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In Pursuit of Well-Groomed Feet - Tips?

1094 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.

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

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


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· Premium Member
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but my opinion is that how you trim the feet makes a big huge difference in the final product.
I agree. My wording was not great. I am a believer in having the correct tool in hand for the task though. It took a while to find a pair of small scissors that fit my left hand and work well for me when it comes to doing the feet. I bought them from sharpshopguy dot com a couple or three years ago. I think they are the 4420 model. About $100 as I recall. My other shears are somewhere between cheap and a little bit more than cheap. Just middle of the road stuff. A couple are Geib and I probably didn't spend much money on them. The first two pair I bought were in 1997 and still work.

This is a hobby for me. I groom my 3 girls (2 are nearing the end of their journey with cancer - Pebbles and Sandy) and our boy is still shown so I'm not allowed to groom him :D .
 

· Jennifer
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206 Posts
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
Amy Rodrigues has a short video on trimming golden feet. The tutorial starts at 02:17 BlueRose Kennels – Grooming Golden Retriever Feet – Canine Chronicle TV
 

· Kate
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24,975 Posts
I agree. My wording was not great.
Neither was mine - I was driving as I voice-typed that. :D

My thoughts were simply that so many go through shears like crazy trying to find THE PAIR that will make them good. And it really is just experience and getting it done. Hands on help, etc.

I think OP is on right track digging in and learning how to groom her own dog. The interesting thing is having less coat makes some things easy (less grooming needed if you are showing), but you have to be better at the grooming that you do. No clippers between the toes, etc. :)
 
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