I like to think I have a gift for looking at a dog and seeing its potential for an adorable haircut, so I guess it’s no surprise that personality trims are my absolute favorite.  They allow groomers to get creative by bringing in different styles from pure-bred dogs—for example, the Westie head or Bedlington ears.

For this grooming, I’m using my dog Shay. She is a five-year-old Pomeranian mix that I adopted after meeting her in a Rescue Rodeo competition. Shay and I ended up taking first place in the event, winning a 10-day cruise and $1,000, so I figured that the least I could do for this little darling was give her a good home. 

Before

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 1: Bathe

For the sake of saving time, I put Shay right in the tub and wash her in a cleansing shampoo and conditioner.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 2: Force Dry

Using the high-velocity dryer, blow the dog out until it is 90 percent dry.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 3: Finish Drying

Using a hand dryer and slicker brush, methodically move through the coat, drying and removing any tangles.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 4: Trim Nails

Cut and file the nails.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 5: Clean Ears

Swab the ears clean.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 6: Clip Feet

I like to do all of my clipper work first. Start by shaving the pads of the feet with a #40 blade.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 7: Sanitary Trim

Using a #10 blade, shave the sanitary areas.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 8: Trim Ears

Shave the top 1/3 or "tips" of the ears with a #30 blade.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 9: Trim Eye Corners

Shave the corners of the eyes with a #10 blade or trim them with thinning shears.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 10: Clip Body

The length on the body can be adjusted to fit the owner’s needs and desire. For Shay, I choose a #1 snap-on comb. Clip from the shoulder blades down the back and the tail.  Continue clipping the entire trunk of the body.  Clip from the jaw line down the chest and the belly.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 11: Clip Rear Legs

Sticking with the #1 snap-on comb, clip the outside and back of the rear legs.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 12: Clip Front Legs

Clip the outside, inside and back of the front legs. When clipping the inside of the leg, be sure to scoop out the armpits.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 13: Finish Rear Feet

Scissor the rear feet round while standing on the table. Then pick up the foot, comb all the hair toward the pads, and scissor any hair hanging over.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 14: Finish Rear Legs

The length and shape of the rear legs have already been set with the snap-on comb. Comb the hair up and out and scissor the legs following their natural shape.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 15: Finish Front Feet & Legs

Scissor the front feet round while standing on the table. Then pick up the foot, comb the hair toward the pads and trim any hairs hanging over.  Comb the hair up and out—again, the length has already been set by the snap-on comb—then trim the front legs into columns.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 16: Trim Head

I decide on a Westie-type head for Shay. I learned a great trick from Cheryl Purcell to set the Westie head. Take a size-C snap-on comb and, starting at the shoulders, clip against the grain all the way to the visor. Then clip from the outside corner of the eye over the top of the head to the outside corner of the other eye. Then repeat the same method, going across the other way on top of the head.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 17: Edge Ears

Edge the tips of the ears, holding them with your thumb to protect them.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 18: Trim Visor

Comb the hair over the eyes forward and trim a visor.

A Pomeranian with Personality

Step 19: Finish Head

Comb the hair on top of the head up and hold it between your fingers. This should include all the hair from the outside corner of the eyes, and it may take a few cuts to do so.  Trim the hair so that it is no longer than the start of the clipped part of the ear. Trim from the edged part of the ear down into the jaw. Comb the beard down and trim. The round line should flow from the ear around the chin.  Finally, comb the sides of the mouth forward and trim the corners off the "mustache."

A Pomeranian with Personality

After

A Pomeranian with Personality

Professional groomer Anne Francis is a grooming competitor and speaker. She works at The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass.

Is there a breed or cut that you’d like to see featured in the Grooming Table? Send your suggestions to jboncy@petbusiness.com.