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I have a cocker spaniel that has long straighter more than curly hair. The two groomers I have used for my other dogs have either retired or have health issues. Took her to another groomer and she has butchered her twice to the point my dog was even embarrassed with how she looked. I know I can do that or even better so
please help with what equipment and supplies I need to do at home grooming; table, harness, clippers, attachments, shears, nails, etc. Thanks.
 

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You'll definitely need a good pair of clippers, not a cheap pair. You should always have nail clippers IMO. I always cut my dog's nails because groomers often cut the quick or too close to the quick. You need shampoo and attachments for the clippers. Those cover your basics... they'll get the job done. Just beware, the clippers alone will cost the same as a few groomer visits.
 

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It can be very daunting doing all of this on your own, but if you're committed to it, I say, "KUDOS to you!"

What do you mean by the term "butchered"? A lot of times, as a groomer, there are some dog breeds that once they're matted, depending on how badly matted they are, it can become almost impossible to keep the dog in a long haircut or a breedclip. [Sorry for the run-on sentence.] That is what a lot of pet-parents don't understand. De-matting a dog, if the mats are in sensitive areas, over a wide-spread area, or just too close to the skin it can be painful to the dog. If the dog isn't patient and tolerant, and becomes agitated, wiggly, and aggressive that can make it even harder to groom. Some Cocker Spaniels can have a very thick coat, that requires a lot of brushing and regular grooming.

I suggest a pair of clippers made by Andis, they can run very expensive, but like I said- if you're committed to this you might as well get equipment that is going to stand up to grooming a Cocker.

You will need blades, 10blade- used for sanitary trims, 40blade- used ONLY on pawpads, 4blade or 5blade- used to shave the back, head and part of ears. [if you're keeping her in a breedclip.] It's a good idea to buy a couple replacement blades should they begin to dull, break, or stop working. (As long as you bathe and dry before you do the haircut, your blades should last you several months.) If you're doing just a puppy cut, get a couple more 10blades or 30blades with a good set of comb attachments. Steel comb attachments work best, as they slide through the hair better and less frequently get pulled off the blade.

Shears! A good pair of shears, curved and straight; I prefer those with safety tips, so if the dog moves, or jerks back you're in less fear of knicking or poking the dog or yourself.

I recommend a good slicker brush- the paddle brush with rows of pins. On short-haired dogs, or shaved dogs, be careful not to brush too hard as you can give a dog brush-burn.

I also recommend a steel-comb. When you *think* you've brushed her out as well as she's going to get, run the small-tooth side of a comb through her, and as long as it goes through relatively easy or with few snags, you've done a good job and she should stay mat free for a while. Don't forget the armpits, and the edges of the ear itself! :)

You might also want to look into a de-matting rake. It looks like a comb, with a short row of just a few teeth that are actually like shears that you use to tease apart a mat. Just be careful not to catch your fingers!

As a groomer, I can say that I clip nails pretty close, I like to leave a little bit of nail from the quick, but if I'm dremeling nails, or have a dog with super long quicks, I'll dremel as close to the quick as I can, as doing that [regularly] will help shorten the quick.

I can say that grooming for a few years now, I have knicked, cut, scraped, and jabbed myself more times than all the animals I've had on my table. :)

Oh, and it doesn't hurt to get the "Dog Grooming for Dummies" book! I have one too! :)

Good luck, and let us know how it's coming along!

::Edit:: The hardest part I would say, isn't the grooming itself, but controlling the dog. I'm sure your dog will be quite confused as to why you're doing this and not someone else. I would get a good sturdy table, and fasten a hook to a wall close to the center and purchase a grooming noose to help keep her on the table. I have heard a lot of people say trying this at home takes aaaaaaaaaaaaaaall day, and they have to keep giving the dog a break through out the day. Doing that isn't doing you or the dog any service. Do your very best control yourself and the dog and get through it as quickly as possible. Dogs don't like it taking any longer than it has too, and taking a break makes it think you're done only for you to start again. How irritating would that be if our hair-dressers did that to us? lol!
 
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