The Puppy Cut

“I want a ‘puppy cut’.” Words every professional pet groomer hears. But do you, the pet owner, even know what that means? Have you ever asked for a “puppy cut” (or even synonymously “teddy bear” cut) and been given back your dog not quite how you imagined? Here’s why.

The Puppy Cut

“I want a ‘puppy cut’.”   Where did pet owners even get that term from and run with it? Asking your groomer for a “puppy cut” is almost like telling an Italian chef you want pasta; it doesn’t leave us with a whole lot of information.

So what exactly is a “puppy cut”?

The only true “puppy cut” is for poodles, in a trim for poodle puppies in the show ring. Its purpose is for the owners to grow out their coat in preparation for a continental cut in order for the judges to still see the dog’s structure. This trim is only acceptable for the puppies first twelve months.

Puppy Cut

Not the puppy cut you were looking for?

How can you avoid a “disastrous” ‘do at the groomers?

CH Majessa Fire Walk with Me in a Puppy Cut
CH Majessa Fire Walk with Me in a Puppy Cut
CH Majessa Fire Walk with Me from Puppy Cut to Continental

A “puppy cut” (or “teddy bear”  isn’t something you can just ask for; it is an in depth conversation between you and your groomer if you want a successful groom. Somehow, the term has entered the pet grooming industry without a standard definition, so you must be very clear in your instructions.

Pictures are always helpful, but please be reasonable. Most groomers interpret the “puppy cut” to suggest one length all over on the body, but it does not necessarily specify how long the length should be left. What would you like done with your dog’s head? The ears? The tail?

Your dog could be as short as shaved to the skin with a #7 or long and fluffy, one inch a/o with an E W/C. There are many options (given your dog is combed out and not matted – please see our Line Brushing Tutorial and Shop our store for the most respected sources for premium pet products, grooming, show dog and pet supplies), and much room for miscommunication. Whether you show your groomer with your fingers how much to leave or how much fur to take off, this difference in clear communication matters. We are not mind readers, so more information is always best.

Often a negative grooming experience stems from poor communication, or not keeping up with proper home maintenance. If we can’t get a comb through the coat like butter, our clippers cannot go through the coat to do those cute, fluffy, “puppy cuts” you might request. Humanity before vanity should always be practiced.

If you would like more information on proper groomer etiquette and building rapport, home maintenance, or general inquiries, we’d love to hear from you.

Synergistically Yours,

Danielle & Sheepdog Riggs

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