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  • scissoring...wow I'm bad

    I had an eskie in that needed an all over scissor trim. I don't do that often and the dog was white of course so was really hard to see.

    This dog was uneven, and just looked bad when I was done.

    He looked decent until I put him in a cage with a fan on him because it's so hot and the hair all blew up and I noticed that the back was just a mess. So I grabbed my scissors and tried to fix what I could before the owner came. (They came in less than 2 minutes after that)

    They said he looked great and they were very happy but he really did look bad. Is this something I can learn to do better? Or do I just not have the talent? I know I'm a good groomer but when it comes to scissoring the back of a dog (other than a poodle or bichon) I just suck.

  • #2
    Some dogs are hard to make even

    but yes you can get better. It's one thing to be a better scissorer, but this sounds more like the dog was not encouraged to shake and also not combed a lot during the trim, since you say it looked good than got messed up. Some dogs just won't stay tidy and that may have been the case. The owners were pleased, that was great.
    Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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    • #3
      Of course you can learn, you have learned what you have needed to so far haven't you? It is just a matter of practice, patience and practice. Different coats need different "styles" of scissoring. I find most Eskies coats to be an easy groom, but that is just me. Are you scissoring down, up, or cross-grain? Try different methods to find what works best for you. How about your scissors? Are you using curved, straights or both? Again, they could make a difference. If the owners were happy, it was a successful groom. You are going to be your own worst critic, so to a non groomer the dog probabaly looked wonderful! BTW a good way to practice if you have the time is to scissor those breeds that are going to get a summer clip, this way if you mess up it doesn't matter since they are getting buzzed.
      SheilaB from SC

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      • #4
        Could you have used a long snap on comb with or without a clipper vac?
        Thats what I do on breeds like that instead of sissoring.
        LoriA

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        • #5
          I don't think it's a question of talent, you just need more experience, and a few tricks.

          For experience, get some fake fur, drape it over a waste basket, and scissor away. You could also do 5-10 minutes of practice on a dog that you intend to shavedown.

          Some tricks:

          Try scissoring the hair when it's wet. Section it, lift it up and hold between two fingers, then snip. Move on to the next section and repeat. Just like a human stylist. Blow dry, and look for sticky-outies.

          You've already noticed that a fan will reveal things you missed, so put that to use. When you finish scissoring, turn your HV on low and go over the dog quickly. You'll see the uneven places, and you can fix them.

          When scissoring a white dog, use a colored towel or piece of fabric as a backdrop to check how even the back is.

          Top thin. Lift the hair and use your thinners on the ends only. It will leave a more natural look.

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          • #6
            I don't know if this will help or not, as I am a beginner myself, but I get the dog really fluffy after a FULL HV dry and brush-out. Then I make the dog shake by either blowing in its ear, or by "rocking" the dog's skin back and forth by pulling on either side of the dog's hair to set it up in a natural position.

            Then I take my scissors and I pretend I'm resting them on something (the dog's coat in this case, lol), and I just glide my scissors along the area I'm scissoring, opening and closing while I move my hand the direction I want to go.

            If you snip here, snip there, you'll get "issues" with the coat. And you really just want to take the ends off, not big chunks.

            Hope this helps!

            Tammy in Utah
            Last edited by SpikeyTheYorkie; 05-27-07, 03:03 PM.
            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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            • #7
              Why in the world would you spend time scissoring that dog? Why not skim with a skip tooth, or pop on the blue metal clip from wahl? I don't think that a scissorimg technique of that magnitude can even be done during a normal grooming appointment!

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              • #8
                Why not skim it with a guard comb. I find it much easier to do with clippers than scissors
                If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                • #9
                  well, how long were you leaving his back? couldn't you use a long clip on comb over it. it would be very difficult to scissor the back of a dog like that and make it look good. so i don't think it's your ability....just your technique.i don't think that many groomers on here would scissor the backs of an eskimo or any other breed like that. i have the full array of clip on combs. though, my favs are the wahl metal combs, they don't make long enough c/o's for some of the dogs. i would use a long clip on with my clipper vac. if it doesn't look perfect going forward, then a longer c/o in reverse. it really comes out perfect. you have to make sure there is no undercoat left to snag the longer plastic c/o combs.

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                  • #10
                    Just so that you know. All doubble coated breeds don't get a all over scissor trim. You must fully HV and brush to the point that a comb can pass through the coat then you use a guard comb to get the length the client wants.
                    Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gally22 View Post
                      Why in the world would you spend time scissoring that dog? Why not skim with a skip tooth, or pop on the blue metal clip from wahl? I don't think that a scissorimg technique of that magnitude can even be done during a normal grooming appointment!
                      i agree .... of course you'll have to do some finish scissoring on the rear ... but generally we use a #7 skip to skim on these types of dogs - you have to have a very steady hand and a very still dog - but it comes out very nice with half of the work.

                      On coats like this i usually DO NOT like guard combs .... even after combing through the coat is often too thick & it comes out choppy.

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                      • #12
                        Practice, practice

                        I agree with everyone about scissoring on such a large breed with a double coat. I wouldn't even attempt it. As for improving your scissoring, I can't tell you how "spastic" I was at the beginning. Everything seemed choppy. But after 4 years, my methods have changed so dramatically and I'm very pleased with my scissoring. Taking smaller amounts of hair really makes a difference for me. On most small drop coated breeds, I brush the hair up and then scissor only what's sticking out with my scissors pointed towards the table. Then I comb it down and voila -- such an improvement. Also, there are so many videos that teach different scissoring techniques. They've really helped me (as schooling didn't).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gally22 View Post
                          Why in the world would you spend time scissoring that dog? Why not skim with a skip tooth, or pop on the blue metal clip from wahl? I don't think that a scissorimg technique of that magnitude can even be done during a normal grooming appointment!
                          Not true, I do these kinds of scissor cuts all the time and I can usually do them quicker and better than if I were using a snap on. Snap-on's and skimming w/a skip tooth are wonderful time saving techniques, but scissoring is a vital skill and IMO becoming a lost art. I have a LOT of clients who come to me simply because I can and will do scissor cuts and they can't find many othe groomers in this area who can.
                          SheilaB from SC

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                          • #14
                            I have a LOT of clients who come to me simply because I can and will do scissor cuts and they can't find many othe groomers in this area who can.

                            You do nice work from what I've seen And they usually don't like my price ROFL!!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sheilabgroomer View Post
                              Not true, I do these kinds of scissor cuts all the time and I can usually do them quicker and better than if I were using a snap on. Snap-on's and skimming w/a skip tooth are wonderful time saving techniques, but scissoring is a vital skill and IMO becoming a lost art. I have a LOT of clients who come to me simply because I can and will do scissor cuts and they can't find many othe groomers in this area who can.
                              I'm in grooming school right now in New Brunswick, Canada and they aren't even training us on how to use the snap on combs. They came in a kit with my cordless clipper but they prefer to teach their students hand scissoring. They say the same thing, scissoring is a 'lost art'.

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