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Are there any Schools that teach...

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  • Are there any Schools that teach...

    Japanese Style creative grooming?

  • #2
    I think that one could take a strong class in canine geometrics, skin & coat care (similar to the one that ISCC goes over), or canine structure & anatomy (similar to M. Verplank's) and start there.
    If you look at all of the work that comes from these salons, there is a resounding emphasis on definite applied geometrics- working with laying forms like spheres, cylinders, cubes and cones and an array of exaggerated angles onto the physical structure of a dog. Now, if anyone has ever taken a book on learning to draw anime, it is the same principles. Exaggerated physical characteristics like the curves and musculature of the human body, emphasis on the eyes (which in this culture are important on many levels for many reasons) and finally the hair style and the exaggerated fashion on top of that form. It is accomplished in layers, and on a dog, it is done in the same way (in much the same way as an artist or sculptor creates their works of art).
    I have seen students consistently feel over the entire frame of a dog before touching a nail clipper to even begin prep work. Meaning that even overgrown toenails will change the dog's stance and posture, and this change in posture and presence is anticipated upon their being styled and how it will change the outcome of a groom. I know that the physiology, structure and movement of a dog is a large part of what is studied in classes, and as well it should be. We all know that each dog is from subtly to severely different from another even within a particular breed, and from this country (Japan), most of its pet dogs are actually a variety of mixed breed dogs- especially small ones. And I know that the emphasis on an individual's creative spark and unique ability is encouraged to come out thru their tools and onto their client, and to play with that in a free form way.
    I honestly think that it is all about perfecting our skills of prep work, honing our ability to stand back and look at a dog and take them in, in their entirety- including their personality, and to bring that out in their groom, orchestrate a groom that is unique and flattering, and to pay close attention to finish work and even finer detail. But I think if we are strong in scissoring and understanding the canine form and its movement, if we can understand the difference between breed standard grooming or cookie cutter styles and breaking down the walls of conformity with no fear of changing up a dog's outline as long as it is still well executed and detailed, we can very well do it on our own with practice.
    However, we need to understand the public stance and governing opinion of what each breed is supposed to come out looking like, we have a set of breed standard grooms and it has been as such for a very long time,,it is difficult to expect most people to be able to think outside the box, or to look at what we are doing as "artistic" in much of any way. Most of all groomers are trained thru & thru and over decades to groom certain dogs in just certain ways, at that applies as far easier to "teach" and "memorize" and to go out and "create" those dogs for generation after generation with respect to the changes in breed standards over time. There's NOTHING wrong with this, but it is different than how Japanese stylists and some other countries groom their dogs. We still groom wonderfully, and with an education of the canine form, but we groom far more "conventionally"- for lack of a better word. Again, I repeat,,NOTHING wrong with this-- just different than the country we are speaking of here when it comes to pet dogs-- is my only point. And this is just my opinion, which I might get a schooling on and then change my mind about,,so...again, take me with a grain of salt.
    And actually, without pulling her into this,,because she may well not appreciate it (!!),, I have watched Veronica really begin to bend the bars of conventional "US" styling on some of her Poodles, and I LOVE it. I actually find myself just staring at her dogs in a totally different way than I will stare at a Poodle that's groomed to near perfect breed standard. But then I will stare at just about ANY beautifully groomed dog because I am a total grooming GEEK, so...! Both ways make me get goosebumps and put a lump in my throat, but Veronica's are just different, and they are more along the lines of what I have seen overseas- with great attention to flare in the overall outline, and impeccable finish. Her styles on Poodles at times and on certain characteristics are similar to Jacob's beautiful and unique drawings. And I think Jacob's work is also just phenomenal. It is respectful and thoroughly understanding of the canine form, and to that it lends an added element of artistic interpretation and genuine play on a dog's character and movement. Anyhow, I am getting completely off topic again,,but my point is that NO- there are currently NO classes that teach us to do things differently than learning and mastering the canine form, and to work to create breed standard grooms, that I am aware of, and I have genuinely checked. So, if someone IS teaching this, I think it would be difficult to just "teach" much past applied skin & coat care, canine geometrics, form and structure, or the like. The rest is totally, in my opinion, up to us to interpret and create.
    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


    • #3
      Oops, I just realized that I read this post wrong...
      I thought the title was "Windy"; so that it was being addressed in part to me,,and shame on me if I didn't take over the thread and lay out my big fat opinion...thinking that was what was being asked...
      now I feel dumb. Sorry everyone! (But I still meant all that I wrote....)
      Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


      • #4
        Please do not apologize!!

        Fascinating and knowledgeable answer!! Thank you so much!!

        Here's another question/problem - the Japanese styling leaves a lot more hair on than typical trims in North America, sooooo - do the groomers brush out a lot? Are the dogs groomed more frequently?? I know I wouldn't be able to keep many of the dogs that I do in those more full-haired, stylish interpretations even if they came in monthly.

        Just wondering....


        • #5
          From what the two gals that I know and talk to have said, their clients come in quite frequently, but they use a lot more product on some styles which requires that more often cycle of visits, and that owners are constantly putting things in or on their dogs' hair for
          embellishments, or dressing them up, and they often need help getting these things out- hair product included!
          Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt


          • #6

            Thank you for your information. I love your passion and excitement. I agree with you. However, I think there is a market in the USA for this type of grooming. It's a niche. My aim is to find it. I would guess California but i might be surprised. I'm willing to go to Taiwan and learn the technique and bring it to the United States. Perhaps California. I'm ready to relocate and do whatever I need to do to get it going. Wish me luck and say a little prayer while you're at it