Grooming Terms for the Dog Owner

You’ll be surprised at all the different ways you can say the same thing. Different people can use different expressions and different words to describe the same situation. That can be personal preference, how they were taught or just what they know to be correct.
All of this can make a grooming consultation really confusing for both groomer and owner.
Below, are commonly used terms and what they mean.

All of these are interpretational. Every groomer & customer will have their own idea of what they should be, so always ask questions and clarify terms with your groomer.

Teddy Bear Trim, Puppy Clip or Winter Cut
One length all over, generally with a round shaped head (or Teddy Head) and the tail and ears are left long but tidied. It is commonly performed on dogs who are clipped shorter in the summer months and kept longer during winter, hence the term: winter cut.

Summer Cut
The body is clipped short, leaving longer hair on the dogs head and tail. The length of the body is dependant on the groomer and owners interpretation so be sure to specify the length as simply stating “Short” can mean a whole lot of things. A Summer Cut is, however, generally left just long enough for the dog to still have some coverage, roughly 4mm.

Tidy, Half Groom, Hygiene Clip or trim
The bottom, paw pads and belly will be shaved short for hygiene and is generally accompanied with a paw trim to remove any hair touching the floor, eye/visor trim so your pup can see and/or to remove any tear staining and some groomers will also style the head, although, this is not usually included and may incur extra costs.

*A Trim does not refer to the length of coat to be taken off, it refers to the act of tidying up the dogs coat for a neat appearance. Any amount of length that is taken off the body would be considered a Full Groom.

Full Groom/Full Clip
A Full Groom may refer to any breed of dog receiving a complete and ‘proper’ groom. Eg.: Both a Border Collie & a Maltese Terrier Could be booked for a Full Groom but would both be getting completely different services.
A Full Clip, however, refers specifically to the entire dog being clipped to any length either as requested or based on coat condition.

A Samoyed enjoying a warm bath & Deshed!

Hand Scissored Trim or Comb Clip
A specialty service often provided to those who want a very specific or stylized trim which requires the groomer to cut the dog’s hair completely by hand – with no clippers. This can be time consuming and requires a patient dog, but, the results are often amazing. Think Boo the Pomeranian.
Some groomers can also achieve this look using clipper blade attachments and then finishing off the cut by hand, this is considered a Comb Clip and still takes extra time but saves your groomers arms, fingers & wrists from fatigue.

Deshedding
A service often provided to double coated breeds who are shedding. It refers to removing the dog’s loosened undercoat to prevent matting and excessive shedding. It involves a lot of brushing and a hairy snow storm courtesy of a thorough wash and turbo dry!

Why can’t I get the style I’m after?

  1. Your dog may be too fidgety, scared or dislike grooming.
    It may be best they receive a more simple haircut to avoid frustrating them.
  2. They may have the wrong coat type.
    If you like the fluffy look, your dog has to have the type of hair that sits outwards and fluffy!
  3. Too knotty.
    If your dog has too many knots and/or mats in their coat, the best thing may be to shave it all off and start again.
  4. The wrong style for the dog’s lifestyle.
    If your dog loves to swim at the beach but you love their long flowing hair without the extra sand, your best option may be a shorter cut to ease maintenance. This is your choice though.

Other Common Terms Your Groomer May Use

The ‘Quick’
If your dog has white nails you should be able to see a pink line through the nail, this is the blood supply, or, Quick. This is as short as the nail can be trimmed to without causing bleeding.
If your dog has black or dark nails, you cannot see the Quick, the only way to trim the nail is little by little. You may then be able to see a tiny black dot appear after a fresh cut. That black dot is a sign you’re getting close to the Quick.
In saying that, don’t be upset with your groomer for accidentally trimming too short and causing some bleeding. It’s very common, very easy to do and easily treated. Remember, not all dogs will happily sit there while your groomer fiddles with their nails.

Matting
This is a knot once it’s gone rogue! A knot occurs once the hair has entangled around itself.
A , however, is a knot that has been untouched for quite some time and has been entangling itself for a while.
They have the ability to twist and tighten to the point bruising and sores develop underneath the mat, often resulting in it needing to be shaved off the dog. Depending on the lifestyle of your dog they could occur in as little as a few weeks. They’re often aggravated by friction, water, clothing and dirt.

Anal Glands
This scent gland is located around the dogs bottom and is full of a smelly fluid which is commonly expressed during ‘toileting’. A dog who hasn’t been able to sort it out themselves is often seen scooting around, licking their bottom, leaking from their bottom and even in pain.
I personally believe this is a medical issue and although some groomers know how to express them, a vet should be informed to try to rectify the problem. Expressing the anal glands offers some relief, but, without knowing the cause, it will most likely come back again and again.

Dew Claw
Think of it as your dog’s thumb. It’s the little toe sitting just at your dog’s wrist and can sometimes be on your dog’s hind feet as well.

You should always clarify what you mean with your groomer but this list should definitely help bridge the gaps a little! If you have any other terms that you’re unsure of, don’t hesitate to message me or comment below and I’d be happy to give you an answer, otherwise, a fairly educated guess if I’m unsure  😅