Some of you may recognize my dog, Shay, from past articles. I adopted her after winning a rescue round up competition a few years ago. One of the advantages of having your own dog to work on is being able to practice before trying something on a client, so Shay has been in many different hairstyles through the years. This latest ’do was inspired by some of the Asian fusion grooming I saw on social media. Asian fusion has become very popular in dog grooming. It’s a style that brings out the artist in all of us. It’s fun, creative—often cartoonish—and gives us a great opportunity to incorporate accessories.
I first did this cut six weeks ago, and I’m still tweaking the style. After Shay recently had some teeth removed, I noticed the hair around her mouth was getting dirty faster, so taking the hair around her mouth short is the perfect option for both of us. I also decided to take Shay’s body short because she often likes to roll in dirt or other unpleasant things. However, you can adjust the length of coat on both the body and legs.
With all that said, this is my version of Asian fusion—cute and short, yet still stylish. I hope it inspires you to try new things!
Step 1: Bathe
If the dog is short enough that you don’t feel you need to pre-clip, go right to the tub. Your blades will stay sharper if they only cut clean hair.
Step 2: Dry
Use a high-velocity dryer to blow as much water out of the coat as the dog will allow. I put a Happy Hoodie around Shay’s ears to dull the noise.
Step 3: Detangle
Using a stand or hand-held dryer on warm, along with a slicker brush, methodically move through the entire coat to remove any knots and dry the coat completely.
Step 4: Clean Ears
Pluck the ears if necessary, and swab them clean.
Step 5: Trim Nails
Clip and file the nails.
Step 6: Trim Pads of Feet
Using a #40 blade, clip the hair between the pads.
Step 7: Sanitary Trim
Using a #10 blade, clip the sanitary areas.
Step 8: Clip Ears
Use a #30 blade to clip the top of the ears.
Step 9: Clean Eye Corners
Using either a #10 blade or thinning shears, clean out the inside corners of the eyes.
Step 10: Clip Back of Neck
Using a 7f blade, start clipping right at the back of the skull, but leave coat on the back of the ears and jaw.
Step 11: Clip Body
Clip the entire trunk of the body with the 7f blade, including the tail.
Step 12: Clip Rear Legs
Clip down the rear legs to just above the hocks.
Step 13: Clip Front Legs
Clip down the front legs, stopping when even with the clipper lines on the rear legs.
Step 14: Edge Ears
Edge the clipped top of the ears with shears.
Step 15: Trim Visor
Comb the hair over the eyes forward and trim a visor.
Step 16: Trim Face
Scissor the sides of the face, leaving hair in front of the ear. The first time I set this style, I used thinning shears for this part.
Step 17: Trim Head
Scissor the top of the head short and round.
Step 18: Trim Chin
Comb the hair down on the chin and trim round, connecting the cheeks.
Step 19: Trim Muzzle
Comb the hair on the muzzle up and out, and use thinning shears to make the muzzle oval shaped.
Step 20: Finish Ears
Shape the ears with thinning shears, tapering them into a point at the top.
Step 21: Finish Tail
Trim the hair at the end of the tail.
Step 22: Trim Feet
Trim each foot round while the dog is standing on the table. Trim the booties on the front and rear feet the same way.
Step 23: Finish Feet
Using thinning shears, shape the booties and accentuate the clipper lines.
Professional groomer Anne Francis, CMG, is a grooming competitor, speaker and Andis educator. 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 email@example.com.