What’s in your grooming tool kit?

Winn and I went to a grooming seminar last weekend.  It was hosted by the people who have taught us so many things about this breed I love.  They fostered Annie and gave her the first taste of what her life should be.  We met when we went to their home to welcome Annie into our family and we immediately knew that we had made some new friends.  They have had Newfoundlands for as long as I have, but until I met them, I didn’t know about local breed clubs, water and draught work, and how to find an ethical breeder.

I went to learn more about how to care for Maisie and Winn’s coats and how to keep them looking good.  My biggest takeaway is that every dog is different.  Their coats are different, their shape is different, their needs are different and what works for one, might not work for another.  This was a huge relief because of my four female Newfs that I’ve had, each one is unique.  Bailey and Annie were both black and their hair was more coarse.  Bailey had a very think undercoat and Annie did not.  Maisie and Winn’s brown fur is less coarse, but Maisie’s is curlier, whispier and not nearly as thick as Winn’s.  My big challenge with Winn is that it takes 2 to 3 times longer to get her dry as compared to Maisie and Annie. She is also a wiggle worm and very restless and would rather be doing anything else than getting groomed.B37F77CF-8F8E-40FC-8D54-B2F16F157617Everyone there had their own grooming kit and their favorite items.  The fun part for me was checking them all out, talking about all of the different choices and trying out some new tools.IMG_2146IMG_2210  This is the amazing set up our friends have put together:IMG_2142IMG_2145I keep my tools in a tote bag, but I may need to graduate to something bigger pretty soon!IMG_6119My favorite tool has always been a grooming rake.  I bought a cheap one 15 years ago and it worked beautifully on Bailey.  I would brush her at night while watching tv, and she would snore through the process.  Eventually, a couple of the pins bent and started to snag and I have bought multiple rakes since then trying to find one that worked as well as that one.  Even though I no longer use that one, I still have it, comparing it to others while my search continues.IMG_6271

The session was led by an experienced Newfoundland groomer.  She enthusiastically shared her wisdom and tips on washing and drying, brushing out and trimming both for a pet Newfoundland and the polished look of a show Newfoundland.  We talked at length about shampoos, conditioners, sprays, brushes, combs, rakes, and scissors, scissors, scissors.  She demonstrated trimming on one of our friend’s dogs. She would show us how to do an area and then walk around the room and help each of us individually before moving on to demonstrate another area.  There was a good mix of dogs there of different ages with different grooming needs and I learned so much, not only trimming Winn, but observing other owners working on their dogs as well.IMG_215829064461_1399729936840073_6507868451321644101_oIMG_2179I’m comfortable giving ear and paw trims to keep a neat appearance, but what I really needed help with was what to do with her lion’s mane and her leg feathers.  Winn’s adult coat is continuing to come in and I haven’t done anything other than bathing and brushing her regularly. The biggest change occurred with her neck trim.  Suddenly, she looked smaller and in better proportion without all of her crazy fluff around her head!

All clean and brushed out before we left home.
Her neck is more defined and her linebacker shoulders have been reduced. Now she can show off her beautiful face.

Overall, I didn’t take too much off of her and was able to give her a cleaner look.  Winn has limited patience so we took lots of breaks but she let me know when she had enough!IMG_6199I could certainly keep going with the blending shears, but she looks pretty and now I’m more confident about how to tackle those bigger areas.

After: Her neck, chest and belly are still fluffy but less scraggly.  I love her tail plume and only shaped the tip a tiny bit.

When the session was over, several of us sat around the dinner table, drinking, eating and web surfing for scissors, rakes and products with credits cards ready to go! I ordered a new rake (I’ve got high hopes that this one might be THE one), a leave in conditioner which will hopefully add more moisture to Maisie’s coat, a detangling spray and another pair of shears.

I left feeling accomplished and with so much more knowledge.  I now know I need to clean my brushes more frequently and oil my scissors after each use. I can dry blow them outside to keep them clean in between baths and control the shedding.  Spayed girls have a different coat texture from non-spayed girls. Dogs, just like humans, come in all shapes and sizes and each have different grooming issues.  The rake that works well for Maisie doesn’t work well on Winn, and that’s OK!IMG_2324


35 thoughts on “What’s in your grooming tool kit?”

