When it comes to getting the right haircut for your dog, it’s helpful to understand the different terms used in the grooming profession. This article provides an overview of the most common terms used by professional groomers. It will help you make sure that you and your groomer are on the “same page,” when it comes to your discussing the results you want from your dog’s next haircut and grooming session. 

Teddy Bear and Puppy cuts

Teddy Bear and Puppy cuts are essentially the same. This cut refers to a haircut that is the same length all over the body and legs. It does not refer to the coat length, since there are different opinions between groomers. A Puppy or Teddy Bear cut implies that the pet should look cute and cuddly with hair length like a puppy. This can mean anything from 1/2 inch to over 1 inch long. Please discuss your preference with our groomers based on your dog’s coat and breed.

Kennel Cut

The Kennel refers to the idea that when a dog is not being shown you would keep his coat very short. Short coats are easy to manage and require less maintenance than those required for the show ring or used for the purpose for which they are bred. For instance, many hunting dogs are “kenneled” in the “off season.” That’s how the expression “kennel cut” was born. This cut does not relate to a specific length, it just refers to a “short” cut.
This type of cut is a very practical for dog owners with animals that have profuse amounts of coat that they need while hunting to protect their bodies, but that require a lot of up-keep when the dog is not hunting.

Breed Cuts

Breed cuts vary greatly from breed to breed. The styles/type of breed haircuts here in the US are defined in all-breed grooming books such as The All-Breed Dog Grooming Guide 4th Edition by Sam Kohl.
The results of a dog’s “breed” haircut will vary, depending on how closely your dog resembles the near perfection of their breed according to its description by the AKC (American Kennel Club.)

Poodle or Clean Feet

This term refers to shaving between the toes and over the entire foot so that it is bald or has barely any hair left. This technique is used for keeping the feet clean during muddy seasons and keeping foxtails away from the feet. This technique often requires a groomer to exercise patience and a willing pet.

Poodle or Clean Face

This technique refers to shaving the face, cheeks, and muzzle of the dog close to the skin. Dogs that tend to have dirty faces, drool a lot or have eyes that leak, benefit from the Clean Face technique. This is a great cut for animals that tend to have dirty faces, drool a lot, or have leaky eyes. It refers to Poodles as it is done with poodles to show off the delicate and beautiful quality of the bones in the face.

Sanitary Area, Poop Shoot, and Maternity Cut

As the terms suggest, they refer to shaving the hair away from the groin, rectum and genital area. A maternity cut involves shaving the entire belly, from the armpits to the groin, to expose a female dog’s nipples. This is typically done before the female goes into labor so that it is for puppies to nurse and for the mother to keep herself clean.

Top Knot

The top knot is the hair on the top of the head. It relates to the “poofy” style and placement of a bow in the hair of a long-haired breed such as a Yorkie or Shih-Tzu

Before your grooming session

Decide which style to ask for, if you’re unsure, talk with our groomers or schedule a free evaluation by calling (505) 344-0158, prior to booking your appointment.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1.Is there anything about my dog’s current haircut that looks uncomfortable for him? Are there mats on his legs or behind his ears? Is the hair hanging in his eyes? Is poop stuck to his butt?
2.Is his hairstyle practical for our lifestyle, our house/yard, and my available maintenance time?


Portions of content courtesy of pethelpful.com