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round heads, help

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  • round heads, help

    I will keep trying to post a couple of pictures. my problem, round heads on my bichons. I have a customer who has been coming for 3 years. she says, to me the other day, you just can't get it right anymore. puts the dog on the floor and pulls on the face and tells me you have to do this, you have to do that, ect. I have studied BBirds blog, Jody Murphy's cd, and I still can't get the perfect round basketball look. The customer hates longer face, hates longer ears, cheeks to full, so I took my curved shears and went in front of ears(I know don't do this) exposing the line in front of ears, maybe this will please her, NO. to do that perfect round head of bbird's do you take the curved shears under the chin up thru the cheeks? damn now I'm doubting myself. help

  • #2
    Shrek, you're probably doing a good job on these dogs. Not all Bichons are created equal. I do 5 regular client Bichons, and can only get that 'look' on one of them. Mowgli has a nice head, and is in a #o cut-there's hair to work with. One has a very long nose, and very long ears (I swear he has some poo in him.) He is in a shorter-#2 body cut. No way can I make his head look like a basketball without having it be way out of balance with his body. On him, I found if I take the top of his head shorter, it helps. If your client wants a shorter face, there's not much you can do to get that real look. Maybe she would like the old fashioned 'bell' shape. Photos would help.
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!


    • #3
      Why does she think you can not do it "right" anymore? Did you use to leave the dogs head and face longer creating more of a round head?

      Sometimes it is impossible to get even close to the look when they want everything so short.

      If she continues to be displeased in this manner you may have to tell her that maybe you aren't the groomer for her anymore and wish her luck.

      Maybe she was just having a ****** day.


      • #4
        I am here in PA too and I see alot of Bichons and most of them have way too long of a nose and way too long ears for any groomer to be able to make a round head out of. The first time that I got to groom a truly nice quality Bichon, I was soo excited because surprisingly enough it wasn't me. I can't even explain how thrilled I was to realize that I was capable of doing a proper round head, and the techniques that we learn from these top groomers like Jody Murphy do really work, but neither myself or any other groomer can make most of these puppy mill quality Bichons that come to us for grooming look like show dogs. It is very hard to explain to an owner how the dog is not correct conformation and therefore that head style will not happen. I actually have one client that has 2 bichons, the older one is pretty correct and the other is not. I groom these 2 dogs every 4 weeks and every single time the owner will ask me to please make the younger dog look like the older one. I have tried countless times over the last 3 years to explain why it is impossible and they will never get it. You just have to do the best with what you are given.



        • #5
          soem bichons are just not meant to have those round heads, i have one who comes in and i swear his head always comes out looking like some kind of weird elongated triangle. But i try to go for round everytime, his nose is just to long and there are actually parts of his face that just dont grow in as full as the rest. Find some pictures of the bell shaped version and see if she would like that, if not then look around for some altered teddy bear looks, maybe one of those will work. And if shes going to be rude about it then i would personally send her packing, since when is she the groomer and not you? If she knows what its supposed to look like then let her do it herself. Im sure your work is great!


          • #6
            thanks everyone for your input. I will try to work on the pics. I do the very best I know how and that's all I can say. I read books, watch videos, maybe your right....might not be the perfect quality of dog.


            • #7
              glad it's not just me

              Shrek, I feel the same as you everytime I have a bichon coming in. I only have 2 that get a proper bichon head but one of them has a high earset and I cannot get that head to look right to save my life. I will get it looking just ok to me and put him away and then he pricks up those ears and I swear he looks like Mickie Mouse and his face is all distorted. Then I take him back out to see if I can make it better and I usually make it worse. I should just leave it alone and accept that it isn't ever going to be perfect ( or anywhere near it).


              • #8
                Originally posted by shrek View Post

                she says, to me the other day, you just can't get it right anymore. puts the dog on the floor and pulls on the face and tells me you have to do this, you have to do that, ect.
                As Madam Owner seems to know how to do it so well, put the dog up on the table, hand Her Majesty the curves and let HER show you how it's done.


                • #9
                  Something that might help

                  is to take photos, head shots. profile and full front. then once you print them out, go after them with a colored pencil or pen. See just where your outline is not the basket ball shape. This his how Barb and I did years back when we were getting ready for some competitions with our Bichons. Wed email each the photos to each other and critique for each other. You can sure see a lot on a photo.
                  This helped me a bunch. Barb honed her skill over many years, but she did this too, and it helped her. I have stackes of Bishon photos (still).

                  If I am having trouble with a head, that's what I do now, too. I guess the biggest problem is to comb everything up, ears too. then picture round, with a shorter chin that what I see on many with too long of hair or bell shaped heads. Follow your curve up and around on BOTH sides. Do your good side first, then flip your curves and match your good side. and don't forget the mustash area of the face, this doesn't have to be super long line in a show dog head, if you are doing a pet style that is already shorter, again, comb up. Also, a tip that I got from my Bichon mentor (Heather Conlon) was to comb the mustash hair out past the nose, trim off at the nose. then comb everything up and scissor to continue your round shape.