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What size blade and which clipper to use?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

  
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Weston aka- Chocolate- Monkey

Wheres my- chocolate- Monkey.
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 4:33am PST 
Well first off I love my groomer. She's truly one of the best groomers I've ever met. But....

It's now getting to be summer and where we live it regularly gets to be 117 outside. Which is quite hot. So since the dogs have to be shaved down during the summer, I just assume save the $80.00 each time for the poodle and do it myself, and the lhasa apso I refuse to take to get any more vacinations (other than the required rabies ever 3 years) because according to the most recent studies it's really not healthy at all for him to keep getting vacinations every year since the core vacinations actually show more harm by being done every year instead of every 7 years once they have taken. Anyway...... Because he's old and isnt' vacinated every year now, shops refuse to take him in, so be it, thats their perogative. I mean heck he's got all his core shots as well as the shots for any outbreaks but anyway, not really important........


The dalmatian in our house loves the heat and being a short haired breed is fine, but we also have a 16 year old lhasa apso and a 6 month old standard poodle.

Im not vain, so I have no problems having either the lhasa or the poodle shaved down for the summer heat. Plus I have no vain or sissy dogs in my house, they are all rough and tumble dogs which go hiking, swimming etc. So having a short coat during the summer months is a benefit for both the dogs and ourselves in that a shaved short coat allows the dogs to go on hikes or swimming and have minimal amount of time taken to either brush out the coats from plant material that has gotten caught in the coat or to brush out the coat from swimming.

So with that out of the way, I picked up an Andis clipper, but even with the stock 10 blade and a blade comb it can't make it through the poodles or the lhasas coat. Even with what appears to be no matting the Number 10 blade wont cut through the coat of the poodle and does very little to cut through the coat of the lhasa apso. So I assume that I have to get a different blade to shave down these dogs. But which blade size do I get?

I certainly dont want them completely bald, but I want their coats to be short enough to offer them some relief from the heat as well as minimal brushing after taking our morning walkies through the desert and mountains around our house.

The next part of the question is which clipper? I can take the Andis clipper back if people think the Oster is better. I have the Andis AGC clipper *one speed*, and have been looking at the Oster Golden A5 two speed clipper. Sure it would cost more but it does offer a faster spm than the Andis one speed clipper.

So.....
1. Which blade size to get to shave down a standard poodle as well as a lhasa apso

2. Which clipper to get, the Andis AGC Professional Kit, or the Oster Golden A5?

3. If you have a poodle and have him shaved down in the summer, what length do they shave you poodle down to? My mothers older standard poodle is always shaved down now because of his age, but my mother has someone from her office take him in so hasn't a clue what size blade they use or even where he goes for his grooming.

Thanks,

Edited by author Wed May 31, '06 4:37am PST

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Arrow

wait for me!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 5:28am PST 
when you "shave down" how close are you looking to get? each of the blades has a certain level. A 10 or 15 is what I would use to do a poodle's face (and is what I use on my kerry's). For a matted strip down I've used a 5F.
The blades that get down to the skin (30 0r 40) are very irritating to the skin and likely to nick. Also, being shaved that close brings in the hazard of sunburn.
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Celebratia- Because I- Knew You

Bonaparte - Son of- Charlemagne
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 5:44am PST 
We use the Andis clippers 2speed ultra clippers and a 10 blade should go through any coat, as it's what's known as a "smooth" blade. If it's not, then the dogs might be very dirty (the dirt in their coat will only serve to dull the blade faster anyway) so you might try bathing them and drying them thoroughly first.

The best clippers to use are those with the removable blades - the blades that are screwed on with the comb guards never seem to work on dog coats, regardless of the make. confused

Are you attempting to use a guard?

I wouldn't go any shorter than a 10 because a 15 or a 30 are risky blades to work with and GAH, how uncomfortable to do their whole bodies in it.

For a summer strip, I would actually prefer to use a 7F or a 5F to leave a protective "fuzz" on the body but if you can't get a 10 through I doubt either blade will go through, either.

Edited by author Wed May 31, '06 5:46am PST

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Arrow

wait for me!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 5:53am PST 
we use an Oster A5 gold with cryo blades.
The Oster gets hot a little faster than the Andis (you'll notice with your standard, but not your lhasa). But the cryo blades stay cool longer and are coated to better glide thru coat.
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Weston aka- Chocolate- Monkey

Wheres my- chocolate- Monkey.
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 6:17am PST 
Well, I dont want him bald, but rather just short, right now the groomer does his face with a Number 30 (no nicks or irritation), and a "B" on the body. Im really not sure what a "B" represents, but his coat is usually about 1 1/2" long.

I'd like to make the poodles coat short enough that after swimming a light brushing could untangle it completely, or even short enough that after a swim he needs no brushing, but dont want skin really showing (my mothers dog has his hair short but no skin showing and she doesnt have to brush him between grooming trips).

Yes Im trying to use a comb on the clipper which I think is one of the problems, in that it will find something to tangle on no matter how much brushing with slicker brushes and fine tooth combs we brush him with.

