*** If you'd like to see more on Pomeranian Grooming, we now offer a 43 page comprehensive E-Book 'Get the Look' which you may be interested in this product can be ordered in our Pomkins Gift shop
Step 1 - The Unfinished Pom
Start by washing your Pom - there are several grooming products available from Pet Stores or various online companies. Take care not to get water in the eyes, nose or ears. Cotton balls can be gently placed inside the ears to protect them from water - do not force them into the ear canal.
After bathing, I towel dry the hair as much as I can - try to find super absorbent towels. I then blow dry the Pom - brushing all the hair in an upward motion towards the head with a soft slicker brush.
You can get special dryers for dogs - I use a Metro Airforce Commander Blaster dryer. You can also use a human hair dryer, just be sure to put it on a low heat so you don't aggravate the skin or dry the hair out.
Step 2 - Getting the shape started
Start with the head - ear tips first. This is possibly the hardest part - first of all you must make sure you do not cut the ear. Best way to protect it is by pinching the ear leather in between your forefinger and thumb so that you don't cut it by mistake as shown in far right photo above and below.
The excess hairs will protrude above your fingers and you want to cut a horizontal angle across the top - (far left) ideally the scissors should be parallel to the Pom's eyes. This is followed by a slightly tilted angle for your 2nd cut (middle photo). This shapes the ears into a softer angle and prevents them from looking too pointy. After doing the ears - brush the hair around the head forward (far right).
Step 3 - Trimming around the head
Brush the hair forward around the head - then try and visualize a circle which frames their head and cut way the excess hair away to reveal the circular shape.
Take care to watch for the ears - I often use my fingers as guides when the scissors are pointed in what could be a dangerous position/angle for added protection in case the Pom should suddenly leap forward.
While you're doing the trimming - take your time, the faster you move, the more agitated or excitement you will make your Pom - especially if it's a puppy. If they are wiggling about - take a deep breath and calmly try and continue and you'll find they will more than likely relax too.
Step 4 - Keep the Circle Going
Keep the circular shape in your mind and keep trimming it it. Brush the featherings out by the shoulder (above far right) - look at them straight on and trim them away - continue to keep the circular shape when looking head on and the coat will look more buoyant and less heavy in that area. Trim away any excess hairs sticking out in the midriff section (photo far left).
Generally there isn't much hair that comes off around the head or on the body, it could be described more as tipping off the hair as opposed to cutting into it so it is too short.
If you are underconfident trimming with scissors, you may wish to try using thinning scissors. The best types have teeth on both sides - using them will create a softer, more natural cut. Also mistakes are less obvious.
Shaping the chest and underneath
- Brush all the chest hair upwards then trim it in an angle aiming towards the knee (photo far left) - this will keep the hair tidy as a trimmed chest is less likely to get chewsticks stuck in it! Additionally it will also keep the overall circular shape going when the Pom is viewed from the side.
- Turn the Pom sideways and trim the underneath in a semi-circular shape. Start your line about 1/3 up the inside of the front leg - then cut in a the semi circular shape with it ending in the same position about 1/3 way up the back leg. This can be adjusted to suit the Pom's leg length etc.
Step 5 - Getting your underneath angles correct
The photo above left shows roughly the height point where your semi-circle should end. To tidy up the back legs - I brush the hair upwards and outwards then cut away the hair sticking out which can look a like spurs! Now you'll have nice stove pipe legs.
The photo below shows the hair being trimmed away from behind the tail, about 1/2 inch or so, to help the tail lie flat - you don't have to do this - it's just my personal taste.
Step 6 - Tidy up the Tail
- Trim away some of the hair around the base of the tail (above photo) as it gives it a nice and tidy shape.
- Finish off the tail by twizzling the end - hold it straight up the back and then cut it the length where you think it will lay best. Don't take too much off, the tail is a Pom's crowning glory!
Step 7 - Tidy feet
Next step is neat tidy feet - trim away the hair to stop the rabbit foot look - don't forget to trim underneath the foot too. I usually flip the Pom on its back to do this - as I can control the Pom and the scissors better.
