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In my intro thread I shared that I rode horses for 40 years. One of the only ways I could piece that together was to do my own grooming (and also I loved that aspect of it). I actually worked for horse trainers and was paid to do this for many years, I was able to do it a pro level.

SO with my first dog Bitsy, I am starting from zero, and trying to learn the ropes of at least some grooming basics for Goldens. One of the things I have seen and can’t unsee is what a properly groomed Golden foot looks like. It just looks so nice when it’s done well. It’s my goal to get really good at it. Got a long way to go but I enjoy practicing and learning. I have been trying to get better and better each time I have the chance to trim up Bits.

Some tips I already have received are:
  • Get a grooming table. Lucky to have a friend who has a dog grooming business, she recommended a budget friendly one. It certainly does not have electronics or hydraulics so we also use leftover hamburger and my old mounting block from horses (i.e. steps) for Bits to hop on and off. She’s agreeable.
  • Have a variety of scissors, including the curved scissors. Got ‘em, they might need to be nicer, I cheaped out on Amazon for my first go-round.
  • Try to trim the foot like a cat’s paw (using the slicker brush against the hair) - so hard.
  • Effectively, groom considering each toe, vs. thinking of it as one foot. This was a tip from B’s breeder who is a great + professional groomer; it helped to think of it in this way.

My biggest challenge is taking too much out between the toes and making them look cloven. Working on that.

I hope I get great at this as I learn more and time goes on.
If anyone else is into grooming feet, feel free to share some other tips.

Pics of a recent attempt - it’s impossible to hurt my feelings about this, I know I’m just a beginner.

1. Bitsy on the table - this is just for up/down agreeability. She’s secured in the nooses when she is being groomed.

View attachment 899245


2. Back feet, took out too much of the “in betweens” and made them too cloven.

View attachment 899243

Front feet: dang, that cat-paw look is tough to ach


View attachment 899244
I think you did a great job! I, myself am a horse person and trainer/ groomer for 25 years. Not as long as you. But, I too do my own golden’s grooming. Those paws look really great to me!!!! I do an awful job at my boy’s paws. I do what you do. Shave in between his pads. Brush back with a slicker. Never comes out right.
 
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