Creating a Natural Foot

Each breed of dog will call for a certain style of foot, created or accentuated by skilful trimming and grooming. A natural, tidy foot is the perfect finishing touch with any good groom, and is also an important element of canine health and hygiene.

Pad Trimming Tips

Excessive hair between the pads is typical with silky or double coats, but it can affect all coated dog breeds. This type of excessive hair can trap moisture, causing skin irritations, and it can also cause ice, grit, thorns and burrs to collect. In addition, many owners forget to check the feet when grooming at home, so it is therefore vital you spend time tending to this area with every dog.

  • Clip longer hairs with a #15 or #30 blade using a very light touch
  • Lift the dog’s paw gently to a height you can comfortably work from, taking care not to strain him too much
  • Work quickly, keeping the blade flush with the foot pad
  • Practise on your own hand to get the pressure right if you are unsure
  • Monitor the clipper blade for heat, as the dog will really feel it if the blade is too hot
  • Clipping the pads should take around 30 seconds per foot, depending on the size of the dog and his disposition

Styling the Tops of the Feet

A finished foot shows off bone structure, and should look natural without any scissor or clipper marks. To trim the top of the foot:

  • Back brush with a slicker from the nail bed to gently pull up the longer hair
  • Once the coat is standing away from the paw, trim with thinners or scissors
  • Trim the hair at a right angle to the foot for a well-arched toe
  • Finish the foot with a little fine detailing – thinners are ideal for a natural look

Information in this blog post was sourced from Notes from the Grooming Table by Melissa Verplank. To find this book online, click here.

Comments are closed here.