Courtney Ramstack a compassionate stylist with a dynamic personality. She has a strong sense of quality with everything that she does. Courtney has trained over 150 grooming students. She takes great pride to make her shops fun and exciting places to work.
We are proud to have Courtney as one of our Training Partners at Learn2GroomDogs.com. The first time I heard this idea explained by her, I thought she was brilliant!
This vivid grooming tip comes from Courtney. This is her description of how to trim an ear short in her video lessons.
Clipper trimming the ear on a dog can be a dangerous step in the grooming process if it is not done correctly. It is very easy to nick an ear with the clipper blade. The ear leather is thin. If you do not follow the correct direction of the coat growth, the ear leather can feed easily between the teeth of the blades.
Courtney came up with a very clever way to describe how to clip an ear to minimize accidents. The visual clarity of her description makes it almost impossible for student to do it wrong. When she’s training new groomers this is how she talks them through the process.
Think of the ear leather like a leaf. It has veins that you can clearly see running through the entire leaf. Think of the dog’s ear like a leaf.
When trimming, a very close blade, like a #40, is typically used on the inside of the ear leather.
The outside of the ear leather is typically left slightly longer. Blades can range from a #30 blade all the way up to longer guard combs. This technique works well with any blade length when a clipper is being used to style the ear.
When you start clipping, lay the ear across your open fingers. Start clipping from the top of the ear at the center — where the stem would be. As you clip, keep the ear gently braced on your fingers. From that center point of the leaf, clip out towards the edges, following the veins just like on a leaf. Keep your fingers underneath the ear as you move the clipper towards the edges to brace it. This will keep the ear stable and the dog under control as the clipper removes the coat.
On dogs with natural ears, there is a small skin flap on the inside of the ear leather. This delicate skin flap is typically found on the back side of the ear. When you flip the ear over and hold it in your hand, normally you can see it clearly. You need to be careful of the skin flap — it is very easy to catch it in teeth of your clipper blade. Typically, the closer of blade cuts, the less likely it is to catch that inside ear flap. For safety, always know where that skin flap is located.
As long as you clip in the same direction as the veins of the leaf, your risk of injury to the ear leather is very minimal. As you clip — or instruct someone else — imagine following the veins of a beautiful leaf. It’s hard to do it wrong with Courtney’s clear visual image etched in your mind.