I was thinking of using the 5 or 7 on him, but Im not sure just how short thats going to make it.

I believe I read on the Andis site this morning that their blades could be used on the Oster A5, so Im wondering also if the Oster A5 blades could be used on the Andis clipper. Seems to make sence if one fits the other, then the other fits the one. Are both blades created equal, or is Osters better than Andis, or is Andis better than Osters.

Also since you folks have clippers, do you have the vibrating sharpening stone, or do you buy new ones, or do you send them out to be sharpened? Im thinking to purchase the vibrating sharpening stones I've seen since they are only a few hundred dollars and since the blades just get held flat up against them it seems pretty much a no brainer on how to sharpen the blades, or am I misguided in this sharpening matter.

Thanks,
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Lyric

320407
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 8:19am PST 
The "B" is actually a gaurd comb. just a longer one than you were probably trying to use. from shortest to longest in blades it goes:40, 35, 30, 15, 10, 8.5, 7, 5, 4. then it goes to gaurd combs:2, 1.5, 1, 1/2, 0, a, b, c, d, e. so the "b" gaurd left it pretty fluffy. i would say you would probably want to to use a 5 or 7. (taking into account the activitives these dogs will be doing) the 5 obviously will be a little fluffier. and these blades will look different on both of your dogs. the lhasa and poodle have different coat textures so the lengths will look slightly different. oh and since you had a gaurd comb on the 10 thats why you werent getting anywhere. the coat has to be completely clean and brushed out tangle free to use a guard comb. that #10 blade alone will get through the coat, but im not sure you want it THAT short.

as far as sharpening i always say send it out. the only thing ive heard about those things is that they are a waste of money. i dont know if anyone here has had luck with them, but i always just send mine out. usually its only about 5 bucks a blade anyways, so since your not consistently grooming with many different blades...i dont think the couple hundred dollars would be worth it to you. plus if you mess up sharpening the blade, then you have to spend MORE money on new blades.
hope i helped!
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Lyric

320407
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 8:23am PST 
...also...since you have such a great groomer, why dont you just ask her? she knows your dogs adnd your preference obviously better than any one of us. and im sure she'd understand why you are doing it yourself for the summer. plus it doesnt leave her in the dark on why she doesnt see your dogs all summer! personally i wouldnt be offended if a great customer asked me a few pointers...im obviously not going to give them a grooming lesson, lol. but a few pointers never hurt anyone!
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Suzy- ♥- Dreyfus

Gramma Suzy
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 9:24am PST 
Suzy: I grooms my kids...Cinnamon, Honey and Johnny Thunder

Beatrix: (shaking her head) Poor little Poodles! You almost blind Suzy!

Suzy: So what's your point? I don't let a little blindness stand in the way of greatness! (grabs Honey by the leg and starts brushing wildly)

Honey: Hey, Suzy go e-z would ya?

Suzy: Do you wants to look good or not? (spraying Honey's hair, getting some in his eyes)

Honey coughing runs outside

Cinnamon: Maybe if you slowed down a little Suzy and don't nip when we move...

Suzy: How many Poodle have you groomed?

Johnny: Me think me hair looks nice. Suzy you're doing a great job!

Beatrix: My fur VERY nice too! So nice me think you don't need to brush me today...(backs out of room)

Suzy: Free groom! Hey! Where'd everybody go? Hey! Come back here...Anybody in forums?

The Fun Loving Five
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Weston aka- Chocolate- Monkey

Wheres my- chocolate- Monkey.
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 10:44am PST 
Thanks Lyric,
Im off to the pet store to pick up a #5 and a #7 blade and try it in an inconspicuous area to see which length I think is best.

I plan on tellin my groomer on June 10th when it's westons next appointment to see him. But my groomer is a big poodle affecionado and while she will do whatever I ask as long as it wont hurt the animal, she really balks at people that have their poodles shaved down, I dont mean that in a bad way by any means, it's just that her poodles are more homebodys or shopbodys, as they pretty much either stay at home or come with her to the shop, and dont swim nor do they go out for hikes in the brush so she really can't comprehend a poodle that does these kinds of activities (especially where we live with so many wealthy homes having poodles, ummm No Im not one of the wealthy).

But in any event Im pretty sure Ill make some mistakes but she'll see weston on the 10th so Im going to explain to her that he will be back in after the summer when I let his coat start to grow out so that she can take care of him again. Im sure she'll understand fine since she is such a terrific lady.

Okay, thanks again,
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Gloryficous

No- sleeping...only- playing!
 
 
Barked: Wed May 31, '06 3:33pm PST 
Weston's mom, another thing that will help you get a good cut on your dogs is to make sure they are squeaky clean and bone dry when you cut them. Since your dogs seem to have a pretty active lifestyle, I'm wondering if that's what's giving you trouble with the clippers. Getting dirt and grime in the blade can keep it from cutting the hair. And the poodles will look best if you can blow dry their hair, as that helps straighten the hair and you get a more uniform length when cutting.
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