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An Easy Way to Create a Poodle Beveled Cuff

As with all grooming techniques, there are many ways to get the job done.

When I was a contest groomer, I always did my Poodle cuffs by hand. I would brush the coat down then give it a quick fluff with my comb. Once it was fluffed, I’d glide a long straight shear in and set the lower edge. Then I’d re-fluff and grab my long curved shears to round and bevel the edges. It was time-consuming.

Done well, the beveled cuffs came out gorgeous. Done poorly, they were a sloppy mess. I had four chances to be perfect with my cuffs – or four chances to really mess up.

For pet dogs, I quickly taught myself another method. It was quick. Fool-proof. And it worked well on most of my shorter stylized pet trims.

On most of my pet trims, I cheated off excess leg hair by skimming it with a guard comb. Not only was it fast – it helped me set the length, too. Once I had the legs roughed in, I would brush the leg coat over the clipped foot with a firm slicker brush. I would slide my hand down the leg with my thumb and first finger resting just below the clipper line on the Poodle foot. My fingers would be my guide as I slid in a small pair of detailing scissors (I choose small shears for the safety of my own fingers!). I would scissor all the way around the cuff line, removing the longer hair.

When I released the coat… voila! A perfect cuff for an active pet. I could adjust the fullness of the beveled cuff by adjusting my scissored line somewhere between the lines of the knuckles of the foot and just below the clipped line on the foot. The lower I was on the foot with my cuff line, the fuller the bevel.

Once my cuff was set, I would neaten and finish the entire leg with shears, smoothing out my guard comb work.

I used this method for years. I even started to incorporate it into my more polished work in the contest ring. It worked well there, too – especially if I used it as a double-check after I did my cuffs with longer shears.

In the past few years, I’ve seen extremely talented stylists start using another method to get perfect cuffs every time. They use a #30 or #40 blade on their clippers! Who knew?

So how do you do it?

It’s very similar to my old method, but instead of shears, pet stylists reach for their cordless 5 in 1 style clipper. They set the blade at the shorter levels, basically the length of a #30 or #40 blade.

Hold the foot off the table at a comfortable level for the pet. With a firm slicker brush, brush all the hair down around the foot. Once the coat is brushed into place, slide your hand down the pet’s leg, thumb and forefinger closest to the foot.

Stop and hold the foot with your fingers coming to rest right at the clipped cuff line. While maintaining your hold on the foot, gently trim at right angles around the cuff with the #30 or #40 blade. Simply touch the coat at the edge line you want to set.

The fullness of the leg coat will determine where you place the line. For fuller legs, use the top of the crease marks on the toes. If the leg coat is shorter, move the line closer to the clipped cuff line.

When you release the coat, the fur will be nicely beveled. The line should be crisp and free of all stray hairs. As with the hand-scissored cuff, check the work from all angles to make sure the cuffs are level from side to side and front to back. Don’t forget to look from table level when inspecting your cuffs for perfection.

It may take a few tries to perfect this technique, but once you do, creating flawless cuffs every time becomes simple. With a well-prepped dog, this technique is fun, fast, and super safe.

Happy trimming!


MVpaw_no_Inner_white  Did you try it? How did it work for you? Jump on the Learn2GroomDogs.com Facebook page and tell us what works for you!

‘Twas the Week Before Christmas

Welcome to my blog!  For the next few weeks, my marketing expert, Joelle Asmondy, will be filling in for me while I work on a large project.  Joelle is a whiz with marketing.  I can’t wait to see which helpful tidbits she shares with you!  Enjoy!

It’s the week before Christmas and everyone rushes
from Bichons to Shih Tzu’s with clippers and brushes.

Tis our busiest season and everyone knows it.
We’re stressed and we’re tired – though nobody shows it!

The shop is set up to be warm and inviting
and we’re all so grateful that no dogs are biting!

With bathers in aprons and stylists in smocks,
our team is assembled and watching the clocks

when out in the lobby arose such a clatter
we ran to the front to see what was the matter.

With leashes in hand, we kenneled pups safely,
(We never take chances with anyone’s safety!)

Our beautiful lobby, once tidy and neat
was now complete chaos with guests on their feet.

The source of the barking and noise was no grander
than just a big dog with delusions of grandeur.

A big ol’ sweet mixed breed so lively and quick,
we knew in a moment he must be “Saint Nick.”

“Saint Nick” is just “Nicky” but everyone knows
the kind of behavior he typically shows:

“Down Nicky! Don’t eat that! Get back here! Stop hissin’!
Don’t do that! Stop barking! Why won’t you please listen?!”

From the top of her lungs her owner did shout,
“Now stop it at once or I’ll take you back out!!”

With legs like a hurricane Nicky did fly
to each couch, chair, and person who stood closely by.

He tangled up leashes, to laptops he flew.

He knocked them aside – stepped on their dogs, too!

And then when we thought he was settling down,
he jumped, and he barked, and spread drool all around.

We all scrambled to help and use calming voices
before customers wished they had made different choices.

Saint Nicky was filthy, from his head to his toes
and his hair was all matted (you know how it goes).

A shoe lace of slobber completed the mess
and where it would land was anyone’s guess.

His eyes – how they twinkled! His dog tags, how clinky!
His coat – how atrociously pelted and stinky!

His sweet little mouth was drawn up in a grin.
We wondered just what in the heck he’d rolled in!

His stump of a tail knocked bystanders down
as he turned, and he dashed, and he slobbered around.

He shredded a jacket with teeth like a knife –
it’s clear he was having the time of his life.

Nick’s owner was clearly in over her head –
her own hair in tangles, her face turning red.

(She’d given no training and took no advice
And now this poor woman was paying the price.)

We got Nicky settled and gave him a bath
and cleaned up the messes he left in his path.

At the end of it all, he shone like a champ.
(We did the best possible – he was still slightly damp.)

He ran to his master, who gave us a smile.
We knew she would need to rest up for a while.

But we heard her say exclaim she drove out of sight –
I’m so sorry ’bout that! Please have a good night!”

Make it a great day!

~Joelle Asmondy


How are you getting through the holidays?  Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page  and tell us.

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