Cocker Spaniel Grooming – Part 2 of 7

I’m here in Santa Barbara and we’re at
the home of my friend Elizabeth Mazzetti. I’ve known Elizabeth for a few years now.
We got acquainted, I think, when she first came to one of our
“Pupapalooza” gatherings at the beach. Elizabeth runs “Second Chance Cocker Rescue” which is my favorite Cocker rescue
group in the entire United States. You’ve got to be careful when you’re dealing
with dog rescue groups sometimes because they have a funny way of spending money sometimes Second Chance Cocker Rescue
is one that I really trust and feel comfortable… We’ve raised funds for them and I know that
the money’s going to go to the dogs… and everything’s on the up and up. So I called up Elizabeth and I said “Do you have a dog that I can groom
for the grooming DVD?” and she said
“Oh yeah, I know just the dog!” This is Dresden. Dresden has got a
sheepdog look going on right now but underneath that,
there’s a not too bad looking Cocker. Dresden was in one of the local animal shelters and Elizabeth checks the shelters from time to time to see if there’s any cockers in there and when she finds one in the shelter,
she sees if she can rescue it and that’s how Dresden came to
Second Chance Cocker rescue. And we have no idea how he ended up in
the animal shelter but here he is! And now he’s got a good home and all
he needs is a good haircut to go with it. So, we’re gonna work on that today. So, now you can see a little closer look at Dresden. As you can see,
he’s not one of the normal Cocker colors… The black & whites, and the red & whites
and the solid blacks, and the solid buffs… Those are real common in the Cocker world.
And the chocolates. He is none of those!
He is what’s known as a merle. We’re starting to see a lot of merles
coming out of the puppy mills over the last ten years or so. So, I suspect that
that’s probably where Dresden was born. Just taking a wild guess
that he was a puppy mill dog. So, you’ll get a better look at his merle
pattern in his coat once we shave some of the extra off.
But this is a good look at him before grooming! And then, hopefully, we’ll have a lot better
picture of him after we’re all done. So, before we get started…
I’m just gonna brush him, just a little bit. I’m going to start with the soft side of the brush… just to get him used to it… to make sure that he’s okay
with me handling him. And he seems just fine. And once I notice that he’s okay, then I’m going to switch over to the pin side. I’m just going to try and work out any kinks
that might be in there. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on it just enough to get any of the major kinks out here… and that’ll help the clippers
go through the hair a lot better… especially on the ears… It seems like he’s probably
been brushed pretty well recently because the coat seems to be in
pretty good shape. So, I think we are clear to “go for it”
on Dresden! Before we get started,
I want to mention one thing, too… Kind of an interesting side note,
speaking of second chances… This house has had a second chance! Elizabeth’s house actually burned down in a fire
several years ago and it was completely rebuilt! They have a lot of fires in the hills of Santa Barbara. It just goes with the territory, and… This thing was a total loss one year and… It’s back!
Rose like a phoenix, you know! So, here we are again. So, I just thought I’d throw that in
as you look at her pretty kitchen and everything. It’s a beautiful house, in a beautiful setting, and… It must’ve been a horrible shock when it burned down!
I can’t imagine that. We are now going let the fur fly! And the very first thing they were going to do before we actually start up these clippers
is just lubricate them a little bit. Just a little shot of… “Andis Cool Care” right on there. It lubricates the blades and then we’re ready to go! It depends on the dog,
where you want to start. We could start on the back… if it seems like he’s a little uneasy
with being groomed. Or… what I like to do,
if he seems pretty calm, like Dresden is I like to start on the face…
for two reasons: These clipper blades heat up as time goes on. Hot blades on the face are not good. So, I like to use them on the face
when they’re still fresh and cool. And then the other reason is that starting with his face makes a
huge impact. He’s going to look really good in the face
in just a couple of minutes. So, the whole rest of the time that I’m
working on him, I can at least look at his face
and it will be beautiful. So, that’s why I like to start on the face! As you can see, he’s got a bunch of extra hair here. I’m just going to start by trimming this off. And around the eyes. And it’s going to make a big difference very
very fast. You’ll start to see that face
and those eyes again. One of the reasons that I know that
Dresden is a merle is from his eyes. You can’t really see it on the camera,
but he’s got silver colored eyes. And that is very, very common with Merles. When you see those silver colored eyes… it’s a pretty good indication
that you might be looking at a merle. And then when you see you what’s
happened with the coloring of his coat how he has light areas and dark areas… Lots of varying colors here. That’s what the merle gene does. All right… so… I’m going to start going down his ear here… And along the side of his face
and we’re just going to dive in to it. On the ear… If you just break the ear up in your mind in to thirds: Top third,
bottom two-thirds. You’re going to trim the top third
and leave the bottom two-thirds pretty much alone. This will be kind of a rough cut for the first pass.
And then we’ll… We’ll neaten it up as we go along this afternoon. Maybe now you can get a little bit of a look at his eyes and see some of that silver blue coloring there. It’s typical with merle dogs. Some dogs it’s… some merles,
it’s completely silver blue everywhere. He doesn’t have that, but… So, now I’m going to work on the underside of the ear. And this is one the reasons that
Cockers get ear infections, very frequently! If you see all that hair in there… When this lays down like that it’s just like having… some kind of cover over the entrance to the ear canal. And it gets so moist and warm in there
that it’s just a fertile breeding ground for infections. So, what we want to do is… shave down all this hair
