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Hello, I am new here and hoping for advice on putting together a good beginners grooming kit. My girl is going into service dog training and will need to be kept neat and professional.

After looking around I have a start on my supplies but still missing a few things. Im still not sure about shears, I'm hoping for high quality but not bank breakers suggestions anyone??

Here is the current list:

  • Miller's forge large nail clippers orange handle
  • Oster 7in med/cource comb (debating shelling out extra $$ for a CC buttercomb)
  • Oster 18 tine cource undercoat rake
  • CC 20mm wooden pin brush
  • CC Mark lll medium slicker
 

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The other thing I have gotten which I find helpful is a dremel to file my dog's nails. After clipping their nails there always seems to be some rough spots and because Gracie is a therapy dog I try to make sure that her nails are smooth so that she doesn't inadvertently scratch anyone.
 

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For trimming feet, I really like my Fromm 6 1/2 inch curved shears. They are super cheap ( I think like $20-30) and sometimes called a "disposable shear," but I can't find a shear I like better for feet! For thinners, the more teeth they have, the less choppy it will look. You should be able to find something decent around the $50-70 range. I like thinners for the ears, and if they have a super thick mane or whatever to get some bulk off.
 

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G-bear, how did your dog react to the sound and sensation of the Dremel? My Ty didn't even like me to file his nails.
I have always allowed my dogs to investigate anything I have used to groom them. With the Dremel I have allowed them to sniff and lick it and check it out throughly both while on and off. I have only had one dog who did not tolerate it and she had very ticklish feet and did not tolerate my doing anything with her feet.
 

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I have always allowed my dogs to investigate anything I have used to groom them. With the Dremel I have allowed them to sniff and lick it and check it out throughly both while on and off. I have only had one dog who did not tolerate it and she had very ticklish feet and did not tolerate my doing anything with her feet.
I often wonder how my Duffy manages to get along with the groomers. At home he treats anything that vibrates, buzzes or makes noise as something that must be played with. We can't run the sweeper until we take the hose attachment and vacuum him first.

Since we don't have a proper table to groom on we have to sit him on the bed and it becomes a two person job, one to distract him and the other to do the actual trimming.
 

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A high power dryer, although very expensive, is one of the most important grooming tools. It will easily blow out any coat that is shedding, so much more than any other brush or comb. I wish I had gotten one years earlier, they are just not for show grooming.
 

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A high power dryer, although very expensive, is one of the most important grooming tools.
I'll second this! A blower makes all the difference in the world. Worth the money. Plus I've always heard it's not a good idea to let a Golden lay around wet.
I have one of those cheap (not really though) orange metro dryers. I've had it for years and keeps on working. Works well, but with multiple goldens, it would be nice to have a better more powerful one.

The dryer I have is like this one:
https://www.metrovacworld.com/masterproduct/Air_Force_Commander_Color_Pet_Dryer

I have taken a number of show grooming lessons and the last couple times the person who is training me has a couple K-9 Dryers. A HUGE difference from the Metro dryer. I am saving my penny's for one - It is admitedly overkill for my purposes though:
https://k9dryer.com/product/k9-iii-variable-speed-dog-dryer/

For shears, several years ago, I bought Geib Gator shears. Straight and Thinning. I am left handed and it has been hard to find decent shears for left handed people that don't cost a gazillion dollars. These are "ok" I guess for the money.

I've always used the above shears for everything; ears, feet, hocks, and so on. Then the person above I am learning from suggested a shorter pair of really pointy straight scissors for feet (my Geib straight shears are not 'pointy' and kinda too long). With the super pointy scissor, I can work around and over the toe nails much more easily and get a cleaner look. I found these on Amazon. They work really well, and good for the price. I would recommend them. Took a while to arrive though, I think they came from China:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L0OZVGS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dremels are awesome too. For years I have struggled with clipping nails. Every Golden we've had and/or have, has found this. So much so they don't get trimmed like they should. Last Spring I was shown how to use a dremel. Wow. None of my current three fight it much. Before, Pebbles wouldn't even let me touch her feet. Now I can quickly dremel them without too much drama. One word of caution though using the dremel - don't let their fur get tangled up in it. Barkley didn't not think much of it when it happened to him...

My Dremel is pretty old. Noisy too. I suspect newer ones are quieter. Maybe? What I do is put it behind my back and turn it on. Then I'll show it to the dog and let them see it. When I use it I always try to keep a finger on the on/off switch in case it gets caught up in their fur as mentioned above.

A decent grooming table is also handy.

I do not show my dogs, I just like to give them show grooms and enjoy doing it (when they are behaving that it...).

Good luck.
 

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Hmm... if you were talking about show grooming or stuff like that, my answer would be way different. :)

Even so, I think most of your grooming supplies except for 1-2 things can come from your regular petstore.

Petstore type stuff -

Nail trimmers - Millers forge is considered the best because they stay sharp pretty long. However, you can go to the petstore and pick up a good pair of clippers on the spot. Prefer actual scissor type clippers vs guillotine, just because I think the guillotine blade doesn't stay sharp as long. My personal feeling.

