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Tips for making legs tidy?

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  • Tips for making legs tidy?

    I'm finding it difficult to get a smooth finish on dropcoated breeds such as Yorkies and Shi-Tzu's.. most of the problems come from the legs. Say I take a 7 blade to the body (with the grain.. I've never tried against the grain).. in school I'd usually just run a 7 blade down the legs, and tidy with shears.. but I'm not happy with that.. it was also recommeded to take a 10 to the legs (not pressing hard), but I haven't been brave enough to try it.

    What do y'all do?

  • #2
    Make sure to back brush, I always hated backbrushing, felt it was a waste of time, however recently I started trying it and I hardly have any scissoring left to do if I backbrush once or twice.

    I don't do this on shih tzus, lhasas, etc. but on larger dogs like cockers, springers, double coated mixes, etc. I find a 10 comes out more even sometimes, just make sure the hair is thick enough that you won't see the skin.

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    • #3
      Maybe I'm not understanding the question or not seeing what you mean. When I take a 7 down the legs there isn't much hair left to worry about making tidy. If you use a 10 there still isn't that much hair left to tidy.

      If you brush what is left of the hair back up the leg, then take scissors and trim off any stickie outies, same with the 10.
      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
      Diane

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      • #4
        [QUOTE=diemonster;37834] it was also recommeded to take a 10 to the legs (not pressing hard), but I haven't been brave enough to try it.

        I think what they meant was skimming. I usually put on a snap on comb and skim. You can skim down the legs or down the sides of the dog. I do it a lot on goldens....skim down the back (take off the edges of the curly Q hairs), behind the ears and down the sides. Makes the dog look like it lost 10 lbs. lol Don't cut into the coat, just skim of the stray hairs. It's a super short cut. Takes much less time then using thinning shears. I use this technique on many kinds of dogs. Use a light hand when you do it.
        www.gomobileandsucceed.com
        http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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        • #5
          I suppose backbrushing will solve the issue, thanks! Where my problem lies is that when I run the 7 blade over the body, all the coat is the same length.. but when I run it down the legs, there are all the bitty lumps and bumps for the coat to settle into, and it's impossible for all the hairs to come out the same length. However if I spend the extra time to backbrush, it should pull out all those longer hairs, and enable me to get them the 2nd time.

          I guess I posted the question expecting someone to say it's better to clip in reverse or something like that

          As for the skimming, I really just meant that perhaps I could take a shorter blade to the legs to achieve a smoother look.. but I haven't been brave enough to try a 10! However I can't wait to try skimming to tidy a sillouette.. so far I've only used thinning shears

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          • #6
            If you're using a #7 blade, there shouldn't be much to scissor off. If there are sticky-outies, use a #4 reverse, or a #5 if the #4 didn't work. Generally though, a #7 should pretty much take all the hair off, and back brushing, as someone mentioned, is a really good idea in that case.

            Remember that there are different types of hair, so some dogs looks like smoothies with a #7, while other dogs look a little scruffy on the edges. I had one of those today---no matter what I did, backward or forward, the dog looked covered in choppiness. GRRR!

            Tammy in Utah
            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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            • #7
              If I use a seven on the body I'd use a four (or longer) on the legs and tidy with backbrushing. For a yorkie I usually don't even clipper the legs, just trim and tidy with scissors. I prefer the legs to be longer than the body because it's cuter. If the client wants short legs I'll do it, but I think it looks like a potato on toothpicks.

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              • #8
                OK, I will bite. Shave in reverse. If you would be doing a 7 shave down, instead use a 5 in reverse. You will get a lot better results, more evenness and less finish work. I shave in reverse on 95% of all grooms that I do. No backbrushing required. Also, clippervac comes in real handy. If you combine a clipper vac with reverse shaving, you will have even less finish tidying to do.

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                • #9
                  Stickie Outies

                  Originally posted by Pixie View Post
                  Maybe I'm not understanding the question or not seeing what you mean. When I take a 7 down the legs there isn't much hair left to worry about making tidy. If you use a 10 there still isn't that much hair left to tidy.

                  If you brush what is left of the hair back up the leg, then take scissors and trim off any stickie outies, same with the 10.
                  Hey Pixie, Stickie Outies (is that a technical term)?!?lol

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                  • #10
                    I guess I use a slightly different technique on these guys. If I do a 7 on the body, I use a 5 on the legs. But I don't go directly down on the front leg. Instead I hold the leg out in front of the dog and clip from the center front of the leg to the back. Think Springer Spaniel. I do this all the way to the foot, then clip the foot in reverse...again, think Springer. Then, still holding the leg out in front, I comb the hair down to the back of the leg and scissor it.

                    On the rear legs, think terrier. Clip down the outer thigh almost to the hock with the 7, but don't clip the front of the stifle. Scissor the stifle, comb back the hair from the hock to the foot and scissor the rear portion of the pastern. Clip the foot in reverse, and blend into the front of the pastern.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by goldiphlox View Post
                      Hey Pixie, Stickie Outies (is that a technical term)?!?lol
                      Why, yes it most certainly is!!! ROFL
                      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                      Diane

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                      • #12
                        Stickie outies is in the groomer dictionary didn't you get that memo? Right after cocker crud.

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                        • #13
                          Really gang, I can't take the credit for "stickie outies" I've heard Spike say it many times. lol
                          "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                          Diane

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by diemonster View Post
                            I'm finding it difficult to get a smooth finish on dropcoated breeds such as Yorkies and Shi-Tzu's.. most of the problems come from the legs. Say I take a 7 blade to the body (with the grain.. I've never tried against the grain).. in school I'd usually just run a 7 blade down the legs, and tidy with shears.. but I'm not happy with that.. it was also recommeded to take a 10 to the legs (not pressing hard), but I haven't been brave enough to try it.

                            What do y'all do?
                            At Carolina groomfest last year I sat in on a class and they say to use thinning shears. It really works too!

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                            • #15
                              Sooooo...... Would you shave in reverse on the legs of say, a shepherd? With a 5, right? That takes bravery. I don't know.... Does it REALLY come out nice? Maybe I'll try if enough of you say it'll look nice....

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