at the entrance to the ear canal so that as much air as possible can get in there
and that’ll help to avoid ear infections. He’s a little matted in here… but no problem. It snags the Clippers just a little bit,
but we can just cut all that away. Okay. That’s the basic ear. Shaved down about a third on this side. Totally shaved around the ear canal. Oh, I missed a little bit there! You get the idea. That promotes air circulation. To save time, I’m gonna go off camera and do this other side that you can’t see on camera And then we’ll come back and we’ll start working on his head and and go down his back. So, now what we’ve got to work on is
all this stuff underneath the neck here. He’s being really, really good…
which makes this very, very easy. So, we’ll just hold on him like that
and shave right up against this… and that should come off real quick. Now you can see what a big difference
we’ve made already. If we can fix this part here…
that’s called the “top knot”… Once we get that fixed… He’s going to look a LOT better than when we started! That’s for sure. So, there’s many different styles of top knots and
I’m just gonna show you a quick and easy one. One thing that you could do is just
with the bare blade just shave it down like that and take it totally off. It doesn’t look bad at all that way. But I like to leave just a little bit extra,
so what I’m going to do is I’m gonna to clip on this
clip-on comb on to the electric clippers. It just attaches right on like that and that prevents me from taking off all the hair. It will leave me about a half inch of hair there. So, then I can just go like this… and shave it down to about a half inch in length. The only problem with these clip-on Combs
is that they snag really easy. So, if he’s got any kind of mats in there,
its gonna snag on that. And you also have to be really careful
when you’re working around his eyes and stuff that you don’t get the plastic of the comb
and poke him in the eye accidentally. So, that helps me to kind of see what
about a half inch length would look like there. Now I’ll just pop that comb off and I can do some of these front pieces
with the bare blade. You could also use scissors here. Whatever you’re more comfortable with. And then on the back side,
we’re going to take it down shorter. This just leaves him with
a little bit of extra hair up on there which is one style of top knot that people kind of like. That’s gonna need just a little bit of tweaking… Let’s work with it a little bit.
You know, trim a few hairs here and there. Maybe get the scissors out and trim a few, but… You can see that roughly
that’s where we want to end up like that. And boy, we’ve made a lot of progress
on that head already, huh? It looks a lot better than when he started! So the next thing is
we’re going to work on his back. So, I’ve been using the Clippers for a few minutes,
so I’m just going to give them one more spray here. That just lubricates them
and keeps them working real good. So, now we’re just going to work on his back. I’ll tell you the trick about the Clippers… See how the hair is pointing THAT way. The lay of the hair is going in that direction. If we clip like this against the lay of the hair or the grain of the hair…
It cuts really, really close. A very severe cut. If we cut in the other direction
WITH the grain of the hair then it’s a less severe cut. It leaves just a little bit more behind.
So, that’s what we’re going to want to do. If you’re going for a super-close shave down,
you’ll go against the grain. And if you’re not, then you’ll go with the grain. That’s what we’re going to do on his back. What you do on on the back is you imagine the width of the Clippers, times about three. And we’re just gonna cut a “reverse Mohawk”
right down the middle of his back about three clipper blades wide. Start right on the top of the back and… Work our way down like that.
There’s one clipper blade width. We’ll just do another clipper blade width there. Oops! Missed a little! And one over on this side. So, now we’ve got a reverse mohawk
down the middle there. It’s all short right down the middle. And we can trim up some these loose hairs here. But the gist of it is that you have
a path down the middle of the back about 3 clipper blades wide… just like that. And then the tricky part…
is what you do NOW! (laughs) Now, we want to blend this… where the short part meets the long part. We want to make that look natural. Because right now it looks like I just took the clippers and went ZZZZZZZZ right down the middle Which is exactly what I did! We want to now neaten that up
so that this blends very, very naturally and when people see him on the street
they think that that’s just the way his hair is: short on the back, and long down below. The way that we do that… is by lifting up with the clippers. The harder you press down, the more they cut. The more you left up, the less that they cut. So, we’re gonna go… We’re going to work down in this direction
all the way down the side and as we go down we’re going to kind of lift up… and that creates a blending effect. And here’s how it works…
just like this. Just go down and lift the Clippers up. This is the part that,
when you try it the very first time, you’re most likely to not get exactly right! Because it takes just a little bit of practice. I’ve only groomed, you know, 300 Cockers in my lifetime. (laughs)
So, that’s pretty easy for me
but maybe on your first time it won’t be. So, what I want you to know is that
it just doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right! Hair will grow back and you can take another stab at it
in another couple of months if you don’t get it right. But that’s kind of what we’re shooting for there… where it kind of blends naturally from that
short spot on the top to the long hair down below. And we’re not going to do a darn thing
to any of this hair down here other than brush it! We’re just going to let that grow
long and natural down there and it should look really, really nice. So I’ll turn the camera off for a minute
and I’ll work on the other side that you can’t see anyway and then we’ll come back and we’ll start
fiddling around with the tail and around the feet. Now, let’s work on the tail. And this is the part that most dogs really don’t like! They just don’t like to be touched down there.
