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
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!
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.
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 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 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?
Groom Lingo: #5 sport with #3 on legs/chest with a rounded Bichon puppy face …scissor to blend and finish.
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!
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!!
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??
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.
Today’s puppy of the week is Mr. Rufus Bodenheimer and he is without a doubt Daddy’s little man. He had absolutely zero desire to be handed over to me this morning: I had to promise Dad that I didn’t torture him last time, and I would hide the rack and other cruel and unusual devices this time as well. Of course as soon as the coast was clear, I got a big ole slobbery kiss followed by a waggly saunter over to the table…oh yes Rufus, I see how you operate, you sly little labradoodle.
Rufus was getting a little clean up and a thin out. Rufus is more labra than poodle so the fur gets thick, but it’s not as curly and the texture is finer than a poodle. Dad likes to keep a longer coat, so I made sure to have a good shine leave in conditioner going on and then spent a good bulk of the time doing thinning all over using a combination of Coat King and large bulk thinners.
The end result is a shiny, healthy coat that lays closer to the body which keeps Rufus more comfy in this heat and still keeps him looking teddy bear soft and fuzzy which keeps Dad happy.
I have decided that my dearest husband is a far better picture taker than myself…heck I didn’t even know you could adjust the resolution on our camera. So, with any luck he will always be present for my POWs as sometimes it’s hard to get a good picture when they are dancing around happy to be finished and ready to see mom or dad.
This week’s POW is a two for one special. Roscoe and Jasmine are two pint sized poodles who had a bit of coiffing to do. I assured the parental units they were in good hands and went to town.
Please save me!
Roscoe is about the size of a peanut and I think he was nervous that he was facing Nurse Ratchet. Fear not little one, I’m going to make you look so bad ass that the neighborhood mutts will cower in fear:
Don't tread on me.
Roscoe got a shave down for the summer and is also working the mohawk and goatee…all he needs is a heart “MOM” tat.
Jasmine is a tad bigger than her brother and she shall forever be referred to in my mind as the mexican jumping bean. While I was working on Roscoe, she was bouncing in front of the window trying to get a peek of the goings on at the bakery next door. I swear she should be a show dog!
I left Jasmine a little longer and with a sweet teddy face to compliment her happy go lucky personality. Both left with a happy mom and ready to rock!
Hello...I really like you.
Groom Lingo: Roscoe 7 strip, reverse 7 on face and hand scissor mohawk and goatee. Jasmine 5 strip, short ears and scissor round face.
I joke that I have tapped into a secret underground organized gang of frisky well adjusted Westies. I thought there were no Westies in New Orleans after several months of grooming here and not having one. Then one magical day my luck changed and within a week and a half I had groomed five of them! They are all fantastic owners and I have them all on a pretty regular schedule so about every 9-10 weeks I have the Westie mafia roll into my hood 😀
He's a lover not a fighter!
This little heart throb is Rascal – he’s twelve years old but just as feisty and fun as any youngin I’ve encountered. Mom is a groomer’s dream – a clockwork groom schedule with a bath and tidy up appt in between. We like to keep Rascal comfy so he gets a shortened skirt, but he’s got great hair structure to support the full Westie head.
Groom Lingo: #7 from 1″ below occiput down the back. Skim the #7 down the ribs to blend the back pattern and where the skirt begins. Note: there should not be a real sharp contrast here..the skirt should not look “wide”…the skirt should fall naturally downward from the widest part of the rib cage. Scissor legs, skirt line, carrot tail and face/head using thinners to clear inner eye/bridge of nose as well as to finish the blend on the skirt. Tip top third of the ear with a #10 and scissor the edge for a sharp ear.
Oggie at rest
Spring has sprung and it’s puppy cut season!
This week’s puppy is a fine looking 5 year old Shih Tzu named Oggie. Oggie’s mom and dad are moving so Oggie had a fabu morning at Casa Swinley. A little pampering and styling along with a whole lot of playing with Molly.
Oggie proves that you do not have to shave down to baldness just to cool off for the summer. Also short cut doesn’t mean lack of style. We kept Oggie’s silky tail long and flowing, but short enough to bounce and shimmy just like he does. Oggie has a squared off face which shows off a little smart maturity.
Oggie ready for more play!
Groom lingo: Rocker #3 thinning rib cage/chest area. Scissor legs, squared jaw with ears blunt to match the jaw line.
Be sure to check out more grooming pics on my Flickr stream to the right!