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In Pursuit of Well-Groomed Feet - Tips?

1011 Views 22 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Megora
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.

Dog Window Carnivore Working animal Flooring

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

Wood Comfort Flooring Floor Fawn

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

Comfort Wood Textile Mammal Dog breed
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Hey! Fellow horse owner (though I am not a horse groomer or show person-I trail ride and camp all over the country when I can!) and professional dog groomer here popping in to say hi! You did great on those feet! I agree with everyone else-her feet are too oval to get that cat like look and her coat isn’t as dense as some dogs so she doesn’t give you much to work with. My first golden was like that too. Plus, we got her when I was like 12 and I hacked away based on photos in books before I became a groomer. So she was my learning curb dog, lol! I couldn’t figure out why I could never get her feet to look like a show dog until I got a bit more into learning the breed standard and figured out her feet were not round. Your story about the pants and the poop had me laughing! 🤣. I had a similar instance with my April girl! She didn’t sit in it though! I think she must’ve gotten one of my waist length hairs in her food bowl or something and it was stuck in the poop and her rear and wouldn’t fall out.
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