Dog Breed Info

Prep Phase


Care of eyes on breeds with medium long coat types are the same for pet and show trim, and at a minimum due to length of coat, except for specific breeds with large, protruding eyes or breeds with eye disorders.

Eye Care Procedure
Use a soft cloth with a mild shampoo to remove tearing and to clean the skin and coat around the upper and lower eyelids, corner of eyes, stop area and upper muzzle. Use a damp cloth with a waterless shampoo on a dog that is head shy. If the dog has wrinkles, spread the skin to smooth out the wrinkle to clean, rinse and dry the area properly.

Maintenance Level: Minimum
Schedule: Weekly


Care of the eyes on breeds with short, smooth, medium smooth. Nordic, rough Nordic, rough and medium long coat types are the same and require same amount of time and maintenance. Care of eye for sporting and sporting saddle coat types require more time due to length of coat on muzzle.


Erect Type Ears
Care of ears on breeds with sporting saddle coat types, with erect ears, is the same for the pet and show trim, and at a maximum due to amount of coat on ear. The erect ear allows for excellent ventilation and the sparse hair in ear canal acts as a filtering system.


Trimming During the Finishing Phase
A dog with a sporting saddle coat type with erect ears have slightly longer coat on ears that require trimming to create correct ear shape and sharper lines to enhance expression and head silhouette. Longer coat is trimmed using hand plucking, clippering, scissoring and or thinning techniques to create sharp lines on edge of ear leather.

Drop Type Ears
Care of ears on breeds with sporting saddle coat types, with drop ears, require a more frequent ear cleaning schedule to keep ears smelling fresh and to prevent ear infections due to type of ear (drop) and lack of ventilation that keeps ear canal moist, creating an environment for odors and bacteria to grow.


Trimming Ventilation Strip During Finishing Phase
Trimming longer coat in front of ear canal on breeds with drop ears creates better ventilation and helps eliminate a moist environment in which bacteria can grow. Keeping ears well ventilated also eliminates odor caused by lack of ventilation. Before trimming ventilation strip check breed standard. For the pet trim, preventing ear infections and eliminating odor is typically the first choice for the pet family.

Trimming Coat on Topside and Underside of Ear
Trimming coat on ears to appear shorter following contour of ear leather is required on some breeds to enhance or correct shape of ear to achieve the ultimate expression. Trimming coat shorter also prevents matting and creates a well groomed appearance.


Trimming Coat on Upper Portion of Ear Leather on Topside and Underside - Sporting Breeds
Trimming the coat from the upper portion of the ear leather on topside and underside to appear shaved or short coated is the signature look for many sporting breeds in show and pet trims. A clippering technique is used to remove coat. Ear leather is trimmed short to jawline leaving longer coat on the lower half creating an overall slick head appearance.

Ear Care Procedure
Use a cotton ball soaked with ear cleaning solution to swab ear canal and area around canal, including underside of ear leather.



Care of ears on breeds with short, smooth, medium smooth and Nordic coat types are the same and require same amount of time and maintenance. Care of ears on breeds with rough and rough Nordic coat types takes more time due to slightly longer coat. Care of ears on breeds with medium long, sporting and sporting saddle coat types takes more time than rough and rough Nordic due to trimming and styling.

Maintenance Level: Maximum
Schedule: Weekly Cleaning
Ear Canal Hair Removal: No
Ventilation Strip: 6 Weeks - Drop Ear Type Only/Optional
Coat Removed Topside and Underside: 6 Weeks - Cocker Spaniel Only/Optional for Pet
Full Coated Ear: 6 Weeks - Afghan Hound - Tidy


Care of the feet on two breeds with sporting saddle coat types is at a maximum due to the massive amount of coat.

Foot Care Procedures
Coat is trimmed from pads and the edge of the foot. The coat is trimmed to create a bevel appearance on the Cocker Spaniel and the Afghan. The Cocker Spaniel has an extreme bevel while the Afghan Hound has a slight bevel, just enough to keep coat off surface. For pet trims, bevel is adjusted to amount of coat left on legs and feet. Typically, the shorter the coat on legs, the shorter the coat on feet.


