Dog Breed Info

Clippering Pads

Creating the Perfect Paw Print
Trimming the coat from the inside of the pads on the dog's foot is a basic procedures that is necessary on almost all breeds except for the short coat types. Keeping the pads free of hair prevents the coat from matting and holding moisture causing skin irritation, prevents the foot from collecting pebbles and other debris and in the winter months prevents the hair from collecting snow and ice along with the salt that is used on the roads and sidewalks.

For the average pet owner, creating a perfect paw print creates excellent sanitation in that it prevents tracking mud and other debris into the house soiling the carpet, sofa and bedding.

Removing excessive coat from the bottom of the foot gives the dog more traction, especially on slick surfaces. For the senior pet or dogs that live on hardwood floors, keeping the bottom of the feet free of hair is a must for safety. The longer the coat on the bottom of the feet, the more difficult it is for the pet to maneuver safely on a slick surface. In fact, the more coat that is on the bottom of the foot, the harder it is for the dog to stand on the grooming and styling table without slipping due to the hair.

To create the overall appearance of well groomed pet, and to create the proper type of foot for the breed, the coat must be trimmed from between the pads depending upon the breed, the lifestyle of the pet and the pet families preference.

An alternative to clippering between the pads is trimming the coat even with the pads which allows for the dog to have protection if on rough terrain such as in the woods, however, the feet must be checked after this type of outing to assure that briars, thorns or sticks did not get stuck in the coat between the pads.

Clippering the Pads Before or After the Bath
Clippering the coat from the pads on a dirty coat during the prepping phase is much more difficult than clippering clean coat, however, if there is excessive coat it must be removed in order to clean the feet efficiently. If the hair between the pads must be clippered before the bath due to excessive coat, they must be clippered again after the bath to achieve the ultimate finish because it is almost impossible to clipper dirty hair and achieve the same finish as you do when the hair is clean simply because the dirty coat sticks to the pad making if very difficult to remove all of it.

If the dog has excessive coat on the foot that must be removed before the bath, during the prepping phase quickly clipper accross the bottom of the foot removing enough coat so that the foot can be bathed properly. After the bath, utilize the high velocity dryer to fluff the coat between the pads to make it easier to clipper during the finishing phase.

Length and Size of Blade
A #10, #15 or a #40 blade can be used to remove the coat from the pads. Many professionals utilize the detailed blades such as the #5/8 to clipper the pads on the smaller breeds. The blade length and size depends upon the size of the dog, the density of the coat and if the coat is matted. Condition of the skin between the pads must also be considered when choosing a blade. A toy breed has tiny feet making clippering of the pads a very detailed and tedious job so great care must be taken not to "cut" the skin or webbing between the pads during this procedure. The temperament of the pet also determines the length and size of blade that you will use. It is easier and faster to remove the coat with a #40 blade on a pet that is very active or resisting the pad clippering rather than using a #10. It is easier to clipper the pads using a #40 blade on breeds with very dense or matted coats, however, it is also easy to cut the skin between the pads if the proper technique is not used.

Safety for the Professional
Begin clippering on the rear foot to allow for an evaluation of temperament and behavior of the pet before moving to the front feet. Take great care when trimming the front feet and stay in your safety zone.
Pet Grooming Training