Dog Breed Info

The Five Phases of Grooming & Styling

There are basically five phases in the art of grooming and styling dogs. The prepping phase is the first, followed by the bathing phase, the drying phase, the brushing phase, with the finishing phase being the last. The professional should complete these five phases in the same order for each session for man's best friend to establish a routine. Certain grooming procedures such as cleaning the ears or trimming the nails are started and completed in one phase, while other procedures are continued in almost all of the phases such as carding to remove shedding coat.

Routines in the Salon for Technical Procedures
Why and when should a professional dog groomer or stylist have a routine? Establishing a routine will prevent you from overlooking or forgetting important steps and should be used whenever there are more than a few steps to complete a task. Once the routine is learned, it becomes habit and you will not need a written list to reference. Utilizing the five phases of grooming as an overall routine for you to follow when grooming and styling man's best friend helps you to create an organized system to prevent you from forgetting to start or complete a specific procedure. Establishing routines for all of the procedures within the five phases is equally important, as, whether it is a routine to prepare your work station for the day or cleaning a dog's ear, a system must be followed to not only prevent you from missing a step, but for excellent time management. As we discussed earlier it is very important to establish a system or a routine when grooming and styling to prevent overlooking an important step. We have listed below the five phases and the technical skills performed in each phase for a reference for you to follow, keeping in mind that there are always exception to the rule dogs that we reference as pets with special needs.

The following care depends upon the coat type, amount and condition of the coat and the breed.

Eye Care
The eye area is cleaned of any eye drainage, excessive or matted coat by scissoring or clippering.

Ear Care
The hair is removed from the ear canal, if applicable, to create excellent ventilation.
Ventilation for the ear to prevent ear infection and odor is created by clippering the excessive coat around the ear canal and the underside of the ear leather, if applicable.

Foot Care
The nails are trimmed and filed.
Excessive coat is removed from the foot area in order to better bath and dry the coat better and more efficiently, if applicable.

Excessive coat from the stomach and rectal areas (sanitary) are clippered, if applicable.

Overall Skin and Coat Care
Excessive coat is removed by clippering or scissoring, if applicable.
Matted coat is removed by brushing and/or clippering, if applicable.
Shedding coat is removed by brushing, carding or handstripping, if applicable.

Oral Hygiene Care
The teeth and gums are treated with an oral hygiene gel and the teeth are brushed using toothbrush and toothpaste formulated especially for dogs.

Eye Care
The eye area is cleaned to remove any crusted masses due to eye drainage and products used to remove stains caused by the eye drainage, if applicable.Eye drops are applied if necessary.

Ear Care
The underside of the ear leather and the ear canal is cleaned using an ear cleaner formulated just for dogs

Anal Glands
Anal glands are checked and expressed, if necessary.

Overall Skin and Coat Care
The skin and coat are evaluated to determine the proper products and type of bathing technique to use.

The skin and coat are shampooed and conditioned utilizing the proper products.
Skin disorders are treated with proper shampoos if necessary.
Skunked dogs are treated with the proper products to rid the dog of "skunk smell."
Shedding coat is removed by using various methods of deshedding.
Use a rubber brush or the high velocity dryer.
Tangled or matted coat is conditioned to assist in removing the matts and tangles.

Overall Skin and Coat Care
The coat is evaluated to determine the proper drying method.
The coat is dried using various drying methods.
Shedding coat is brushed and blown out.
Tangles are brushed and blown out.

Overall Skin and Coat Care
The coat is prepared for the finish by brushing and combing.
A carding or handstripping technique is used to remove any loose coat to prepare for the final finish.

Many procedures that were started during the prepping phase will be completed during the finishing phase.
Eye Care
The skin is checked and treated around the eye area for any type of irritation due to tearing.
Ear Care
The ears are checked to assure that they are clean and the ventilation strip is clippered again if clippered before the bath, if applicable.
Foot Care
Pads are clippered and the feet are trimmed again if clippered before the bath, if applicable.
The stomach and rectal area are clippered again, if applicable.
Overall Skin and Coat Care
The overall trim style is completed.
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