Photo: Award winning pet stylist and Learn2GroomDogs.com Training Partner, Irina “Pina” Pinkusevich, is a true master of corrective grooming tactics as she turns a Poodle into a Bedlington Terrier.
Corrective grooming is an art. It’s the art of accentuating the positive aspects of the pet while minimizing their faults. In order to be effective at corrective grooming, it’s important to understand canine anatomy, structure and movement plus correct breed profiles. Having an eye for balance, style and proportion is also critical.
Not all dogs or trims are candidates for corrective grooming. You must have an owner who is willing to leave some coat on a dog in order to hide its defects or accentuate the positive aspects of the pet. If a client opts for a short, low maintenance trim — you’ll not be able to apply corrective grooming tactics. However, if the client is willing to let you leave the pet in a slightly longer trim, there is much that you can do to accentuate the physique of a dog.
Corrective grooming is all about the illusion of creating a dog of perfect proportion and body structure to fit the correct breed profile of that dog. Once the stylist understands how to read and interpret a breed standard, they have a blueprint of what the pet should look like – if it was perfect. Many breed standards will actually outline the correct size, length, and proportions of the pet’s individual body parts in relationship to each other.
Once you can interpret the breed standard it’s just a matter of connecting the dots. Stealthy trimming can accentuate the key points of the pet while detracting from their faults. A talented professional pet stylist is actually an artist – a sculptor of fur.
Understanding how to do this will change the classification between a “groomer” and a “stylist”. A groomer only cleans the pet. They remove the coat with no focus on styling the fur. A pet stylist, on the other hand, is well versed in breed profile trimming. They have outstanding technical skills clipping and scissoring. They have a solid understanding correct structure and movement. When trimming the pet, they adjust the amount of fur left on the dog to highlight their best features while minimizing their weak points.
Many professionals are happy with just being a competent groomer. However, what really creates a salon that is in high demand? Have at least one talented pet stylist in your grooming department. An experienced, and correctly trained, pet stylist can easily go on to upper levels of the grooming world. Many are Certified Master Stylists under the voluntary certification testing organizations in the United States. Others go on to be successful in the AKC confirmation ring or the pet grooming contest arena. Some high achievers can be found in all areas; certified stylists, exhibit dogs on the conformation world plus show off their styling skills in the competitive grooming ring.
Here is a list of the typical areas we can influence with every day pets. Armed with a solid understanding of the canine species, a talented pet stylist can hide common defects while emphasizing the best features of the animal. The more you know about proper canine anatomy, structure and movement and breed profiles, the easier it will be to apply corrective grooming applications. It is also critical you have excellent technical techniques along with an eye for balance, style, and proportion.
• square or rectangular body shape
• tail set
• neck length
Bone & Body Structure
• front and rear legs
• front and rear assembly
• skull shape
• jaw length
• ears set
• tail set