November puppies!

Figuring out some thoughts for future posts here at clean puppy central, but in the meantime I bring you a couple happy faces for Thanksgiving week.  These puppies were groomed and ready for Thanksgiving feasts and treats:

Coco Coco

Coco – Sweet yorkiepoo – more poo than yorkie…very cute and full of energy! I used a #5 blade so she was still a little fluffy, but short enough to easily maintain. I used a #3 around the face and scissored the top of the head so that it was round puppy face with rounded ears and squirrel tail.

Lily – My one and only cairn terrier and I adore her! – I do a breed standard cut, very close on the back with sides blending into a short skirt. I scissor her legs which are not as full as some cairns and a full terrier head.

Last but not least…Zulabelle…4 lbs of Pekingese cuteness overload. Zulabelle is the poster child for why you should make sure your groomer uses forced air drying when grooming. The warm air pressure close to the body will blow any dead coat leaving behind a shiny healthy coat. Every five weeks or so I blow out the equivalent of another Zulabelle in fur!

 Onto December!

GreysAngel Q&A Corner: Short haired doggies like spa day too!

Q: I have a pug-bulldog-doxie-corgi…(insert other short haired fur baby).  Does he/she really need to be groomed?

A: Congratulations for picking a low maintenance dog in terms of grooming needs!  It is true, these short haired cutie pies never need to grace the doors of a groom shop or puppy spa.  However, there are benefits to bringing your easy breezy canine companion to a groomer such as:

  • Nail clipping – Not all vets will do this unless asked (and charged!), and not all dogs get enough exercise to naturally grind down their own nails (puggies, I’m not looking at you …honest).  Healthy nails equal healthy paw pads and healthy leg stance along with walking and running gait. Make sure your dogs’ nails clear the floor..if they are clicking on your tiles or wood, they are too long.
  • Forced air drying – Short hair does not equal less hair when it comes to the dreaded shed.  Depending on the breed, dogs either shed year round or they shed cyclically.  There is no product that will completely eliminate shedding.  NONE.  There are things that help reduce the excess.  A trip to a groomer who uses forced air drying will really help in blowing and brushing loose coat, leaving the remaining coat shiny and healthy.
  • Fwunk redunx - Fwunka funk.  You know what I’m talking about.  Ears.  Eye goobers and crusties. Butt.  Anal glands. Girly bits.  It happens.  A good groomer gets deep in those ears to clean out the black and yeasty.  Products like Micro Tek help reduce unpleasant odors in other areas.  Well that, and just a good deep clean with someone who’s used to getting their hands dirty.
Bella Corgi

Look ma, clean ears!

So next time you are chasing around fur balls (the ones without legs) or getting your legs mangled by the eager puppy claws of death, give a shout out and get your pooch pampered and squeaky clean!

BARKTOBER FEST 2011!

Today is Canine Connection’s annual Barktober Fest and here are some puppies who are ready for Halloweenie puppy trick and treating! I’ll be there participating in some of the festivities and drumming up some press for Canine’s new downtown location by the New Orleans Mercedes Benz Superdome! Stop on by Canine Connection where the free fun starts at 4pm~!

Dublin - Master of the house!

Giant!

Bella Boo!

POW – (La Femme) Nikkita

Treats please!

Treats please!

Everytime I hear Nikkita, I think about that movie. 

The only danger with this Nikkita is that she can potentially melt your heart with cuteness overload. I mean look at her sitting all perfectly … surely the little head tilt alone is worth a treat – or five. Nikkita is a Havanese puppy who is full of the joys of spring. Mom and Dad wanted a manageable length puppy cut “without it looking shaved.” I’m definitely not from the puppy cut = shave down school of grooming so this is not a problem!

Nikkita in profile

Nikkita in profile

I like this picture because it’s a fairly good profile shot so you can see what’s going on groom wise. In the realm of puppy cuts, you have three basic “styles” to pick from in terms of everything past the ears. There’s the “strip” or “kennel” which generally implies one length all over aka the shave down. Now you can pick a number of long or short blades to do a strip so this doesn’t have to mean butt nekkid.

Next up is called a “sport” cut. This is generally a shorter cut on the body with a little fuller leg which gives the appearance of a “fluffier” look overall. I tend to favor a fuller leg – some people think it looks like little pantaloons, but I just like it because it’s easy for the parent to maintain and still look like a styled cut. Last but not least is the “panda” cut, which is a sport cut but with a skirt left on the undercarriage. The skirt can be fairly short …don’t think Westie or Yorkie or anything like that. Nikkita has a short panda…it’s not as short on her chest and belly as it is on her back and sides…that’s the differentiation between a panda and a sport.

So next time you want a puppy cut, feel free to consider some of the grooming terms I’ve mentioned above! The most important piece of information is how much length you want either taken off, or left on…the rest is just details which I believe can be used to achieve a look you are ultimately most happy with and can manage to maintain!

