After bathing & fluff drying, it's time to scissor and finish the trim.
Once the coat is dry, I go back over the body (on short trims) with the same length blade that I used to rough in before the bath. You will be amazed at how uneven the coat is after bathing and drying (unless you use a blade that takes the coat down very close, like a 10 blade)
When scissoring, I find that visualizing how you want to finished trim to look like really helps. Pick up your shears, using your thumb and RING FINGER. Your index and middle fingers are used to support the blade, your pinky should be on the finger rest to assist in the balance. You should only move your thumb to cut and your fingers guide the shears.
Now, this takes practice, but when scissoring coat, move in a smooth motion using the whole blade. Do not use little snips picking at the coat, as you will not get a nice smooth finish. Practice with your shears before you approach the coat - using only your thumb to 'drive' the shears, and your fingers to steer, move your hand in a smooth flowing motion. Now try to apply this to the hair. Remember, practice makes perfect, and hair will grow back!
Combing is a very important part of scissoring. You need to use your comb to "fluff up" the area that you are scissoring. Fluff, scissor, fluff, scissor and when you are finished scissoring, comb again to remove excess hair trimmings.
I am one who likes to have all the lines blended smooth, so there is no distinct break between the body, legs or neck.
I scissor the upper part of the thigh close - blending into the body on the top and front, and on the rear of the thigh, I scissor very close to make it appear the dog has more angulation.
Ideally, the inside of the rear leg should be straight, however, this dog's owner has requested that I scissor the upper part of the thigh shorter. The reason the leg looks darker in some areas is because that is this dog's dark skin showing through - that's how closely I scissor the backs of the thighs.
Finished rear leg
I like the front legs to look like smooth, straight columns
After the bath, the legs are really full and fluffy, and the shoulder area needs to be taken down so that it blends smoothly into the clipped area of the body
Front view of one finished leg, and the other being blended and scissored to match
To scissor the topknot, comb all the hair over to one side, and following the gentle curve of the head, scissor from the eye to over the ear and stop just behind the ear. Comb the hair again, and scissor the same line again.
MAKE SURE YOUR SCISSORS ARE STRAIGHT UP/DOWN OR LEANING SLIGHTLY OUT AWAY FROM THE HEAD AS YOU SCISSOR- This is VERY important. If you angle the shears towards the center of the head as you scissor, you will cut too close, and you will then have to trim the topknot VERY short to even it all out.
Okay, now if you have combed, scissored, & combed, scissored again, you should have a fairly clean line. Now do the exact same thing on the other side.
Once both sides have been trimmed this way, take your comb and fluff all the hair up - you should see a nice curve on each side going towards the center. Now, trim the center so that it blends into the curves. Looking straight at the dog, you should have a very nice rounded topknot.
The next step is to comb everything forward towards the eyes, and again, a nice curve from eye to eye, trim all the hair that hangs past the eyeballs. Keep your shears either straight up and down or leaning out towards the nose as you trim.
Okay, you have just finished the front and top of the topknot - on to the back of the head and neck area.
I lift up the ear, and trim the long hair that was not clippered - at this point, I lean the shears inward slightly, and trim the hair that hangs over the clippered line. Do both sides (of course) - Now, stand the dog up (if not already standing) and comb/fluff all the hair up and scissor blend the back of the topknot and neck into the clippered area. By the time you get to the base of the neck, the hair will be scissored about as short as the clippered area. I prefer a straighter neck, so I trim the hair shorter and in a straighter line from topknot to neck - there is a slight curve, but not pronounced. Others like to see more of an "arch" to the neck, and leave more neck hair and scissor it into the topknot - it is a matter of personal preference.
Finishing up, just trim the bottoms of the ears, so that they look neat and trim.
and once again - the finished look
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