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Hi, I just had a question about grooming the ears on Goldens for conformation. I currently have 2 Goldens, but have only showed in obedience. In the future, I would like to get a conformation Golden and start showing in that. I work as a professional pet groomer, but I know there is a world of difference between pet grooming and show grooming. I practice show grooming on my 2 girls, but the ears I can just never seem to get right! What tools should I use? I currently use a thinning shears to shape the edges and get rid of excess fluff around the ears, but it always looks choppier than I would prefer (I am a bit of a perfectionist though!). Any tips/ tricks/ must have tools or other recommendations for ears? Thanks!
 
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There are a couple techniques that show groomers use. Both require some practice and experimenting to get them right for your dog.

A couple things.....

Never trim a wet ear. It has to be completely dry before you work on it or else you will not like the results. I usually do the ears the day after a bath so that I know they ears are completely dry.

Do the outline of the ear last. If you have a steady hand and a steady dog, you can use long straight shears to do this cut in one long swipe. It will leave less marks than thinning shears, but it takes more practice to be able to do it smoothly.

To do the main part of the ear, there are really two choices...thinning shears or stripping knife. The knife will give a more natural look, but I find it takes a lot longer and is the harder technique to master. I use thinning shears and simply take one or two snips at a time, comb and re-evaluate.

Remember not to mess with the fur that grows from the head and covers the ear. You want this to overlap the ear and blend in.

Don't forget the inside of the ear. You want this to be pretty neat. No need for a lot of extra hair in there. Use your thinning shears liberally to clean it up.
 

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I just did ears for the first time on my Brady last week. I thought they were completely dry and looked halfway decent until a couple hours later when they started to look choppy.
 
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Best way to learn is to have somebody with experience groom your particular golden for you and give you hands on help. :)

I found trimming Jacks ears to be basically the easiest thing ever. He has big ears doesn't grow that much fuzz. What little fuzz he has is easily cleaned up.

Bertie's ears were a nightmare because he has long fluff that would normally grow on his ears. Means that when I trimmed them the way I normally trimmed Jacks' ears (ie method referenced on the morningsage site) - total fail.

To keep his ears trimmed, it's straight scissors (very sharp) on the edge of the ear, basically the J (outer ear and around the bottom and partially up the front). It's thinning shears or Mars stripper around the top part of his ear and stripping knife going down to the edges of his ear.

Under the ear - it's straight scissors or clippers on the inner flap to clean up all that hair around the ear canal (your not shaving ALL the hair on the inside of the ear flap!). And Mars stripper behind, under, and below the ears.

And after all that - because with Bertie, it's important not to trim the ear hair too short, he still has some fluff that needs to be flattened/smoothed before going into the show ring. Important to get your dog used to having a dryer around his head/face.

Basically - much more preferable to have a dog with ears like Jacks. Very little clean up and maintenance needed. ;) If you have to do all of the above.... have somebody show you hands on. Very easy to remove too much hair and you don't want to do that.
 

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Hi, I just had a question about grooming the ears on Goldens for conformation. I currently have 2 Goldens, but have only showed in obedience. In the future, I would like to get a conformation Golden and start showing in that. I work as a professional pet groomer, but I know there is a world of difference between pet grooming and show grooming. I practice show grooming on my 2 girls, but the ears I can just never seem to get right! What tools should I use? I currently use a thinning shears to shape the edges and get rid of excess fluff around the ears, but it always looks choppier than I would prefer (I am a bit of a perfectionist though!). Any tips/ tricks/ must have tools or other recommendations for ears? Thanks!
Use that tutorial posted by AmbikaGR posted. It's fantastic. It's what I use on Deaglan.
 

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Tutorial is perfect. Try out first on your non-show goldens, then move onto your show goldens. Some ears are more challenging than others. Once you have them trimmed up and ready to go, maintenance isn't hard. Plus it keeps the inside of the ear drier so they are less likely to get infected.
 
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