If you want to be a successful dog groomer, you’re going to need to know the Teddy Bear Cut. But if you’re new to this haircut style, don’t worry! QC Pet Studies alumnus, April Costigan, is here to break down everything you need to know to get started!
Benefits of Giving Your Dog a Short Haircut:
Defining Groomer Speak: Cute but Confusing Terms
When I worked as a pet groomer, I learned how to speak grooming language and how to interpret my clients needs and desires. Not all groomers can translate dog owners wishes into great haircuts, however. I sympathize with pet owners and groomers who have a hard time understanding each other. There are various terms in grooming, and groomers use words that are unique to their trade.
I have defined here some of the terminology of the dog grooming world to help facilitate effective communication on both sides! Better communication can make it easier for dog owners to get a more unique haircut for their dogs.
There is a big difference between dropping your dog off for a generic haircut and bath and bringing them in for a beautiful, made-to-order, fancy haircut. You won’t get the cut you want if you don’t know how to communicate what you want to your groomer. Sometimes there is confusion and disappointment when pet owners ask for certain types of cuts and it doesnt come out the way they wanted.
It’s a good idea to build a relationship with your dog groomer; talk to them and ask questions so you both understand what you would like your pet to look like.
Heres a sneak peek of the topics this article covers:
Shihtzu with a teddy bear cut using an #A comb.
Teddy bear and puppy cuts are essentially the same thing.
Do you see in the pictures how I labeled one a puppy cut and the other a teddy bear cut? They look the same and are the same. In fact, the difference between a 3-3/4 blade and the #A comb is less than half an inch. Only the faces are different and that is only due to the owners preference.
This poodle mixs mommy knows how to communicate, and he gets this same custom cut every time: a #5 kennel clip with poodle feet, poodle face, with a short pier-type mustache. Never shorten the tail!
The kennel cut has its origin in the idea that when not showing or otherwise using your dog in the capacity for which he is bred, you would keep his coat very short.
Short coats are easy to manage and less maintenance can be desirable in the “offseason.” Most hunting dogs, for example, are “kenneled” in the “offseason.” Thats how the expression “kennel cut” was born. It actually does not indicate a particular length, except for short. In my book, that is 1/16th of an inch (#10) up to about 1/3 of an inch (#5).
This type of cut is very practical for dog owners with animals that have profuse amounts of coat that they need while hunting to protect their bodies, for instance, but which requires too much up-keep when the hair is not needed.
I put up two pics of kennel cuts so you could see that it is a short cut on the body with lots of options for the head and tail.
Cocker cut. Sorry not a good pic of the body, but the head detail is excellent.
Breed cuts obviously vary greatly from breed to breed. Most groomers can give your dog their proper breed cut if that is what you are looking for.
Don’t assume that you can accomplish the pattern yourself. The proper breed haircut is established by the AKC (the American Kennel Club), and there are many good breed pattern books on the market. They are not hard to do if you know the correct techniques, but if you are looking for perfection, you must start with an almost perfectly bred, show-quality animal.
As for show grooming, there are few groomers who will attempt to do show-quality grooming for you. For most of us, it is not cost-effective to put in the time and effort.
If you need a show-quality groom, please seek out a groomer that advertises this and has years of experience in the show arena. They may want to keep your dog for a few days and will charge four to five times what a pet groomer will charge, but your pet will be show-ring ready at the end of the process.
This refers to shaving between the toes and over the entire foot so that it is bald or has barely any hair left.
This means shaving the face, cheeks, and muzzle to a nearly bald length, just like poodle feet.
Arguments for Long and Short Haircuts
To help you mentally prepare for your pets haircut and decide which style to ask for, ask yourself the following questions:
In regards to the second question, check to see if the following applies.
What is the difference between a puppy cut and a teddy bear cut?
How do you ask for a teddy bear cut?
How do you cut a teddy bear puppy hair?
- Small notch shaved between the eyes.
- Short hair trim around the ears and eyes.
- Have the groomer use round scissors around the dogs muzzle.
- Use blending shears to help blend the hair evenly around the face and ears.