Link to Joanne's web site is
"Grooming Your Golden"
by Morningsage Goldens - Photos and Text - Joanne Lastoka Jan. 18, 2001
PVGRC extends thanks to Joanne Lastoka for her permission to
post these pages on Golden Retriever grooming on the club's web site.
The tutorial begins with grooming of the feet on this page. There are
links which will take you to two additional pages, one for grooming
tail and shoulders and one
also discusses whiskers.
GROOMING TUTORIAL - FEET
Trim the nails first!
Here is a photo of a
fuzzy, untrimmed front foot, about 3 weeks' growth.
The fuzz growing from
between toes, circled here in this photo should be pushed down through
the dog's toes with your finger.
The foot should be held
backwards. (whether using a grooming table, or grooming on the floor),
and the straight edge sheers are then laid flat (parallel) to the pads
of the dogs foot and all of the unruly hair trimmed even with the bottom
of the pads, including the fuzz you just pushed through from the top of
the foot (Fig 1a) Do NOT trim the hair from between the pads either from
the top, or the bottom of the foot! If you make that mistake, you will
have a splayed and flattened foot; ugly to look at, and not in keeping
with the Breed Standard, that says "tight and cat-like", and certainly
not ready for the show ring!
Next, use the straight
shears around the outside perimeter of each pad, working for the most
part, with the foot held backwards and working from underneath. This is
an additional view to the left, just to show how you are skirting the
edge of the pads on the outside of the foot.
Now... back to the fuzz
on top of the foot. I had you push it down through the toes and then
trim it flat and even with the pads on the bottom of the foot. NOW I
want you to pull it back to the top of the foot with your fingers so it
is straight out as in the photo to the left. Then with the thinning
shears make one thinning cut, making sure you are making your thinning
cut only in the fuzz. Then STOP. Brush the hair down with a bristle
brush, or push down with your fingers. Look at your progress with the
dog standing on the grooming table. You may also pluck a small amount of
this fuzzy hair out with your fingers, but remember don't remove a lot
of it! Not done yet, but we will come back for finishing!
In this photo, I am
showing the angle of the straight shears held perpendicular to (and
actually laying on) the large pad on the front foot. I am holding the
toes with my thumb and forefingers, to enable laying the shears on the
large pad. The pasterns are usually only trimmed up from the pad about
3/4" to 1" max for show purposes, so as not to give the dog a weakened
look to his pastern. You do not do this trimming closely, either with
scissors or with an electric clipper, this is why you are trimming even
with the level of the large pad. In my opinion an electric clipper has
no place in the Golden Retrievers grooming tool box.
Here again, with straight
shears: showing the trimming of the front pastern. I prefer using the
3/4" trim only, and of course you are trimming across the width of the
foot while doing this.
This photo is showing the
perpendicular final trim on the fuzz over the toenails of both the front
& back feet. You may use either the straight blade shear, or the
thinning shears for this, but I suggest the thinning shears until you
are well practiced. Do not lay the shears in toward the foot when doing
this, keep them coming straight up from the table. This must be done
with the dog standing. The thinning shears may be used with
rapid-consecutive cuts (held perpendicular to table) as shown above,
around the general shape of the toes (outside edge of front & rear
This is the final trim
around the feet, front & back, with the dog standing on the table. The
tip and bottom blade of your straight shears should be resting on the
table. When trimming around the nails, depending on the type of foot the
dog has, I may decide to trim more away from the toenails, to shorten
the appearance of the toes, but in most cases, you do not want to expose
the toenails, and should not need to, especially on the back feet. Just
slide the shear along the nail to trim as shown.
If at this final look at
the foot, you are still not satisfied because you still have "fuzz" on
top of the toes, pull the fuzzy hairs out away from the foot once again,
and at the outside edge of the fuzz, angle your thinning shears so they
will make the cut closer (or shorter) near the toenail, and longer near
the top of the toe as shown in this photo. Thin one stroke or cut at a
time, brush the foot and look, with the dog standing on it; this should
take no more than 1 very light thinning cut, possibly two.
||Trimming the hock is
simple. Brush the hair out from the foot and hock. Using your straight
edge shears, make a vertical cut, perpendicular to the table the total
length of the hock, leaving the hair length at least 3/4" to 1" long at
the back of the hock as an end result. If the dog has an excess of hair,
you may thin it a little with thinning shears.
The dotted blue lines in the photo give you an idea of where to trim,
then brush down, and neaten up at the back of the pad. You are neatening
up the "line", but you do not want to trim too short...note the actual
hock is a good distance away from my dotted line!
|Photos of the "finished
foot" both front (left) and rear (right) is shown here: