Put the Pen to the Paper

Snip-Snip-Snip by Pat Keen-Fernandes
February 3, 2008, 6:44 pm
Filed under: :Articles, :Grooming

I have found that in different parts of this country the manner in which our dogs are groomed for show differs. Coming from the West Coast and settling in the Mid-West showed me a bog difference in the way the dog’s coats were presented. I was impressed with the neat outlines and the look that a little trimming made, compared to my untrimmed coats. Later I found out that neatness was one of the reasons for trimming and covering up was the other. Many of you in different parts of Lhasa land may have your own thoughts about trimming, but my idea is to show you how it’s done if you want to try it some time.

1st:  The dog must be bathed and dried out. Keep in mind that a freshly bathed coat is stretched out to maximum length so trimming should be a little longer than what want, so by the time the hair has returned to normal length the trim will not be too short.

2nd:  The dog has to be trimmed on a smooth surface – a grooming table with a post is perfect; or a helper to keep your dog standing still. You will need a good comb and a sharp pair of grooming (hair) scissors.


1. Set the dog on the table in a posed show stance/ head up high, tail over the back, legs naturally four square under the dog.

2.  Look at the shape and direction in which your dog’s feet are pointing. If they are straight forward there is no problem evening them up to neat round puffs. If your dog toes outward, then you will want to trim them correctly to show a foot pointing straight forward.

3.  Comb the leg hair out round the feet. With the lower edge of your scissors resting on the table, trim the foot into a round, even circle.

4.  Pick up the foot and clean up any long hairs between the pad and bottom of the foot and around the nails. Remember that all you can do is even up the shagginess of the foot. Don’t’ trim the exact shape of the foot – you will show off any problems, not cover them.


Trimming the anal area of any short stubble gives the look of a better tailset and shorter loin and body.

Trimming the stop and between the eyes will give the look of more muzzle and show off the facial expression and eyes. Also lets a heavy eyefall to be seen through.

Trimming the side coat shorter around the chest and front legs and gradually longer past the rear will give a dog short on neck more neck length.

If you wonder how it’s done, well, here’s how! Look over the drawings and study them before you start. Trimming isn’t a sin – the professionals have been doing it all along. We all admire how neat their charges look. Trimming can be overdone also, so should be done sparingly. It ties in to the overall professional look. A well groomed and presented dog does get looked at.

This article was originally published in the December/January 1978 issue of The Lhasa Apso Reporter


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