Key Grooming Terms Cheat Sheet


Here’s another look at our quick, easy reference guide to key dog grooming terminology, created especially with pet owners in mind:

Breed Standard – The standard, agreed set of guidelines to help define the looks and characteristics of each individual breed. In grooming, the traditional look of the coat – its texture and how it is clipped and maintained.

Carding – A grooming technique that removes loose undercoat hair to accentuate the dog’s coat condition and structure. Also completed for general coat and skin health and maintenance.

Clean Feet – The technique of shaving feet closely up to the ankle, fully exposing the dog’s nails. Typically seen on Poodles.

Clip Off – The process of clipping the whole of the dog’s coat. Typically completed in hot summers or in cases of excessive matting.

Double Coat – When a dog’s coat features both coarse guard hairs and softer, downy undercoat.

Fluff Drying – A professional drying technique using a slicker and a warm blaster. The coat is brushed against the direction of growth, usually with a slicker brush, until dry, volumised and fluffy.

Furnishings – Excess of coat on the head, face, legs and tail, typically groomed in a way that complements or accentuates  the look of the dog’s coat – the eyebrows on Schnauzers, for example.

Hand Stripping – The process of removing the outer guard hairs from the dog’s coat to keep the coat trim and healthy. A traditional grooming method for most Terrier coats.

Hot Spots – Sore, red patches of skin, often accompanied by some hair loss. Typically caused by allergies, parasites, or poor grooming habits.

Matts – A tangled, interwoven mass of hair, caused by friction, hair type, or poor grooming habits. Typically, matts have to be removed by special tools such as matt removers, or in extreme cases they may have to be clipped off entirely.

The Quick – The blood vessel that protrudes out into the main body of a dog’s nail. Should be avoided when nail clipping or grinding.

Rolling the Coat – The technique of regular, repetitive hand stripping/carding to keep the coat consistently well groomed and in shape.

Single Coat – A type of dog coat that only consists of top guard hairs and does not feature a downy undercoat.

Top Knot – The prominent section of hair at the top of a dog’s head – the ponytail on a Yorkie, or the fluffy blended Mohawk on a Beddington Terrier.

Undercoat – The short, soft, downy hair that lies close to skin. Found underneath the coarser guard hairs on double-coated breeds.

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