The Schnoodle Pet Trim
This short, low-maintenance haircut is perfect for dogs with soft coats and undercoats that mat easily.
Kevin is a Schnoodle—part Poodle and part “super coated” Schnauzer—that first came into our shop as a puppy. His coat is very soft and has undercoat, which mats really easily, so he comes in for weekly maintenance baths. Because he is so unique looking and has a great personality, I used Kevin for competitions in the salon freestyle class for the past two years. However, now that the salon freestyle class no longer counts toward GroomTeam USA points, I have retired him from the competition ring. I now keep him in a shorter, lower-maintenance haircut. I hope to use him for a demo dog in upcoming seminars.
Step 1: Bathe
We go right to the tub where I wash Kevin with a gentle all-around shampoo and good conditioner.
Step 2: Force Dry
Force dry out the water with a high-velocity dryer as much as the dog allows. Because Kevin started getting groomed young and is in the salon frequently, he is used to this.
Step 3: Finish Drying
Using a slicker brush and stand dryer, move methodically through the entire coat, drying, straightening and removing any knots.
Step 4: Trim Nails
Trim the nails down to the quick and file smooth.
Step 5: Clean Ears
Swab ears clean.
Step 6: Clip Pads
Using a #40 blade, clean the pads of the foot.
Step 7: Sanitary Trim
Using a #10 blade, trim the sanitary areas.
Step 8: Trim Ears
Shave the ear, leaving a tassel at the bottom. To do this, I place my thumb on the ear where I want to start the inverted V of the tassel and shave from the top of the ear, down either side of my thumb. I do the same to the inside of the ear.
Step 9: Trim Inner Eye Corners
Using a #10 blade or thinning shears, trim the inner eye corners only.
Step 10: Fix Structure
When the dog is still wet, check out its structure and see what you want to fix with grooming. For example, Kevin has a dip in his top line. To fix that, I use a #2 snap-on comb on the highest point.
Step 11: Trim Chest
Use the #2 snap-on comb on the front of the dog’s chest, starting right at the V under its chin.
Step 12: Trim Body
Using a size-A snap-on comb, clip from just behind the shoulder blades along the back, down the sides and the rest of the chest and belly.
Step 13: Trim Rear End
Use the size-A snap-on comb in reverse to clip the rump on either side of the tail.
Step 14: Trim Rear Legs
With the size-A snap-on comb, clip the top, back and inside of the rear legs.
Step 15: Trim Front Legs
Use the snap-on comb to dip into the top of the front leg, setting the leg under the dog. I also skim the outside and inside of the front legs.
Step 16: Scissor Top Line
I start scissoring the top line, making sure it is level and the two different lengths are blended seamlessly.
Step 17: Trim Outside of Rear Legs
Start on either side of the tail and scissor down over the hips to the ankle. Remember, the length is already set by the snap-on comb, so you are just tidying it up.
Step 18: Finish Rear End
A pet peeve of mine is seeing dogs with what looks like droopy drawers, so I scissor the rump.
Step 19: Round Rear Feet
Leaving the rear foot on the table, trim each foot round.
Step 20: Finish Rear Feet
Pick up each rear foot, comb all the hair toward the pads and trim any hairs hanging down.
Step 21: Trim Inside of Rear Legs
Comb the hair on the inside of the rear legs and trim parallel lines.
Step 22: Trim Knees
Trim the hair on each knee following the natural curve of the leg and blend into the inside and outside of the leg.
Step 23: Finish Rear Legs
Trim up the back of the back leg by turning your curved shears. Then trim the bottom of the rear leg at a slight angle, meeting at the hock. Finally, trim the bottom part of the rear leg into the top part.
Step 24: Trim Front Feet
Trim each front foot by rounding it while the dog is standing on the table. Pick up each foot and trim any stray hairs hanging down.
Step 25: Finish Front Legs
Comb the hair on the front legs up and out and trim into parallel columns.
Step 26: Trim Neck
Blend the short part of the front chest into the shoulder, building up the neck.
Step 27: Edge Ears
Edge the clipped part of the ears.
Step 28: Trim Top of Head
Comb the hair forward and trim a visor. I tend to trim shorter over the eyes.
Step 29: Trim Cheeks
Working from the eye down to the jaw, trim the cheek short. A #4 blade could be used in this area as well.
Step 30: Trim Chin
Comb the hair on the muzzle down and trim the chin.
Step 31: Trim Above Mouth
Using a #30 blade, clip just under the nose. This gives a cleaner look and removes any discoloration.
Step 32: Finish Muzzle
Comb the muzzle hair up and out and trim into an oval shape.
Step 33: Finish Neck
Blend the neck into the top of the head. I take this part shorter for dogs, especially if they always wear a collar.
Step 34: Trim Sides of Head
Starting from the outside corner of the eye, trim over the ear and back to the neck.
Step 35: Shape Top of Head
Shape the top of the head round.
Step 36: Finish Ears
Trim the bottom of the tassels on ears.
Professional groomer Anne Francis is a grooming competitor and speaker. She works at The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass.
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