- Most people hate to trim feet and cut nails - but with a bit of practice (go at slowly) you'll be a pro in no time. I've done a special page just about trimming feet/nails - please visit Pretty Paws - you can find the link on the NavBar under grooming
Step 8 - Tackling Nails
Finish up the foot by trimming the nails - you can see that Fizz is very relaxed from her expression as I've been doing her nails since she was a young puppy. It's important to condition any youngster to it so they are used to nail trimming as an adult.
I use cat nail clippers to trim away the length of the nail and I then use a Dremmel to file away the rough edges. Don't forget to visit our Pretty Paws on this website for in depth details on nails.
When cutting the nail - be aware of the small vein inside the nail - you can see it if the nail is clear - if not, proceed with great caution. If you accidentally cut into the quick - the bleeding can be stopped with Styptic powder or liquid can be purchased in all pet shops - best to have it on hand just in case. Also take care not to get hair caught in the spinning dremmel.
Dremmels can be ordered from online Grooming Suppliers - like Hub International (see links page)
Step 9 - Gee... your breath smells terrific!
Cleaning Teeth - Here's quick and easy way to clean their teeth. First put on a fabric plaster on the end of your forefinger. Dip it in some water (middle photo) then some Bicarbonate of Soda - then gently insert your finger and massage the teeth and gums. They don't seem to object to this as much and don't mind taste. Ideally you should do this once a week and then your Pom will have nice pearly whites like Fizz.
You can also buy special toothpaste for dogs from the vet like Logic Gel and other tyeps from Pet Stores, many are meat or poultry flavoured and with a bit of practice your Pom will quickly get used to have its teeth cleaned. You can apply these types of toothpaste to a fabric plaster (as described above) or you can also buy finger brushes.
Inter-plaque picks sold for humans and found next to the dental section in most supermarkets are great for cleaning teeth too - they have soft bristles on them and are great for removing debris caught in teeth.
Step 10 - Perfection!
Finish up by gently cleaning the ears - Leo Ear cleaner is a good brand, I also use an ear cleaner made by Quistel.
Simply wet down a cotton ball with the ear cleaner, then gently wipe the inside of their ear. Do not force anything into the ear canal or use cotton ear buds.
You can get these products at your vets or order them online see links page.
Another finishing touch is to clean underneath the eyes if they look mucky or tear stained. Gently wipe the area under the eyes with a damp flannel – water only. Take care not to use much pressure getting anything in the actual eye.
There are a variety of products you can try to tackle eye staining - see our links page for companies that sell these products.
Here is a photo of my basic grooming kit which comprises of a rattle comb, scissors, thinning scissors (for softer edges - mine have 46 teeth), soft slicker brush, cat nail clippers and a dremmel. I also have water to spray onto the coat to dampen it when I'm shaping.
As you can see from the hairball left - not a lot of hair needs to come off to tidy up a Pom.
Now available to buy....Get the Look!!
'Get the Look' is a 43 page comprehensive and instructional grooming E-book on How to Groom a Pom. Learn with the step-by-step photographs and directions how to get the best out of trimming your Pom - there are 5 different types and colours trimmed in the guide - the key features are:
- Tackling a Dense Coat
- Making the most out of a flat coat
- Getting the show look while keeping the colour
- Dealing with heavy sabling
- Precision trimming - grooming a black Pom
- Matt and Knot Busting
- Nail Trimming
- What to avoid - common grooming mistakes
- The grooming kit
- Coat Care and Common Pomeranian coat problems
There is even a brief history about Pomeranian grooming through the years. This manual features Poms in the UK and shows you how to do a neat, tidy trim whether your Pom is a pet or a potential show dog. Please note the show trims ilustrated would be acceptable in the UK (above photo illustrates finished look) - some countries have varied trends and preferences.
This manual will arrive on a CD as a PDF file - you can either print it out or read it on your computer. You will need Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or later to open it, which can be downloaded for free from Adobe if you don't already have it. If you have an Apple computer, you may have to download an add-on to read and Adobe PDF
Available in our Webstore by download or hard-copy : www.nappypantsfordogs.com