During the 20-plus years I have been grooming professionally, I have seen many different dog breed trends come and go. With this in mind, I always strive to be prepared for any breed that might come into the salon, even if I don’t see them often—or ever.
For example, I often hear groomers say, "I never see Kerry Blue Terriers at my shop." But wouldn’t it be nice to be ready if and when that dog does walk through your door? After all, if you can pull off this rare groom successfully, word is sure to get out among Kerry Blue owners, and they will find you!
Step 1: Bathe
The first step is to get the head squeaky clean. Kerry Blues have both falls and beards, which can collect debris. I use a lovely smelling facial scrub made for dogs.
Step 2: Dry
Dry the head completely. Use a slicker brush and dry the hair forward toward the nose.
Step 3: Clip Outside the Ears
Starting at the base of the head, clip the entire outside of the ear using a #30 blade with the grain. You may need to use a #10 blade on lighter-coated dogs. Lay each ear flat on your hand to protect the leather and get a smooth clip.
Step 4: Clip Inside of Ears
Clip the inside of the ear completely using either a #30 or #40 blade. Be cautious around the fold on the inner flap.
Step 5: Clip From Eyes to Ears
Use a #30 blade to clip with the grain from the outside corner of the eye to the ear. A #10 blade in reverse can be used instead.
Step 6: Clip Down to Throat
Continue clipping from the corner of the mouth to the natural cowlick on the sides of the neck under the ear. Continue clipping the throat into a U shape, ending just above the breastbone.
Step 7: Clip Lower Jaw
Clip each side of the lower jaw, working back from the canine teeth.
Step 8: Clip Brows
Using a #5 fine blade, clip from behind the eye sockets to just in front of the ears.
Step 9: Blend Clipper Lines
Use the #5 fine blade in reverse to blend the clipper line from the top of the head into the cheeks. This will save a lot of time versus using thinning shears.
Step 10: Clip Sides of Neck
Using a #10 blade, clip from behind the ear down the side of the neck. The line should be half the width of the blade.
Step 11: Finish Ears
Edge the ears with shears.
Step 12: Blend Sides of Face
Using thinning shears, blend the line from the outside corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth. The outside corner of the eyes is tight. The dogs eyes are seen from the side but not from the front.
Step 13: Blend to the Head
Blend the top of the head to lay flat.
Step 14: Finish Head
The face should be brick shaped. Hold the fall out of the way to just trim the beard hair. Using chunkers and aiming your shears toward the nose, take a snip or two of the bushiness hanging over where the beard should be. Then comb and check the shape.
Step 15: Blend into Body
Using chunkers, blend the clipper line on the neck into the body coat.