Grooming Clumberdoodle Archie At Home For The First Time
20th April 2020
Archie was due for his 6 weekly clip at A1K9 in Ivybridge on 15th April 2020 but due to “Lockdown” as with a lot of business she had to temporarily close so I had to have a go along with lots of other people who are having to resort to clipping their own dogs.
I contacted Kelly (the groomer) who advised me what clippers to buy in relation to Archie’s coat, which is very thick. She said that cheap ones were really not suitable for his coat and said the Wahl KM10 were ideal but they were quite expensive £199.99 to be precise. She also let me know which blade attachments were best. I also decided to buy some scissors and a finishing comb which would be helpful.
So in total about £250. Spending this much, would Archie need to go back to Kelly?
She also sent me a link to a video on how to clip a similar dog to Archie which I watched beforehand and also had it close by for reference. It looked so easy but it wasn’t to a complete beginner.
So when the clippers and other items eventually arrived I decided that today was the day. It is nearly 7 weeks since he was last clipped so I think putting him with a herd of sheep to be sheared might have been a better option as he really was looking very scruffy.
Here are the” before” photos
He went out for his walk first, so hopefully when he came home he would be tired. We decided to have a cup of coffee before we started as we had no idea when we might eat or drink again!!!
‘We started at 3.00 p.m. The first job was to comb out his coat and then attempt to bath him using the bath in our bathroom. Now Archie loves swimming (and just floating) in rivers and the sea but to have water forceably on him is a different matter. He hates the garden hosepipe with a passion and I have never bathed him in the bath before, it has always been using a bucket in the garden. However to get him properly wet there was no other choice. He goes in the bath when he is with Kelly so he should be used to it!!!
To try and save my bathroom as I could envisage, the carnage that might take place with more water outside the bath than in it and a scrabbling dog trying to get out, I covered it with plenty of his dog towels. The whole floor was covered, draped over the toilet and the sink, the sides of the bath and also one in the bath to help him from slipping and trying to scrabble out over the sides, as I know Archie would be wanting to be anywhere else but in bath.
Steve (my husband) had to lift him in the bath and hold on tight whilst I used the shower on him (Archie not Steve) to get him wet and then shampooed him followed by a final rinse.
Well what a surprise, he was actually very good and 100% better than I thought he would be. Apart from him shaking with water going over us a few times and both getting soaked, the bathroom was relatively unscathed. The actual bath however naturally needed a good clean and so did the white towels which were now a muddy brown.
Archie proved he was obviously used to it and we were very pleased with him.
A quick towel dry before Steve lifted Archie out draping a large towel over him whilst he carried him downstairs out in to the garden. We thought this would be the safest way of getting Archie downstairs and to stop him from shaking himself splashing water all over the newly decorated hall, stairs and landing.
P.S. Steve had not wet himself!!!!
Archie was deposited in the garden where he went mad, running around and with it being windy helped to dry him a little.
Another quick towel off then it was back inside for a quick comb through of damp coat (as apparently this helps to locate any knots and tangles before the clipping).
It was then time for the drying process with his pet blaster and finishing off with a hair dryer around his face. It was then time for the actual clipping.
Now it looks so easy, but to be honest I needed some tuition on actually holding the clippers the right way. Kelly advised on 2 attachment, one for his body and the other for his legs and head. Well the one she said for his body I had awful trouble with, so decided to use to use the other attachment which didn’t clip quite so short.
However, could I do his legs and awkward bits – no. So Steve had to step in. Archie really was as good as gold, but he wasn’t as short as we envisaged.
Then it was time for scissoring around his legs, ears and face. Again this looked so easy but wasn’t and definitely needed some practice. One of his legs I did a very good doorstep effect. We only did a very limited job and to be honest he didn’t look much different. I was a bit cautious about going too short, so perhaps if we have to do it again before Kelly is back in operation we might try to use the shorter cutting blade.
We actually finished at 5.30 p.m. Probably not a good idea to be wearing black!!!! Would have been a lot worse if we used the attachment for the shorter cut!!
Had to add this photo, as Archie’s eyes say it all “Have you finished yet?????”
The after photo, is there any difference?
Then it was time to clean up.
When Archie is with Kelly he is usually with her for a good few hours – I can see why. I was absolutely useless and really only did half a job, but he was a lot cleaner and smelt a lot better after his bath. To be honest you really cannot see much difference between the before and after photo. However, Archie was very patient with us and had an extra treat for being such a good boy.
Will Kelly be out of a job? Definitely not!!!! Roll on the lockdown finishing and the Coronavirus completely eradicated. However we might have to do this all over again in a few weeks, if lockdown is still in force. Oh dear!!!! I will keep the clippers just in case I improve!!!
PUPDATE – 2nd Home Groom
On the 12th May 2020 I received a phonecall from Kelly (Archie’s groomer) in the middle of May to say that she will be re-opening in July and was contacting her regular customers to make appointments. So one was made for the 4th July. As that would mean another 6 weeks before the appointment we had to attempt another clip as he could not go for that long.
So on the 19th May,which was a lovely sunny day we decided this was the day for a 2nd attempt.
BEFORE – although the photo doesn’t really show how long and scruffy his coat actually was
First the bath and again Archie was very good (no photos as exactly the same as before). Then a run around the garden to dry off a little, then the towelling dry (again no photos as the same as before). Then combing through his coat and then blow drying.
Here is a photo of him after the blow drying and all fluffed up and ready for the clipping.
We decided that as I was a bit worried about using the shorter comb guide on the clippers that Steve would have a go, and it was suggested that I disappeared whilst Steve got clipping and was only allowed to come back once he had finished.
Steve had a look at the training video (mentioned above in relation to the first clip) just as a refresher, and even though the woman is a professional and makes it look so easy the dog “Poppy” is an absolute star and just stood there. Having a dog like Archie that doesn’t like standing or sitting still for any length of time makes it far more difficult.
However Steve did an excellent job and commented that perhaps he should come out of retirement and go into dog grooming. His reply is not repeatable!!!
I then used then did the scissoring of Archie’s legs, face and ears, but unfortunately not to the standard of the video as they certainly have a knack of making it look so easy when it definitely isn’t, and again when the dog does not want to stay still, especially when you have sharp scissors in your hand. One of the most difficult tasks is to try and cut and shave and cut the fur between the pads, which again the professionals make it look so easy. This is a part we had to leave as Archie does not like his feet being done.
So here are the after photos and hope you can see some difference
Roll on the 4th July when I will post a photo of how Archie looks after seeing Kelly for the first time since his last professional groom which was on the 4th March 2020 (17 weeks)