Care of feet on breeds with short, smooth, medium smooth and Nordic are at a minimum. Dogs with rough, rough Nordic, medium long, sporting and sporting saddle coat types require trimming.

Maintenance Level: Maximum
Schedule: Weekly - Check nails and bottom of feet, especially between the pads.
Hair Removal Top of Foot: No
Hair Removal Edge of Feet: Yes - 6 Weeks
Hair Removal Over Pads: Yes -6 Weeks
Hair Removal Between Pads: Optional - 6 Weeks
Hair Removal Between Toes: Optional - 6 Weeks - Pets only to remove matts.


Care of sanitary on breeds with rough Nordic coat types typically require trimming stomach, around rectal area and on underside of tail at base to create proper profile.

Breed Standards

Check breed standard before clippering stomach. Many breed standards state dog must be shown in a natural state with no signs of artificial trimming. Longer coat on stomach is for protection during severe weather and in rough terrain. Trimming stomach area for pet trim prevents matting and creates an overall groomed appearance. Trimming also prevents stains and odors.

Sanitary Care Procedures
Coat is trimmed on stomach, around rectum and on underside of tail at base using clippering, thinning and scissoring techniques. Do not over trim around rectum creating a bald appearance.


Breeds with the short coat types typically do not require a sanitary clippering due to the length of the coat on the stomach, around the rectal area and under the tail. The care of the sanitary on the breeds with the smooth, medium smooth and Nordic coat types may require trimming the coat on the stomach and around the rectum. Breeds with rough, rough Nordic, medium smooth, sporting and sporting saddle have much longer coat that must be trimmed to prevent matting, and to create an overall well groomed appearance.

Maintenance Level: Moderate
Schedule: 6 Weeks
Sanitary Type: Stomach, Around Rectum and Underside Base of Tail


The sporting saddle coat type is unique with a combination of determined and undetermined coat type. The main focus when prepping the sporting saddle coat type, before the bath, is to complete the handstripping procedures on the determined coat growth on the saddle. For pet trims, the handstripping is replaced by carding and clippering but care must be taken not to irritate the skin or "burn" the coat or by applying too much pressure with the carding tools. The longer coat which is undetermined on the skirt, legs and feet must be brushed and checked for matting.

The longer coat on the feet, legs and skirt can be pre clipped to remove excessive coat to prevent brushing, bathing and drying the coat. For the show trim the coat is removed during the finishing phase.

Coat Prep Depends On Bathing, Grooming and Styling Schedule
The Cocker Spaniel and Afghan Hound require extensive brushing before the bath if the dog is not on a regular brushing, bathing, grooming and styling schedule due to the longer coat on the ears, the coat that forms the skirt and full legs. For the pet trim, shaving the armpits with a #10 or #15 prevents matting and is the most compassionate for the pet trim.

Check Coat for Matting
Check the longer coat for tight matts that are close to the skin that should be removed before the bathing and drying phase. Tight matts that are close to the skin can be removed using a clippering technique with a #10 or #15 blade. If this procedure is used, with a close trimming blade, the clippered area can appear shaved. To save as much coat as possible to prevent this shaved appearance, soak the matt with a heavy conditioning product during the bathing procedure and then use a high velocity dryer to blow the matt away from the skin to safely remove with thinning shears. This method will leave enough coat to blend into the longer coat. Do not attempt to pull tight matts away from the skin and cut out with thinners or scissors. This is a common mistake made by many groomers and pet owners. When the tight matt is pulled, it also pulls the skin with the matt.



Breeds with the short, smooth, medium smooth and Nordic typically require no coat prepping before the bath. Medium long, rough, rough Nordic coat types require much more coat prepping due to the length of coat and the massive amount of undercoat, especially dogs not on a regular bathing, grooming and styling schedule. Dogs with the sporting require about the same as the medium long but the sporting saddle is one of the most difficult of all coat types.
Pet Grooming Training