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To scissor or clip legs?

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  • To scissor or clip legs?

    How many groomers out there only clip a dogs body and leave the legs to scissor? How do you decide which legs to just scissor versus running the clipper on them? Most of the cuts we do on just pets are one length all over with just a few people wanting the legs fuller due to the dog looking like a "sausage" with short legs because of a fat body type. I am dying to do the fuller legs but it's not how the customers at our shop are "trained" to like it. They look so much smoother just scissored.

  • #2
    It really depends on the coat and what the owners want. I scissor the legs on dogs with straight, silky drop coats, even if the rest of the dog gets a "smoothie". On poodles and dogs with similar coats I'll set the length with a snap on, then scissor. On most cockers, I clip. The only time I scissor a cocker leg is when they're getting a very full leg, and even then I'll usually set the length with a snap on first.

    Now, on those sausage dogs with skinny legs; I go up one or two blade sizes on the leg, and do a really tight foot. I also clip the inside of the leg with a shorter blade, usually a 7, to cut down on matting. My most popular cut for those dogs is a 7 body and inside legs, 4 on the rest of the leg. The difference in length between a 7 and a 4 isn't all that much, but it does keep the legs from looking like toothpicks.

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    • #3
      It's just my personal preference, but I prefer the legs left a little bit longer than the body on most breeds. I find its easier, for me, to scissor the legs rather than clipping them. I find that if I clipper the legs, many times the dogs have crooked legs, and it makes the legs look weird. I can make them look straight with scissoring. It's kind of just become habit for me to do it that way.

      The only breed that I don't do this with is the cocker spaniel. I personally have difficulty working with their coats and can't make a leg look nice totally scissored.
      don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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      • #4
        I go by owner preference. Most clients want fairly short cuts in summer and more length for winter. For poodles wanting more length on legs I always scissor, unless I bring it down a little with a comb first.

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        • #5
          I reverse clip with a comb or long blade anytime I can, then clean it up with scissors. The only time I don't do it this way, is when I am just tightening up the feet and trimming the furnishings to even them up.

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          • #6
            If it is a drop coated dog, I scissor it up most times really short, but for others most times i clip.

            Anything with a longer leg usually gets scissors, cockers always get combs though! I really don't like working with that cocker hair, it never seems to want to go right.

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            • #7
              I guess it all depends on what the customer wants. Where I work now alot of the customers are used to a typical pet groom that is one lenght all over with a rounded head and leave tail etc. I prefer to put a little style into it all and hand scissor the legs a little longer than the body when possible. I love it when they say just make him look cute. Wish they all let me just get creative.

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              • #8
                If the legs are long enough to require a snap-on, I will scissor them instead, as I just think it looks nicer and I can get the legs, as mentioned before straighter if they are not. Even cockers I will scissor most of their legs. I just don't like the chucky look that snap-ons will somtime leave.

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                • #9
                  Paws, I do as you do-SOC all the way! My clients have found me because I think 1/2" is scalped. Most of my blades are 15s and 30s to use under combs. I have a couple of 7s & 5s (that I use to trim my Dad's hair) and a 4-I think. I don't use them except for Schnauzers And to think I have, like, 4 complete sets of the older Andis blades sans 40s in my office.....somewhere...

                  Bearmtn-do you use a clipper system? I don't think I could do the legs the way I like them to look if I didn't have one. It speeds things up and makes life sooooo much easier IMO! I use it to set length and then scissor to even the floofies (stickie-outies).

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                  • #10
                    I'm a scissorer. Most of my dogs are in a longer/fluffy cut. Even if I use a snap on, I always scissor over. Nothing beats a hand scissored look IMO.
                    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                    Groom on!!!

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                    • #11
                      Same way as Helly, mostly.
                      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                      Diane

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bow_wow_wheels View Post
                        Paws, I do as you do-SOC all the way! My clients have found me because I think 1/2" is scalped. Most of my blades are 15s and 30s to use under combs. I have a couple of 7s & 5s (that I use to trim my Dad's hair) and a 4-I think. I don't use them except for Schnauzers And to think I have, like, 4 complete sets of the older Andis blades sans 40s in my office.....somewhere...

                        Bearmtn-do you use a clipper system? I don't think I could do the legs the way I like them to look if I didn't have one. It speeds things up and makes life sooooo much easier IMO! I use it to set length and then scissor to even the floofies (stickie-outies).

                        I have one, but have not used it much. My daughter has tried to use it for teddy bear clips and hasn't been as successful as she would like with it. It didn't get hair that had some curl to it as smooth as she normally got it without it. I need to learn to use it I guess, but am not sure about the lengths of combs to use verses the normal comb without Clipper vac. I haven't had it all that long.

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                        • #13
                          When I ask myclient what they want on their shih-tzu I will usually say do you want me to give him a cute teddy bear clip or a shave down? So it leans them more towards a longer clip a lot of the time. Or I will ask if I can leave a little on the legs? For the most part many of my clients like this look. I rarely use a guide blade unless I am going over the body on a drop coat. If I had a clipper vac I would probably do a lot of skimming instead of scissoring. For now I scissor. To me guide blades take a lot of time to set the length and then you have to scissor over it any way so I just skip straight to the scissoring.

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                          • #14
                            I do whatever my clients ask in regards to length, although I will suggest slightly longer legs if I think the finished groom will look better that way. Whether I clip or scissor the legs depends, much like Helly already posted.

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                            • #15
                              I have one shih tzu, Ruby, that has horrible hair. It's thick, and it's nice on her body, but her leg hair is weird and her feet are long. It's impossible!!

                              So I Finally figured it out; I clip her an inch long all over, but at the legs, I go diagonally down the thigh like on a schnauzer and then scissor it all together. Same with front legs, I only clip so far, the rest I scissor.

                              Tammy in UTah
                              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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