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Used with the kind permission of Jan Anderson

Grooming the Spinone head. The tools I use depends on the dog. If the coat comes out easily I do the whole head, ears and neck by hand - a washing-up household rubber glove is useful for getting a good grip. Thinning scissors are good for use on very hairy dogs to get the long ear hair shortened before hand stripping to get a nice finish. Also a Mars stripping knife is a useful tool to have in the grooming bag for hair that won’t hand strip.

Kiri is the demonstration dog in the pictures and this is what I did.

I started with the ears. All the long hair round the edges of the ears I trimmed first with thinning scissors - holding the ear out and following the line of the ear shape I trimmed all round ONCE about a quarter inch away from the actual ear and this removed about 20% of the hair. I then went round a SECOND time about half an inch away from the ear, again removing another 20%. This thinned out the long hair by about 40% on two different lengths (quarter and half inch) so it doesn't look cut. Then I hand stripped the remaining 60% with the rubber glove leaving a natural fringe of about quarter of an inch. Because it's been thinned by the scissors you can take little sections and fan out what's left between the finger and thumb and pluck out the longer bits - this takes a while but you get a nice natural finish.


Click all pics to enlarge


Next I did the outer surface of the ear, working from the top where the ear cartelige is I put the knucle of my left forefinger under the ear to hold the ear out slightly and strip downwards with the right thumb and fore-finger all the way down to the ear tip - again with the rubber glove - the bend caused by the left hand spreads the fur out so you can pluck it with the right hand. You don’t need to strip it all off – just blend short to long downwards.The top of the skull, from the eyebrows backwards towards the occiput and down the neck towards the shoulder points can be stripped in the direction the fur grows by hand or the Mars stripping knife if it’s very hairy. Short on the head and blending the length down into the shoulders so you don’t get a line between short and long where the neck meets the shoulders

Then I did the bit between the outside edge of the eye and the front edge of the ear downwards following the neck down to the sternum - if it's really thick I comb it with the stripping knife several times to reduce the thickness and then follow that up with the rubber glove stripping by pinching with the left thumb and fore-finger and fan out the fur and then pluck out with the right thumb and fore-finger in a downwards direction.

Next I did the bridge of the nose area where the top of the muzzle ends and the stop slopes gently up between the eyes - this is the hardest bit to do as Kiri was very profuse in the hair department here and it's
difficult to get the balance right - too much hair at the bottom of the stop makes the muzzle look short from a profile view but you want a bit of a fan there, short enough to see the eyes but long enough to blend in.
Last of all I did the eyebrows - again here I pluck them a bit at a time - I would use the stripping knife here do a bit first to thin them if they are very hairy and flopping over the eyes before shaping them by hand stripping.








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