  1. How fun! I’ve always been nervous trimming around the shoulders and so true that all dogs are different! Sherman’s coat is way thicker than Leroy’s and what works for one doesn’t work for the other. Maisie looks great too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I would LOVE to have gone to a sheltie grooming training session. Like your girls, shelties have a double coat. Katie hates going to the groomer and I’d love to be able to do it myself. Though I guess then she’d hate me. She’s 11 now and doesn’t like being brushed, I suppose that won’t change. But still I’d love to learn more. And Winn! For some reason I thought she was still a little puppy!! What a big beautiful lady she is now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She grew up so fast, and a fresh trim makes her look older and younger at the same time! I didn’t ever groom on my own until Annie, she was so scared of new people and places so I just figured it out on my own by reading stuff and watching YouTube. It was so wonderful to be taught hands on. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m more confident and if I mess up, it will grow back😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, lots of practice. her favorite pair were the “pink poodle” by kenchii. I loved them too, but they are out of my price range at the moment. I keep stepping up in the $$ range, but I’m hoping the pair I ordered will keep me satisfied for a while. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Good grief this is grooming? Oh my CAT!! All we have is a slicker brush and a small Furminator. My admiration for groomers of quality just went through the roof – wow this take skill and committment.

    At a pet expo here we found a top quality groomer brush for cats. It was made in Germany and was stunning in what is removed from (mostly) dogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t start grooming on my own until I realized I was spending more on their hair than my own! I figured I shouldn’t cut my own hair, so I figured out how to do theirs. I’m still a beginner and I don’t trim them often, but it’s fun when I do. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, wow, some kit you have there. Lucky for us, Rotties don’t require a crazy amount of maintenance. I have the FURminator, regular comb, brush, and recently got the “grooming glove” which is used mostly for “rubbies” and Cookie loves. Nail clippers. Tick Twister if that qualifies as grooming tool. Our first-aid kit is enormous but grooming supplies fit into one tiny drawer.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. wow … that’s a lot of grooming gear! We have a “not much needed” type of breed (Long hair Chihuahua) so it’s pretty much 3 items. A good dedicated comb, a great teeth cleaner and sharp scissors to trim his paw fur. For the rest? He gets his nails trimmed at the groomer every 3 weeks and he showers and gets dried … when needed using our stuff. He’s low maintenance for sure!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would love to go to one of these for Siberian Huskies! Your dogs are beautiful. I love grooming my dogs and have a very specific way of doing it. I use specific shampoos and brushes. I like my Sibes clean, brushed out, and fluffy. I use a volumizing spray on them before blow drying and it is wonderful. It sounds like you had a lot of fun and learned a lot while you were there!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow you mean business when you have your tools in a tool box like that. You did a good job. With all that hair it’s like a full time job. Well done. I’m sure you’ll get even better with every cut. Kuddos !

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love seeing all the tools! I do my own dog grooming since my mom taught me how. Also, when I had my springer, she had an autoimmune disorder so I couldn’t bring her to a groomer. I think the dogs are much calmer if we groom them at home.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Absolutely beautiful newfies! You did a fantastic job grooming Winn – I can really see a difference when you get the wispy ends off around his neck, ears and legs. I frequent dog shows with Junior and so admire those folks who have big dogs like newfies that need so much grooming before they go in the ring. I take for granted that Junior is pretty much a wash and go kind of boy… well, minus his nails. At your grooming seminar, did they mention nail trimming? Just curious. I know the hair on their feet pretty much covers the nails, it’s still really important to keep the nails short. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes we talked about nails, the diamagroove is very popular! We spent a lot of time talking about the hair on their paws and keeping the paw pad fur trimmed short. They get very hairy and that can lead to slipping and injury. Newfie grooming is very labor intensive, I tend to do them in sections at home😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is so cool! Thanks for the peek into the world of Newfie grooming!! Such beautiful dogs. It’s funny that grooming is like training… groom the dog you have in front of you, and train the dog you have in front of you!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Even though it was probably tiring for the two of you, it looks like it was fun! That is such a cool idea to get together and learn how to cut them. And that is interesting to know that spayed females have a different coat than non-spayed.


  12. Hi, this is Rachel. Love your blog and the detailed post. I prefer to take my dog to a professional dog groomer in our town, she does a fantastic job. Thank you!!


Leave a Reply to Sara @ BestPetReviews Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s