Bichon grooming is much more of an art than a science. A groomer has an artistic eye toward styling the dog’s coat and can take the dog’s body structure into consideration when making decisions. They then use this knowledge to create a cut that beautifully highlights the dog’s build. It is important to know this when learning to groom your bichon. In this article we will look at one basic style of bichon cuts, the Lamb Cut, and talk about specific tips and strategies to make your dog look great.
Before we get into styles and grooming tips, it should be noted that the bichon needs to be thoroughly washed and detangled before grooming. Bichons are notorious for having tangled, matted hair so please be sure to clean and brush the dog before attempting the cut.
In general there are three basic types of bichon cuts. They are the lamb cut, the modified puppy cut, and the fuller cut. Here we will look at the lamb cut, or “shave down.” This style is exactly what it sounds like: the body, legs and head are all cut short using electric clippers resulting in short hair all around. This style cut is preferred by those who have no plans to show their bichon in competitions, or during summer time. It is a convenient style because it is very low maintenance and quite easy to achieve. Benefits include far less matting and tangles, and a cooler dog in the warm months.
Lamb Cut Tips
The first decision you have to make is what size clippers to use, and this depends on how long the dog’s hair currently is. If it is quite long, it is not recommended to cut right down to the final length in one shot. Instead, use a longer clipper first and then re-cut with a shorter blade. The final length is up to you, but we recommend tapering down the length with smaller and smaller blade lengths until the desired length is reached.
Some people like to have the underside/belly of their dog trimmed a little closer than the rest of the body. Again, if this is the look you would like, it is recommended that you gradually taper down to the desired length.
Another approach that should be taken is to shave in the same direction as hair growth, which is generally from the head toward the tail. This is important for both safety and appearance. If you shave against the hair growth you risk catching skin in the blades and cutting your dog. Also, shaving with the hair direction will result in a much more even cut.
The head is the most difficult part to shave. This is especially true for the area around the eyes. To achieve the desired look, cut as close as you can to the eyes with the electric clippers and use scissors to finish. Remember that bichons are prone to watery eyes and eye infections if the hair around them is overgrown, so pay special attention
Finally, after your have finished shaving, you should re-wash your bichon. This will help remove loose hair to prevent them from being itchy, and is a great way to not only clean their hair but their skin as well.
Unless you have plans to enter your bichon in competitions or really love the look of a well groomed dog, this is the most recommended style of cut. It is an easy way for you to maintain a great look for your dog, and should take less than two hours once a month.
Source by Kyle R Lambert