1/4 inch at the base of the ear. Be sure to blend into the longer fur
on the head.

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