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Grooming Lingo

Here's some common phrases we hear as groomers, and how we interpret them.  We also included phrases that we use, and what you can expect as far as haircuts go.

"Teddy Bear Cut": Unfortunately, there is no breed standard for Teddy Bears.  This phrase is very much open to interpretation.  For us, it generally means the same length all over the body (usually longer and scissored if possible), and a cute round face.  The length of the body can vary depending on many factors.  If you have a particular "Teddy Bear" Cut in mind, we would prefer to hear specifics on what you're after, or perhaps a photo.

Pony Tail: In theory, pony tails on dogs means growing out all the hair above their eyes and ears until it is long enough to fit into a pony tail.  This can be a multi groom process that require some home maintenance to keep it looking nice between grooms (and as it grows out).  If you just want a bit of hair in a pony, you're likely looking for a bow in their hair after their groom.  However, we would be happy to discuss what you'd like for their final look, and will do our best to achieve it.

Breed Clip: Many breeds have a standard cut, and some have multiple (we're looking at you, poodles).  They are  often modified so they are practical for pet trims, but still retain the integrity of the breed.  For example, Westies may have shorter skirts and legs.  Poodles may still have their topknot, but not super long.  We can also modify it to your liking, like a Schnauzer face but with a short body.  Again, we are always happy to discuss possibilities that suit your dog.

"Short but not shaved": This is surprisingly common.  Generally, we will clip your dog 2 lengths longer than the shortest blade we use.  This is short, but not the shortest we can go. 

"To the wood": Buzz cut.  We will use the shortest blade we use all over (including their face, ears and tail unless otherwise specified).

 "Standard cut": Generally this applies to dogs like Shih Tzus, Lhasas, Bichons, Poodles and any mix of similar types that don't get breed trims.  Their body is done in one length, their ears and tails are trimmed, and their face is rounded and tidied.  Length can vary depending on preference and condition.  "Standard" in this case does not refer to breed, just the fact that this is the most popular cut we do.

"Short": Can refer to any part of a dog (length of fur on body, ears, tail, face, etc).  When referring to the body fur length, short means they are shaved in one of the lengths available.  If you mean something else, try to rephrase.  eg. half off, leave ___ all over, shorter than last time, same length as ____.

"Long": Generally refers to body lengths of around 1/2" or longer.  Can also refer to specific parts eg. long ears.  Longer body clips are generally done with a comb attachment, then hand scissored all over.  They require a coat to be in good condition and a cooperative participant, and will take longer than short clips due to more prep, drying and finishing time.

Beard: Generally we refer to the dogs muzzle and chin fur, collectively, as the beard.  For example, if you ask for a short beard, all the hair around the mouth will be taken short.  If you are referring to the hair on the muzzle and the hair on the chin separately, make sure to specify that!  Eg. Very short chin, tidy muzzle.  Or short muzzle, long chin hair.  This isn't very common but it is usually possible.

Clean Face:  Think poodle faces, super short on the whole face.  Can be a great option for dogs with excessive eye discharge, who are messy eaters or drinkers or who get smelly beards.  Some people just like the look!

"Puppy Cut": Can be similar to Teddy Bear Cut, as in open to interpretation.  If you have more specifics, we would love to hear it.  If your dog is an actual puppy, this will likely be their first haircut.  If the coat allows, they will have a trim to get the bulk of dead ends off, but still leave a fair bit of length.  Often, a puppy cut isn't perfect because it is their first time.  They will wiggle and investigate and we want them to have a positive experience.

"Make them look cute": This is a great option for someone who doesn't have any preferences for what their dog looks like.  You are trusting the groomers to put them in a style that is practical, but compliments their shape and coat type.

Bath and Tidy (for dogs that get clippered):  They get a bath, and their feet, face and sanitary areas are cleaned up.  This is meant to compliment their grooming schedule, not replace full grooms.  It helps to maintain a mat free coat.  A bath and tidy is not for dematting.  An ideal schedule for many dogs is to alternate full grooms and bath and tidies, with slightly less time between bath and tidies and grooms than there would be between full grooms and bath and tidies (because the fur is shorter after a full groom).

Bath and Tidy (for double coated dogs): Golden Retrievers, Samoyeds, Malamutes, Australian Shepherds, etc.  Dogs that do not/should not get shaved get a bath and tidy as their full groom.  They get a bath, deshed and comb out, then the fur on their feet, legs, bellies, bums, chests, ears and tails are trimmed up.  Can be "natural" (very little is taken off, aside from paws), regular (all areas are tidied but subtly) or short (all feathering taken as short as possible without cutting into undercoat).  If you have preferences, let us know!  Common ones are short bum, leave the ears, short around the ears, leave the belly, etc.

Double Coated Dogs: Dogs that have fur that will grow to a certain length then fall out.  They have very obvious undercoat and guard hairs, and are generally not shaved unless there is a medical reason.  We do not include doodles when we refer to double coated dogs because, while they can have undercoats that shed, their fur will continue growing (not shed in a traditional sense such as a lab).  Doodles will need to be clipped, double coated dogs will not.

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