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How to Give A Dog A Facelift

In our salons, one of the most popular head styles is round. Especially when it comes to Doodles, mixed breeds of all sorts, lots of drop-coated breeds plus a few others.

Did you know there is an easy way to make any dog look younger? More perky?

And the best part – it’s SIMPLE!

Shorten the ears and the muzzle.

Long ears and muzzles drag a dog down, making them look older. It also detracts from a bright expression.

Plus, all the excessive coat is a dirt magnet. It’s constantly getting dragged through their food and water dishes. Longer fur drags on the ground as they pick up all their ‘doggie messages.’ (that’s gross!) Unless it’s being washed almost daily, it gets dirty, stinky and oily. And the potential for mats and tangles is increased the longer the coat.

How short do you go? That’s up to you and the owner.

Whatever the look, it should complement the trim and the dog. It needs to balance with the overall haircut.

Here are five examples, with a little editing in Photoshop, showing the differences. The most of images are of one photo, except for the last dog. I have elongated or shortened both the muzzle and the ears so you can clearly see the differences.

All five images are cute. But I personally think the ones with the shorter ears and muzzle make the dog look younger. Perkier with a nice, cheerful expression.

Image #1

The dog’s ears and muzzle are the longest. They both need to be trimmed by hand with shears. Once the length is established, many stylists like to soften the look with blenders or chunkers. With this longer style, the ears and muzzle coat will be more likely to gather debris. They will be wet and soggy. Plus, both will get greasy and stinky in no time. Depending on the texture of the fur combined with how often the client cares for these areas between groomings, they are prone to mats and tangles too. From a style standpoint, this is a heavier head style. It can make many pets look older and tired. It can also be challenging to trim the head to balance out with shorter haircuts.

Image #2

The ears are slightly longer than the nose. Even though they are slightly shorter than the first image, they will still drag through nasty items on the ground. How come? They are trimmed beyond the length of the nose. The muzzle coat is longer as too, although not as long as the first dog. Both the ears and the muzzle are trimmed by hand as with image #1. Even though the ears and the muzzle are shorter, this dog will still have a messy face in no time. This style IS easier to care for than image #1. But I think of this head style as “dated,” like a kitchen from the ’80s. I know many owners still opt for this style. However, I question if they were given an option, shown examples and the benefits explained, would they really choose it?

Image #3

The ears and muzzle have been shortened using shears and blenders. The eyes and nose have been placed more at the center of the headpiece. The dog’s ears are trimmed to the length of the nose and then softened with blenders. To me, this style gives a more youthful look. It normally balances well with shorter, low maintenance type haircuts. Plus, there are a few bonuses. The ears won’t drag on the ground at this length and they clear the dishes. Big bonus for an owner. They stay clean longer! Same goes for the shorter muzzle coat. Shorter coat on the muzzle means it will stay cleaner too. Plus, neither are prone to mats and tangles.

Image #4

The muzzle is the same length as in image #3. However, the ears have been clipped with a #10 or #15 blade. However, other blade options also work from a #7F to a guard comb. This style gives the round head style a totally different look. It’s very easy to care for and can be matched with both short and longer haircut styles. It’s appealing to a lot of people once they get over the fear of removing the long coat on the ears and the muzzle. Many people think it makes their pet look puppyish again. Normally a positive attribute many clients love.

Image #5

On this gray and white Shih Tzu, a medium length guard comb was used on the entire head, including the muzzle area. The ears were trimmed with a #7F blade working from the top of the ear out towards the edges. Once the excessive coat was removed, blending shears were used to detail any uneven spots on the dog’s head. This is a cute, fast and easy and appealing head. Not only is it charming, but it’s also effortless to take care of between groomings. It works best on low maintenance, no-frills type short haircuts.

There are lots of ways to achieve a round head style. There are many options on how to achieve a style that will work for both the pet and their owner. I have presented just five different options.

In my opinion, the three with the shorter ears and muzzle coat help a dog to look younger, almost like a puppy again. Sort of a pooch facelift! What do you think?

Choose one of these looks or create your own signature style!

The key here is to have fun with selecting a style. Know your options. Know the subtle differences between the styles. Whatever you choose – make it appealing AND practical for the owner.

Happy Trimming,

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