Achieving the Perfect Disguise on Curly Coated Mixed Breeds

Mixed Breeding Grooming by Oster with Christina Pawlosky www.osterpro.com

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The popular Bichon look can be a great fit for a wide variety of mixed breeds. The playful Bichon cut can be a little tricky to master even for the experienced groomer. Having the right assortment of grooming tools on-hand is essential to accomplishing each step effectively, efficiently and safely.

For this cut, we used a mixed breed dog named Sox. The following steps will help you create the Bichon look for mixed breeds:

STEP 1 Bathe and Dry

Bathe the dog with Hydrosurge® Hypoallergenic Shampoos and Conditioners. Using the Hydrosurge® Very Berry Face wash, make sure to clean the dog’s face and ears very well. This preparation will make the hair a lot easier to groom.

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STEP 2 Trim Around the Eyes

Shape the eyes round using the Oster® Lithium Ion Juice® clipper on the middle (#10 blade) setting. Remove the hair at the bottom of the eye socket. Using the Oster® Super Steel 8” curved Convex 2 shears, go over the eyes and remove the eyelashes.

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STEP 3 Clip the Ears  The Oster® Super Steel Convex 2 Shears has a micro-serrated edge, which removes the coat effortlessly leaving a beautiful finish. Make sure not to lift the ears as you trim the head so that they appear as part of the entire frame of the face. The eyes and nose should come just above or very close to the center of the round head.

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STEP 4 Shaping the Muzzle

Using the Oster® Lithium Ion Juice® and a ¾” comb attachment, cut the length of under the jaw. Then it is on with shaping. Using only shears gives the pet a soft, clean and round look.

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STEP 5 Clip the Head

Comb the head hair forward in small sections using the Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 curved 8 inch shear. Trim each layer so that it blends into the first one. Nothing should be hanging past your first line.

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STEP 6 Clip the Neck and Front of the Body

The neck should appear long. Make sure to leave additional hair to fill in from the back of the skull to the shoulder and blend smoothly into the level back and top-line using the Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 straight 8 inch shear followed by the Oster® 26 tooth blender. To clip the front of the dog, use the Oster® A6 Clipper with a #3 blade. Using the same blade, make sure to take the throat tight and cut on a good angle into the front of the front leg, as this will accentuate the chest.

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STEP 7 Clip the Rear of the Body and Rear Legs

Follow the natural line of the dog, the rear angle of the dog should match the front angle. Using a ½” comb attachment over a #30 blade on the Oster® A6 clipper, start clipping reverse to the lay of coat and remove the coat from the bend as shown. If the dog I am grooming does not have the correct angles, I tighten the bends even more and allow the hock hair to be longer.

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STEP 8 Clip the Middle of the Body

The goal is to create a sturdy bodied dog with rounded edges and overall symmetry. Use the Oster® A6 Clipper and a ½” comb attachment over a #30 blade. If the dog you are grooming is thinner bodied, use a longer attachment such as a ¾” or even a 1” if your dog is really thin.

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STEP 9 Clip the Front Legs

I personally like to knock off the hair from the leg with the Oster® A6 clipper and a comb attachment. For this cut I used a 1” comb over a #30 blade. To ensure the look of a well sprung rib and nice amount of chest, the dog’s legs should sit directly under the dog’s withers with some light coming between the front legs. Take the inside or outside tight, depending on the way the dog stands (for this part of the cut I use the Oster® A6 clipper with the 1” comb attachment over a #30 blade).

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STEP 10 Finishing the Feet

Clip the pads clean using the Oster® Juice Clipper on the middle setting or a #10 blade on the Oster® A6 clipper. The feet should be trimmed round and look like pillars sitting on the ground.  The Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 curved 8 inch shear are ideal for a clean finish. For safety, do not scissor directly over the pads of the feet.

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STEP 11 Finish the Tail

Hold the tail over the dog’s back and trim the coat at about a 30-degree angle, tight against the back of the tail using the Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 straight 8 inch shears.  Make sure to blend the tail into the rear angle. If the dog has a long tail, tip the end to make the tail appear thicker.

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Disguising mix breeds to look like other breeds can be easy as long as the mix breed dog has some characteristics of the chosen breed cut. Sox was a natural for the Bichon look. Grooming should be a pleasant experience for the groomer and the dog. Choosing the right tools and the trim that suit the dog best is essential for a great grooming experience.   ♦

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