*when you are clipping, don't go for big chunks of nail. You are nipping the ends and looking at the bottom of the nail to make sure you aren't cutting too much off. Most dogs are going to have black nails, so you can't go by the side of the nail. Looking at the bottom of the nail, you should be able to tell when you are close to the quik and need to stop. But nip the ends and don't try to do too much in one clip.

Combs - you can buy a basic greyhound type comb (fine to course teeth). No reason to get too fussy.

Slicker Brush - any basic slicker from the petstore is fine. I'd get a bigger kind. This is my primary brush for everything. I don't really use pin brushes for everyday brushing.

Pin brush - you can get from the petstore. No fuss. You can also get slightly nicer brushes from Sally's or Ulta. Ulta has some wood pin brushes that I kinda like. They won't be as expensive some brand name dog show grooming brushes. :)

Straight edge shears (for trimming feet) - Conair has nice shears that stay sharp a long time. The yellow handle shears. Trimming feet involves knowing where to cut and how much is too much. You don't need super expensive shears for feet for regular grooming. If you were showing, I'd invest in super pointy nose shears because there's detail work in getting around the toes, but most people don't need that.

Online Orders
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Go on Amazon to look for deals...

Grooming table - believe me it is a big deal for having a dog used to standing still while you quickly zip around and trim feet, blow dry, etc. Having a 24" table at least is a good idea. *I would not do nails on a table, only because it does make some dogs anxious and you want the table to be a happy place.

Dryer - A brand like B-Air is fine. The more you spend, the better the quality. But having a way to quickly blow dry your dog is a must. Especially if you have to keep your dog clean for hospital visits or whatever you are doing.

Thinning shears
- I absolutely would make a point of ordering thinning shears online. Plan on spending at least $120 on a good pair. 44-46 teeth.

Mars Stripper - if your dog grows a lot of coat around the neck. You will not ever use a stripper on your dog's jacket. It's primarily for keeping your dog cleaned up around the ears and down the chest.

Clippers (optional - but helpful) - If your dog has very hairy feet (not the top of the feet, look at the underside of the feet where the tufts of fur come out from between the pads) + has hair ears, having clippers is very helpful.

You can have your vet show you how to clean out the ears with clippers. You want to keep the ear hole clear of too much hair to prevent ear infections. You don't want too much hair going down the ear canal.

That's it.
 

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I also prefer the dremel. It leaves the nails smoother and, historically, seems to bother my dogs less than nail clippers. I have this one : https://www.amazon.com/Dremel-7300-PT-4-8V-Nail-Grooming/dp/B003TU0XG4 I dremel once a week and charge it about once a month. It probably isn't as high powered/fast as some other ones, but it does the trick. Frankly, I picked it because, unlike my old one which was a little faster, it's cordless. If I can avoid a cord, I will.
 

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I have been using a $65 blower for two years now and am very pleased with it. It's probably a little noisier than more expensive models but works well. If it fails I will buy a second without hesitation. My scissors set (straight, thinning and curved) and thinner comb I bought from Aliexpress, for less than $60. I use a cordless Dremel or clipper as needed. The table I built myself from pressure treated lumber because I groom in the backyard so I don't have to clean up. The other things I have, rake, comb, slicker brush I got from Amazon. My total investment has been less than $200, less than many dryers. I have received many compliments on how my boy looks and get a lot of enjoyment out of grooming him myself. I certainly don't begrudge anyone buying more expensive quality tools for the job especially professionals, I'm a hobbiest. My point is that you can do good work with tools that are far less expensive and get the same amount of enjoyment. If a particular tool doesn't please you update it at a later date. I would not like to see someone discouraged from trying grooming themselves because they think they can't do it properly without investing over $500 in tools just to get started. Do a lot of comparison shopping look at reviews and get what feels right for you.
 

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I only groom indoors.

Too many mosquitoes outside.
That is funny, my breeder tries to groom outside as much as possible. She says they dry better, but we really do not have mosquitoes here.
 

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I just groomed Pebbles today (pic was while I was drying her).

I always try to dry them outside. Today was perfect. Mid 70's and windy.
In the winter, or when the weather is bad or even too hot, I am forced to do it inside. When I do do it inside, I do it in a small basement bathroom. The room is actually too small, but I am able to contain the fur to one spot. Easier clean up.

Some day, I'd like to build a dedicated room in my basement for grooming with a tub in it like some friends have. Probably never happen though... :)
 

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I have a few wonder pairs of fabric scissors only and would have a fit if someone cut paper w them! Same for my grooming shears- I'd have a fit if paper or fabric touched those. Good scissors are hundreds of dollars.
BUT for your use, for paper, being a scissor picky person- my paper scissors are these: Allex Scissors - Teflon Coating
 
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Kate
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I have a few wonder pairs of fabric scissors only and would have a fit if someone cut paper w them! Same for my grooming shears- I'd have a fit if paper or fabric touched those. Good scissors are hundreds of dollars.
BUT for your use, for paper, being a scissor picky person- my paper scissors are these: Allex Scissors - Teflon Coating
I'm literally wondering if that person intended to post that comment here. So random!
 
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