It’s very sensitive. And typically what they will do is they will start to
sit down anytime you work on this tail… they’ll just keep trying to sit down. The technique on the tail
is that we’re going to… pretty much, take most of the hair off the tail. We’ll cut with the grain of the hair on the top
and then on the underneath side… we’ll go against the grain and really do a
shave-down on the underneath side. And also down in this area, too. Now, some people…
this is just a matter of style… they like to let the tail (be) a little longer. If you go to a dog show you’ll see that a real show dog doesn’t have hardly any tail hair at all. So, we’ll just go with the grain here
on this top side and on the sides. He’s being really good about this, actually. There we go!
There’s where he’s going to try and sit down on us. OK, this is a perfect demonstration of why… when you buy a grooming table, you want to get the noose…
the metal noose arm with it. Because if I had thought to bring my
metal noose arm with me today… which I didn’t! I could have the metal arm set up right now
and put his rear end in the noose which would hold it up so that there would be
no way that he could sit down on me and I wouldn’t have to be holding him so much. I’d have my hands free to groom him. So, I think what we’re gonna do now is
I’m going to actually cut away and show you a picture of our dog, Morgan,
having her tail groomed with the use of the noose arm. And you can see how it’s really helpful
in a situation like this. You won’t have the dog sitting down on you
when you try to groom the tail. So, what we do to keep them from sitting down on us is use this noose that comes with the metal arm
when you buy the metal arm for the grooming table and you place the dog’s feet in the noose
and then just bring the noose up like that and attach it to the metal arm. And now there’s no way that they can sit down on you. And now, when we go to do trimming of the tail We’re all set.
Very, very easy! That thing is worth all the money right there. All right! Thank you to Morgan for the tail demo. And now we’re going to go to Dresden’s chest. You can see we’ve still got way too much hair here on the chest. So, we’re going to shave some of this down
to about there. And see how, when I’m getting to the bottom,
I am lifting it up again to make a nice smooth transition
in to the part where we’re going to let it be long. All right!
Now, at this point we’re almost done and we just need to clean up some of these
straggly hairs here. There’s some places where there’s some wild
long hairs here because I did the rough cut but you can always go back then
and really clean it up. So, that’s what I’m going to do now: just find some of these hairs
that are a little too long here. These guys that are sticking up. And just shave them off. And I’ll work all the way around. I’ve got a few on his back here, too,
where I’ll just shave a little more to get it
nice and smooth there. So it’s not choppy. And what you may need to do…
(I’d better come around here.) …is pull on his skin. He’s got a little extra skin here.
So, we just pull up on the skin a little bit to make it tight. And then we can get a nice cut there. So, it’s just a matter now of taking a couple
of minutes to go over him and smooth things out like that.
But that’s the basic cut… Except for one other part that sometimes
causes people trouble! OK, well… one part that we haven’t dealt with yet is the area around the bottom of the feet. And that can cause people some trouble sometimes,
but there is a secret technique. Actually, a secret tool is really what it’s all about! These scissors here…
these are curved scissors. So, if you see how that curves like that
it makes it very, very easy to work around the curve of the head and also around the curve of the feet. So, as you can see, with the curve of the scissors it works perfectly around the curve of the foot. So, all I’m going to do is just go like that… Right around the curve of the foot. And it makes it very, very easy that way… to get a nice foot. We can, when he’s sitting like that,
work on it a little more… and believe me, you could spend an hour
just fiddling with the feet. Getting that cut just right.
But that’s the basic technique there. It’s to use your curved scissors to go around the edge
and sculpt it the way that you want it. So, same thing with the head. You use the
curve of the scissors to your advantage there. And we can get some of these straggly hairs here and neaten this up… Just the way we want it. So, for this very last part I had to get a helper… We have Kellyn holding Dresden here. We’ve flipped him over on his back and we can just do a little trimming
here around the chest. He’s got a few little mats down here.
We’ll just trim them off. And also, it’s a good idea just to trim all around his private parts so that he doesn’t get a bunch of urine in the hair there. If he’ll let you, just shave that off bare. And then it won’t get all soaked with urine
every time he pees. We’ll do a little trim down there… So, hopefully, he doesn’t get poop on himself,
on his hair down there. And we’re pretty much good to go! All right! So, there’s a look at Dresden
after we’re all done grooming him. And let’s go back and take a look at
that shot of Dresden BEFORE I started. Looking like a sheep dog there! and then back here to Dresden after grooming… looking a lot more like a Cocker! Professional grooming would probably
cost you 50 bucks… so, after a few months you’ve paid for the electric clippers and the grooming table
just in your savings and then after that it’s all money in your pocket
after that. So, I want to thank Elizabeth Mazetti of
Second Chance Cocker Rescue for loaning me Dresden for the day.
I sure couldn’t have done it without Dresden! You know, we’ve got a real problem in
this country with all the dogs that are in animal shelters. A lot of times what happens is a dog will get sick and the owner can afford to pay for the veterinary care so they’ll just turn the dog in to the shelter and groups like Second Chance Cocker Rescue
step in in cases like that and and they really help out a lot of
Cockers around the country. If you want to do something nice for Cocker Spaniels, you can make a little donation to
Second Chance Cocker Rescue and that will help some Cockers here in California. Thank you.

