The Grooming Process
Kenya is an older dog. As a groomer, this fact alerts me to a few possibilites which could create problems during the grooming process: such as nails which could be over-grown, elongated quicks, eyes with possible growths on or under the lids, the presence of fleshy prominences on her skin and blocked anal glands. Care must be taken, if she has arthritis, that her limbs are not moved about in painful ways and that she be given the chance to rest wherever possible. Older dogs can also have smelly ear infections which means the hair should be removed from around the ear opening and from inside the ear, then the ear carefully cleaned with an ear wash and thoroughly dried. The skin around the ear must be cleaned well to remove all associated odor.
A number 10 blade was used to remove the coarse fur from her face, head, part of her ears, her back, tail, part way down her back legs. This includes her private areas. Her anal glands are expressed. The longer coat is left down the legs. Each leg and her belly is gently brushed until all knots are removed. Her feet are clipped around the pads, removing fur and knots from between the toes. The nails are carefully shortened to prevent cutting into the quick.
Once this is done, the dog is bathed. Some dogs are not bathed at home between grooming sessions and so may need to be shampooed twice. Care is taken to keep the shampoo out of the eyes and ears. The body and limbs need to be thoroughly washed and the feet cleaned between the toes. Because cockers secrete an oil which gives them an odour, this thorough cleaning process is especially important. Then the fur must be rinsed with luke warm water under a shower attachment. This rinsing continues until the suds are completely gone and the water runs clear. Complete removal of soap prevents itching and prevents sores to form from the scratching. Thorough rinsing will also make for a shinier coat.
The dog is then towel dried. paying attention to any liquid which might have entered the ear. The dog is placed on the grooming table under a dryer, brushing the coat all the while to straighten the fur somewhat and shorten drying time.
Once the dog is completely dry, the actual style can be scissored in, around the bottom of the legs and feet, and in the rise of the stomach. Attention also needs to be paid to any area where the shaved fur meets the longer fur and carefully blended. The ears, likewise need to be blended, and in a pet trim, are usually shortened to keep them out of their food and water.