Ready to play!

Ready to play!

Groom lingo: #4 short Panda with #3 on the chest and skim on the legs to blend transitional areas. Scissor legs to finish. Light #3 around the head with thinning to create round face. Rounded short puppy ears and full tail.

POW – Ellie & Winkie!

This week is a two for one special featuring two very loved and very cute Bichons. Mom is a recent New Orleans transplant from sunny California in need of a groomer for her precious two. Bichons are well reputed for being bubbly bundles of love and affection and Ellie and Winkie are no exception.

Ellie Ellie is the older sister and a bit bigger than her bro as well. She was pretty playful, but mostly enjoyed waiting for mom on top of the back of the couch where she could keep an eye on the goings on outside.

Winkie! Winkie is a cute little munchkin who came to me with a very squared off/angled face which is very un-Bichon and not even Poodle like so I’m not really sure what the story was there, but I think we got the sweet round head momma was looking for. Winkie pretended to be all high brow, but I caught him sniffing around for a little Molly attention!

Both Ellie and Winkie got nice short puppy cuts for summer while keeping their full Bichon tails and round fuzzy adorable faces. At the end of the session, they both were happy, clean and ready for pick up!

Mom is that you?

Mom is that you?

Groom Lingo: #5 sport with #3 on legs/chest with a rounded Bichon puppy face …scissor to blend and finish.

POW – Pat!

It’s been awhile since I posted a puppy of the week and this week’s puppy is quite special.

Pat is a rescue puppy that landed into the arms of Au Pair des Chiens owner AnneMarie. AnneMarie already being up to her elbows in puppies did everything in her power to find Pat a home. After several weeks of almost-not quite-not sure attempts, Pat went home to hang with his new pug bro Frankie.

Pat's game face!

Pat's game face!

I admit to being a bit nervous grooming Pat as I had no past history of any kind. The only thing I knew for sure was he was pretty starved for attention after being moved about and one step away from the proverbial axe. Plus, check out his game face, yo…he’s not messing around.

However, I do have a soft spot for terriers and Pat ended up being a very behaved boy – guess he liked being the center of attention on the groom table!!

Pat - wire fox terrier

Mom being used to a no fuss no muss pug wasn’t quite sure what to do for him, so I pointed her in the breed standard direction and I think she was pleased. Handsome lad, yes??

Pat - profile

Groom lingo: breed standard, wire fox terrier. #7 on the back, #3 to blend. I used a reverse #7 on the head and a #10 on the ears. I scissored the legs, skirt and tipped the ears to finish.

Hot Spots – The 411

Hot spots (fancy name: acute moist dermatitis) are circular lesions varying in size that appear on various parts of a dog’s body. They tend to be most often found where a dog can reach such as the legs, paws, belly, and sanitary area. Hot spots are moist, raw, inflamed and hairless, and can be quite painful. Dogs will most often lick, bite or scratch the area, irritating the inflamed skin and growing the spot even more. Depending on how obsessive your dog is over the spots, they can change dramatically in size over a short period of time.

Hot spots are often caused by an allergic reaction such as insect bites (including fleas and mites), food allergies or inhalant allergies, but can also be caused by ear infections, burs, or mild burns that can occur from poor grooming. Hot spots tend to occur more with long haired dogs and dogs with dense undercoats.

Prevention of course is the best treatment. Many dogs that have repeated problems with hot spots can have the incidence greatly reduced by keeping their hair clipped short during summer, giving them frequent medicated baths and following a strict flea control program. Depending on the location of the hot spot, cleaning the ears regularly and expressing the anal glands as needed may also be beneficial.

The good news is this is not a long term disease and can be treated and be gone in less than a week. Another lesion may suddenly appear later the same summer, the next year or never be seen again on that dog. Treatment should be directed at stopping the growth of the hot spot as well as trying to eliminate the cause. The first step in treating hot spots is to clip the hair over and surrounding the lesion which allows air to get into the inflamed tissue and makes it easier to treat and heal. The surface of the lesion should then be cleaned with a non-irritating solution followed by a desiccating powders such as Burows solution (Domeboro powder and water). The next step is to prevent your dog from traumatizing the area even more by blocking his/her access to the spots. An elizabethan collar works very well for this. Nails should also be clipped or sanded and socks can be put on the hind feet to reduce trauma from possible scratching.

I use Eqyss MicroTek medicated shampoo and spray/gel for prevention and treatment of hot spots…the link to Eqyss can be found on the right. I have found that all three products really help cut down the dogs’ desire to itch which helps to prevent hot spots from occuring and helps in the healing process of already existing hot spots. The spray can be used in between baths or for cleaning ears by spraying a cotton pad and gently wiping the inside of the ear. The gel can be used directly on an existing hot spot as long as your dog doesn’t like the taste of the gel or can’t get to the spot!