41 thoughts on “Cocker Spaniel Grooming – Part 2 of 7

  • It's a #10 blade through the entire video. You can pretty much use a #10 blade for everything you need to do in Cocker Spaniel grooming. Unless you're going to get in to some professional-quality grooming… or show dog grooming… there's really no need for any other blade.


  • Ever use a skip tooth blade when trimming with a attachment for a longer cut. Could I use one to save time and maybe keep the blade cooler. Sometimes I get hemmed up with the blade cutting so slow, when using an attachment for a longer cut.

  • I just got a skip tooth#3, and a !/2", they cut better ,I'm just learning how to groom my cocker.I've been using a pair of scissors for 7 years.

  • I rescued Roda,a cocker.Roda could not find a home. She had been returned to the pound twice,for her aggressive / defensive nature especially around children.Roda has been a great companion to me. . I'm learning how to use clippers .

  • How long does a typical grooming session last with a cocker spaniel? How fast could you do it if you weren't explaining each step?

  • Don't mean to insult but you were making me a nervous wreck in the way you were clipping the inside of the ear…near the envelope. Careful with those clippers.

  • lovely dog he was so calm and cute, i own a cocker spaniel and she is like my baby, in Panama ( the country) grooming a dog cost 15 to 20 boxs, little bit expensive in the US 50 boxs.
    You did a great job, and i am happy to know about the organization that help rescue cockers, the most beautiful dogs in the world!

  • This video was FANTASTIC. i havent even used clippers before and i did a pretty darn good job for my first time! Even with the blending. Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Hi Jim, I love your videos (you ear treatment video for cockers ears have saved me hundreds a year in vet bills), what size do you recommend to groom a cocker to not leave him too short, (I like my dog with about 1 inch of hair), BTW I took you recommendation and got the Andis Dog AGC 2 clippers.

  • what a cute and relaxed dog! i love this! got a bit nervous when u shaved his private part. haha. i am sure he enjoyed being groomed. look at all that hair, must be a lot breezier for him when u shave off so much hair. 😀

  • Wow, he looks beautiful.  He is very well behaved too, my cocker would never sit still like that if I was grooming him.

  • It does not like a cocker spaniel, it's bit like a mix I think. Does anyone know this breed? I like it very much! Thanks

  • I've just bought all the grooming tools to start home grooming my cockapoo. She has mats on her chest she won't let me use the mat cutter on. Also don't have a #2 person to help with sanitary area. So I hope I end up with both hands intact.

  • I am so glad I found your video! It's really helped me a lot – especially your reassuring manner when explaining each part of the process. I really appreciate your sharing your tips. 🙂

  • I’ve been doing a little research on cocker spaniels because I hope to have one of my own one day. I currently have 2 Siberian huskies whom I adore. Cocker spaniels are just as beautiful and I like that they are energetic as well. Thank you for sharing these. It’s great to know you can groom them yourself 🙂

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